Travis Boating Center

Travis Boating Center is one of the premier super stores for the best deals on boats in the United States.  Travis Boating Center was founded and began by the man who was responsible for launching Bass Pro Shops – the premier store for everything outdoors.  It seemed like a natural transition for him to also found a store that sold boats and everything associated with them since boats are used in fishing as well as for recreational purposes.

Exclusively carrying Tracker brand boats, Travis boating center was started back in the 1970’s and featured a “ready to fish” boat package that was unheard of in the industry at the time.  Tracker boats have since become known as some of the best quality of boats that can be found today.  Since its inception, Travis Boating Center has expanded their brand lines to include Nitro, Sun Tracker, and Tahoe, to name just a few.

Today, this is a national phenomenon growing by leaps and bounds every day.  Inside the stores of Travis Boating Center, you’ll find the largest selection of boats all tailored to the regions that each store serves.

This great store, founded with a love of both fishing as well as boating offers the finest new and used boats at the best prices.  They pride themselves on bringing service and selection together to offer boating enthusiasts the best boating package at the very best price.

Travis Boating Centers are located in many places concentrating mostly in the south and southeastern United States.  They are especially concentrated in areas where boating is big such as Texas, California, and Florida.  However, chances are very good that if you take the time to look, you will be able to find a boat dealer near you that carries Tracker boats which were developed by Travis Boating Center.

Travis Boating Centers are well-known for being heavy participants in boat shows all around the country.  Because they have such great boat packages which usually include trailers as well as boating gear, they have a lot to offer at these shows. 

They pride themselves on offering everything the avid boater needs no matter what activity the boat will be used for.  Their staff is friendly and very knowledgeable as each employee must go through a rigorous training session where they learn everything that will help the consumer make a well-thought out decision on their boat purchase.

Whether you want to angle for sport fish, ski with family, or cruise to Margaritaville, look for a Travis Boating Center to get outfitted with the best boat around.  When you become an owner of one of their fine boats, you will enjoy the results of founder Johnny Morris’ enduring vision: “Build a better boat, make it affordable and make it last.”

That’s what you’ll get from Travis Boating Center and Tracker boats.

Michigan Boating

You have many options when you decide you want to go boating in Michigan.  Michigan is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes and has over 11,000 inland lakes.  In addition, boaters in Michigan can enjoy over a thousand public access sites which makes it the ideal place to enjoy pleasure boating, sailing, canoeing, and even Great Lakes cruising.

Obviously, the most popular places for boating in Michigan is on one of the Great Lakes.  Whether you choose Lake Huron or Lake Michigan, you will find some great waters that provide challenges to even the most experienced boaters.  Access is easily found in many places, and you won’t have any problem getting on your way quickly for a day of fun on the water!

Michigan is well known for its great fishing.  Whether you’re interested in catching largemouth bass or some prized salmon, you’re sure to find some great fish when you go boating in Michigan.  Find a great spot somewhere along the shoreline of Lake Superior, or choose one of Michigan’s many lakes.  The fishing is as great as the boating in Michigan.

Because boating is such a popular activity in Michigan, you will find a wealth of knowledge on the subject in many places.  There are online forums that discuss the best places to boat and fish.  Blogs on boating in Michigan abound.  Take the advice of people who have been there and discover all sorts of opportunities!

If you don’t own a boat but still want to explore boating in Michigan, the good news is that you still can.  There are many, many places all along the water that provide boat rentals as well as chartered trips.  They will provide you with all the necessary instruction you need to pilot your own water craft on the water, or you can just sit back and enjoy the beauty of being on the water while someone else captains the boat.

Whether you’re interested in water skiing, sailing, or just cruising along the water, you’ll have many options you can explore in Michigan.  Even in the winter, you can boat in Michigan.  Ice boating is a very popular sport in Michigan.  Even if it’s cold outside, you can still enjoy the sights of this northern state.

