Family boating: when family time floats your boat

A young boy and his mother enjoying the lake view at the end of the dock

Family time has some stiff competition. With busy work schedules, cell phones, and video games, it’s getting more difficult to get the full attention of each family member to enjoy and explore new activities together. However, with an increasing number of people hearing and heeding the call to the water, families are discovering an engaging, entertaining, and adventurous time for everyone as they go boating.

Sparked by the pandemic

Interestingly, it was a lockdown that intensified interest in boating. The COVID bug gave many the boating bug. According to one U.S. report, “Recreational boating saw a 35% increase in annual economic activity between 2018 and 2023”. Though, boat sales have cooled, they remain high in contrast to historical buying data.

People buy boats for a wide variety of reasons - some for fishing, others for water sports, and others for the simple joy of being out on the water. Whatever the reason, there are boats that can meet the needs of any family adventure. When you buy a boat it is also important to keep the safety of you and your family along with any additional gear you will need.

Activities that go with your life and family flow

Every family is different, and there are different boating experiences that fit them. The outdoorsy family might enjoy a day fishing for some jackfish and a friendly fish fry on shore. Active families and kids can hit the heart pounding exhilaration of wake boarding. Some might like to boat to their favourite swimming hole to make a splash of the day. Others might like a more relaxed and social time on their boating excursions. Many families choose eco-adventures to learn and discover the dynamic ecosystems featuring unique plant, animal, bird, and sea life. Canada’s waters present a perfect space to enjoy our time at our own pace on a family boat ride.

Family-friendly boats

Active/Adventurous families:

  • Personal Water Crafts – often referred to by popular brand names: Sea-Doo, Jet Ski and WaveRunner, these crafts offer motorcycle-like boating fun on the water.
  • Bowriders – great for towing boat toys and joyrides, they often offer lots of seating for fellow family members and kids.
  • Fish and Ski boats – a versatile type of boat that can handle rod and reel fishing excursions or the wake-inducing speed of water sports.

Leisure/Social families:

  • Pontoon boats – floating on two or more pontoons, these boats provide space and stability for leisurely, social water experiences.
  • Deck boats – Featuring a v-shaped hull that features a wider bow, they offer a wide deck for lots of passengers and social interaction.

Weekender families:

  • Cabin cruisers – With cabin accommodation, these boats families the opportunity to overnight trips on the water.

Sailing families:

  • Sailboats – Coming in many sizes, sailboats require more expertise and attention, while offering a peaceful time boating on the water.

Water, water everywhere

With some estimates suggesting that Canada has nearly 900,000 rivers and two million lakes, covering 9% of the nation’s total area. It was made for boating, so it’s unsurprising that more families are finding more opportunities to connect with each other and the land they live in by spending time on their boat.

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