A boat isn’t always going to be out aimlessly at sea. First you have to get out to sea, and eventually you are going to need to properly dock. But if you’re new to boating, these endeavors might be a little intimidating. Then, once you’ve gotten that taken care of, you need to worry about what you’re going to do when you’re out to sea. Do you have enough fuel? Can you navigate? How’s the weather looking? For a first-time boater, the waters can be scary.
While it’s fun to go boating, it’s even more fun when you make no mistakes. If you’re new to boating, here’s some advice for your first outing.
How to Launch Your Boat for the First Time
Discover Boating has a handful of tips available for first-time boaters. If you haven’t already done so, the first step to take is practicing with the boat in the parking lot. Get used to how the boat works and what it requires to get it attached and unattached from the trailer.
Since you won’t have access to blinkers, going over your hand signs is incredibly helpful. Normally when handling a boat, one person is going to be outside directing while the other maneuvers. Both need to have awareness of the ability to communicate without yelling at each other.
Whatever you do, always start off slow. And remember that you don’t have to push it on the gas. When positioning your hands on the steering wheel, start from the bottom instead of the top. All new trailers should have guide poles attached, which will help make this process much easier. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to check your blind spots and mirrors.
If your trailer is jackknifed, turn the wheel in the opposite direction. As you slowly release on the brakes, the trailer should be able to properly align itself again. When you’re a beginner, it’s crucial that everything is done with a steady hand.
Additional Key First-Time Boater Tips
Maybe you’ve read everything online and put in a little practice. If you’re anxious to start, make sure that you’ve covered all of the bases first. Now it’s time to gather some vital tips for boating, courtesy of the BoatUS staff:
- Always overdress for the occasion.
- Don’t hog the launch ramp.
- Don’t overload your boat.
- Put electronics in a ziploc.
- Keep a boating journal.
- Always carry marine-grade spare parts.
- Don’t forget about GPS.
- Purchase Boat Insurance for the trip.
About Mariners Insurance
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.