Table of Contents
Buying a Boat 4
Buying a Used Boat 9
Engine Check List 12
Boat Check List 13
Best Places to Buy a Boat 15
Boat Financing 17
Insurance and Registration 18
Boat Maintenance 20
Emergency Boat Repair 26
Boat Equipment 27
Getting On the Water 29
Rules of the “Road” 32
Boat Safety 38
Boating Etiquette for Guests 42
Boating With Children 45
In Case of Emergency 49
For some people, the perfect day is clear and sunny. It’s not too cool and it’s not too warm. There is a gentle breeze blowing and the water is like a smooth plate of glass and they are happily riding along the water in their new boat enjoying the scenery along the way.
If this sounds like your perfect day too, there are some things that you need to know about before you begin your boating adventures. Boating is much more than just putting a craft on the water and switching on the motor or hoisting the sails. While it may seem like an easy undertaking, you should still become an informed boater knowing the rules of the water as well as boat safety.
Boating has lots and lots of advantages that you may have never thought about. It can help bring you together as a family, it can ease stress, and it is a lot of fun. Experienced boaters can share with you their love of boating and why it’s something they pursue heartily.
Recreational boating provides a constructive outlet for entertainment that reduces stress and provides ample opportunities for self-enrichment. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning to water ski, relaxing as you try to catch a fish, or just relaxing on deck and enjoying a sunset, boating can bring quality to your life.
About ninety percent of Americans live less than an hour away from a navigable body of water. That means that boating is also a convenient means of entertainment that requires just a little travel time.
Believe it or not, boating can greatly reduce the amount of stress in your life as well. In fact, a 2005 National Marina Manufacturers Association survey of over 1,000 American households listed boating in the top-three of all stress-relieving activities.
There are many activities you can do while boating that can also contribute toward your overall well-being. Water skiing is great exercise. Some people believe that just breathing in the fresh air from the deck of your boat can have healing qualities as well. Nutritionists know that fish is good for you. Boating allows you to catch your own fresh fish thus improving your health as well.
If you’re new to boating, don’t fear. There is a lot to learn, but the good news is that it’s easy to learn. This book will explore all aspects of boating from picking out a boat to boat safety. Whether you are interested in boating for recreation or as a way to connect with family and friends, with our help, you’ll be on the water in no time.
With the information contained in this book, even a person with no boating experience will be able to enjoy this great activity like more experienced sailors. This is Boating 101 – let class begin!
BUYING A BOAT
Many people would love to get into boating as a regular activity in their lives, but they think they can’t afford to own their own boat. While buying a boat can be a large expenditure, there are actually many options prospective boat owners can use when buying a boat.
Almost all boat dealers will offer financing for your boat, and most of the time, your payments will be under $200 a month. You can also look into securing a personal loan for your boat through your local bank.
Many new boat owners will buy a previously owned boat as their first watercraft. A lot of times people will upgrade their choice of boats and then sell their old boat. This can be a great way to get into boat ownership without spending a lot of money.
Let’s start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so we’ll look at some of the most common boats and what they’re called.
These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow.
Bass boats can be made of aluminum or fiberglass. Aluminum is lighter and easier to maneuver thus requiring a smaller motor than would be required of a fiberglass boat. An aluminum boat is easier to transport and requires a smaller vehicle when towing on a trailer.
The most common size of fishing boats range between 16 and 20 feet long and provide anywhere between 50 and 200 horse power in the motors. Almost all will have bait and fish well for storing your catch as well as separate compartments to store rods, reels, and tackle.
Aluminum bass boats can be a little cheaper than the fiberglass variety with prices between $7,000 and $30,000 new depending on the package you choose. The most popular size of aluminum fishing boats is 17 feet with a 50 horsepower motor.
Fiberglass boats are designed to be flashier. They can come in a variety of colors and are capable of much higher speeds than their aluminum counterparts. A fiberglass bass boat can handle rough waters more easily and are high performance boats. If you are looking to angle professionally, you will want a fiberglass boat.
The price range for buying a new fiberglass boat would begin at around $10,000 and can get up in the $75,000 range top end. Most fishers prefer a 18 foot boat with a 150 horse power motor.
These are wonderful boats for taking trips on. They are designed to be a sort of home away from home albeit smaller, obviously! Cruising boats generally come with TVs, microwaves, and other homey touches. They generally have 2 or 3 sleeping compartments so overnight trips are much easier.
There is usually a galley for cooking on cruising boats as well as a separate bathroom/shower area. They have a large fuel capacity; so long trips are definitely possible with a cruising boat.
Cruising boats are between 24 and 33 feet long. They have powerful motors and can be taken on large bodies of water such as an ocean. This power and style doesn’t come at an easy price. Most cruising boats can cost between $25,000 up to almost $200,000.
These are great boats to choose when you like to enjoy leisurely boating with a lot of people. They are lightweight vessels designed to make maximum use of space. They have wide open decks with lots of seating so they can accommodate large numbers of people.
Pontoon boats have a variety of uses. You can use them for fishing, cruising, and over night trips. Depending on the size of motor you have, it’s not uncommon to be able to use a pontoon boat for skiing or tubing as well.
These boats are very appealing to new boating enthusiasts because they are usually lower priced than other boats and they have a variety of uses. They are easy to customize to your unique needs as they are made in a variety of models.
Pontoon boats are great for socializing on and can be used on lakes or even larger bodies of water. Bring along the family and friends and throw a party on board your pontoon boat. That’s what they’re designed for!
We don’t really need to tell you what a house boat is as the name says it all. House boats are designed to become a home away from home and are most often used as weekend getaways and retreats for families and friends. They are floating homes with a 360 degree swimming pool surrounding them.
They are best suited for inland waters and lakes, but they can also be taken on larger bodies of water. Do so only with safety first and foremost in mind.
Many houseboats have all the comforts of home. There are several different sleeping cabins, a galley for cooking, even air conditioning. Some can be outfitted with a washer and dryer and a dishwasher as well.
Common sizes of houseboats range from 20 to 65 feet with an average cost for a new boat at around $60,000. They are ideal also for long vacations and slow cruising.