If you are new to boating it can seem overwhelming with all you need to learn. From operations and safety to maintenance and insurance, the checklist never seems to end. With time, patience, and the right resources, you will eventually become a skilled and knowledgeable boater. Here are six owning basics that new boat owners should tackle.
1. Boat insurance
Like a car or a house, you need to insure your boat so that you are adequately protected in the event of an incident. Here are 3 sources on how to get boat insurance. There are a number of factors that will affect the cost and type of policy you need. Make an appointment with a boat insurance agent or your local representative.
2. Boating safety
Safety is a top priority for all boaters, whether you are new to boating or a seasoned veteran. Register your boat and make sure you have the correct certifications. Boat safety courses are highly recommended to help you learn the waterway laws. They are available online. Confirm that you have the US Coast Guard required safety equipment. For more information, see our boat safety checklist.
Smaller, trailerable boats give you the freedom to boot anywhere! Towing a boat and a trailer is a learning curve in itself. So practice on an empty lot before hitting the open road. Your trailer must be registered, tagged and equipped with working brake lights.
If you don't plan on doing your own maintenance, contact your local marine service provider for regularly scheduled maintenance such as oil changes. All new boat owners should learn to properly clean a boat and to flush the engine.
5. Preservation & Etiquette
Responsible boaters respect resources and are courteous to others who share the water. Use environmentally friendly products, practice conservation and follow the “unwritten rules” of proper boat labeling.
If you don't live on the water with a boat lift, you can keep your boat on the trailer in your residence (if allowed by your community managers). Some marinas also have storage programs that are billed per foot or per month.
Being new to boating is a great opportunity to discover a whole new world of fun and adventure. Take the time to learn these boating basics and prepare yourself properly. Then get out and enjoy the water!