The desire to buy a boat exists somewhere in all of us. Seeing the open water often inspires the desire to go boating, just to find a nice place to float in the sun and sip a few drinks with the people you enjoy most. Whether you love fishing or are just want to putter around the coast enjoying the views and visiting friends, a personal boat is a great recreational purchase the entire family can enjoy. Of course, boats are not independent vehicles like cars. They require a lot of planning and care to keep them comfortable and in good working order. When planning to buy your new boat, make sure all your other boat-related ducks are in order to ensure your boat experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Let’s take a look at the top five boat preparation steps you will need to take.
1) A Boat Trailer
Let’s start with the fact that boats can’t just be driven into the garage and forgotten about until the right weather and opportunities come along. Not without a boat trailer anyway. A boat trailer is a special hitch-rig that you can slide a boat up onto, fasten it, and then drive your boat around like a camper. For smaller personal boats, this is how most individuals and families keep their boats at home and launch from whichever coast is most convenient and fun to be around when they’re ready to go on a water adventure. Make sure you have a boat trailer that works for the boat model you’re going to buy or that your boat comes with a trailer.
2) A Place to Dock
Of course, for larger boats or for lucky homeowners on the waterfront, you may want a docking place instead or in addition to your boat trailer. A dock is anywhere deep and secure enough to park your boat where it would be legal to do so. This means the border of any waterside property you have permission to use with a pier and a tie-up point. You can also rent a spot in a marina if you’ll be boating often or your boat is too large to use a trailer and store on land.
3) A Boating License
It’s one thing to buy yourself a boat, but an entirely other thing to actually drive it. Just like motorcycles and large trucks require a special license to drive because they are unique, recreational watercraft also require a special license. Unless you plan on also hiring yourself a captain, buying a boat isn’t exactly useful until you also have your own boating license. Fortunately, these are not hard to get.
4) A Maintenance Plan
Boats are like cars in terms of maintenance, except that they have to withstand a lot more natural decaying forces. Salt water, in particular, along with all the natural little growing things in the ocean, can do some serious work on your boat hull. Not to mention the kind of maintenance needed on anything with an engine and high-end driving and navigation equipment onboard. You will need cleanings, oil changes, inspections, and the occasional update.
5) Boat Insurance
Finally, never boat without insurance. No matter how careful a captain you are, you never know when a storm or random gust of wind could cause you and several tons of water to move suddenly. Boat insurance is there to keep you, your passengers, your boat, and anything you might hit safe from accidents and is often required by boat loan providers as a protection of your shared investment.
If you’re thinking about buying a boat or are already making arrangements to do so, don’t forget to dot all your i’s and cross your t’s before the final sale. This way, you’ll be completely ready to enjoy your boat legally and safely from day one. Take a look at our boat loans to learn more about your financing and repayment options.