After an unpredictable year of restrictions due to COVID-19, many boat enthusiasts have felt disheartened at their inability to get back on board. With conditions making it difficult for all businesses to stay afloat, leisurely boat trips are not as enjoyable as before - and working on board has been limited or put to a stop.
There are many contributing factors as to why people have not been able to enjoy water activities – but there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, as restrictions have begun to lift in the UK.
Since 12th April, hospitality venues are now open for outdoor service and other activities are now open to the public again; including outdoor entertainment, indoor leisure facilities, and overnight stays. Things are gradually beginning to feel a bit more ‘normal’, meaning that many boaters who haven’t already will soon be getting back on board and out onto the water again.
Unsure about where to head first after such a long time? We have picked out some of the best places in the UK for you to zip around the shores!
The Jurassic Coast, Weymouth, Dorset
Embrace the picturesque views in Weymouth. If you enjoy a good view and have always wanted to see the well-known landmark, Durdle Door, then The Jurassic Coast is the perfect place for you.
Falmouth is home to the National Maritime Museum, perfect for lovers of the sea! Dolphins, seals and other wildlife have also been spotted near the shores at Falmouth, so don’t forget your camera.
Set on the coast in the New Forest National Park, Lymington is known for its sailing history – with two marinas located in the town.
The Broads, Norfolk
With over 125 miles of lock free waterways, there’s lots to see on The Broads. This National Park in Norfolk is surrounded by beautiful countryside and charming towns and villages.
It is essential to check that you will be safe before sailing off. Below we have included a guide to help you check your boat is safe to board.
Test that your bilge pump actually works. You can do this by lifting up the float switch if possible, or you can manually pour water into the bilge to see if this will activate the switch.
Check for any power issues. Zero-maintenance AGM batteries could become flat from a parasitic drain if you forgot to disconnect them. Make sure to check both battery banks, your boat might have a multimeter or a built-in voltmeter battery monitor.
Check Fuel System
Check your fuel levels and your fuel lines – especially if you use diesel. Fuel filters can clog up over time which as a result can stop the fuel to your motors.
Ensure that your steering will not be affected by any rusted parts by cleaning with appropriate appliances.
Make sure you check your navigational and on-board lights are working properly before setting off! Even if you only plan to go out during the day. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself on your first excursion back on board!