Facts About Some of Our Favorite Lakes

The state of North Carolina is known for its picturesque views whether that be beachfront, mountaintop, or lakefront. With all the outdoor activities available ranging from hiking to fishing, it is a beautiful state that offers something for everyone to enjoy. This blog post by Motor Boatin’ shares facts about some of our favorite lakes in the local area: Falls, Jordan, Harris, and Kerr Lake.

Learn more about 4 of our favorite lakes in North Carolina:

1. Falls Lake: Falls Lake covers over 12,000 acres. Its peaceful atmosphere is great for camping, hiking, or laying out in the sun on a sandy beach. It is named after “Falls of the Neuse” which was once a whitewater section of the Neuse River. Although there’s no more whitewater areas, it is the perfect spot for families to boat, fish, or swim in uncrowded waters.

2. Jordan Lake: With over 13,000 acres, Jordan Lake is a common choice for many families, especially with children because of all the activities available. This lake was created for the New Hope River Valley (now known as Research Triangle Park) based on water resource needs. In 1963, the project was named New Hope Lake. The name was changed in 1973 to B. Everett Jordan Lake in honor of a senator.

3. Harris Lake: Located on the Shearon Harris Reservoir, Harris Lake covers over 4,000 acres. It encompasses a park of around 680 acres that includes trails, picnic areas, a disc golf course, and more. It is a quiet and well-maintained area to spend your day at.

4. Kerr Lake: Kerr Lake is one of the largest lakes in the entire state and takes up over 50,000 acres. Surrounding the lake are vast forests where common NC mammals such as white-tailed deer, gray squirrels, red foxes, and many more call home. With 500 miles of shoreline and 3,400 acres of recreation sites, there is plenty of beauty to take in at Kerr Lake.

All these lakes are close to home but offer that sense of a unique getaway. Get out there and explore all North Carolina has to offer by renting with Motor Boatin’. On a lake is our favorite place to be. Reserve your boat today and contact us with any questions you may have.

3 Ways to Sharpen Your Boating Skills

At Motor Boatin’, we have a lot of first-time boaters use our rentals – which we love! We are always dedicated to ensuring that all our customers feel completely confident out on the water and satisfied with their rental experience. We believe that this all starts with learning the boating basics. Because of this, this blog post shares some of our favorite ways for boating beginners to sharpen their skills.

Here are 3 ways to sharpen your boating skills as a beginner:

  1. Take an online safety course: Online, you can find hundreds of resources to learn more about boating. There are tons of courses, many of them being free, that you can take to master your time spent out on the lake. We recommend this free course on North Carolina Boating Safety from BoatUS Foundation.
  2. Get familiar with the area: One of the most important aspects of steering a boat is navigation. For first timers, it is often intimidating trying to learn where to go in a lake full of open water. It is much like visiting a new country for the first time. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead of time. There are many different boat navigation apps available which are important to download; however, unfamiliar waters with no cellular service usually don’t end well. This means you should always also feel comfortable with a compass and map when there’s no other option.
  3. Practice makes perfect: Everyone knows this old saying, and it’s true! No boater has ever improved without thorough practice. To really feel comfortable out on the water, it takes time. Our affordable and flexible rental options can assist you in your boating journey. We are always here every step of the way.

The easiest way to sharpen your boating skills is to get out on the lake and test the waters. Motor Boatin’ provides you with rental options for all kinds of boats. Call 919-800-9716 today to see which boat is the best for your plans and check our availability by clicking here.

Cold-Weather Boating: What to Wear

At Motor Boatin’, we believe that Triangle residents should be able to enjoy boating all year long even during the wintertime. To do this, it is important to wear the right gear for the winter weather so that boaters stay comfortable throughout their trip – thinking ahead is key. This blog post is dedicated to sharing our five favorite clothing items for cold-weather boating.

Before we begin, we should note that it is ideal to have all your clothing items be waterproof from your headwear to your shoes. This ensures that you stay dry which ultimately affects your warmth.

