After Purchase Tips
Now that you have your Dreamboat, the next step is to get marine insurance.
Many customers never think of Insurance until it's to late. They think nothing can ever happen to them or their boat. Full replacement coverage is worth every penny. One customer got marine Insurance coverage on his boat and thought he was all set to enjoy boating. Two weeks later his boat got totaled. The boat was $25,000 and he paid the seller $15,000 cash and he took out a $10,000 loan. The insurance only paid him $10,000 and he was out $15,000. The coverage was for the loan and not the boat so remember to always read your policy very carefully. Also keep in mind that some Insurance companies require a surveyors report if the boat is several years old.
The second most important step is to start searching for a reliable repairmen.
First you need a repairman that just specializes in Fiberglass Repairs and second you need a mechanic that specializes in your make of motor & outdrive. Once you find somebody check him out with the Marinas, other boaters and online forums. Also check out state consumers sites, Better Business Bureau and see if the repair shop has a web site. Pay attention to how the site is setup? Does it show step-by-step photos of repair jobs? Does it show before & after photos? It's just as important to see how the job was completed throughout the process as well as seeing before or after photos of the Job. About 50% of consumers do this. Customers are always welcome to come down and chat with Bill at Custom Boat Repairs. They are able to ask questions and get advice. Bill spends a lot of time with each customer in person or on the phone. Bill prides himself in his customer service and expertise he has to offer. He is confident that if any of his customers ever got into a boating accident they would feel relieved to have Custom Boat Repair to rely on. It is important to always be prepared and plan for the worse. Once your in an accident, you can't think straight. Too many things are happening, your judgment is off and it can cost you dearly.
Usually when something happens to your boat you're not near your marina. Typically another marina will pull your boat out of the water. They will spend a couple of days writing up an estimate. If you decide to go to someone else to do the repair, you will be charged for storage which can run about $2.00 a foot a day. So a Thirty Ft. Boat will be $60.00 a day, after a couple days that can add up fast. Now you understand why it is important to be prepared. If something happens to your boat either engine or fiberglass damage, you can avoid storage charges. You can get your repairman to go to the yard and tow the boat out as soon as possible.
Case in Point: A customer ran his boat aground by accident in long Island. A marina nearby hauled his boat up on land. The marina promised him the world, they told him he would have his boat back in thirty days, like brand new. Eight months later no work was done on his boat. He called the marina saying that he was going to haul the boat out of the yard and find someone else to do the repair. When the marina heard this, they blocked his boat in with five other boats so the trailer couldn't take his boat. Next they took the outdrive off of the boat, took it apart with the gears thrown all over and dumped them in the boat and got gear oil all over the cockpit floor. They did all of this despite the fact there was no outdrive damage to the boat. Then they took a grinder to the hull and gouged the bottom of the hull so it wouldn't float if he decided to put it back in the water. None of this damage was there the day before. To top this off, the customer got hit with storage charges and hauling fees and had to move the other boats that were blocking his boat in. That came out to about $10,000. The customer was extremely upset and called the police who told him they couldn't do anything. They recommended that he take the Marina to court and sue them for the damage. The marina told the customer to pay the storage fees and you get your boat back and in response the owner of the boat threatened to sue. The marina laughed in his face and said, go right ahead. They informed him that he may win in court but by the time that happened they would have his boat tied up for about two years while going thru the court process. The owner paid the storage charges and brought the boat to Custom Boat Repair to complete the unfinished repairs. He was then finally able to travel south with the boat to retire. This is why it is so important to check out the Marinas Policy & Charges. If you don't it can cost you dearly.
It is always very important to have a good tool kit on board.
If something small happens on the boat you'll be prepare for it. A leatherman multi tool, duct tape and WD40 can temporarily get you out of many jams. I'm living proof of that. These three items have gotten me out of many jams. Next update all your emergency flares, make sure the life jackets are in good shape and that your VHF radio depth finder is in good working condition.
Next you should check out towing options.
You want to research towing companies that tow boats on the water. This is in case you break down on the water. There is Sea Tow and Boat US. For about $100.00 they will tow your boat to the nearest marina or back to your marina. Now if you don't have this service and you do break down, get ready to lay out some big bucks.
Example: A customer had a problem with his boat in the Hudson River. The motor wouldn't start. He got towed across the river from NY to NJ, which took about an hour to do. What do you think he had to pay for that tow job? He had to Pay $850. Now if he had the towing package, that tow would have been free, just the hundred bucks to join. So if you're going to use your boat a lot, then you should look into this type of service. If you can't afford the hundred dollars for the service, then I recommend you getting a Very Big Red Flag on a Pole with the word "Help" written on it. Maybe you'll be able to flag down another boater to help you out. I've seen people that have broken down in the water wave their hands and life Jackets to attract other boaters for help, Only to get a Wave back and no help.
These are the most important things to keep in mind when you start boating. From customer feedback and my personal experience, if you follow the tips above you will be a happy boater. There are also many others things to go over and think about, all of which you can research on the Internet.