Michigan is a beautiful place, and boating is a wonderful sport.  When you combine the two, you’ll have a great time boating in Michigan.

Florida Boating

It’s no surprise that Florida is the number one place with annual boating registrations that top all other states.  Florida offers many different opportunities for boating whether you want to brave the ocean, the gulf, or one of their many, many lakes. 

Because they have been consistently the number one boating destination in the United States, Florida concentrates a lot of their state-wide efforts on keeping the waterways safe as well as fun.  There are numerous state grants available for improving ramp access and keeping the waters clean.

Florida has over 8,000 miles of coastline and 4,500 square miles of inland waterways, making it a paradise for boaters! From mega-yachts to wooden skiffs, having a boat is as normal as having a car for some Floridians. The Intra-coastal Waterway is a natural but dredged channel that extends 500 miles down the east coast of Florida to the tip of the Keys. It’s a very popular boating route that runs through rivers, creeks and dredged canals. It is maintained by the Florida Inland Navigation District.

The 135-mile Okeechobee Waterway, which cuts through the state, is another popular boating route, especially during the summer. It runs along the St. Lucie Canal from Stuart, across Lake Okeechobee and then on to Sanibel Island via the Caloosahatchee River.
 
There are roughly 1,250 marinas in Florida, most with excellent facilities, accommodations and outlets for fishing and diving charters.  Florida is also home to dozens of boat manufacturers, dealers and yards which provide services such as boat repair, painting and storage.

If you are boating in Florida, you’ll find all the amenities afforded to the many, many boating enthusiasts that flock here every year.  Numerous marinas allow for easy access to the many waterways and the services they provide make every boater comfortable and at ease.

The fishing is also great in Florida, so it’s easy to combine recreational boating with angling for prize fish.  You’ll find lots of award-winning fish in many different places, so if you plan on boating in Florida, be sure to bring your fishing gear!

There’s no doubt about it, when you want a great boating experience, you need to check out Florida.  Besides having some of the best weather in the country, they also offer boaters many opportunities to enjoy the weather along with the waters.  Any type of boating from sail boating to speed boating is just waiting for you on the waters of sunny Florida!

California Boating

What better place to enjoy the sport of boating than in the beautiful, sunny state of California?  This beautiful state has lots to offer, but when boating in California, you’ll have more options than you could ever imagine.  With so much ocean front coastline, the boating adventures that await you in California can be the best you’ve ever had.

While California ranks second to Florida in boating registrations, it still is a very popular boating destination for many people.  Besides ocean cruising, California also has many lakes and rivers available to boating enthusiasts. 

All types of boating can be done in California.  From kayaking to speed boating to cabin cruising, you can find all sorts of boating opportunities on the West coast.  Where are some of the more popular boating locations in California?  Beside the obvious Pacific Ocean, here are a few to try out:

* Lake Berryessa in Sonoma County is a great place for power boating and water skiing.  There are also some great places to swim and picnic. 
* Clear Lake is a little bit north of Lake Berryessa which is another great place for skiing and sunning. 
* Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular boating destinations in California.  It is well known for all sorts of water activities.  Tahoe boasts hot summer days and cool nights which makes it a beautiful place for boating, relaxing, and camping.
* Shasta Lake is more inland and is located in Northern California.  Lake Shasta offers swimming, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and all kinds of boating, including houseboat rentals for those who never want to leave sight of the water. Lake Shasta is around 150 miles north of Sacramento, and is a vacation paradise for trout fishing, camping and outdoor fun all within sight of beautiful Mount Shasta.
* The San Francisco Bay area has many marinas and boating clubs dotting the coastline.  Its location makes it a great place to shove off for a week-long cabin cruise, or take in a day of sailing.  The bay area is also very popular with yachters as is evidenced by the many yacht clubs located in the area.

Fishing is a big part of California boating.  You can catch everything from river trout to largemouth bass and Coho salmon in the waters of California.  Because this is a such a popular boating destination, you can enjoy boating in California even if you don’t own your own boat.  Boat rentals abound for anyone who wants to enjoy the waters in this beautiful state.