Here are five clothing items you’ll need for your next winter boating adventure:

  1. Fishing hat: You should pack a hat that covers both your head and your ears from the wind and cold air. Extremities of the body are especially vulnerable to the winter weather.
  2. Neck gaiter: A neck gaiter can keep both your neck and face warm and protect your skin against the harsh weather conditions. These can also be used in the summer to fight sunburn, making them an all-year boating accessory.
  3. Layered jackets: While jackets are an obvious essential, it is also important to grab lots of layers. For example, one might wear a Gore-Tex materialled jacket on top with a wool or fleece sweatshirt underneath. Layers allow for the most flexibility when out on the boat. It is also a good idea to wear brightly colored clothing for safety purposes. If one were to go overboard, it is much easier to spot bright yellows and oranges.
  4. Dry suit: For those who frequently go out on winter fishing trips, you might consider purchasing a dry suit. These items not only provide warmth but also cold-water protection. These suits are known to have saved lives in the coldest of temperatures for both boaters and divers which makes these items a worthwhile investment.
  5. Thick boots: Not only should fishing boots keep you warm, but they should also be slip resistant. Having a heavy-duty pair of boots paired with thermal socks can keep those fishing feeling comfortable all day long.

Just because temperatures are dropping around the Triangle doesn’t mean you have to cancel all your boating trips! At Motor Boatin’, we offer watercraft rentals all year long – including January and December. For more winter weather boating questions or to book with us, call 919-800-9716 today.

How to Safely Anchor Your Boat

So, you have been riding around on the lake, and you have found a nice cove that you want to drop anchor in and rest and relax. Just in case you have never done that before, Motor Boatin’ wants to share with you the safest way to anchor your boat in the lake.

The first thing to be aware of is to know the depth of the water where you are at. The length of the anchor line needs to be around five times the depth of the water. Angle the boat in the direction of the current you are in and idle the engine just slightly forward of where you want to drop the anchor.

Once you have got the boat in position, slowly release the anchor into the water. Do not just toss it out there, otherwise the line might tangle. Releasing it slowly into the water allows the anchor to slowly sink and move away from the boat. As the anchor sinks, allow the boat to move backward (go slowly in reverse if necessary.) But, don’t let it go too far.

Make sure the anchor line always has tension. This ensures that no tangling in the line takes place. Once the anchor has reached the bottom, it’s time to secure the rope. Wrap it around a cleat. When you feel the anchor has dug into the bottom surface, put the engine into reverse idle to back up slightly more.

After you are anchored, look at the landmarks around you and where the boat stands. Check periodically to see if the boat is drifting.

Of course, in the case of an anchor, what goes down must come up. When you are ready to leave, the anchor should lift easily, provided you lowered it correctly. Lift the anchor as vertically straight as you can so it won’t damage the boat, the line, or the anchor itself. Rinse off any mud or debris before placing it back in the boat.

And there you go. To rent one of our boats and find that cove to anchor in, check out our availability right here. At Motor Boatin’, we believe in having fun, relaxing, and enjoying safe times on our beautiful watercraft. Get out and enjoy the water!

Port or Starboard – Nautical Terms You Need to Know

While boating, first-time boaters are introduced to what seems like a whole dictionary of terms that might be new to them. Port, starboard, windward, leeward – What does it all mean? It can become difficult to try to figure it all out while out on the water, so Motor Boatin’ is here to help break these nautical terms down so you’re prepared beforehand.

Here are some common nautical terms you need to know before boating:

  1. Port vs Starboard: You’ve probably heard the words port and starboard at least once. While they might seem complex at first glance, they really just mean left and right. If you are standing at the back of the boat looking forward, the left side will be the port side and the right side will be the starboard side. These terms make it easier for orientation purposes. Some people remember this by knowing that the words “Port” and “Left” both have four letters.
  2. Bow / Forward: The front end of every boat is called the bow. When an individual moves toward the bow, it would be said they are going forward.
  3. Stern / Aft: The back end of every boat is called the stern. When an individual moves toward the stern, it would be said they are going aft.
  4. Windward vs Leeward: As you may be able to guess from the name, windward is the direction from which the wind is blowing. Leeward is the opposite direction from which the wind is blowing. Sometimes these are used to describe where other boats are currently located.

Soon, you’ll be boating like a pro! Understanding basic nautical terms is always helpful in tense situations while out on the water, especially for first timers. Currently looking for a boat rental company in the local Triangle area? Choose Motor Boatin’ and reserve a spot today!

Summer Boating Safety Guide – Do’s and Don’ts

Spending a hot, summer day riding a boat out on the water is a match made in heaven, but one important thing to keep in mind when boating is everyone on board’s safety – it should be a top priority. When at the lake, a nice, relaxing day can turn into a bad situation very quickly if the proper safety precautions aren’t put in place. At Motor Boatin’, we want everyone on the water to not only have fun but be safe throughout the day.

