This Old Boat - Boat Maintenance

Buying a boat for the first time is an exciting time in anyone's book. Hopefully you will have had a good look around and chosen well, the excitement of taking delivery is tangible and you can't wait. It is pretty clear that I am about to raise a 'but'...

As 'buts' go, it's not that serious. It's more a question of experiences to come. The basics have to include knowing what is good on board, and what is not. You've been shown how to start the engine and put the boat into gear and you have probably even taken the wheel on your test sail. We are all good at something and we may be nice people, but do you know how to check the engine oil level on your new boat? Many don't. What about the cooling system? Any ideas there? When it comes to boats, or anything else for that matter, we know what we know. Buying a boat for the first time, is in a real sense, sailing off on a brand new voyage of learning.

There are lots of options around and opportunities to learn 'on the job'. Join the Royal Yachting Association, lots of good things there. If you are mooring your boat in a marina, you are onto a real winner. Generally speaking, we boaters are a sociable bunch and the type of people that love to encourage newbie's to learn. We were all beginners once and still have time to think about, and mentally thank the ones that helped us. You can confidently expect to be helped by someone you've only recently met in the marina bar. There are of course, the occasional misfits, but generally speaking if someone is in that class you will be advised by other club members.

There is also a lot of help and advice in the more popular boating magazines. Immerse yourself in the culture of boating and absorb everything you can.