The weather is beautiful in California making it a great place for boating.  You can find so many other destinations than the ones listed above.  California is truly a boating paradise.  Happy boating!

Boating in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, boating is big!  In fact boating in Ohio is so big that the state has recently committed over four million dollars toward expanding and improving boating access at thirty different sites all over the state.  With so many beautiful bodies of water, boating in Ohio is a wonderful experience.

You may be surprised at how many places there are where you can enjoy boating in Ohio.  Here are a few of the most popular destinations:

* Lake Erie – one of the most beautiful of the Great Lakes, this has long been a popular boating destination as well as a great place to fish.  There are many boat ramps to get onto the water and many beautiful islands to visit on your boating trip.
* The Ohio River – located in the southern part of the state, this river also has multiple places to launch your boat.  In October, there is a festival called the “Tall Stacks” where vintage riverboats take to the water and provide a party atmosphere – all on the water!
* Cuyahoga River – this river is located in the heart of Cleveland.  Fishing is good on this river.  The area called “The Bottoms” has lots of great tie-ups and restaurants to enjoy.
* Muskinghum River Parkway – provide picnic grounds, campsites, and excellent fishing.  June is when the Zanes Trace Commemoration Festival is held and gives a historical perspective on this great stretch of water.
* Buckeye Lake – has 3,300 acres of beautiful water.  They have no limit on the amount of horsepower on this lake and have a sweet corn festival every fall that any outdoorsman will enjoy!

There are also numerous other lakes for boating in Ohio as well as many national parks with some great scenery.  Fishing abounds in Ohio with some prized bass being caught on a regular basis.  Boat fishing is especially great in Ohio with some excellent shoreline home to catfish as well as carp.

Ohio is undertaking a huge advertising campaign promoting the boating and fishing in their state.  They feel they have so much to offer for recreational boating that the rest of the country needs to hear about it as well.  Regular visitors to Ohio tend to agree.

Boating is Ohio is a sport that is just growing in popularity.  Take the time to check out this beautiful Midwest state and all it has to offer for your boating excursions.  Some say once you’ve been boating in Ohio, you won’t want to go anywhere else.  Find out for youself!

Boating in England

When considering a boating vacation, many people think of tropical locations.  However, the truth is you can have a great time boating in England.  There actually are many bodies of water where you can have a great time boating in England.

Many barges and canals are places where you can enjoy the English countryside from the beauty of a “narrowboat”.  Lots of companies offer guided excursions down the water allowing you to enjoy jolly old England from the comfort of these luxury vessels.

Boating in England is really a lot like boating in the States.  It’s a relaxing, fun vacation taken at a slow pace.  There are actually over two thousand miles of waterways from wide canals to narrow ones and even some pretty good sized rivers you can enjoy.

Your best bet for boating in England is to hire a boating company who will give you a guided tour.  They will be able to point out interesting tourist attractions and give you information about their beautiful country. 

You can also rent your own narrowboat and commandeer it down the waterways.  People who have done this type of vacation report that it’s one of the most satisfying boating trips they’ve ever been on.

One of the advantages to boating in England is you can experience complete freedom.  There are many, many places you can stop along the canal and visit a neighborhood pub or a five star restaurant.  You can moor your boat and explore the countryside on foot.  Life on the water can be quite idyllic.

You may also want to explore boating on England’s River Thames.  This river is mostly non-tidal and runs through some beautiful places.  The Thames does have locks to go through, and you must be patient when traveling through the locks.  They can take quite awhile to get through, but just sit back and enjoy the scenery while you wait!

If you want to travel the River Thames, you should be aware that this is one of the most popular waterways in England, so the boat traffic could be heavy at times.  Also, all boats that want to travel this water must be registered.  Not registering your boat could cause problems with the water constable.

