I am ready for my first boat, now what??

Ready to join the fun on the water? Buying a boat, whether new or pre-owned, is the first step. But there are a few details to consider before you turn the key. For all you first time boat owners out there, follow these simple steps to help ease into ownership.  

This series will discuss the following subjects, hopefully this will answer most of your questions.

First-Time Boat Owner Checklist.

  1. Take a boating class
    1. class room 
    2. on the water
  2. Learn Navigation rules of the road 
  3. Learn how to trailer your boat.
  4. Learn how to launch and retrieve your boat.
  5. Determine where you will store your boat.
  6. Understand basic maintenance requirements.
  7. Stock your boat with the proper equipment.
  8. Follow a pre-departure checklist.
  9. Master basic on-the-water operating skills.
  10. Always practice safe and responsibly boating.
  11. Secure boat insurance
  12. Enjoy your new boat!

1. Take a Boating Class Boating 
Many states, require a boating certificate.  As example Missouri law requires all motorized boat and PWC operators born after January 1, 1984, to pass a boater safety course and to carry a boater education card.   this may vary from state to state.  Many states will recognize another states boating certification.  Check with your local State agencies or United States Coast Guard.

Links to on line boating classes:
https://www.boatus.org/free/  Has many direct links to various state on line boating classes
https://www.boat-ed.com/     links to various states on line classes
https://www.boaterexam.com/  links to  various state classes
https://www.boaterexam.com/    Coast Guard Auxiliary boating courses provide instruction to boaters at all levels 
http://www.americasboatingcourse.com/  United States Power Squadron, boating education
https://www.americancanoe.org/default.aspx  Comprehensive resource to find skills courses, assessments, and instructor certification courses for kayak, canoe, raft, safety & rescue, and adaptive paddling.

On the water Training

Find a qualified Credentialed USCG Captain, someone who has many hours of sea time, for the type of boating you will be doing. 

before starting any boat, understand that driving a boat is NOT the same as a car, No brakes and boats are influenced by several applications of physics.   Wind, currents, the boat itself and other boaters.

Familiarize, your self with all navigation instruments, gauges, throttles, and equipment on board.

Once your instructor has taught you the basics, practice, practice, practice.     A couple of phrases to remember:

Neutral is your friend..  the use of neutral coupled with throttle control ( in idle) can keep you out of danger, help in docking, making turns, holding a boat in one position and other maneuvers.

Never approach a dock any faster then you want to hit it.   No mystery to docking, slow and easy is the key with throttle control ( in idle)

Next Blog will be Navigation rules of the road 


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