Purchasing a boat is a huge investment and one where you should make sure that you have all the facts and information on ownership before taking the literal ‘plunge.’ Taking proper care of your boat — knowing the right way to navigate , where and how to dock, moor, and more are important details to educate yourself on so you aren’t surprised out on the water.
Here are some boat ownership tips and important information so you can launch your new boat with ease!
1. Get the correct insurance
Just like with your car or house, insuring a boat is a MUST. Make sure you speak with your insurance agent to get the appropriate liability insurance. Make sure your policy covers fuel-spill liability as well, because if your boat accidentally discharges fuel or sinks in a marina, you will be fully covered. If you have a trailer for your boat, this insurance will cover it as well as any damage to others’ property, just in case.
2. Get the correct equipment
We all know that life-jackets are one of the top things you will need on your boat, but did you know there’s a whole checklist of items that are recommended to keep stocked on your boat? These items include:
- Medical kit
- Toolbox for minor repairs
- Dock lines (to help secure boat to the dock)
- Fenders (to help keep your boat from getting scraped up by the dock)
- Throwable flotation devices
- Airhorn and Flares for emergencies
- A VHF radio to call for help if needed
- Oars or paddles
- Extra fuel filters
3. Learn to trailer your boat
Trailering your boat is a skill that takes practice and time to learn. Make sure the vehicle you plan on using to tow the new boat is rated to handle the particular style of boat you plan to buy. You also have the choice between a bunk trailer and a roller trailer to haul your boat, unless you choose to store your boat at the marina, which could save you money in the long run.
4. Write a maintenance check-list
Again, like your car, a boat needs to be tuned up and maintained for the best possible experience and longevity of your new watercraft. Taking the time to learn how to change your boat’s oil, inspect its propellers and even wash it correctly will save you time and money. Once you have this all down, make sure to keep up on maintenance and keep an eye on your checklist to help make every outing a blast.
5. Keep a fuel log
Running out of fuel isn’t only a major inconvenience, but it could be dangerous. Make sure sure to keep a fuel log, especially if you don’t top off your fuel tanks. Gas gauges on boats have been known to be unreliable at times, especially if your new boat is slightly used. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your boat, you just need to be a little more conscientious. Always remember the golden rule when going out on the water: use ⅓ of your fuel for your trip out, ⅓ for your trip back in and ⅓ in the reserve to be safe.
6. Practice safe boating
Make sure to get a good idea of how your boat handles, how to dock it and be completely comfortable behind the helm. Taking a boating education class before you go out on the water is a great idea, if you are able, otherwise make sure to study up for the best boating experience you can have.
7. Boat storage
Many people do not have the ability to store their boat in their driveway or garage, so it’s a great idea to always take advantage of any marinas near you. Not only do you not have to take your boat to and from your residence, but it provides around the clock storage for your boat. Marinas are also equipped with great resources for you to use as well. Fuel, snacks, restrooms are provided at most marinas worldwide and some even have repairs on site if needed.
Don’t forget that everyone on the water was at one time a new boat owner just like you and preparedness is key to a fantastic time out on the water. Knowing what to look out for and proper maintenance will leave you piloting your way towards a great future with your new boat.
Don’t Skip The Marina
Marinas can be a fantastic way for you to dive (metaphorically) into your new hobby. You have quick access to mechanics and knowledgeable staff who are there to help you.
Plus, marinas can offer you safe places to launch your boat without risk to your hull. Unloading just anywhere can cause hundreds if not thousands of dollars of damage to your nautical investment. Marinas offer you peace of mind that you’re getting in the water safely.
Thinking of using a marina for your newfound hobby? At Corleone Marinas, we offer four locations throughout Australia that can get you and your boat out on the water and enjoy the sunshine — no matter the time of year.
Contact us for more information about our services at our variety of locations today.