Boating In Virginia? 4 Things You Need To Know

If you’re planning to go to Virginia any time soon, you may want to consider boating as one of your upcoming activities. Aside from getting to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful seascape of Virginia, you’d get to make yourself physically active too. In addition, you could try various boating-related activities to make the most of your visit.

However, it’d be good to note that aside from physical and mental preparation, there may be other considerations you need to think about before you go on your sea adventure.

With that said, this article will outline the things you need to know to ensure a smooth voyage, and more so, to make the most out of your boating trip.

1. Boating Requirements


Depending on the state, you may need to secure additional documents before being allowed to operate a boat. In Virginia, for instance, you must accomplish proper certification and registration before being allowed to sail using a motorized watercraft.

To start, it’d be good to take note of the following requirements:

Boating Education Course

One of the essential documents you need before being allowed to go boating in Virginia is a Virginia Boater Education Card. To secure this, you need to enroll in a boater safety course offered by a state-approved boater education certificate provider.

The course generally discusses basic boating knowledge, including safety practices while on board. After finishing the course, the applicant must take a qualifying exam to obtain the certificate. For more details, check ILearnToBoat.

Additionally, boaters as young as 14 years old can be allowed to operate a boat, provided that they pass the course and are able to secure a boating license.

Boat Registration And Title

If you are currently residing in Virginia and you own a boat, register your watercraft, so you can legally use it every time you set sail. Boat owners must file for a certificate title. Registration should be able to provide a detailed account of the boat. This includes the watercraft’s make, model year, type, length, serial number, horsepower, and more.

2. Boating Destinations


Virginia is known to have a variety of tourist spots. With that in mind, if you are planning to go on a boating trip, consider checking out the following destinations.

Philpott Lake

This extensive water form includes a 3000-acre wide area to explore. More so, it has several hiking trails, birding spots, and beaches you could relax on after exploring the waters.

Lake Anna

You may try exploring this lake if you’re visiting Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, and Chesapeake. Aside from the variety of freshwater fish to be found in the lake, Lake Anna State Park also offers outdoor activities such as hiking trails, beach swimming, and picnics.

The Mariner’s Lake

Formerly known as Lake Maury, this less secluded lake offers one of the region’s most significant maritime museums, a fantastic seascape, and a lake ideal for scientific explorations and relaxation.

Lake Drummond

If you’re planning to fish, this could be the perfect option for you. Lake Drummond is home to various types of fish, including longnose gar and bowfin. This area also has a unique and beautiful landscape ideal for long-term boating.

 3. Boat Trip Essentials


Depending on your purpose and the length of your boat trip, you might need to prepare and bring a few things on board to help ensure safety and readiness.

However, if you are renting, it’d be good to talk to the owner first and clarify if the following items are already provided in the watercraft before you start your trip:

Safety Gear

Whether you’re going to sail on seas or lakes, you need reliable safety gear to ensure your protection and your welfare while on board. Generally, safety gear includes lifejackets, fire extinguishers, and flotation devices. This may also include bowlines and winches used in towing boats.

Moreover, it also consists of sound, visual signaling devices, and communication devices such as VHF radio. These are essential items to call help if your vessel gets damaged and needs major repair. The flares can be helpful when you are too far to contact the authority or the boat rental owner.


Supplies typically include food and water. You’ll need food, such as energy bars and light snacks, to keep you full while you’re out on the sea. You’ll need a sufficient supply of water too to ensure that you are hydrated for the entirety of your trip.

Aside from the consumables, you can also pack and bring sunscreen lotion and bug repellent to offer your skin protection against the sun and insects.

First Aid Kit

While it’s not always usual, accidents may still happen. With that in mind, having a first aid kit on the boat can help manage your wounds, cuts, and fractures before you can get proper medical care.

More so, a first aid kit can also include medicines. This can be beneficial, especially when someone in your group feels unwell due to motion sickness while in the sea.

Emergency Repair Tools

These include wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools to provide instant repairs to the watercraft and its motor, should it be needed.

4. Water Sports Activities


The activities in the lakes and seas differ, depending on the season and area. In most cases, you may need to choose a particular type of boat for a specific activity. For example, you may need to rent a winch boat if you plan to try parasailing and twin-hulled catamarans are ideal for whale watching.

You may also consider the various water sports and activities you want to try. To give you an idea, here are some of them:

  • Sailing And Cruises
  • Fishing Charters
  • Dolphin And Whale Watching
  • Parasailing

Often, these activities are offered in packages. You may want to talk to the tour package providers that usually provide a cluster of activities. In most cases, these activities are planned beforehand and differ according to the number of tourists the package can hold.

Wrapping Up

Hitting the waters for your upcoming trip to Virginia can be a great way to unwind and enjoy the outdoors.

While boating can seem overwhelming and intimidating, with the help of the simple guideline discussed in this article, you and your companions can be on a great start in preparing and planning for your next sea voyage.

About Nina Smith