Select Page

If you’re planning to join the highly selected group of boat owners, there are a few things you should bear in mind. Buying a boat isn’t so different from buying a new car. Both purchases involve careful research and a clear idea of what to look for. Although the details of this decision might sometimes feel overwhelming, fear not: this guide is here to help you. 


The first question that comes to mind when thinking about buying a boat is: what type of boat? There are more than 20 different kinds, of different sizes, for different purposes, and different pockets. So, your first step is to decide your boat type. 

You can find secondhand boats for considerably lower prices. Should you go for this option, you might also enjoy these tips for improving your boat. Anyway, before pulling the anchor chain, there are some crucial details to observe. 

Know Your Business

Once you’ve chosen the kind of vessel you want, it’s time to learn how to operate it properly. Take a boat driving course for the model you want. Driving a boat has nothing to do with driving a car, as factors like waves, winds, currents, and other boats come into play. Don’t hit the waters before acquiring an adequate nautical license and essential skills for smooth sailing.

Where to Store It

You’ll need to set up a place to store your boat. There are efficient dock systems for all kinds of vessels. There’s also the option to leave it in a private boat parking spot or marina. Anyway, this critical aspect can’t be overlooked in your plans. 


Boats are expensive investments, and yours should never leave the dock without insurance. Insurance can protect your property from theft, damage by collision or cause by the elements, and accidents involving other vessels.

Stay Afloat

There are boats for fishing, sailing long distances, and for holiday trips. They differ in size, prices, and necessary skills to operate them. You’ll need quite specific boat skills for a yacht, for instance. Here are some standard options if you’re looking for a boat for leisure or water sports. 

Deck Boats

Deck boats are perfect for those who love speed and practicality. It’s not a vessel that will cross the oceans, but it’s roomy enough to bring family and friends on a day trip. Deck boats are pretty small, and their V-shaped hull allows them to be stored in regular garages and carports.


Sailboats are as old as they are simple. Moved by the wind, a sailboat can take the skilled sailor anywhere, even between continents. These boats come with two sails: the main and the head. Nowadays, it’s possible to find mono-hull and multi-hull sailboats. Anyway, if you don’t have any experience with sailing, it’s not the best boat for you right now. 

Cuddy Cabin

A cuddy cabin is a small cabin that is placed under a deck. Like the deck boats, they’re easy to maneuver and relatively small. Still, it’s excellent for fishing and short trips, as they’re pretty fast and have considerable storage space. 


Excellence doesn’t come cheap, and the limousine of the seas can cost a real fortune to their owners. Still, nothing yells “luxury” louder than a yacht. A “humble” yacht is at least 20 m long, although flagship vessels can span over 100 m. 

Haul On the Anchor Chain

There are plenty of excellent reasons for buying a boat. However, it’s a step that requires a lot of planning. Consider all the costs involved in maintaining a boat, not only the price tag and fuel consumption. Above all, apply for the right nautical license for your needs.


Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 4 – Navigation

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the fourth of a 10-part post where solo sailor, Bernie Branfield, shares his first hand account of his single-handed, 2022 Jester Challenge, from Plymouth, UK to the Azores, in his 26′ Invicta Mk2, Louisa.

Understanding boat engines

Irrespective of what kind of engine a boat is equipped with and who does the work, the regular care and maintenance of a marine engine is essential. The most common cause of marine engine failure is widely known to be lack of maintenance.

Weather forecasting resources and tips

All competent sailors need to have a good basic understanding of how to interpret a weather forecast. They also need to be able to interpret the actual conditions they are experiencing.

Boat maintenance log

Keeping a boat maintenance log is an ideal way of reminding owners what needs to be done to a boat and when. Read on for some tips,...

Top five windvane self steering installation questions

Top five windvane self steering installation questions answered by Sarah Curry of Hydrovane International Marine, courtesy of Viki Moore from Island Cruising NZ

Cleaning & polishing gelcoat topsides

The gelcoat topsides of a GRP boat can be pampered and restored to their former glory relatively easily when it is ashore. Gelcoat is only a very thin outer layer of the hull, often less than 1mm thick, so you should avoid cleaning it with highly abrasive cleaners, or an-ything that could potentially damage its surface.

Boat ownership – some fundamentals

Owning a boat is a big commitment that should bring no end of satisfaction, but the costs of maintaining and keeping a boat are significant and should never be underestimated.

Boating emergency – how to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call

How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call   How to broadcast a MAYDAY emergency call if a vessel or person is in grave...

Competent crew skills: mooring lines

Mooring lines are used when arriving or leaving a berth. One of the most important competent crew skills is to know how to...

Navigation safety: a quick-reference mobile app to learn the ColRegs NavLights and Shapes

 Safety at SeaSafety at sea will always remains a topical and important subject that will no doubt dominate the syllabuses of nautical...

How to cope with an emergency at sea

A safe skipper will be mentally prepared for all kinds of potential emergencies happening at sea, including medical emergencies, engine failure, fire, a holed hull, capsize and dismasting.

Sailing into fog – being prepared and staying safe

Most skippers will sensibly delay their departure, if fog is forecast. However, if fog begins to form when you are at sea it is important to be prepared, and know what precautions to take, to help make your vessel detectable or visible in fog and keep the crew safe.

ColRegs – avoiding collisions at sea

ColRegs - avoiding collisions at sea ColRegs Rule 8: Action to avoid collision (a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall...

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 1

Boats that are kept afloat can very quickly become a home for small marine organisms such as barnacles, weed and slime. Applying an antifouling paint to your hull is necessary to protect it from these micro-organisms, as a fouled hull can cause problems and will slow down a boat’s maximum speed considerably if left unchecked.

Antifouling for leisure boats – Part 4

Applying antifouling. Antifouling is best applied on a dry, calm day. It is best to apply the antifouling in the middle of the day to ensure the hull is dry and as warm as possible.

Capsize – understanding the risks

A skipper should know how their boat will cope with rough seas. By working within known limits and understanding the risks,...

Keel maintenance and repair – Part 1

Keels are designed to act as underwater foils that generate lift as the boat moves through the water, counteracting the leeward force of the wind and enabling the boat to sail closer to the wind. Keel maintenance and repair is essential for the performance of your boat.

Repairing a leaking hull-to-deck joint

If you suspect a hull-to-deck joint has failed, then being absolutely sure where the actual leak is occurring is of prime...

Essential Boat Spares for Safety

  Boats Spares Tool kit What you carry in the boats tool kit will be useful for many boat repairs, but you might want...

How to improve a yacht’s upwind performance

There are several ways to improve the upwind performance of a sailing yacht. Read on for some useful tips including headsail reefing, heavy weather jibs and motor sailing.

First Aid Afloat – jellyfish stings

  Wherever you are boating in the world I am sure you will be using a pilot guide to aid your navigation. Often in the...

Safe Skipper – crew management tips

Effective crew briefings are a vital part of the good on-board communication that helps everything to run smoothly on a sailing vessel at sea, whether it is cruising or racing.

Rudders and steering systems – Part 3

In the third of our three blog articles on rudders and steering systems, we look at how to replace rudder bearings and repair a water-saturated core.

Boat Engine Safety Checks

  Boat Engine Safety Checks Every skipper needs to make regular essential boat engine safety checks. Below you will...

Competent crew skills: arriving and leaving a berth

Skilled boat handling is needed when entering or leaving harbour. Crew tasks include preparing the mooring lines and fenders before docking and...