There’s nothing like getting on your boat and enjoying the open water. But, if this is your first craft, you might be apprehensive about proper operation and care. Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Check out these five essential tips for first-time boat owners.
Insure Your Boat
Nothing ruins the joy of having your new boat like damaging it and realizing that you don't have insurance. It's wise to purchase boating insurance for liability and accidental damage as soon as you acquire your new vehicle. Remember to work with an insurance agent to ensure your policy covers all the essentials.
Conduct Routine Maintenance
Like all things, a well-maintained boat can keep running for years. If you want it to last, you’ll need to perform routine maintenance, inspections, oil changes, and washes. Take the time to learn what your craft needs to ensure it looks and operates at its best.
Use Boat Storage Best Practices
If you plan on storing your craft at home, remember to check with your community for any local laws and regulations that may impact your storage plans. Use one of our aluminum gangway kits for a sturdy ramp to assist with getting on and off the boat at your home dock. If you decide to keep it in a marina, consider using a dry stack valet service.
Keep Essential Equipment Onboard
While you can’t always predict an emergency, having several essentials onboard can help you stay ready. Remember to store a boat safety kit on your boat and include some of the following items:
- Flashlight: A flashlight with spare batteries can help you see in the dark and be visible to others in the event of a breakdown.
- First Aid Kit: A complete first aid kit and knowledge on how to use it is your ticket to preventing disaster.
- Duct Tape: Duct tape provides a temporary solution for minor leaks and cracks.
- Ropes: Ropes are critical equipment for securing your boat to the dock, tying down loose items, and pulling in someone who may have fallen overboard.
- Fire Extinguisher: While you might be on the water, you'll never know when a fire could start on the boat itself.
- Life Jackets: You should have U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets available for anyone who comes onto the boat.
Always Prioritize Safety
There’s only so much a first aid kit can do if you don’t practice safety while driving and loading your boat. Always follow your craft’s capacity restriction, avoid sitting at the front, and use basic hand signals as communication during those noisy moments to alleviate the need to yell.
Assuming the role of captain comes with significant responsibility. As a first-time boat owner, following these five essential tips is a fantastic way to ease into the boating lifestyle and ensure success in your endeavors.