Three Common Mistakes First-Time Boat Owners Should Avoid

Posted on: 12 October 2016

There is a big difference between someone who has many years of experience on the water and the first-time boat owner. If you have never purchased a boat before, then you are in for a big surprise when you go to make that first purchase. Because boats can be a costly investment, you want to make sure you choose the right boat with a lot of consideration. There are tons of boats to choose from ranging in all different purposes. Just as you would not take a go-kart on a highway, you want to be careful about what type of boat you purchase for your needs. To help you get started, here are some of the most common mistakes first-time boaters make. 

Lack of NMMA Certification

Boat safety is crucial when considering which boat to buy. One of the most common mistakes new boat owners make when purchasing a boat is that they do not check for an NMMA certification. The National Marine Manufacturers Association ensures that boats are equipped with the right safety features so you remain safe while on the water. In 2015 alone, there were over 4,000 boating accidents that occurred. While many of these resulted in deaths, some of these deaths could have been prevented had the boat been equipped with the right safety gear. 

Not Reading the Fine Print

When you go to buy your first boat, you want to check to see if there is a warranty for it. Not all warranties are fully transferable between owners. You can expect to perform some maintenance on your boat throughout its life. In fact, an 18-foot runabout will cost you around $1,800 a year in maintenance costs. Having a warranty to your boat can help minimize much of your out of pocket costs. Always ask about the warranty and be sure to look at the fine print. 

Neglecting the Education

Just because you may have driven a boat before, it does not mean you are an expert at driving all boats. Each boat handles differently and it is important to get as much education as possible. This ensures you and your passengers remain safe with you behind the wheel. You want to be sure to check the local and state requirements before you put your boat out on the water. You may need to get a boating license and possibly a fishing license depending on what your reason for boating is. You also need to check with the law when it comes to what safety equipment you should have on board. This can help prevent accidents and possibly save your life if you are in an accident. For more information, check out a company like Wilcox Bait Tackle.