The Beginners Quick Guide to Boating
There’s a lot for you to learn and to know as a boating beginner, but fear not, this blog post will go through the different elements you’ll need to know to make sure your boating adventure is as safe and as much fun as possible!
One of the first things you’ll need to consider before sailing away on your boating journey is the ongoing costs of owning your own boat, and to figure out what is sensible and manageable for you.
That being said, the extent of any costs involved will always depend on the length and type of boat you eventually opt for.
Ongoing costs and how to tackle them
When buying your boat, you may want to consider the option of a marine mortgage, if you do decide to go for this option, this will then become an ongoing cost.
Marine mortgages are becoming extremely popular with boat buyers who are keen to make their capital work harder for them, this can potentially allow you to purchase a bigger and better boat, possibly more suited to your needs - without having to use up all of the cash available.
Alongside this, there are no penalties for making lump sum payments or paying off a marine mortgage early, so it really is an option which should be given serious consideration!
Once you have decided on the best way to purchase your boat, perhaps you have gone down the pre-owned route, an advisable course of action would be to have your boat surveyed.
Having your boat surveyed means that you’ll be able to find out if there any issues, however large or small, then you’ll be able to resolve any problems prior to completing your boat sale. By doing this, you are removing the element of making the purchase and finding problems later down the line – it’s best to make sure before committing to such a big decision!
There’ll be a cost associated with having a survey undertaken – surveys usually work out at around £15-£17 per foot, and you will also need to have the boat lifted out of the water if it has been launched and the costs of this will vary dependent on the marina.
An estimated cost for this service would be in the region of £200.
Having your boat surveyed will help protect your long-term investment of your pre-owned boat so it’s definitely something to consider when making your purchase.
The mooring of your boat is likely to be one of your main ongoing costs when owning a boat.
Mooring fees will vary according to where you moor your boat, but as an example, should you decide to moor your boat at the Burton Waters marina in Lincoln, there is a minimum length charge of 7.5m and based on the best option available, you will be charged an annual moorings fee of approximately £1500 for this length of boat.
Most moorings will include water as standard while electricity is charged dependent upon usage, but you will need to check this with the marina concerned.
As a boating novice, it’s advisable, but not compulsory to take up some training on the usage of your boat.
If you are a first-time boater, professional training will undoubtedly give you greater confidence when using your boat. However, it’s not a legal requirement to have a formal qualification, but we would always advise first-time boaters to at least undertake some sort of training to provide guidance in navigating and manoeuvring your boat. Training will also help to protect your new investment.
"How can I get training?"
There are a number of RYA instructors who can advise on the best type of tuition for you, ranging across all levels from novice right up to Yachtmaster.
Click here to find out more.
Once you’ve purchased your boat, that’s not the end of the transactions, after care services and maintenance are paramount to completing your boating journey.
The average boat maintenance costs are, of course, going to vary quite a bit depending on the type and size of the boat you buy and just how often and how hard and often you use it.
A lot of boat owners opt to carry out maintenance and repair work themselves, however, most will seek professional help in terms of repair work. While the process of opting for professional help is easier and more efficient (you’ll know the job will be done properly) it does come at a cost, again, varying depending on the kind and size of repair work to be undertaken.
As a boat owner, you may want to carry out the more simpler maintenance jobs on your boat such as cleaning and lubricating. The fiberglass gel coat, for example, will oxidize and turn chalky if you don’t wash and wax it regularly. So, a basic boat hull maintenance chore with any fiberglass boat is washing and waxing. Dirt that sits on canvass and upholstery allows mould and mildew to attach and grow, so again, regular cleanings are very important.
It’s obviously cheaper to do your own maintenance, but if you’ve decided to leave maintenance work to the pros, you may be wondering: “where can I get professional boat maintenance near me?” The good news is that most dealerships that sell boats also service them, and in areas where boating is popular, you should have no problem whatsoever finding a shop that can do the maintenance work on your boat and motor.
Other ongoing costs:
Alongside all the other aforementioned factors, there are a few other ongoing costs you should take into account when owning a boat, such as; boat insurance and a river licence, fuel, maintenance and so on. Some of these factors will also vary dependent on length and location of your boat, while others such as fuel will depend on how often you will be using your boat!
All of these factors must be considered before purchasing your boat to ensure that it’s the right decision for you.