Becoming a new vessel owner is always super exciting. From the moment you have the keys in your hands, you start daydreaming about all of the future adventures your new ride will get you to. Amidst all of this enticement, it becomes super easy to forget about the majority of essentials you’ll still need to secure, before you can – safely and completely – start enjoying your new boat.
While you may be aware of the fact that you need to have a proper storage space for your new vessel and make sure you winterize your boat before the cold weather hits, there are still many other things you’ll need to obtain and secure before you finally set sail.
With that in mind, here is a short checklist of all of the essentials that promise smooth sailing.
Before you decide to take your boat to open waters, you first need to ensure that all of your paperwork is in order. Aside from licenses and permits, you will also need to register your boat, just like you’d need to do for any other type of vehicle. So, check with the registration office to ensure you’ve got all the necessary paperwork and rely on their help in case you’re still missing some.
Additionally, make sure you always have your user manual as well as the skipper’s manual handy, in case you need to check anything.
Next, you will need to invest in proper safety equipment before you or anyone else sets off on a journey in your new boat. This equipment should include:
- Life jackets for all passengers, plus at least one extra, as well as throwable flotation devices
- A first aid kit that specifically tailored to this type of vessel and properly equipped to cover any and all emergencies that could happen while on the boat
- A fire extinguisher
- Visual and sound signaling devices that are designed for the type and size of the vessel you own
- Heavy duty flashlight, binoculars and – at least basic – snorkeling gear
Of course, the list could go on and on, depending on how far and for how long you intend to be onboard, but the ones listed are considered must-haves in any scenario.
Furthermore, when owning a boat, you need to ensure that you can properly dock anywhere. So, make sure you equip your vessel with the right docking equipment that should include fenders on both sides of your vessel, an anchor, as well as docking lines.
That way you’ll be properly prepared to dock, no matter if you’re pulling up to a pier or tying up to another boat.
In the end, once you’ve ensured that your boat is entirely safe and properly equipped comes the fun part – it’s time to go shopping for all the boating accessories. Although the accessories will vary significantly depending on who your guests are, there are still some you will most likely always need onboard. They include:
- Towels for drying off
- Any type of cooler that will keep the refreshments and snacks cold
- Beach towels for sunbathing
- Some sort of a sunscreen that will provide the much-needed shade
- Extra sunscreen – just in case you forget to bring it
- Rod holders if you enjoy fishing
- Boat stereo, so that you can enjoy some nice tunes
As mentioned, make sure you always know who your guest are, so that you can get anything else you may need ahead of time and, thus ensure that everyone who comes aboard will have an equally enjoyable experience.
With just a bit of research and some proper planning and prep, all of your new adventures will be smooth sailing.