How much flak did you get when you decided to purchase your first boat? Maybe your spouse, family members or relatives, and friends told you it was a bad idea, that you would only be throwing away money. Well, that can certainly happen but that’s possible with just about anything that you buy.
When it comes to a boat, if you can afford it and it won’t cause a strain on your finances and you’re actually going to use it at least on a semi-regular basis then why not? That being said, you certainly don’t want to prove those naysayers right by screwing it up so here are some helpful tips to get you off on the right foot with your new boat.
Keep a Journal
If you are a first time boat owner you’re going to come across a lot of new things that you won’t immediately know how to deal with. Things like repairs, best ways to wash your boat, items you should bring with you on the boat, etc.
You’ll learn, of course, but to help you pick things up a bit quicker and avoid repeating past mistakes, start keeping notes every time you have to deal with a new hurdle. Once you figure out how to fix a problem, write it down so you can pull out your notes the next time a similar problem occurs and you’ll be able to fix it much easier.
Don’t Forget Required Safety Equipment
Being out on the water can be exciting and fun but you will also want to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers. This may seem like an obvious thing, something that you’ve already thought of, but we’re not just talking about lifejackets.
You will also want to make sure that your boat has all the Federal, State, and Local required safety equipment aboard before you head out on the water. You’ll also want to ensure that the equipment is all up to date and in good working condition.
Have a Backup Plan in Case of Emergency
As a new boat owner you may have taken the time to learn how to properly pilot your boat – you may have even taken the extra time to take lessons from a professional – however, it’s important that you’re not the only one on the boat that knows how to drive your boat in case of emergency.
If no one else is capable or has the knowledge to drive your boat other than yourself, then they should know how to hail for help if something happens to you. They’ll need to know how to provide your position on the water, how to describe the type of boat, and should also know the name of the boat.
You may also want to add some brightly colored or reflective boat stickers on the side or back of your boat with the boat name, registration, and port number. This will help make your boat more easily identifiable in the case of an emergency.
Overdressing Can Save the Day
It may feel quite hot out when you’re planning your trip out on the water. You may even check the weather conditions and temperature but it’s always a good idea to overdress when going out on the water; you can always take layers off if you’re too hot.
In most cases, the weather is much different on the water than it is on land. It may seem very warm or even hot when you’re on land but feel much colder while you’re out on the open water. Bring a coat, an extra shirt or sweater just in case.
Don’t Skimp on Repairs
When it does come to repairs on your new boat you’ll want to avoid using cheap products. Always use marine grade parts for repairs. They will last much longer and in some places, like the engine, they’re necessary to prevent a dangerous condition.
Owning a boat can be exciting and satisfying but it can also be a nightmare if you don’t take the proper precautions and plan for anything and everything. Make sure that you get the most out of your new boat by educating yourself on boat ownership and taking the time to learn what you need to ensure a safe and smooth ride.