New to Boating Checklist: 6 Must-Knows for New Boat Owners

When you’re new to boating, it can seem overwhelming with all there is to learn. From operation and safety to maintenance and insurance, the checklist seems never ending. With time, patience, and the right resources, you’ll eventually become a skilled and knowledgeable boater. To get started, here are six ownership basics new boat owners should tackle.

1.    Boat Insurance

Like a car or a house, you must insure your boat so that you’re properly protected if an incident occurs. Numerous factors affect the cost and type of policy you’ll need so schedule a consultation with a boat insurance representative or your local agent.

2.    Boating Safety

Safety is the number one priority for all boaters, no matter if you’re new to boating or a seasoned veteran. Register your boat and ensure you have the proper certifications. Boating safety courses are highly recommended to learn waterway laws and are available online. Confirm you have the proper safety equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Learn more using our Boat Safety Checklist.

3.    Trailering

Smaller, trailerable boats give you the freedom to boat anywhere! Towing a boat and trailer is a learning curve in itself so practice in an empty lot before getting on the open road. Your trailer must be registered, tagged, and have working brake lights.

4.    Maintenance

If you don’t plan to conduct your own maintenance, visit your local marine service provider for regularly scheduled maintenance such as oil changes. All new boat owners should learn to properly clean a boat and flush the motor.

5.    Conservation & Etiquette

Responsible boaters respect the resources and are courteous to others who share the water. Use eco-friendly products, practice conservation, and observe the “unwritten rules” of proper boating etiquette.

6.    Storage

If you don’t live on the water with a boat lift, you can store your boat on the trailer at your residence (if allowed by your community managers). Some marinas also have storage programs that charge per foot or by month.

Being new to boating is a great opportunity to learn about a whole new world of fun and adventure. Take your time to learn these boating basics and prepare properly, then get out and enjoy the water!


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Alycia Downs

Alycia Downs

Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at tideandtale.com or on Instagram @tideandtale.