Discover Boating, the world’s largest online guide to recreational boating, is tapping in to research conducted by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, to promote the health benefits of boating. “We now know, thanks to science, that the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin, and inducing relaxation,” said Dr. Nichols. “It only makes sense that being on a boat is one of the best ways to access the wellness benefits of the water.”
Luckily it’s easy to do that in Maine. Our state is filled with pristine lakes and rivers as well as 3,478 miles of coastline to explore. Our blue waters beckon you to grab a boat — any boat —and experience the happiness that comes from being out on the water.
Nearly 40 percent of visitors to Maine in the summer of 2018 took part in water activities, according to research by the Maine Office of Tourism. Most of those visitors were from other New England states, traveling with their kids.
“If you’re in Maine and you’re not out on the water, you’re missing out on what makes Maine unique,” said Tracy Coughlin, marketing director for Freedom Boat Club, Yarmouth Boat Yard, and Moose Landing Marina. The Freedom Boat Club of Maine is helping more families discover recreational boating. Their rentals are moored in Portland, Yarmouth, and Naples. Steve Arnold, owner of the Freedom Boat Club franchise and the two marinas, started the program last year out of the Yarmouth Boat Yard. The premise is so popular they doubled their projected membership last year from 30 to 60.
Here’s how the Freedom Boat Club works. You sign up to become a member, pay a monthly fee, and get unlimited access to their 22- to 24-foot Sea Fox boats moored in southern Maine. Members also enjoy access to other Freedom Boat Clubs across the country. “It’s a great way for people to try out the boating lifestyle without making a huge investment in their own equipment,” Coughlin said. Not only does Freedom Boat Club of Maine offer beautiful boats and top-notch service, they also train you how to safely use and maneuver the boats. “Boat Clubs are changing the way people vacation; it’s a brand new way of boating in Maine,” Coughlin added.
Boating provides the means to get outside of daily routines, allowing our brains to reset, think beyond our current circumstances, and connect to nature. Here are more benefits to boating:
Boating resets our brain. We work hard and getting out from behind our desks gives our brains (and our bodies) a change of pace. Boating is a fun, active activity that you can do by yourself or with a group. Being on the water is as different from your cubicle as it gets.
Boating is meditative. The ebb and flow of the water is relaxing. Bobbing along in a boat, breathing in fresh air, helps connect you to nature.
Boating is playful. Watersports are a source of play, which trigger the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
Maine is filled with opportunities to get on the water. Whether you’re looking to explore one of our beautiful bays on the Atlantic or go tubing around one of the vast many inland lakes, boating in Maine is a fun-filled activity all summer long. Here are some of our favorite places to take your motorboat this summer.
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