There are endless ways to enjoy a perfect day of fun in the sun, such as spending it out on your boat with family and friends. Not only will you enjoy the beautiful weather on the water, but the surrounding scenery will allow you to relax and escape from the daily grind of modern life. While you’re at it, you can cast some lines and take your catch home to cook for a healthy, delicious dinner. Here at Norfolk Marine, we know how exciting it is to get out and enjoy the open water on your boat, but it’s important that you plan your day out first.

We want our customers to have the best experience possible, which is why we’ve put together this preparation guide to get you started. If you have questions or would like to check out the boat parts and service we offer, stop by our dealership! We proudly serve Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, Virginia.


You should always have your important documents with you on a boating trip. Whether you’re going on an all-day excursion or a short trip to the lake, it’s essential to have these documents on hand. You’ll need your boat license, registration, and insurance papers securely stored in a waterproof pouch. It’s a smart idea to make copies of these in advance so you always have extras in the event that your originals are damaged or lost. Passports aren’t usually necessary, but a photo ID is always good to have in case of an emergency.


It’s critical that you take care of your health when you’re preparing for a day on the water. The biggest obstacle will be handling the summer heat. Remember that sunlight is reflected by water, so you should always wear sunglasses as protection from glaring light and harmful UV rays. You can also wear a wide-brimmed hat to further shield your eyes and face from the sun. Your skin is vulnerable to the sun, too, so be sure to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas. If you’re spending several hours on the boat, you’ll need to re-apply it throughout the day. Another worthwhile item to have for sun protection is SPF lip balm.

Cold can also be a challenge. When you head out early or stay out late, the water will cause many temperature shifts. It might be hot in the middle of the day, but it can get chilly very fast as the sun begins to set when you’re out on the open ocean. Cloud cover and wind can also cause the temperature to dip. If children are aboard, keep in mind that they’re especially sensitive to these changes. Pack layers and light jackets for when it gets cold on the boat. You should also have waterproof clothing available in case you hit a patch of rain. Blankets are another great way to warm up any passengers who are feeling cold.


In your preparation, be sure your boat is fully stocked with all the necessary safety supplies. Some items you should always have include fire extinguishers, life jackets for all passengers, a waterproof map and compass, a GPS system, flares and flags, a full first aid kit, a throwable life ring, an emergency radio, and so on. You never know when you’re going to need any of these items, so it’s best to be prepared and always have them available.

Make it a habit to check the weather before your head out on your boat. You shouldn’t head out if the forecast guarantees storms or other bad weather conditions. Avoid boating in heavy rain, hail, lightning, or wind. Checking the weather will also help you plan your return time. You should let someone on shore know about your plans such as where you’ll be boating and when you plan to return. This should provide them with enough information in case they need to communicate with emergency rescue crews.


If you plan to go fishing when you’re out on the water, don’t forget all the necessities. You should remember to bring a net, bait, tackle box, and needle nose pliers. If you want better results, you’ll want to use live bait when possible. Always handle bait with clean hands because if fish smell your scent, it’ll cause them to keep their distance. If your boat is equipped with a livewell, be sure it’s prepared to hold your catch so that it remains fresh until you get back to shore.

Plan your fishing spots in advance so you’re not driving around without a destination. A great way to choose spots is to first decide what type of fish you’d like to catch. You can learn about the different water depths and what type of fish are found where. Depth finders make a great addition to any fishing trip so you can locate the best spot.

Now that you’re prepared for your day out on the boat, be sure to visit us at Norfolk Marine for any gear or supplies you still need. We’re conveniently located near Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, Virginia.