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There’s no feeling quite like purchasing your first boat. However, getting ownership of a boat can be a demanding task. From deciding between brand new and pre-owned boats to getting the legalities out of the way, it’s vital you know the details before making a purchase.

As a first-time boat buyer, there are certain things you need to have in mind. Here we have compiled top items to check off your list. These tips should help you navigate your journey through boat ownership!

Figure Out Storage Options

If you’re someone who prefers to keep your boat at home, you’ll have to check in with your local laws and regulations to make sure there are no restrictions. For example, a lot of communities will not allow you to park your boat in the driveway overnight or somewhere where it is visible from the outside of your home. (Cape Coral is a good example of this.)

On the other hand, if you store your boat in a marina, you’ll have to factor the cost into your budget.

Another factor to consider is where you’ll spend most of your time boating. If you find that you’ll spend most time boating in Bonita Bay, for instance, you may want to consider a marina that is close enough to where it won’t cause a hassle for you each time you take your boat out on the water. Some marinas are close to the open water, but you have to think about if you’d rather be driving in your vehicle longer or on your new boat?

Insure Your Boat

The first and foremost step after purchasing a boat should be getting boat insurance in case of liability or destruction of your boat. Luckily, these are like auto insurance policies so it should be relatively easy to understand.

On the flip side, you may have to learn a couple of new coverages. For instance, policies revolving around fuel-spill liability include protection from clean-up claims or third-party damage in case of accidental fuel/oil discharge.

Not to mention, your boat policy pays for repairs your trailer may require due to an accident when towing. Whereas your auto policy covers harm to people or property during the same accident. Thus, you need to make sure you have both policies covered.

Be sure to read and understand the manufacturer’s warranty too. If the boat you purchased is still covered, you might be able to save money on specific repairs.

Craft a Maintenance Checklist

Proper maintenance can easily add years to your boat. You must learn to properly wash your boat, inspect its propeller, oil change intervals, and much more to ensure top performance and longevity.

Create a habit of going through your maintenance checklist so you never forget any essentials and you protect your investment.

Enjoy Safe Boating

It’s no secret: the Covid-19 pandemic brought a spike up in first-time boat buyers. It also increased the importance of ensuring safe boating.

For starters, you must master basic on-water operating skills. Taking courses and renting boats is a great start. Moreover, make sure you’re loaded with the right equipment.

Join the Boating Lifestyle

Ready to buy your first boat? Check our selection of Chaparral, Robalo, Grady-White, and Premier Pontoon boats for sale online and contact us at (239) 463-4448.

To personally view our selection of boats for sale in Fort Myers, visit our store on Tamiami Trail and Briarcliff Rd. To view boats for sale in Naples, visit our store located on Davis Blvd. We will be happy to introduce you to the boating life!