Owning a boat can be an exciting undertaking that provides the owner and their close relations years of enjoyment and memories. However, ownership comes with a specific set of mandates responsible owners must abide by. The following is a brief guide discussing what these duties are.
Guide to Owning a Boat
Obtaining All Proper Licenses And Permits
In the United States, only Alabama requires recreational boat owners obtain a special license to operate said crafts. However, most states do not require that prospective boaters obtain a safety certificate after completing a safety course covering a wide array of topics. Boating registration requirements vary from state to state. However, registration is typically required if said vessel will be operated on federally navigable waters or the high seas.
Adequately Insuring The Boat
Most states do not mandate that recreational boat owners purchase insurance on said vessel. That said, the marina housing the craft might require the owner to purchase some type of liability coverage. Moreover, banks might insist those financing a boat obtain appropriate coverage.
Insurance and boating industry professionals do, however, opine that holding some type of insurance could prove beneficial over the long haul. Accidents can happen and boat insurance often provides a financial safeguard against damage costs or the medical expenses of a passenger injured in some type of untoward incident.
In certain instances, owners with clean records or who meet specific requirements might even be entitled to discounts.
Unless the boat owner resides in a climate that is warm year-round, said individual will likely need to remove boat from water during off-peak or cold seasons. Therefore, owners will need the proper equipment to remove boats from water and safely transport said asset to their home or a suitable storage facility.
The most important piece of equipment is the trailer, which will enable the owner to attach the boat to another vehicle, such as a car or truck. Such subjects are urged to purchase or rent a trailer certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, sometimes abbreviated as the NMMA. These apparatuses meet all transportation safety guidelines and might reduce one’s chances of experiencing transportation mishaps. Towing the craft between locations requires the owner to possess a vehicle capable of towing and strong restraints to ensure the boat and trailer do not get separated.
Most boat manufacturers provide specific instructions regarding the proper method of removing boats from water, attaching said craft to a trailer and safe towing practices. It is imperative for owners to familiarize themselves with these directives.
Storing A Boat
In many locations, exterior and interior storage facilities will be available. Various factors play into the decision, such as, the boat’s size, the climate of the location and prices at various storage sites. Storage in a private facility could be expensive.
Regardless, prior to leaving the craft in storage, the owner should execute tasks, including the drainage of all flammable fuels, liquids and other objects, shielding the vessel with a large covering, ensure all restraining devices are held firmly in place and ensure the boat is completely dry. Any moisture could precipitate problems, like ice damage or the development of mold and mildew, which could prove costly to remove and may elicit future health problems for those who ride the craft at a later date.
Prior to using the boat for the first time each season, industry insiders maintain that responsible owners will practice maintenance tips, such as checking the engine, the condition of both the craft’s bottom and top sides, moving parts, filtration and electrical systems and the upholstery and seating. Additionally, industry professionals firmly encourage boat owners to retain the services of an experienced boat mechanic for said purposes.
Above all, following important safety tips is critical to avoiding any accidents or injuries. Operators should follow all necessary safety waterway safety guidelines, including obeying speed limits, maintaining acceptable distance from other vessels and never driving under the influence of alcohol or any other substance.