When you live near the water, having a boat can come in handy for your leisure time. You might use it to travel around a coastal area by water, fish far from other people bound to the shores, or just take joyrides on nice days. There’s a lot to learn when you’re new to the world of boating, so read up on what to know as a first-time boat owner.
Get Insurance for the Boat
Along with buying a new boat, you should obtain insurance for it like you would for any land vehicle. You’ll want to cover damages and accidents that could happen while you are actively using the boat in the water, and also those that could occur on the road as you tow it from place to place on land. Here in Florida, you may also want to look into insurance related the occurrence of hurricanes. That way, should disaster ever strike your vessel, you won’t be caught completely off guard with your insurance in place.
Know Launch and Retrieval Etiquette
Launching refers to when you are getting the boat into the water via a ramp, and boat launching is a crucial part of what to know as a first-time boat owner. Retrieval is transferring the boat out of the water with the ramp. These ramps are usually public, and many people must share them. Thus, you should try to minimize the time you spend there by focusing on moving the boat either into or out of the water. Do other activities such as loading and cleaning away from the ramp at a dock or once you’ve taken the boat completely off the ramp. This way, other boat owners won’t be held up by your activities.
Figure Out Where to Store It
When you’re going to invest in a boat, you should have a good place to store your boat when you’re not using it. If your property includes direct access to the water (whether via a lake or the ocean,) you could install a permanent or removable dock so you can have a place to park your boat at the end of the day. If you must drive some distance to get to the nearest body of water, think about whether you have enough space in your garage or whether you possess some other covered shed in which to store the boat. Some people who own larger private vessels use a shared marina as a place to keep their boats.