Living near the open water is exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. You can enjoy the calming crash of the ocean waves while joining in a fun beach party—the possibilities are endless. You can take your adventures out on the open water and feel the ocean mist spray against your skin.

So you decide on purchasing a boat to enjoy every occasion: birthdays, holidays, work parties, and anything else you can think of. But what are the necessary steps to buy one? Here is what you need to know about boat ownership and the responsibilities that come with it.

Preparation for Your Boat

Before even purchasing your boat, you must consider everything and anything that goes into obtaining one. One of the most vital steps in boat ownership is understanding boat insurance and what it covers, as it will help you get out of any hiccups during your outings.

After finding the proper boat insurance, you need to know how to tow and trail your boat, as well. You may need a truck that supports both the trailer and the ship itself. You’ll also need to know how to use boat ramps to get it in and out of the water.

Storage Options

After getting your preparations checked, you need to know where to store your boat when it isn’t in use. Keeping it out on the water year-round isn’t ideal if you only use it during peak heat seasons, so look into your storage options.

If you plan on storing it at your house, make sure your neighborhood community approves. If you want to keep it near the water, consider storing your boat with a dry stack valet service. This has ongoing costs, so make sure you can stay on top of them. Additionally, if you use your boat near colder climates, winterize the engine and store it properly.

Equipment & Maintenance

Once you’ve completed your research and know what to do before your big purchase, it’s vital to look over your equipment and maintenance lists. The most significant part of what you need to know about boat ownership is staying prepared for any necessary maintenance or work on your part.

You need to maintain your boat by regularly cleaning it properly, changing the oil, and inspecting the propeller—all are essential to keeping the boat optimal. Alongside a life preserver, check to see what equipment you need. Some items include:

  • Dock lines and fenders
  • Throwable floating devices
  • Signal devices
  • Medical and emergency kits
  • VHF radio
  • Paddles or oars

Boat ownership comes with significant responsibility and liability. It’s optimal to stay on top of your boat’s care and take advantage of your new boat by having some fun.