What to consider when purchasing your first boat

What to consider when purchasing your first boat
Published Thursday, September 14, 2023

Have you dreamed for years of having your own boat? Although it's often a dream, owning a boat is a realistic goal if you know what you're getting into. Unlike cars, you can't just bring a boat home and park it in the garage until you're ready to use it. There are plenty of things to consider when purchasing your first boat. Follow along as we look at what those things are.

A place to store your boat

Sadly, boating season isn't all year round in most places. When not out on the water or at the marina, a boat needs a place to hang out until the cold weather passes. Check your area and ensure you have a storage place set up before purchasing a boat.

A regular maintenance schedule

Just like your car and home, a boat needs regular maintenance so that it runs great all summer and starts up for you the following season after sitting unused in the winter. Here's a list of common maintenance requirements for a boat:

  • Oil and fluid changes and refills
  • Cleaning the engine
  • Changing the fuel filter and checking fuel lines
  • Installing fresh spark plugs
  • Propeller inspection
  • Safety gear inspection
  • Checking for cracks and leaks

You can factor in about 10 percent of the purchase price for yearly boat maintenance.

Safety rules and regulations

There are certain safety standards required in every boating area, and each area may have its own specific rules as well. It's essential you understand what those rules are as you consider purchasing your first boat.

There are rules of the water, which may include speed limits, prohibition of alcohol consumption, and what boat sizes are permissible. You should also understand the right of way when sharing the water with other boats. Do you know which waterway you'll go to? Does that body of water allow the type of boat you're considering? An ocean can handle just about anything, but your local lake may not.

When it comes to safety, it's not just about how you handle the boat. There's safety gear you must have on your boat to keep passengers and those around you safe. Water is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. However, it's critical to prepare a boat in every way and make sure the captain and those on board understand all safety rules and regulations.

A boat slip or trailer

A boat slip is a spot where you can keep your boat at a local marina. However, boat slips are prime real estate, and some marinas have long waiting lists. As soon as you're certain you want to buy a boat, check with your marina and reserve a spot or get on the list.

An alternative is a trailer. With one, you can tow the boat to and from home and the marina. Either way, a slip or trailer is necessary to get the boat where you need it to be.

Boating is a great outdoor hobby and something you can easily enjoy with friends and family. As long as you plan ahead, your first boat purchase will be a success.

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The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.