6 Tips for First Time Boat Owners

Are you a new boat owner? Congratulations! Boat ownership is a wonderful thing, and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy it. While owning a vessel or luxury craft is a lot of fun, it’s also a big responsibility. There are plenty of things that new boat owners need to do to stay safe while out on the water and at the docks. Signal Connect works with boat and marina owners across the country. These people are a great source of information, especially for new boat owners. These marine enthusiasts gave us these six tips to help you stay safe and enjoy the time you spend on your boat:

1. Always Pack the Essentials

What are some of the things you must have if you plan to take out your boat? It could be items such as bottles of water, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Other needful things include a flashlight, towels, and a flare gun. There are plenty of other essentials that you should pack. Some boaters call this “packing a boat bag,” and that’s as good a term as any. Make sure you pack one of these bags every time you plan to take your boat out. You’ll never be caught in a jam without these items.

2. Purchase a Towing Membership

Do you know what a towing membership is?  It’s a lot like the towing insurance  people have for their cars.  Chances are, you’ll probably never need to have your boat towed; but, wouldn’t it be good to know you’re covered just in case? Yeah, we think so, too.  That’s why we recommend you get this service if it’s available through your marina.  In some cases, the cost of the annual membership is much less than that of a single tow.  Think of it as an insurance policy that you don’t want to have to use, but is there if you need it.

3. Remember Routine Boat Maintenance

Your vessel is a fine-tuned machine designed to give you many fun-filled hours out on the water.  You have to treat it right, though.  The important of preventative boat maintenance cannot be overstated, especially to new owners.  Taking care of your boat is the best method for lengthening its usable life.  Here is a list of just some of things you should do each time you take out your boat:      

  1. Wipe down the seats with a specially made conditioner.
  2. Use a hose to thoroughly rinse off your boat.
  3. Use fresh water to flush the boat’s motor.
  4. Open the hatches or compartments to dry out the boat’s interior. This helps prevent the spread of mold.

If you think these steps are time consuming, you should take a look at the 10 steps for winter boat storage.  Taking care of your boat when it’s sitting still at the docks or in storage is very important because this is when damage can occur.  Be sure to follow the four boat maintenance tips above.  It also wouldn’t hurt to check with your local boat dealer or marina for additional maintenance advice.

4. Safety Equipment is a Must!

Each state requires boat owners to have a certain number of safety items on board.  The number and type of these devices usually depends upon the size and horsepower of your boat.  Some of these items include life jackets, a distress signal, and a fire extinguisher. A device such as a horn, bell or whistle might also be required. If you’re not sure about your state’s safety regulations, check online or with your local boat dealer or marina. Make sure you have these items (and some extra) on board at all times.

5. Take a Boating Course

Whether your state requires it or not, we recommend you take a boating course.  Think about you’re your boat is a huge investment, and anything can go wrong when you’re out on the water.  Passing a boating course trains you in the skills you’ll need to pilot your boat safely.  For yours and your passengers’ safety, get this important training and certification.  So much depends on it!   

6. Get DIRECTV for Your Boat

While the first five tips focus on safety and boat maintenance, this one is about your fun and enjoyment.  We want you to stay safe and take care of your boat, but we also want you to have a great time.  You can have DIRECTV on your boat… and you should!  You and your guests will love satellite TV when you’re anchored or at the marina.  It brings the excitement of your favorite news, sports, and entertainment to any boat.

Signal Connect Delivers DIRECTV for Marine

DIRECTV and Signal Connect deliver the DIRECTV experience to boat and marina owners.  If you want this satellite TV service for marine, we’ll help you with everything.  We’ve delivered DIRECTV to many luxury craft, service vessels, and marinas.  You probably have some questions about DIRECTV for your boat, and we’re happy to answer them.  If you’d like to know more, give us a call at 888-233-7563. One of our reps will be happy to help you learn all you can about having marine DIRECTV. 

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.