Owning a boat for the first time doesn’t have to be intimidating. Discover our complete guide for first-time boat owners here.
There are few joys in life as simple and pleasurable as being out on the open water. For many, the goal of becoming a boat owner is one of the greatest things to strive for in life. That being said, the peace and clarity that can come with a boat can take a lot of work to achieve.
Owning a boat for the first time doesn’t have to be intimidating, but there are a lot of different topics you need to make yourself familiar with. From proper care to storage, to safety and more, there is a lot of information you’ll need to cover if you hope to have a bright future with your watercraft. If you’re ready to join all the fun out on the water, read on. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about first-time boat ownership.
Just like with an automobile, you’ll need to take insurance out first thing. This prior to even purchasing a boat. Only with an insurance policy in hand will most salesman hand your new dreamboat over to you. Most boating insurance is straightforward and not all too dissimilar from automobile insurance. There are some extra features you may want to look into, like those that protect you from fuel-spill liabilities and specifics such as that. Some boats that are in hurricane zones may need extra insurance to protect themselves. There are many great sellers of boat insurance out there, you just need to do your research and determine which policy is the right one for you. This will be the first step you take, so make sure you start out on the right foot.
When we imagine boat ownership, we obviously picture ourselves out on the water. But for most of the time that you’ll own your boat, it will be sitting on dry land, waiting for you to have the time to hit the water. That’s why it is very important that you determine where exactly your boat is going to be stored. The right boat storage could be in your own driveway, at a marina, or at a valet service. It all depends on your budget, the rules in your community, and your preference for convenience. The most affordable option would obviously be keeping your boat in your garage or sitting on your driveway. Some neighborhoods, however, forbid long term storage of your boat in this way.
Once you’ve determined where your boat is going to be stored, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to get it from there to the water. For most people, this means investing in a boat trailer. A boat trailer can be attached to the back of your automobile and your boat can be lifted on and secured. Safely towing your boat around is another skill you’ll need to learn to become a successful boat owner. Failure to learn how to properly and safely transport your boat can lead to huge personal and property damage, so take the time to really understand what you’re doing.
You should also take the time prior to ensure that your automobile has the power to pull the boat that you’re interested in purchasing. The last thing you want to do is buy a boat only to realize your automobile isn’t strong enough to pull it around. You’ll also need to practice the art of the boat launch. This is where you reverse your automobile down an angle to the water, letting your boat float on the surface and freeing it from the trailer. Once you reach this point, you’ll be off to the races. But don’t forget, it can take a lot of practice just to get good enough to get a boat in the water.
If you want to ensure your boat is a strong investment, you need to ensure you employ proper maintenance over the life of your ownership. This means changing oil filters regularly, switching out lubricants, and inspecting propellers. It also means winterizing your boat if you live in a colder climate. The winter can be harsh on boats, and failure to prepare your vessel for the weather might mean it will no longer work when the warmer weather rolls back around.
It goes without saying but you’ll also want to keep your boat clean. Proper washing of both the interior and exterior of your boat will ensure that grime, salt, and other such things won’t cause wear and tear on the vessel. Failure to properly maintain and inspect your boat can lead to big problems that may be too expensive to overcome. Stay on top of your boat care and you’ll be happy that you did.
Other than, don’t forget to have a great time! It’s true that boat ownership can be a lot more work than even avid fans of the open water might expect. There’s no point in doing all the work involved with owning a boat if you don’t take full advantage of the opportunity to enjoy yourself. It can make you a healthier person. Try it all: go fishing, tubing, boarding, camping… there are so many different ways to take advantage of the fun that boating has to offer.
Owning a boat for the first time can come with a big learning curve. However, the above information can help get you started down the road of proper and responsible ownership. Need more recreational advice, tips, and tricks? Check out our blog for more.