Have you always wanted to own a boat?
In 2019 alone, there were over 11.8 million registered vessels in the United States. Whether for business or pleasure, boating allows you the rare opportunity to enjoy the marine life.
On a hot summer’s day, what could be better than a day spent on the water?
If you’re thinking of investing in a boat, it’s important to take into consideration every aspect of boat ownership. From storage and marina insurance to safety equipment and maintenance costs, it’s essential to understand what boat ownership entails. To help, we’re sharing our guide on the eight most important considerations to note before buying a boat.
After reading this guide, you can determine if the boat life is the life for you!
1. Daily Storage
First things first, where are you going to store your boat on a day-to-day basis?
This is arguably one of the most important considerations for those anticipating a boat purchase. For this, you must consider location as well as the applicable storage costs.
If you have a waterfront property that can host your boat, you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper storage facilities. This could be anything from a boat lift to a boat slip. If you aren’t surrounded by water, you can look into storing your boat on your property or your driveway. For those without either, you’ll need to contact your local marina to inquire about storage options and the affiliated costs.
2. Safety Equipment
Next, it’s important to consider that all boats must have certain safety equipment on board at all times. When we consider that 40% of all drowning incidents are caused by boating accidents, it’s understandable why taking the necessary precautions is crucial. If you’re caught without these items on board, you’ll face the risk of serious fines.
While the safety equipment onboard will vary state-to-state, you can generally count on having a few key items required. This may include but not be limited to:
- lifejackets for all passengers on board
- a flashlight
- a whistle
- a rope
- a valid boating license
Of course, the scope of these necessities will also depend on how many passengers are on board as well as the vessel itself.
3. Boat Maintenance
In addition to the initial investment of your boat, you’ll need to account for the cost of routine maintenance.
To start, the boat must be thoroughly cleaned on a routine basis. This will include both the interior as well as the exterior of the boat. While having your boat professionally cleaned is a notoriously expensive cost, you can opt to do so yourself if you have the correct equipment.
Like a car, a boat has complex mechanical components such as the engine and transmission. These components will require routine maintenance and servicing. This will ensure that your boat is able to operate as safely and efficiently as possible.
How do you plan to tow your new boat?
Unless you have a place in which you can store your boat 100% of the time, you’ll need to be able to tow your boat when necessary. For this, you’ll need to have a powerful enough vehicle to transport your boat from place-to-place. Of course, the bigger the vessel, the more powerful a towing capacity will be required.
With this, it’s important to note that some states will require the vehicle operator to carry a towing permit. This may also depend on the size and the scale of the vessel. In addition to a permit, you’ll want to know how much your vehicle can carry, what class your boat is and how to correctly attach your boat to your vehicle.
5. Lake Access Points
Once you have your boat, you’ll need to outline the different lake access points in your area.
Generally speaking, each and every public body of water will have an access point that can be used by members of the public. These are points in which boat owners can place their boats into the water. This will traditionally be in the form of a ramp that extends from the ground into the water.
With this, there might be an access fee or an applicable membership that the boat operator will be responsible for paying.
6. Gas Fees
Are you prepared for the high costs of boat gas?
If you plan to use your boat on a routine basis, you’ll have to financially prepare yourself for the high cost of boating gas.
It’s also important to pre-determine the different areas in which you can fill your boat with gas. With this, you’ll also want to understand how to correctly and safely fill your boat with gas.
7. Seasonal Storage
Do you have somewhere that you can store your boat in the off-season?
If not, you’ll need to find a marina that’s able to store your boat throughout this season. This can be costly and is an important consideration to factor in from the very beginning.
For those looking to store their boats at a marina for an entire season, it’s best to choose a marina that has valid marina insurance. This will ensure that if anything happens to your boat, your boat will be carefully protected under the insurance of the marina. If you have questions bout marina insurance, be sure to visit https://johnbwright.com
8. Boating License
At the end of the day, you can’t operate a boat without a valid boat license.
Attaining your license is as simple as passing a test and renewing your license on a routine basis. This test will ensure that you understand everything from basic boating safety to the local boating rules and regulations.
It’s imperative that you carry your boating license on you each and every time that you operate your boat. Failing to do so could result in serious fines.
What to Know Before You Own a Boat
Before you own a boat, you’ll want to be familiar with the ins and outs of what boat ownership entails.
With this, you’re going to want to factor in everything from maintenance and storage to boat licenses and lake access points. Not only will this ensure that you’re budging correctly, but it will also make certain that you’re following safety protocols and local by-laws.
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