When you purchase a new boat, the feeling of joy and excitement may cause you to forget about the basics. Before you go full throttle and enjoy your new toy, you should know the most common mistakes new boat owners make so you don’t ruin the party before it starts.
Overloading the Boat
A concern any new boat owner should consider is overloading the boat. Every watercraft has a weight limit that you need to take seriously. It’s easy to fill a small vessel without realizing it, so always be mindful of the maximum load capacity. Keep the heaviest items low in the boat and close to the middle line when loading your boat. Protect your cargo so it doesn’t slide when the boat is cruising.
Anchoring a boat is an easy task for a layman. However, it’s not as simple as it looks, considering the skills it requires. The anchor will likely pull loose even in calm waters if you don’t release enough line to equal three times the water’s depth. If there is wind, you need to accommodate that by minimally releasing five to seven times as much line.
Getting Lost at Night
Although it’s not as common nowadays with the advancement of GPS systems, you can lose track of your whereabouts in the middle of the water. The risk is even greater at nighttime because everything looks the same. Before firing up the engine, make sure you have navigational gear ready to avoid any catastrophic circumstances.
Hitting the Dock
It takes a steady hand and a watchful eye to dock your boat correctly. Rookie boaters might not have the touch needed to dock well with their first few go-arounds.
Boat fenders will soften any blows while docking, and it’s beneficial to use boat fender covers so they don’t take on extra damage. It’s best to hone your docking skills in an open area before trying the real thing; you can protect the pier and your new boat from shaky docking.
Forgetting To Install the Drain Plug
Installing the drain plug is one of the most fundamental tasks in boating, yet many seem to forget about it before they launch. Certain boats have more than one plug, so it’s imperative to inspect your boat thoroughly, or else it will fill with water. Even seasoned boaters fall victim to this mistake, so you aren’t alone if it does happen.
Evading the most common mistakes new boat owners make is vital if you intend to purchase a boat. You wouldn’t want to lose your pride and joy because of a scatterbrained moment.