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Advice for new boat owners


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What piece of advice would you give to a new boat owner just starting out on their boat owning journey? Or what advice do you wish someone had told you before you started?

For me, it's about safety, safety and safety. Get your VHF certificate and get your safety gear sorted first. Fancy plotters and fishfinders come a pale second to keeping you and crew safe at sea.

What about you?

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1 minute ago, Andy135 said:

What piece of advice would you give to a new boat owner just starting out on their boat owning journey? Or what advice do you wish someone had told you before you started?

For me, it's about safety, safety and safety. Get your VHF certificate and get your safety gear sorted first. Fancy plotters and fishfinders come a pale second to keeping you and crew safe at sea.

What about you?

I would tell the to keep it real. 

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I would say that what ever your budget for buying a boat is, double it. 
Or, if you think you may need a bigger boat later, buy it now. No need to waste money buying a small boat to test the water. Just go and buy the bigger one because they are easier or just as easy to manoeuvre and get on with. 
I will leave the pensioners to handle the safety points! 
As you were Ian. 

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When it goes wrong at sea, it escalates very quickly.


Take advice from a seasoned boat owner, who will check your boat and gear. 

Ask a seasoned boat owner to go out with you for the first couple of trips.

spend time practising close quarters boat control in flowing water.

Make a check list for each time you go out or launch.

Learn the ‘rules of the road’ and rigidly stick to them.

Learn about weather, swell, swell timing, wind, and learn to take into account tide direction and wind.

 

 

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When looking at boats to buy ignore the shiny gel coat and look at the noisy bit, it’s far more important , all surfaces can be polished and shined but a bad engine is just a hiding to nothing. 

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As a new boat owner, do the powerboat 2 course. Just done mine and its the best money I've spent by far.

Icom will send you a sticker with the mayday script on it, got one to put next to our radio and will take everyone we take on the boat through the procedure 

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Here another one. On your first trip out on your new (or new to you) boat, as you leave the harbour, estuary or marina, take a look behind you to see what your home port looks like from the sea.

It's often surprisingly hard to recognise where to go back home to so a quick look back will give you an idea of what to aim for when you're returning after that first trip out.

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1 hour ago, Andy135 said:

Here another one. On your first trip out on your new (or new to you) boat, as you leave the harbour, estuary or marina, take a look behind you to see what your home port looks like from the sea.

It's often surprisingly hard to recognise where to go back home to so a quick look back will give you an idea of what to aim for when you're returning after that first trip out.

Just to add to that. Make sure your plotter overlays tracks on the screen. So if you get fogged out or it’s dark, you can navigate your way back without worry as much about hitting secured obstructions. If you didn’t hit anything on your way out, you won’t hit anything secured on your way back in. 

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29 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

Here another one. On your first trip out on your new (or new to you) boat, as you leave the harbour, estuary or marina, take a look behind you to see what your home port looks like from the sea.

It's often surprisingly hard to recognise where to go back home to so a quick look back will give you an idea of what to aim for when you're returning after that first trip out.

It’s a good idea to do that when your house when you move as well. 

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3 hours ago, Andy135 said:

Here another one. On your first trip out on your new (or new to you) boat, as you leave the harbour, estuary or marina, take a look behind you to see what your home port looks like from the sea.

It's often surprisingly hard to recognise where to go back home to so a quick look back will give you an idea of what to aim for when you're returning after that first trip out.

Especially if you get to a marina..... park in wrong berth and get shouted at by a boat whose spot you are in....

😬😬😬😬

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11 minutes ago, Odyssey said:

Especially if you get to a marina..... park in wrong berth and get shouted at by a boat whose spot you are in....

😬😬😬😬

Area you speaking from experience with that Luke? 😉

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1 hour ago, Andy135 said:

Area you speaking from experience with that Luke? 😉

Yes! 
 

They were very understanding, but was a bit embarrassing to get lost in Milford Haven marina last year when I first arrived.

I did say the Marina layout wasnt marked on my charts 🤣🤣🤣

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My advice would be more to do with buying any secondhand boat. Most boats have wooden (ply) stringers and transom which rot when water is able to get in contact with. Repairs can be very costly but worse that that is having a transom split while out at sea, which is likely to happen when the hull is under rough conditions, speaking from experience when a boat I owned years ago split open crossing the bridge (the section where the channel meats the solent) .

If someone is selling a boat it can be for a few reasons, sometimes because of poor seaworthyness but they won't admit to this. Engines with low hours can often be in worse condition than engines with high hours if they haven't been well maintained and propped correctly. 

Trailers are often overlooked but these need to be fully specked up to handle the boat, as does the vehicle towing if that's the style of rig being bought.

Wear the kill switch cord in extreme conditions or even crossing ships wake's. I like to wear the kill cord around my leg at knee height rather than around my wrist, this leaves my hands to work the steering and throttle without it getting in the way.

 

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5 hours ago, Odyssey said:

Most of all, 

Under no circumstances ever tell your significant other how much you paid for boat or how much it costs to run 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

4 hours ago, LostPiker said:

This is the most important one. As I went half on my boat we have a spreadsheet with everything on it to keep it fair. That spreadsheet will never be seen by my wife ...😂

And I thought it was just me finding all these boating 'freebies' on gumtree 😁

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22 hours ago, LostPiker said:

This is the most important one. As I went half on my boat we have a spreadsheet with everything on it to keep it fair. That spreadsheet will never be seen by my wife ...😂

If my wife ever becomes a computer geek and finds my spreadsheet I think I'm done for😂😂🪓

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