Off The Beaten Path: How To Navigate Inshore Waterways On Your Monterey Boat

Mon, May 06, 2024 at 8:59AM

Off The Beaten Path: How To Navigate Inshore Waterways On Your Monterey Boat

The spring boating season is well underway — and if it’s any indication of what the rest of the year might have in store, we can look forward to a seriously splashing summer.

As leading boat manufacturers, it always warms our heart to see our on-the-water neighbors enjoying the beautiful weather with friends and family. Of course, this time of year can predictably lead to crowded waterways — which means it never hurts to get familiar with destinations that provide a quieter, off-the-beaten path experience. Creeks, mangrove mazes, and inshore islands provide the back-to-nature backdrop you are likely craving. But just how to enjoy them to the fullest? Read on as we share a few helpful tips for navigating new waterways on your Monterey Boat, this spring and all year long!

Ask The Locals

When you’re thinking about cruising down a new aquatic passage, it can be helpful to consult with local boaters before making the trip. Maps can come in handy, but they don’t always convey the full picture of a certain area — for example, is it deep enough for boating? Is it a special wildlife sanctuary, or open to all on-the-water traffic? These are just a few questions you might want to get answered before exploring a new detour or shortcut.

Be Mindful Of No-Wake Zones

It’s a good rule of thumb in general to slow down when exploring new areas — especially narrower channels, like the ones you’ll find in clusters of small coastal islands or mangrove forests. However, you’ll want to keep your eyes on signs alerting you to no-wake zones, specifically, since there may be wildlife in the water such as manatees — not to mention fellow adventurers such as kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders.

Keep An Eye On The Tides

Depending on the time of day (and, thus, the status of the tide being high or low as well) your aquatic detour might look very different! Be mindful of what high- and low-tide conditions are like in the specific area you plan to be cruising, so you can chart your day accordingly.

Take Care Around Tight Corners

If you’re usually a bit more accustomed to cruising on the open water, you will want to practice some of your tight-corner maneuvers before exploring a new intracoastal waterway, creek, or any other small channels you might encounter. Knowing how to pivot your boat in tight turns is a great tool to have in your arsenal, for example. And when in doubt, take it slow and steady! Your fellow boaters will appreciate the care you take in navigating these tricky spaces — after all, we’ve all been there at some point or another, right?

Fancy Paddling?

Speaking of navigating those tight corners — sometimes the easiest (and most fun) way to get around meandering nooks and crannies is to hop into a smaller vessel, like a canoe, kayak, or your very own stand-up paddleboard! Bringing these water toys and accessories on your Monterey Boat ensures that you’re covered for whatever the day has in store, complementing your ocean cruising routine with a delightfully brackish mini-escape. After all, sometimes it’s a special experience to get even closer to the water and connect with nature in a personal watercraft — then returning to your Monterey for a big-picture view of the splashing horizon that surrounds you.

Bring Along Some Beach Gear

When you venture off the beaten path, you might stumble upon stretches of shoreline that are removed from the hustle and bustle of more mainstream beaches. As long as they’re not privately owned or otherwise restricted, they make the perfect spot for a picnic or simply enjoying the view between boating sessions — so be sure to equip yourself and your boat for impromptu fun! You’ll want to come prepared with beach gear like an umbrella or cabana so that you can fully soak in the experience.

It also can’t hurt to bring along some fishing tackle! Even if you’re not necessarily setting out to go fishing, these small inshore enclaves and unexpected flats can often play host to the best fishing around — and you don’t want to pass up the opportunity to reel in a photo-worthy catch!

As is always the case when exploring new environments, prepare to practice the “pack in, pack out” mindset so that you leave the beautiful beach just as you found it. If you do decide to go fishing, simply check up on local regulations to see where you’re able to reel in catches — and where it’s better to simply enjoy the view.

A sweet spring and splashing summer await — and we hope these tips help you plan a fun-filled retreat when life (and, let’s face it, the water) gets busy! Equipped with your Monterey Boat and a sense of adventure, there’s no limit to the beautiful waterways you’ll discover in the months ahead. Be sure to snap photos and share all of the amazing destinations you cruise to! We can’t wait to see them.

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