It’s a common expression that the best days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are over 1 million boats registered in Florida, which means there are some time-tested ways to resolve common issues.
With the right knowledge, you can own a boat for as long as possible without any issues. Here’s what you need to know!
1. You Need Paperwork
It’s essential to register and insure your boat like you would with a car. Depending on your state, insurance may be required, but every state requires registration. Make sure you register it with your state before taking it on the water.
Even if insurance isn’t required, it’s still highly recommended. Your boat is likely one of the most expensive items you own, and accidents can happen at any time. Having a comprehensive insurance plan is the only way to protect yourself.
2. You Need Storage
If you live here in Florida, then the only storage you need is on the water. In most cases, you’ll have to rent a dock, unless you have one on your property. Otherwise, you’ll likely pay a monthly fee to keep your boat on the water.
However, if you need to store your boat elsewhere during the winter, then you will need to secure storage ahead of time. In certain places like Maine, where lots of people own boats they can’t use during the winter, it can be tough to find storage, especially for larger vessels. Make sure you plan ahead of time!
3. Learn the Mechanics
No, you don’t have to become a boat mechanic to own a boat. However, to become a good boat captain, you need to understand the basics of your vessel. You should be able to troubleshoot and fix minor issues in a pinch and communicate with your mechanic or local boating store effectively.
Most importantly, you should know your vessel’s:
- Engine type
- Fuel type
- Oil type
- Max speeds
- Appropriate cleaners
- Appropriate fluids and fluid levels
You should also know the basic maintenance guidelines and timelines. Knowing how to flush your engine, change the oil, which products to use, and other basic maintenance principles can help extend the life of your boat. Remember, boats don’t have to be money sinks if you take care of them!
4. Learn the Laws
Understanding your local boating laws is essential. Violating boating laws can result in hefty fines or even arrests.
While Florida has some relaxed boating laws overall, there are municipal laws and even federal laws that will apply in certain situations. Make sure you learn the basics before traveling in new areas on your vessel.
Learn More Before You Own a Boat
Now that you know how to own a boat responsibly, put these tips to use right away. Owning a boat does not have to be rocket science with a little initial research.
Stay up to date with our latest boating tips, and check out our boats for sale to find a vessel that’s right for you!