Boating Do’s:

  • Life vests: When boating during any time of the year, it is important to have life vests on the boat as they can be the difference between a life and death situation. It is important to know that it is a North Carolina law that anyone 13 AND under MUST be wearing a life vest while the boat is moving.   
  • Pay attention: In the summertime, crowded waters are more common. Everyone is out on the water enjoying the beautiful weather so paying attention and keeping a watch out for others is essential. For more tips on how to navigate crowded waters, check out our blog post here.
  • Take a course: If you aren’t 100% fully confident in your boating skills, consider taking a course to sharpen your boating abilities and to feel more at ease when out on the water. Take a FREE boating safety course here.

Boating Don’ts:

  • Drinking and boating: When on a boat, the person driving the boat should not be drinking at any time. Alcohol impairs your vision and can hinder the way you drive a boat, much like when driving a car. This is not only important for your own safety but also for all the riders on board, so don’t make these decisions that could affect the lives of others.
  • Overcrowd the boat: Going on the boat with a bunch of family and friends is fun, but make sure to keep the boat’s capacity regulations in mind. Overcrowding the boat can be bad for many different reasons. First, it can affect the balance of the boat. Second, having too many people on a boat can be very distracting for the driver.

When boating in a safe manner, it is bound to be lots of fun. Spend the summer right and grab some friends and rent a boat today!

5 Lunch Ideas to Pack for a Day Out on the Lake

While packing the lake day essentials such as sunscreen, towels and a dry change of clothes is important for a fun time spent out in the sun, bringing lunch and snacks to keep family and friends fueled throughout the day is just as important. To get the most out of your day spent out on the water, Motor Boatin’ offers five lunch ideas to pack for your next lake trip.

Here are five different lunch options for any day out on the boat:

  1. Classic BBQ foods: What is more North Carolina than a classic, southern BBQ meal? From burgers and potato salad to grilled chicken sandwiches and coleslaw – the options are endless! This lets you build on the lunch variety by choosing different sides to go with the main dishes. Whatever you choose, there is something for everyone.
  2. Meat and veggie skewers: Skewers are an easy but filling choice for lunch. Since they are handheld, skewers allow riders to easily stay fueled throughout the day. The skewers also can be customized to different dietary requirements – some can be for meat lovers while others can be strictly vegetarian.
  3. Cheese board platter: Many like to snack throughout the entire lake day. Cheese board platters are perfect for this. They can contain a variety of cheeses, a mix of meats, different kinds of crackers, and even fruit. This gives friends and family many different options to stay full all day long.
  4. Wraps: Wraps are a great option for any boat day because they are tasty and can be customized. You can’t go wrong with any of the fillings like chicken caesar or hummus and veggie wraps. These wraps can go with potato chips, crackers, or pretzels for more of a salty crunch.
  5. Pasta salad: Pasta salad is a classic lake day dish as it is the perfect summery food to throw in any cooler. It is easy to make it the night before and pack up in Tupperware dishes for the next day to be enjoyed for all different ages.

Mixing any of these lunch options with cool, refreshing drinks is the way to go for any day out on the lake. If you are looking to rent a boat in the Triangle area this summer, consider Motor Boatin’. Reserve a spot today, and contact us for any other questions.

Easy Steps to Improve Your Boat Handling Skills

Being behind the wheel of a boat is very different than being behind the wheel of a car. For starters, there are new factors when it comes to steering a boat that you don’t see on the road—like currents and waves. As a result, when you steer a boat, it may not always go exactly as planned. This is why it’s important to improve your boat handling skills. At Motor-Boatin’, we have some easy steps to improve your skills on the water.

