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. 

Ahoy!

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. 

Insurance

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

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. 

Yachts

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.

 

Steel hull maintenance

A steel boat owner’s biggest enemy is corrosion. You don’t have to worry about osmosis or rotting timbers, instead rust is the number one issue that will keep you awake at night.

Rudders and steering systems – Part 2

One thing all rudders have in common is that they have three main parts that need to be checked: the rudder, or a steerable drive leg in the case of many power boats; the system that joins the rudder to the steering; the steering control itself.

How to ensure your boat is in proper working condition

In this article Eva Tucker from Volvo Penta presents a handy check list of all the things that you need to check regularly in order to make sure that your boat is in a seaworthy condition. Including maintenance, safety gear and electrical checks.

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.

Feeling anxious at sea

  Some people feel anxious at sea. Will they be seasick? What if they get caught in a violent storm? Could the boat...

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.

Essential Knots: Figure of eight

Essential Knots: Figure of eight Use: Stopper knot, prevents a rope from being pulled through a hole e.g. through a block or...

Sailing Boat Rig Care

The rig of a sailing boat is put under huge stresses and strains so it is important for inspections of a yacht’s spars and rigging to be carried out at regular intervals.

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.

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...

Essential Knots: Round turn and two half hitches

Essential Knots: Round turn and two half hitches Use: Tying a rope to a pole or a ring. Step 1. Pass the end around the object. Step 2....

You Need To Understand The IRPCS ColRegs To Pass Your Yachtmaster, Master of Yachts and Coxswain Certificate of Competence

IRPCS ColRegs Rules of the Road at Sea and Yachtmaster Learning, understanding and remembering the International Regulations...

Understanding your mast and rigging

The rig of a sailing boat is put under huge stresses and strains so it is important for inspections of a yacht's spars and rigging to be...

Wooden Hulls – Part 2

It is important to ensure the essential hull maintenance of a wooden boat is done, even if you are paying others to look after your boat for you. The priority is to prevent rot from taking hold. The protective layers of paint and varnish over wood are far more critical than on GRP boats, where the topsides are painted more for cosmetic reasons.

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...

Safety at sea principles

Safety at sea is not as simple as just spending money adding shiny new emergency equipment such as liferafts, danbuoys, distress flares, EPIRBs and so on.

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,...

Sail care and maintenance – Part 2

At the end of the sailing season sails should be washed and inspected carefully for damage, including small tears, stitching failure, ultraviolet damage, stains and mildew.

Always have an emergency grab bag to hand when at sea…

  Grab bag: In the event of having to abandon ship, it is recommended to have a designated waterproof bag to carry...

Passage planning and pilotage

Passage planning and pilotage help skippers navigate safely from one port to another. A passage plan takes into account all...

Avoiding collisions at sea – how to stay safe on the water

Boats have many blind spots, including the headsails of sailing boats. Always keep a lookout, stay safe and remember that...

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...

Jester Challenge 2022 – Sailing single handed from Plymouth UK to the Azores: Getting to the Start

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

How to predict wind direction and strength by reading a weather chart

Weather charts, also known as surface pressure or synoptic charts, contain a lot of information that helps weather...

Stress cracks on GRP boats

It is quite common to find cracks in the gelcoat when inspecting the deck and superstructure of a GRP boat. It is important to differentiate between a gelcoat crack and a scratch.