Boating in England is a great chance to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Consider taking the time in the spring when the greenery is bursting into life and the hillside is green and lush.  We think you will find that boating in England is an experience second to none!

Boating Supplies

You’re ready for a relaxing day out on the water, but you’re wondering what boating supplies you’re going to need.  You’ve already got all the necessary boating supplies to make your boat legal, but what will you need for a really great boating getaway?

The first thing you need to consider when it comes to boating supplies is who will be with you on this excursion?  Are you bringing your family, a bunch of friends, or will it just be you and that special someone?  That makes a difference.  It also matters if you will be on just a day outing or an overnight one.  Let’s look at each scenario.

For a family boating trip, the supplies you’ll need should reflect the needs of everyone.  You’ll want some healthy foods for snacking like trail mix, cut-up vegetables with a low-fat ranch dip, and some fruit.  If you want to make the day special, consider some junk food as well.  Bring along lots of water and juices for the kids.  Try to stay away from the soda as you don’t want some hyperactive kids running around!

When cruising with a group of friends, boating supplies will be a lot different.  Cruising with friends is usually a party time, so have along some snacks that are considerably more grown-up.  Get a cheese and cracker platter, but have a place to keep it cool so the cheese doesn’t spoil.  Chips and dip are good choices as are finger sandwiches like ham salad and egg salad. 

Beverages will probably be quite different as well.  Have lots of coolers on hand to hold canned beer, some wine coolers, and soda for your non-drinking friends.  As a note here, if you are driving the boat, consume alcohol moderately or you risk a boating while intoxicated violation.

What if it’s just two people on a romantic sunset cruise?  Boating supplies necessary for this type of excursion should be in keeping with the romantic atmosphere you want to create.  Have some strawberries and champagne for toasting each other.  Again, some fine cheese is good as are aphrodisiacs like oysters and shrimp.  Candles really make the atmosphere romantic as you can watch the sun set while floating on the water.

A day trip will require much fewer boating supplies than an overnight trip.  On a day trip, you won’t need to plan for multiple meals.  If you are over-nighting, have some easy breakfast foods around like granola bars, fruit, and bagels.  Lunches should be simple with sandwiches and some chips.  You can go crazy at dinner if you want, but we would suggest finding a great stop-off along the way with a waterside restaurant where you won’t have to worry about dishes!

Boating supplies are more than just life jackets and tow ropes.  When you look at boating supplies from a different perspective, you see that the essential supplies are the ones that help make your day on the water a real trip to remember!

Boating Store

When you begin to take up the sport of boating, you’ll want to find a good boating store where you can outfit your boat and yourself.  A boating store is more than just a sporting goods store.  It’s a store devoted strictly to the needs of boating and those who love it.

Often, a boat dealership will have a store inside where you can find all sorts of boating gear.  They will carry authorized boating products and usually will have a wide variety of products for you to choose from.  The advantage to shopping in a boating store like this is that you will have the advice of professionals who know what they’re talking about to guide you in the right direction when it comes to choosing your boating products.

Like many other businesses, you can find a variety of products online in an online boating store.  You will often find lower prices in these boating stores and many specials you can choose from to help you save money on your boating gear.  Here are some of the top picks when it comes to an online boating store:

* www.boatingstore.com – When you visit this web site you can almost, quite literally find everything you need in the way of boating gear.  They have a full line of supplies for all aspects of boating and even have their own line of products that are available in regular brick and mortar stores.
* www.binnacle.com – This online boating store has hundreds and hundreds of products that range from clocks and barometers to safety equipment and books on boating.  You will find everything you need right here!
* www.westmarine.com – Besides offering a complete stock of everything a boating store would need, you’ll find helpful articles on this great web site.  Plus, they have a clearance section where you can save big on boating gear!
* www.basspro.com – Bass Pro Shops is probably considered THE boating store as well as THE fishing and hunting store.  They have locations all over the United States and offer boating, fishing, and hunting equipment for the sportsman.
* www.boatstoreonline.com – This online boating store claims to have “everything boating”.  They mostly carry engine parts and equipment, but if you’re looking for that special part, they’ll probably have it!

