Five Tips for a Money-Saving Weekend at the Lake
If you own a boat, you know freedom. You know peace and you know relaxation. You certainly know what it feels like to be the most popular person at your family reunion. Chances are, though, you've also perfected the wrist motion it takes to swipe your credit card at the pump. You know what I'm talking about. The 45 degree angle with the quick push in and pull back as the money magically drains from your bank account. This expense is the not-fun part of boating. It's worth it, but it's not free.
The truth is hitting the lake every weekend doesn't have to mean a full tank of gas. There's plenty you can do to entertain yourself and your family without breaking the bank.
1. Family B.B.Q at the Lake
Grab the family and head down to your boat. Use a portable grill to cook up a fun dinner surrounding the ambiance of the lake. Keep it simple so there's not a lot of hauling or cleanup. Watch the sunset on your boat as the waves rock the stress of your work life right out of you.
2. Swim in a Cove
Use a minimal amount of gas to head to a secluded cove and spend the afternoon laying on the beach and jumping off the boat. This will keep your family entertained for hours and requires little effort or cost. Bring a picnic dinner and just let your family be together without the interruptions of day-to-day life.
3. Use Towables as Floats
Blow up the tubes and use them as floats. It takes zero gas to power a tube and you still get to spend the entire day floating on the water. Bring some squirt guns and let the kids go wild. Very few things in this world are better than that.
4. Host a Potluck Dock Party
Invite your friends and family down to the dock for a potluck. Everyone brings something so no one carries an overwhelming burden of expense and everyone gets to have fun. You can even use towables to set up a fun obstacle course in the water or on the beach. Make it your own version of beach olympics with a round of applause going to the winner at the end of the night.
5. Dejunk your boat
One of the best things to keep your fuel costs down is to perform routine maintenance on your boat and keep the hull clean of debris. Things like this help your boat get on plane quicker and with less effort. Also, by keeping your boat de-junked and the weight distribution more even, the fuel gauge will take longer to get to the dreaded "E".
We hope these simple tips have opened a floodgate of ideas on easy things to do on your lake without using fuel. But if none of these work, offset your costs by putting up a tip cup and implementing a cover charge for free-loading relatives.
Article written by Katie Burke
Katie Burke is the Editor of Houseboat Magazine and the Assistant Editor of Pontoon & Deckboat Magazine