When it comes to owning a boat, there are several things you need to consider before committing. Owning a boat is a big decision, and it is a decision that you do not want to get wrong. So, before you jump in at the deep end, what questions should you get answered, and what do you need to find out to ensure that you enjoy owning a boat as much as possible?
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Just like a car, a boat requires maintenance. This maintenance could be something as simple as cleaning and waxing it, perhaps every month or so. Or it could be more; it could be lubricating the parts within the engine and even checking the propellers on the engine. Maintenance, of course, takes time, and it costs money. You need to know what maintenance you are looking at, when, and at what cost. If you do not establish what needs doing early on, then larger problems could set in and realistically end up costing you more than the maintenance in the first place.
You need to think about the time when you are not using your boat. For example, if you will only use your boat in the summertime, what will happen in the winter months? Where will your boat go? Will you leave it moored somewhere and exposed to the elements? Or, would you look at boat storage to ensure that your boat stays dry and free from the elements when not in use?
As owning a boat is similar to owning a car, you must not overlook the importance of good insurance coverage. Insurance can cover you for theft, damage, and even breakdowns. Without adequate insurance, you could find yourself out of pocket, especially if urgent maintenance work needs to be carried out on your boat or if your boat gets stolen or vandalized.
Just how much time will you realistically spend on your boat? Is your boat something that you will use every weekend, or is it something that you will use on summer vacation? How much you use a boat and what you use a boat for will help you determine whether or not you should purchase or even lease a boat. To help you further determine usage, you need to think about the worst-case scenario. For instance, if you have other commitments, such as family commitments on the weekend, would your boat get used as much, or would it be left to languish?
When you own a boat, you always need to think about safety first. When thinking about safety, you must consider the equipment you have on board for emergencies, as well as the standard rings and safety jackets. Safety equipment requires investment, so always think about the costs associated.
Boat ownership can come in many forms. You can own a boat outright, you could lease a boat, or you could share one between friends and family. What is the right choice for you? Do you want to spend more initially to own a boat outright (and can you afford to?)? Or would you prefer to pay less and regularly to share and loan a boat?