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Comfortable Captain: 6 Tips Becoming a Captain

Comfortable Captain: 6 Tips Becoming a Captain
captain image in a boat

Have you ever dreamed of exploring miles and miles of Shasta Lake’s open waters, but aren’t sure whether you will be comfortable behind the wheel? Believe it or not, it’s easier than you think!

Many first-timers are a little nervous about becoming the captain of their houseboat odyssey, but it’s pretty easy to pick up the skills you’ll need to enjoy a lingering and stress-free vacation that cruises through Shasta Lake.

So if you’re thinking about a Shasta Lake getaway and want to ensure you can navigate safely throughout your trip, keep these following tips in mind to enjoy smooth sailing for the entirety of your vacation.

1. Book with Bridge Bay Marina

One of the best aspects of reserving your houseboat vacation with Bridge Bay Marina is we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and have all the information you’ll need before you even leave the docks.

When you arrive, you’ll start your stay with a 1-2 hour orientation, which is generally determined by your experience, as well as any questions you may have.

As a result, you’ll have a better familiarity with the area – as well as your houseboat – when your vacation officially begins.

2. Take a Boater Safety Course

If you want to be extra prepared for your new role as chief navigator, take a boater safety course before your vacation begins!

There are lots of options to choose from throughout the state of California and beyond, which can even include free classes from organizations like the Boat U.S. Foundation.

For more information on available boat courses, check out

3. Locate the Safety Equipment Once You Board

Knowing where all the safety equipment is located will come in handy in the minor chance an emergency pops up while on the water.

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Life jackets
  • First-aid kits

Better still, knowing where everything is right off the bat will give you ample peace of mind on the expedition to come.

4. Plan Your Route

Get a map of the lake or waterway before your vacation to plot out your route, as well as where you might stop for day trips or the night.

This way, you’ll come armed with an itinerary and a plan and can scout out all the things you want to see and do on your upcoming vacation.

5. Have a First Mate or Two

Every captain should have a backup captain or two, in case the primary captain needs a rest or wants to relax and let someone else take the wheel.

Make sure your co-captains also attend the orientation when you arrive, and also do their research on the various areas of Shasta Lake.

6. Relax and Enjoy the Ride

One of the great things about a houseboating vacation is that it doesn’t take too long for even novice mariners to become comfortable once on board.

And once you get the handle of your new vessel, you’ll love the feel of cruising Shasta Lake at your own pace.

Enjoy the thrill of literally plotting your vacation course from start to finish, and enjoy a getaway that simply can’t be paralleled when it comes to waterfront scenery, flexibility, convenience, and miles of open-water fun.

Image attribution.