General Question

sleepdoc's avatar

Advice to a new boat owner?

Asked by sleepdoc (4666 points ) April 28th, 2010

For those of you who have owned a boat, what piece of advise would you give to a new boat owner. Something that either would spare them embarassment or cost them big money if you have those.

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15 Answers

ucme's avatar

I’d avoid the Bermuda triangle,sage advice.Also it’s never a good idea to rock the boat so i’ve heard.

thriftymaid's avatar

Be sure the drain is capped.

Snarp's avatar

Take a boating course from the Coast Guard.

gailcalled's avatar

Make sure you hae enough portable bumpers in your boat to avoid smashing into other people’s docks. Nail old fire hose, in a bumpy pattern, (loops that point out between the nailed parts) on your own dock.

Insist that everyone who rides in the boat wear a floatation device, learn the nautical rules of the road, keep some emergency supplies in case you hit an underground rock, be just as careful as you would be in an auto.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Snarp‘s advice is spot on.

Aside from that, the best advice I can give is to make up a couple of checklists until you can do them mentally:

1. Things I need to have in the boat or in the car before we trailer the boat to launch it.

2. Things I need to do prior to launching the boat and using it.

Notice that the lists say “I need to”. The captain can delegate some task responsibility, but he (or she) needs to be sure of these things.

On the checklists would be things like:
life jackets for all
dock lines
fuel (for motorized craft)
working battery (for boats that need electric power)
sailbag and sails (for those boats)
paddle (for all boats where motors and wind can fail, and can be paddled)
anchor and anchor line… anchor line tied securely to anchor
etc.

You’ll want to make your own complete checklists… and then print them and use them.

marinelife's avatar

I second @Snarp regarding a Coast Guard Auxiliary course. Make sure you are carrying good quality life jackets.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Limit the amount of alcohol your friend bring on board. Tell them you have everything and then accidentally forget to restock. A six pack is plenty. Drunks and water don’t mix. Actually, they do mix but the result is never a good thing.

Coloma's avatar

If it’s a speed boat be careful when towing others on rafts & inner tubes, I drive a mean boat and have given some wild rides in my day! lol

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

A boaters safety class is a good idea.When a sign says “No Wake” it means NO Wake.
Leave a float plan with someone.Keep it between the buoys.Have the proper equipment on board…and good beer is a must ;)

CMaz's avatar

@thriftymaid – So true. Have gone out forgetting to put the plug back in. lol

Learn the water way and what the channel markers mean. Out going in going and such.

Know where it is shallow. And, makes sure you have the proper amount of life jackets and safety gear.

janbb's avatar

Chapman/s Piloting is a good basic guide to the rules of the “road”. Make sure you know what kinds of boats give way to other kind of boats, i.e., power to under sail, and in which situations.

There is only one skipper on the boat and other people must listen to him/her regarding boat handling situations, even if they are their spouse.

Don’t be an asshole.

One last one – any food is more delicious when eaten on a boat!

JohnRobert's avatar

If the water in the lake is low, there may be rocks and sandbars that are slightly submerged but can’t see very well. Good to watch out for those.

myopicvisionary's avatar

Start saving for upcoming repairs.

drbarry's avatar

Boaters are a community of their own. Join a group of like-minded people and plan outings. Power boaters and sailors do not play well together. Boats are expensive to purchase and maintain..def: a boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money!. If you don’t use your boat at least twice per month during the boating season, sell it and get another hobby.

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