If you want to go out on a fishing excursion, but you're nervous about being in a boat, don't think you have to cancel your trip. There are ways to get past that nervousness and have a fun, safe fishing trip. Finding the real cause of your nervousness is important, but that can take time. To help yourself be calmer for the time being, though, here are three strategies to start working on now.

Tour the Boat

Call the excursion company and see if you can show up early to see where all of the safety equipment is. Let them know you're trying to combat a fear of boats and that you'd like to know what and where the safety features are, as well as how to use them. Ask about odd or startling things that could happen during the trip that are actually very normal, such as choppy water on a windy day. Ask the excursion staff about their lifejacket policy and whether you'll be wearing one during the trip. Sometimes just knowing what to do in an emergency can help assuage a fear of going out on the water.

Brush up on Your Swimming

Review your swimming skills before you head off on your fishing expedition. If you review what you know and can remind yourself that you're a strong swimmer, that can conceivably help you overcome your fear of being on a boat, especially if your fears are about capsizing and being stuck in the water. If those fears start to creep into your mind, you can tell yourself that you can survive because you know how to handle yourself in the water. Remind yourself that you'll likely have a lifejacket, too; at the very least, you'll be able to tread water and await rescue.

Choose a Slower Boat

One more strategy is to choose a boat that travels more slowly. The slower a boat goes, the less side-to-side rocking there is, and the less unsteadiness there is. That can make the trip seem less threatening. Cruise ships, known for being steady in the water, tend to travel around 21 to 24 knots per hour. Some fishing excursion boats travel more slowly than that; choose those boats.

If you have more questions about the boats used in the excursion or any other issues, talk to the fishing company, like Big Dog Charters. You are not going to be the only nervous sailor they've ever dealt with, and they'll be able to help you out.