Boating can be a very relaxing pastime

By Leland Poliks

Boating can be a very relaxing pastime, floating along on a river or lake without a care. For most people, the boating itself is the whole point of the hobby: once you're in the boat, you're set.

Many people bring their boat to wherever they are going to go boating on a trailer attached to the back of their car, provided the boat is small enough - larger boats have to be kept in marinas, which can be expensive. Even today, plenty of people still build their own boats out of nothing more than wood, nails and ingenuity.

There are many different kinds of boats, from the very small to the very large. The smallest boats are those designed to be rowed effectively by one person, followed by family-sized small boats. Most people who are into boating tend to have been boating with their family, especially their father, and take their own family along because they have such fond memories.

Once you get above quite small boats, you start to get into powerboats (also known as speedboats and motorboats). They start off as only just too large to row, but can go as large as 50 feet long with cabins and large engines - in other words, you can get powerboats about as big as a car and about as big as a lorry.

While boating is fun, however, it is also a hobby where you need to pay a lot of attention to safety. Too many boaters die each year, mainly by falling overboard and drowning. It is important that you use common sense as well as making sure to comply with the relevant safety laws, especially by always taking lifejackets with you.

Of course, boating isn't entirely limited to just cruising around. You can also set up water-skis on the back of your boat and go water-skiing, or even enter boat races, if you think you're fast enough. You can also fish, both in freshwater and in saltwater, with freshwater fishing one of the most popular things to do with a boat.

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