6 Suggestions for New Boat Owners

When you buy your first boat, you want to make sure that you are doing everything the right way. Many tips and suggestions exist for the first time boat owner, and they are all there to help you enjoy your time with your boat out on the water. So, what are some of the suggestions or tips that you can use in order to enjoy yourself?

1. Talk to the Experts

Before you get out on the water, think about talking to local charter or rental boat captains. They can tell you about the waterways and what snags and traps you should look for. If you are going to be out on a river, the water can drag new snags and logs around and make the river more unpredictable and treacherous. A local captain can help you learn and anticipate those problems so that you stay safe.

2. Invest in Dry Bags

Another suggestion for you is that you invest in dry bags. These are bags that are specially designed so that they can be sealed and stay waterproof. The bags come in a variety of sizes. They are a good place to store a cell phone, a map or GPS unit, some dry clothes, or any other emergency item. That way, if something happens, you have a way to contact help and some dry clothes to put on.

3. Practice with Your Trailer

If you have a boat trailer, before you get out and start hauling your boat out to the boat launch, you should practice driving with it. The additional weight is going to make your vehicle handle differently, including starting and stopping. Practice turning and figure out what kind of turning radius you are going to need. This practice will make it easier for you to safely haul and launch your boat.

4. Invest in Charts

A GPS unit is a good thing to have. It can tell you precisely where you are, but it will never replace physical charts. Invest in a good set of charts for whatever waters you are going to be on. Among other benefits, a physical chart will let you notate things like changes to snags, places where you like to fish, or good stopping places.

5. Take a Boating Basics Class

Many states or cities will offer boating basics classes. You will learn about the various boating rules for your state as well as ways to keep all your passengers safe. Even if you’re an experienced boater, a refresher course is always going to be a good thing. If you’ve never even been on a boat before, you’ll learn most of the basic safety rules you need for your new boat.

6. Don’t Rush to Dock

You may have the urge to go quickly when you are docking, but what you really want to do is slow down. If you look at the professionals and people who dock boats regularly, you will see that they normally go slow as they get to the dock or the launch ramp. A slow speed gives you time to make any necessary adjustments, which allows you to change your course if you notice you’re crooked.

Come to Petzold’s Yacht Sales when you are ready to buy your first boat. We can help you find the boat that is perfect for you. If you have questions about boats, we’ll be happy to answer them for you and help you get out and about on the water. It doesn’t matter whether you want a new or used boat; with our large selection, we can help you find the right one for you.