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Campfire Collective Jun 17th, 2019

Boating Badges of Honour

Boaters wearing orange life jackets driving a small boat with console.

As boaters, we all share that special bond. We all know that the boater wave has been earned over the years through the different trials and tribulations. We’ve all suffered the same embarrassing moments and shameful errors. However, these boating incidents’ are a right of passage and should be worn like a badge of honour. They are a direct result of the lessons you’ve learned along the way that classify you as a true boater. Check out the list below for boating badges of honour only true boaters will understand. How many badges have you earned?

Overcoming Your Docking Stage Fright Badge

Docking is a true test of skill that not just anyone can achieve. It takes years of finesse and practice to properly dock a boat on the first attempt. it’s a true boating badge of honour when you finally, successfully dock a boat for the first time. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer joy you and your family will experience when this art form is done correctly and adequately. It’s a right of passage and once you’ve mastered the technique, there’s really nothing else you can’t do. You’ll encourage the onlookers to watch because you are a true boater now and no one can stop you.

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The Official NASBLA and Transport Canada Boating Course, Test & License.

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Boating License

The Official NASBLA and Transport Canada Boating
Course, Test & License.

The Rock That “Came out of nowhere” Badge

While on the water, there are a lot of things you need to be aware of and thinking about at once. As the captain, there are numerous safety factors to be considered. It always helps when you have a co-captain to help you out, but it’s important to stay alert. When you let your guard down and the bottom of the boat scrapes that rock that “came out of nowhere” you might be looking at some pretty serious damage. But don’t be too hard on yourself, we’ve all been there.

captain’s log badge

Aerial view of a small boat full of life jackets.

Boaters understand the importance of this trick. Keeping a boating journal can be extremely useful for future trips or tracking your boat’s fuel consumption. Avid boaters know that the more detailed they are, the better future boat outings will be. You can use an older ship’s log as an itinerary for a future journey. It can help map out a great trip that you and your family can enjoy.

The Paddle of Shame Badge

This may arguably be the most embarrassing thing to happen as a boater. Running out of gas and having to paddle your boat home in front of all the cottagers… super embarrassing. The practical standard to avoid this tragedy at all costs is to allot a third of your tank to get out, a third to get home and leave a third in reserve. However, you may have an unreliable gas gauge and alas be tormented by the scrutiny of the passers-by as you paddle your way back to the dock. We won’t judge you though. We totally get how you can get completely wrapped up in the day on the water and engulfed in the task at hand. The best way to truly avoid this from happening is by keeping track of your fuel load and making it part of your routine.

Backing up your trailer in front of an audience badge.

You show up to the boat launch and no one is around. You think to yourself “great! no pressure I can take my time with it… I got this!” Cut-to: five other vehicles pulling up out of nowhere and you now have a full audience watching and waiting. You would have been completely fine had these boaters not shown up and provided you with a case of stage fright. You try and play it cool but as you’re backing the boat and trailer up you jack-knife it not once but three times! This is an epic fail and there was a live audience to watch you crash and burn.

Getting caught in the rain badge

Girl sitting on a red tube, pointing into the distance.

The forecast called for sun all day with zero chance of rain. You’re out on your boat enjoying the day when all of a sudden, the ominous clouds roll in. You have two choices in this scenario, and only two. You can race the ‘rain line’ back to the dock only to lose to mother nature or you can say “screw it” and keep ripping on the tube! We’re a big fan of the latter (until it starts lightning, then it’s time to drive safely back to shore).

Where’s the Ice Badge

With the hot sun beating down on you all day, true boaters know that their cooler game needs to be strong. Boaters realize that the supplies you bring onboard are all you have for the entire day. It’s all about the heavy-duty coolers that will keep your drinks refreshing well into the late afternoon. Just don’t forget the ice! No one wants a warm drink in the middle of the afternoon.

Boaters, we know it’s not always easy to have a perfect docking score or remember the ice when there’s 20 other things on your checklist. But these minor hardships are nothing to be ashamed of. You wear those badges of honour proudly because you’ve earned them. You can now call yourself a true boater. 

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