Boat racing can be fun to watch or participate in

Photo by Steve Saunders on Unsplash

Whether you are an aspiring powerboat enthusiast or just a spectator that enjoys hearing the roar of engines as the boats speed by, there are a few things to consider before attempting to enter the sport or attending your first event.

Although you might have some familiar sounds such as a NASCAR race, powerboat racing is much different than other sports. Boat racing can be also similar when it comes to picking and betting at the on your favorite team or driver as other sports.

So, before you say, “I can do that”. There are many options or classes to racing and before you can capture your podium finish. Anyone can race and possibly win, but you will need to decide what type of boat that you want to race before you can even begin. Attend a driving school, learn the basics in a safe controlled environment, and most importantly how to do things safely.

There are race classes such as inboard, outboard, professional, stock, and unlimited to name a few. Each has its own pros and cons, but you need to know the differences. If you are on a budget, you can find used equipment on some of the boat racing classifieds.

To briefly go over the engine basics. An inboard engine is exactly as it sounds. The engine is housed inside the hull and can range from a stock modified four-cylinder engine to a stock eight-cylinder engine. The outboard engine is self-contained and is mounted to the stern of the hull. This can allow you to race in more than one class since you can change motors.

Safety is always important. A high visibility color helmet that is designed for military aircraft should meet all specifications set by the event. The type of life jacket and protective clothing underneath the life jacket can vary depending on if you are racing inboard or outboard. Inboard racing will most likely require a fire-resistant suit and oxygen may or may not be required. Gloves may not be required, but it could give you a better grip along with closed-toed shoes while racing.

If you are just wanting to be a spectator of the sport, and to ensure a positive experience, here are some tips before you pack up and head out.

Mother nature can always play an outcome in any outdoor event. Bringing rainwear will be key to not being miserable and wet if a rainstorm comes. Pack an umbrella or a raincoat. An umbrella will also be beneficial to shade you from the sun. To keep yourself from getting a sunburn, don’t forget to pack sunscreen. With the sun reflecting off of the surface of the water, you could end up with a bad burn even on an overcast day.

Stay cool and hydrated by bringing your own refreshments when possible. Check your event beforehand so that you will know what you can bring with you. You may or may not be allowed to bring a cooler or your own beverages, if not support the local vendors by purchasing there and staying cool, safe, and hydrated.

Check to see if you can bring your own comfortable chair or seat cushion to enjoy the day without aching legs or back.

Finally, don’t forget your camera to capture the day and longtime memories. A cell phone camera may not be sufficient to capture the high speeds pictures, so you might want to look into a faster high-speed camera for those type of photographs.

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