Whether you want to learn safe boating skills or see Topsail Island from the water, Topsail Voyages has you covered.
You’ve just purchased a beautiful new boat and are excited to get out on the water. Do you know how to back the trailer to launch the boat? Are the waterway rules clear? How much do you know about tides, currents and sandbars in the Topsail area? The team at Topsail Voyages is made up of experienced, seasoned boaters who are eager to guide you through all of these critical areas of safe boating and more.
Maybe you’d prefer a sunset tour or a Lea Island excursion on someone else’s boat, someone who provides you with a turnkey experience so you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Topsail Voyages will do that for you as well.
Adam Hawley launched Topsail Voyages with an eye toward helping new boaters stay safe and ensuring a stress-free experience for everyone on the waterways in the Topsail area. In addition to new boater Instruction, they provide tours and excursions.
“Our tours are a turnkey service to tourists and locals,” Hawley says. “We are taking them out and giving them an experience that’s different from what other people are offering.”
For a sunset tour and island excursion, Topsail Voyages provides ice, sunshades, cornhole, beach towels, sunblock and even a “jamming stereo.” The only things customers need to bring are what they want to eat and drink. Hawley says, “We have everything else.”
A key member of the Topsail Voyages team is Josh Ragan, who will be running the operations during the summer months.
Ragan says his family always owned boats and that he grew up boating on lakes. “It is a different world on the Intracoastal Waterway,” he says. That is where the new boater safety courses can be extremely beneficial.
Collectively, Hawley and Ragan have more than three decades of waterway experience.
“The Waterway here is not like on a lake where it’s a big open space,” he says, adding that a lot of people bought boats during COVID and it’s important that they learn how to operate them safely so they can enjoy their time on the water. Boater instruction is especially important for new boat owners and those who are not familiar with the Topsail area waterways, he says.
For those who prefer to have an experienced captain take them on a relaxing trip to watch the dolphins play or to view a stunning sunset, Hawley says Topsail Voyages provides “an experience for customers so they don’t have to worry.”
“We are focused on giving them the option to see the island like the locals do,” Hawley says. “A cruise gives them that local experience that they really like.”
Hawley and the other boat captains, including Ragan and others that they reach out to when needed, have the local knowledge that customers appreciate.
They often share the history of the island and insights on dolphins, oysters and other features of the Topsail area. They have also started a video series on their YouTube channel, filming inlets at different times of the year to show where sandbars are as a public service announcement to help boaters stay safe while enjoying the local waterways.
While boating can be fun, it can also be dangerous, especially for a new boater who might panic in an unfamiliar situation. Providing new boater education and taking customers out on stress-free tours are ways to help everyone get the most out of what the Topsail waterways have to offer. As Hawley explains, “We want to get people out on the water. That’s our goal. We may not be the only ones doing it but we will be the best at it.”
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