It’s not difficult to find equipment that you need in a boating store.  Whether that store is online or just down the road, you can easily get everything you need to enjoy your boating experience.

Boating Schools

What is a boating school?  Basically, it is what it says it – a school where you learn what you need to know about boating.  The United States Coast Guard recommends that all boaters take an accredited course in boating at a certified boating school.  They have proven that boaters who participate in boating school have a markedly better chance of avoiding a boating accident when they have taken these types of classes.

There are many places where you can find a certified boating school where you can learn about boating safely.  Begin by looking online.  You’ll be able to find a boating school near where you are just by doing a quick Google search.  Take a look at the list you’ll see pop up and choose a school with a good reputation.

What makes a good boating school?  Well, first and foremost, they should have the credentials and experience to be able to teach boating basics to the general public.  See if they are accredited by the United States Coast Guard.  What qualifications does the instructor have?  What are some of the areas they will cover in school?  Also, make sure that their price range is within your budget.

Some companies offer boating schools online.  They will allow you to take classes from the comfort of your own home.  You’ll read through their provided materials and then take various tests to gauge your progress through the course.  At the end, you’ll take a comprehensive exam covering all the material in the classes which you will need to pass to become certified.  Online boating schools require concentration and dedication, so be sure you have the time and effort to devote to it.

Look to the local marina as well for a qualified boating school.  Marinas have on staff boating professionals who conduct classes on a regular basis.  The advantage to a real-life school is that you can have your questions answered right there and you will most likely get some hands-on experience in piloting a boat.

Finally, many boat dealerships will also conduct boating schools or at the very least, they will have information on upcoming schools in your area.  Just contact them and inquire about what boating schools they know about.

You will become a much better boater when you take classes at a boating school.  Even if you are an experienced boater, you can always use a refresher course to learn about new innovations and regulations in the boating industry.  Look for a boating school that will meet your needs and then take it as seriously as you would “regular” school.

Boating Safety

The most important part about responsible boating is to always practice good boating safety.  The United States Coast Guard says that almost all boating accidents could have been prevented if the captain of the ship had taken a boating safety course prior to getting on the water.  Boating safety is tantamount to responsible boating and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There’s no way we can cover all aspects of boating safety in this short article.  What we can do, however, is to give you some basics to go from in your quest to become a responsible boater.  There’s nothing that can replace a good, certified boating safety course taught by a qualified individual, but everyone has to start somewhere!

* Always know the safest distance to keep away from other boats.  If someone is going slower than you are and you want to pass them, know how to do so safely and with the proper signaling.  Boats don’t have turn signals, but you should know how to alert the other boater you will be passing them.

* When you are putting your boat in the water, be sure you know how to do this quickly as well as safely.  Boating safety has to be present even before you get your vessel on the water.  Knowing how to do this the right way can make the difference between friendly and unfriendly boating.

* If alcohol is part of your boating trip, be sure you are very conscious of what alcohol can do to your body when you are operating a fast-moving vehicle on top of a body of water.  Alcohol use by the captain should occur in moderation above everything else.  Most of the boating accidents that occur today can be directly attributed to alcohol as a contributing factor.  Be smart when it comes to alcohol consumption on the water.

* Make sure that all people on board your boat have access to a life vest.  Never let a child be in your boat without wearing a life vest at all times.  The number one cause of death on the water is due to drowning.  That is caused by people falling overboard without a life vest.  This is the number one boating safety rule stressed by all instructors.

* Boating safety depends on everyone following general rules of etiquette when you are out on the water.  While you can’t control what the other boaters do, you sure can control what you do.  Always be polite on the water and know that you are doing your part to keep the waters safe.

Like we said previously, every boater should really take a certified boating safety course.  Besides making it easier for you to get your boating license, you will be a much better boater after you take a boating safety course.