Whether you’re new to boating, you’re getting back into it after a long break, or you’ve been doing it for years, there’s always something new you can learn.
We’ve put together a collection of boat tips for beginners to help everyone from the novice to experienced mariners.
Boating Safety Tips
- Ensure you have all the necessary safety equipment. This includes life jackets for all passengers, a fully stocked first aid kit, distress flare and fire extinguisher.
- Always check the weather forecast, tides and local conditions before heading out on the water.
- Notify others of where you’re going and when you intend to return.
- Always have seasickness medication. Having a sick crew member on board is almost as bad as being sick yourself.
- Avoid overloading your boat – make sure you know what the safe load capacity is and do not exceed.
Boat Maintenance Tips
If you haven’t been keeping up maintenance on your boat or it hasn’t been used in a while, get it checked out before you head out on the water. Check out our articles on winterising your boat before storage and spring boat maintenance for more information.
Communications – if you don’t have an on-board radio you should at least have a mobile phone (in a waterproof bag). If you’re taking passengers try to make sure you have phones on different plans to increase your chances of getting reception.
And the age old rule: “Keep one hand for the boat, and one hand for you.”
Boat Cleaning Tips
When cleaning your boat, vinegar kills mould and is a greener, less corrosive alternative to bleach. Apply with a spray bottle to clean and prevent mould.
Before a long haul on the trailer, wipe your boat down with liquid soap. This will make bugs, dirt and grit easy to remove when you arrive at your destination.
Everyday Boating Tips
When filling your boat’s water tank, make sure you run the tap long enough to flush any water that was sitting in the hose. Bacteria and mould can fester in hoses left to sit – you don’t want this in your drinking water. Give the car or boat a rinse or water the garden first.
Wet a towel, fold it over and lay flat under your esky, fishing tubs or anything else that may slide around the deck.
When launching or docking, applying liquid soap to the carpeted trailer bunks on your boat trailer will help the boat slide much easier.
Attach a wine cork to your boat keys so the float if you drop them in the water.
Remember the cardinal rule of docking at a pier; “never approach the pier any faster than you’re willing to hit it.”
Boat Buying Tips
If you’re looking to buy a boat, we have a four part series on buying a boat for beginners;
Beginner’s Boat Shopping Guide Part 1: Research
Beginner’s Boat Shopping Guide Part 2: Brokers Vs Private Sales
Beginner’s Boat Shopping Guide Part 3: Shopping
Beginner’s Boat Shopping Guide Part 4: Test Run