For starters, we always recommend that you enroll in a boating safety and training course. Here is a free one. After that, here are some other steps to keep in mind:

  1. Remember that boats don’t have brakes: The only way to slow down your boat is to let up on throttle. That means pulling it back towards the neutral position. You also must be conscious of how you adjust your speed and how long it takes your boat to slow down or stop. Individuals believing that boats have brakes is a more common misunderstanding than you might think.
  2. Practice your navigation skills: Rather than relying on a water GPS, it’s a better practice to read maps and look for all navigation markers on a lake. The more comfortable you are at navigating, the more you are able to explore areas without worrying about getting lost.
  3. Realize that every boat drives differently: How a sports car drives is completely different than how a full-sized pickup drives. Boats are the same. How a pontoon drives varies a lot from a fishing boat. If you’re driving a new boat for the first time, take a few moments to get comfortable with it before you push the throttle forward.
  4. Know your knot: Do you know the difference between a cleat hitch and a clove hitch? When docking a boat and tying it up, it’s important to understand which knot works best. The same is true for the anchor, ski line, etc.
  5. Be 360-degree aware: There are no stop lights, yield signs, or yellow lines on the water. Other watercraft can approach you from any angle at any speed and shallow areas can pop up out of seemingly nowhere. Proper handling means being aware of your entire surroundings—in and out of the boat. Practice situational awareness.

For more tips and ideas on having a fun yet safe time on the lake, contact us at Motor Boatin’ today. We’re never going to steer you wrong!

Beat the Heat: Tips for Bringing Furry Friends Boating

Spending any day on the lake is bound to be fun and bringing along your dog with you makes it even better. At Motor Boatin’, we realize that many consider their dogs to be a part of their family, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy a lake day by having their furry friends by their side. This makes that lake day experience even better. However, as always, safety should be a priority which is why we want to offer some tips for bringing pets along during the summer months.

Here are a few tips on how to beat the summer heat and bring your furry friends boating:

  1. Pack doggy life vests: Having life vests onboard is one of the most important safety rules for every boat trip, and that also applies to boating with your dog. While most dogs can swim, not all can, and that risk is not one worth taking. Even for dogs that are strong swimmers, fatigue and water conditions can always get in the way. When purchasing a canine life vest, make sure to opt for a brighter color so it is easier to spot your pup in the water.
  2. Bring enough water for you and your pets: Being out in the sun all day, your dog is bound to get thirsty. Make sure to bring a water bowl for them so they can stay hydrated throughout the day. It is also important to keep your dog from drinking the lake water as much as possible. Lakes are often polluted from boats and there can be harmful organisms living in the water, so keeping that water out of your dog’s digestive system is always a good call.
  3. Make a bathroom plan beforehand: Pets need bathroom breaks just like humans. Planning ahead and making a schedule for times to include these breaks to find some patches of grass is crucial to make the day run more smoothly. In addition, make sure to bring plenty of doggy bags and towels. With a long day on the lake, having a plan and the proper tools to take care of your pup is essential.
  4. Check if your pet is up to date on heart worm, flea, and tick prevention: Spending the full day outdoors, your dog can be exposed to a multitude of bugs and other organisms which can transmit diseases if bitten. If your pet isn’t up to date, consider booking an appointment at your local veterinarian to make sure your dog is fully ready to take on the lake day.

A nice, relaxing day on the lake with your furry friends is attainable and easy if you prepare ahead of time. For any boat rental questions, reach out today.

The Ultimate Guide to Boating on the Fourth of July

The 4th of July is coming up quick, and there is no better way to spend the holiday than on a boat with friends and family. Whether you have a boat of your own or you are planning on renting at Motor Boatin’, we want everyone to have the boat day they deserve! To get the most out of the holiday, try following our boating guide for the Fourth of July and have the time of your life!

Here are some top tips for boating on the 4th of July:

  1. Bring food, food, and more food: When you’re out on the water all day, nobody wants to worry about being hungry. Packing snacks and lunches is an important part of any boating day. You can even choose festive options such as patriotic-colored fruit trays or bright, bold fruity drinks to stay fueled and hydrated throughout the day.
  2. Safety is key: On any boating day, it is important to be safe and practice proper boating etiquette, but this is especially true on the 4th of July. The waters are always more crowded and being cautious and safe is important. Check here for our safety FAQs.
  3. Get to your firework spot early: Is there anything more American than watching fireworks on the lake? We don’t think so. When watching a firework show on the water, it is important to get to your spot early and leave late. This allows you to pick the location before anyone else while also avoiding lots of boat traffic that no one wants to deal with.
  4. Don’t forget sunscreen: Out on the water all day in the middle of summer, sunburns seem inevitable yet many falls victim to blistered skin. Making sure you have some good SPF and are applying throughout the day can save you from looking red, white, and blue.

The Fourth of July is the perfect day of the year to spend on the lake making memories. If you’re interested in renting a boat for this holiday, check out all we have to offer here. For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. As always, happy boating!