For those that love the open water, investing in a new boat can offer a lifetime supply of adventure and fun. There are few experiences quite as riveting than going out over the ocean and enjoying everything from the scenery to the feel of the wind as the boat cuts through the water.
Most boat owners will agree on one thing: owning a boat takes a lot of hard work. There are countless things that can go wrong at any time, and it can be especially problematic when the sailor is out in the middle of the ocean.
Boats can be both robust and reliable, but not everything can work all of the time, and it isn’t uncommon for the vessel to stop suddenly when it was seemingly working just a few minutes beforehand.
Buying a boat can be an exciting time. It can take years’ worth of saving every cent possible before the perfect vessel presents itself. And most new owners can only dream of the amazing adventures that they plan on going on once their brand-new boat is in their possession.
The excitement can quickly come to an end, however, when said owner begins to encounter certain problems that they would have otherwise never thought of.
There are few things quite as scary than facing down a raging storm while in the middle of an ocean, and it’s something that even the most experienced sailors worry about during their time on the water.
Modern boats are extremely robust and are usually able to withstand even the worst that nature can throw at them, but they’re not Impervious to all damage, especially if the right precautions aren’t taken.
Gone are the days of wooden boats and 40 horse power engines and in their place are powerful sailing and motor yachts with sophisticated shapes and styles that are more akin to luxury hotels than stuffy ships. This luxury vessels come at a price, and owning your own boat, is the true measure of success.
The luxury of owning a fishing boat or cruising vessel to call your own comes at price. It’s not only about buying the boat. That initial investment is then topped by various fees such as hiring skippers, stewardesses and other crew, moorings and maintenance. This ocean-going lifestyle comes at a price, and its one that few people think they can afford.
There are few better ways of spending a quiet day than out on the open water with friends and family. The serenity of the ocean combined with the huge freedom of movement means that it’s possible to travel out into the true middle of nowhere and have a few good hours of relaxation.
But not everything can always be sunshine and good times, and sometimes accidents do happen, especially in an environment that’s as unpredictable as the ocean.
Whatever type of boat you have and whatever type of fishing you enjoy, there are some things you need to do to ensure that you always enjoy your day on the water.
Take heed of these great tips and you’ll have the best experience every time.
Even if the sun is not shining, the glare from the water can give you a nasty burn. Always wear sunscreen on any parts of your body that are exposed, and if you are wearing a shirt or pants, make sure they offer adequate UV protection too.
Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your lips too, as they can burn badly.
Wear polarised lenses
Polarised lenses area fisherman’s friend as they not only protect your eyes, they also provide a great view of the water, as they don’t simply block out all the light. With polarised lenses you are far more likely to spot a flash of a fish as they provide a different type of transparency.
And landing a big catch is just as satisfying as winning big playing the online pokies Australia has to offer, so make sure you give yourself the best possible chance.
Be prepared for all weather
This is especially true if you are out on a boat on the water. Weather can change fast and you need to ensure that you have a warm top and pants just in case.
Bear in mind that you may also get wet while on the water, so a waterproof jacket can help stave off the cold and the damp when the weather turns.
Keep fresh water at hand
Staying hydrated is crucial, and even if you are not in the sun, you still need to have access to an adequate supply of fresh water.
The old adage of water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink is not funny when you have been fishing for hours and may not be close to the shore with no relief in sight.
Keep contact open
Always ensure you have some way of making contact if you need help. Tell someone where you are going and if you are on your boat, make sure you have flares and other emergency signalling equipment just in case.
Emergencies happen when you least expect them, so be prepared!
Learn from experience
If you are new to the whole boating scene learn from others or try and take someone out with you who has experience.
If you want to enjoy your fishing trip and feel comfortable on the water try and round up an experienced fisherman who can step in if you run into any trouble with your boat or with your fishing equipment.
Have enough life jackets
The Titanic was unsinkable and it sank, so your boat could well sink too if the worst comes to the worst. Make sure that you have adequate safety equipment and life preservers, even if you are only going out for a short sail.
Anything can happen on the water, and you need to be ready to act if it does and have the necessary equipment at the ready. This is extra important if you are taking children out on the water.
If you want to be a better boater and to ensure your boat is always in tip top condition, these tips will give you the edge, every time.
Wipe off dew
Morning dew is actually distilled water. If you wipe off your boat using it, your boat will be spotless and it will cost you nothing.
Remove old wax
If you want a spotless shine you need to get rid of old wax before you add new. Use a dewaxing solvent to rid your boat of last seasons wax and you’ll get a great shine with added protection.
Natural mould remover
If the idea of using bleach is off putting, use vinegar to remove mould. Vinegar does the job naturally and leaves a lovely shine.
Remove gelcoat residue safely
If you need to remove paint and adhesive reside without damaging gelcoat, oven cleaner works extremely well and leaves no damage or trace.
Create a crisp waterline
Use masking tape that you have burnished by rubbing the edges with a paintbrush handle or dowel stick.
Carry a spare belt
We’ve all heard about how pantyhose or duct tape can serve as a belt in an emergency, but rather always ensure you carry a spare belt just in case! Belts are not about to break the bank and you won’t have to spend all your online slots Australia winnings just to be prepared.
Protect outboard prop shafts in transport
Cut a section of PVC tubing and wrap it around the prop shaft while transporting your boat. This cushions the prop and the splines while you are in transit.
Clamp hoses properly
Worm gear hose clamps may be cheaper, but they can also cause the hoses to wear and distort, leading to leaks and potential bursts. Rather opt for the T-clamps as they do not allow for distortion.
Eliminate free play in hydraulic steering
If this is an issue, add fluid to the helm pump to see if it alleviates the problem. Only add small amounts at a time till you get the desired reaction.
Cracking and glazing on engine belts is a major cause of failure. Check your belts regularly and ensure the proper tension is always in play.
Check exhaust systems regularly
Always keep your exhaust systems well maintained. No only can they cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a faulty exhaust can sink a boat. Ensure fasteners, plumbing and supports are all in good condition and replace any parts that sow signs of wear and tear.
Long haul soaping
If you’re transporting your boat long distance always rub it down with liquid dishwashing soap before you set off. When you get to your destination hose it off, and all bugs, dirt and grime will be washed away too.
Beware of fishing line
If fishing line gets wrapped around any part of your boat or motor, always check the parts carefully for signs of damage. If line is wrapped around a sterndrive or outboard prop shaft you should always have the unit pressure tested, as the oil seals may have been damaged.
Soap the rails
If you have a carpeted trailer bunk or a bunk that sticks when offloading your boat, apply liquid dishwashing soap. It won’t damage your boat or the rails.