A Guide For First-Time Boat Owners

words Al Woods

Nothing beats taking your boat off to the open sea. But, if this is your first boat, there’s a lot you should know! A boat is a significant investment, and you must ensure that you have the skills to manage it safely and correctly.

Boat ownership should be thrilling, enjoyable, and fulfilling, not frightening. It only becomes frightening and even disastrous when you’re not in the know about boating. This is why you need to equip yourself. To start with, you can refer to this boating guide for first-time owners:

boating tips

1. Develop Your Skills 

Boating is different from driving a car. Because of this, you should start taking boating lessons to ensure that you know the correct terms, signs, and use of boat controls. You can get information on attending boating lessons and getting your license from authority sites like www.ilearntoboat.com/newhampshire.

Understand how your boat works too. It’s nothing like owning a car wherein you just call a mechanic each time you break down. You’re practically on your own out in the water.

Never start too quickly, as tempting as it may seem. Ensure you have everything you need before you take to the waters. 

2. Get Insurance

It would be best if you secure your boat before you begin your boating trip. There are many potential threats, and you don’t want a large sum of money to be spent as an effect. To ensure that you’re adequately protected, you should consult an insurance broker. Your insurance should, for example, be responsible for the spillage of fuel. It’s necessary if you’re moored in a marina then your boat leaks or sinks.

You must cover trailer damage in your insurance policy when you’re involved in an accident while trailing your boat. Just as with any other vehicle, things can go wrong when you’re on the road. You can consult experts on the ins and outs of your insurance.

boating tips

3. Know Your Etiquette

Brush up on boat ramp etiquette to avoid conflict with other boaters. If you follow the unwritten rules about the correct manners, everything will work smoothly, and everybody can enter the water as soon as possible.

After hours, visit one of the best boating docks in your area to practice ramp back-up and launch. It will help alleviate particular uncertainty as to this matter.

4. Be Mindful Of Storage

Make sure that your boat is legally allowed to dock in your neighborhood. You must also make changes to fit your boat in your garage. It’s expected that you be responsible for keeping your boat in the right place.

Also, a dry stack valet service or marina can be used for your boat. Each of these options would lead to an increase in long-term expenditure, so pick the best way that will help lessen your expenses. 

If you have cold climate, winters can be a storage concern. If you’re going to keep it docked, make sure your motor is winterized correctly to ensure that you avoid damage to your boat. To winterize, remove all the water from your engine, sinks, tanks, and all other parts of the boat. Then apply corrosion protection to your engine. Undertake fogging and putting in additives to your fuel system as provided in your manual. Then cover your boat or keep it somewhere safe. The bottom line is to ensure nothing freezes in your boat’s system during the winter months. 

5. Keep A Record

Always make sure you communicate your destination and the expected time of arrival before leaving. This way, if anything happens to you and you can’t get help, someone will know where to look for you and what to do first.

Include your motor and coolant checklist on your pre-departure list to ensure that you have all necessary safety equipment, accessories, fueling, and testing before going into the waters. It can also help people realize what went wrong during your trip and bring the right equipment to help you go back safely.

6. Know The local Rules

Before setting sail, you should know the local boating laws. These usually differ in every destination. A fine or even time in jail will be a bleak conclusion to your boating adventure if you don’t follow the local boating regulations.


Getting your very first boat is truly an exciting time of your life. The water is out there, calling for you to wander and sail. By following the guide above, you can ensure that your future water adventures will be safe and stress-free.


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