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.


Boating Rules of the Road – International ColRegs

    International ColRegs Rule 7: Risk of Collision Anyone who is responsible for a vessel at sea, from the...

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 6 – Communications

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the sixth 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 tides

If you are used to sailing in tidal waters, you will know that tides can be both a benefit and a hindrance to the sailor. In many ways,...

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...

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.

Getting a tow for your sail or power boat at sea or on inland waterways

FREE tips from the Safe Skipper App for iPhone/iPad/Android: Getting a tow for your sail or power boat Plan how to secure a...

Propeller care and maintenance

Propellers are complicated and repairs should be done by specialists but owners can carry out checks and some routine maintenance themselves when the boat is in the boatyard. A propeller is critical to a boat’s performance, fuel consumption and ride, so it makes sense to keep a propeller in good working order.

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Part 5 – Boat Management

Jester Challenge – A modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self sufficiency, and personal responsibility. This is the fifth 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.

An explanation of the IALA maritime buoyage systems – IALA A and IALA B

What are the differences between the two IALA buoyage systems, IALA Region A and IALA Region B, and where are they used?   As recently as the 1970s...

Pre-start engine checks

According to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) almost one third of emergency call outs at sea are caused by mechanical failure. Many engine breakdowns are avoidable. The best way to avoid a breakdown is to carry out pre-start checks before heading out to sea.

How to Avoid Collisions At Sea With The ColRegs

      Every Skipper Needs Accurate Knowledge of the IRPCS ColRegs As a responsible skipper it is every skipper’s duty to learn and apply the IRPCS...

Essential boat engine checklist

Boat engine checklist Engine oil level check Even if you have checked it previously, confirming the engine oil level is up...

How to tackle osmosis

Many owners of old GRP boats live in fear of osmosis, but what exactly is osmosis and what can be done about it? Osmosis comes about...

VHF DSC radio – how best to communicate at sea

There are many ways to communicate with others at sea. What makes the VHF DSC radio the best form of short range...

Keeping boat records and doing checks

A boat’s records should provide information about maintenance schedules, when major work was done and when equipment was replaced or added to the boat. Without this information you are left guessing when things are likely to need replacing in the future and also what the costs are likely to be.

Boat maintenance below decks

While most interior maintenance work can be done when a boat is afloat, some jobs such as servicing the seacocks have to be done ashore. It makes sense to do any major interior repairs and improvements with the boat hauled out in the boatyard.

Boat electrics

All boat owners should have a basic knowledge of electrics, both to avoid encountering electrical problems at sea and to stand a chance of solving them should they occur.

Boat gas system maintenance

There are correct types of hose for marine plumbing, sewerage, exhaust, cooling and gas and all hoses should be checked regularly for wear and deterioration.

Cutless bearing replacement

Cutless bearings can last for many years but if the propeller shaft is out of alignment they will wear through more quickly. If you have noticed a clunking sound when motoring then it could be a worn cutless bearing that is causing the problem.

Tacking a sailing boat

Tacking is the sailing manoeuvre used to change a boat's direction through an oncoming wind. Tacking a sailing boat calls...

Man Overboard Drill

How to respond to crew overboard under sail • Keep the MOB in sight • Tack into the heave-to position, do not adjust the...

Nautical paper charts – a reminder of the basics

The nautical chart is an indispensable tool for navigation. A chart is a graphic representation of an area of the sea which might also include coastlines, estuaries and islands. All cruising leisure boats should carry up-to-date paper charts.

Winch Servicing

It is not essential to service the winches when a boat is ashore, but if time allows I prefer to do this maintenance job when the boat...

Sail trimming for cruisers

Sail trimming tips for cruisers. Whether racing or cruising, a well tuned boat will sail faster and tend to heel less than a boat with badly adjusted sails.

Wooden Hulls – Part 1

Traditional wooden boats have a plank on frame construction, a centuries old boat building method that is still in use today. Variations of the traditional method include carvel, clinker and strip planking, which all relate to the way the planking is attached to the frame.