The boating industry is surging in the United States. Did you know that more than 100 million Americans go boating each year? In fact, annual boat sales are nearly $50 billion per year and growing each year.
While many boat owners have a positive experience, others make rookie mistakes. This often leads to frustration and the painful decision to sell the boat.
Read on to learn about four common boat owner mistakes. Explore topics such as regular boat maintenance and the boat winterization process so that you are prepared to be a boat owner.
Table of Contents
Overlooking Boat Maintenance
Like your car or any other passenger vehicle, boats require periodic maintenance. Regular maintenance ensures that your boat runs smoothly and reduces the likelihood of a major issue. Few things are more frustrating than breaking down on the water.
There are many easy maintenance tasks to take care of. Before going out, make sure to check your battery’s charge. You should also test out the boat’s electronics and lighting systems.
Like a car, it is important to check fluid levels. Engine coolant, power steering, and oil are three of the most important. Engine oil needs regular replacement in accordance with the boat’s maintenance manual.
Damp environments are harsh on some metals. You should do visual inspections to look for corrosion or leaks. The good news is that there are recreation vehicle repair services for those that think this is too much work.
Forgetting to Winterize the Boat
Before freezing temperatures arrive, it is critical to winterize your boat. This involves draining any water in the boat’s systems and replacing it with an approved antifreeze product.
The risk of forgetting this step is too great to ignore. Freezing water expands and puts enormous pressure on your boat’s systems. This can lead to damaged fiberglass, an inoperable refrigeration system, or a crack in your engine block.
Many people do not consider the total costs of boat ownership. They see the sticker price on a boat and believe that they can afford it.
However, there are many added costs that go into boat ownership. For example, you may need a place to store it during the winter. If you do not live on the water, you may need to rent a boat slip or buy a trailer for your vehicle.
The maintenance costs outlined in the previous section add up. Even fuel is expensive for boat owners. Once they realize the full cost of ownership, many people opt to rent instead of buy.
Poor Boating Etiquette
Like the rules of the road, there are also standards to follow on the water. Following proper boating etiquette is important for everyone’s safety.
For instance, make sure to yield to larger boats that have a harder time maneuvering. Also, understand that you need to grant the right of way to boats on the starboard side. Little things like which side of the dock to park on and when to use your horn are also important.
Your Guide to Common Boat Owner Mistakes
You are now ready to become a successful boat owner. There are other mistakes that amateur boat owners make, but this list is a good start.
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