Power Boats for Paddling Ships

As the popularity of paddling kayaks, canoes, rafts and stand up paddleboards (SUPs) has increased, Sea Scouting has worked to incorporate paddle craft into our programs. Paddle craft give boaters another way to access and enjoy the water, and provide opportunities for Sea Scouting far from open water. However, even the most dedicated paddler might want to try power boating or sailing, and some Sea Scout rank advancements can only be done aboard a power boat or sailboat. If your primary vessel is a kayak, how do you get access to a power or sail driven vessel?

The easiest way is also the most expensive – travel somewhere and charter a captained vessel. There are a number of camps, Sea Bases and private boat charters that would be happy to provide sailing or power boat charters along with high quality instruction.

Second, Ship members can start asking members of their local chartered organization and other local businesses and community organizations. Scouting has a great (and well deserved) reputation. When you start asking, you may be surprised how quickly you’ll find a former scout willing to donate their boat and their time.

Third, Ships can look to partner with other organizations such as the US Power Squadrons and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. For example, Ship 957 in western North Carolina is working on a partnership with a local Auxiliary flotilla. The Ship will provide paddling instruction and information to the flotilla and the flotilla will provide power boat training to the Ship.

Finally, don’t overlook other Ships. If your ship focuses on paddling, try to develop a relationship with a sailing focused ship, and trade training days with each other. You’ll make new friends in Scouts, and learn new skills.

Everything above assumes that a paddling focused ship wants an opportunity to use power or sail boats. If a sailing or power focused Ship wanted to learn about paddling, the same general principles apply. The best places to start are local paddling clubs, college outing programs, and park and recreation programs.

Sea Scouting is not just about power boats, or sailboats, or paddle craft – it’s about every kind of boating, and about things you can do from boats (like SCUBA, fishing, snorkeling, camping, and others). The more you know about all kinds of boats, the better all-around boater you’ll be. If you create the opportunity to try a boat you’re not accustomed to, you’ll not only become a better boater, you’ll also have fun doing it.