Cost of Owning a Boat for Your Use

Do you enjoy spending time on the water? If so, the thought of buying a boat is one that must have crossed your mind at some point. Before committing to buy a boat, make sure to first fully understand the cost of owning a boat. But given the significant investment you’ll be making to committing to but a boat, it won’t be a surprise if you’ve got second thoughts.

Cost of Owning a Boat

It’s important first to understand the costs involved to consequently enjoy an amazing experience on your boat. By doing this, you’ll be able to use your boat for watersports, cruising, and fishing while having a good time with your family and friends. Here’s in-depth coverage of all the things to consider when buying a boat.

Buying A Boat Cost

One of the most important things you need first to ask yourself is how much the boat costs. Knowing this is important because boat prices vary greatly depending on its size, type, condition, age, options, or whether it’s new or preowned.

The guiding factor to consider is understanding how much time you’ll spend on water and the activities you enjoy doing. With this in mind, you’ll be able to establish which type of boat best suits your needs.

Many financing options are making your dream of owning a boat a reality due to their surprisingly affordable rates. The interest rate paid for a pre-owned boat is usually higher than that of a new boat. Don’t forget to make a buying a used boat checklist before buying these boats.

Furthermore, if you place more money, the less money that’ll be spent on interest.


The taxes paid on buying a boat varies from one state to another. For example, if you buy a boat in South Carolina, you’ll be required to pay the tax that’s 10.5% of the boat’s assessed annual value if it has been in the state for over 180 days. However, you won’t be required to pay any taxes for buying a boat in Rhode Island.


Having boat insurance is vital if you’re a boat owner. With one, you can be sure that your boat investment should it be stolen, damaged, or involved in an accident, your hard-earned money isn’t lost.

The amount of money you pay for boat insurance varies and depends on numerous factors such as your accident history, the boat’s value, and the type of boat you own.

Therefore, it’s mandatory to have boat insurance coverage unless you’re planning to use your boat on a private lake on your personal property.

This is especially vital considering close to 5,000 recreational boats each year are involved in boat accidents. Therefore, it’s clear that the expenses you might face from a boating accident might be enormous.


The registration cost of boats varies from one state to another. If you’re looking to register a boat in New Jersey, be ready to spend over $250 for a boat that is longer than 65-feet.

Mooring (Bigger boat/small boat)

Knowing how much exactly the cost of mooring is can be quite challenging as it differs depending on the nature of a marine and the region.

Mooring Cost of Owning a Boat

Therefore, you’ll need to set aside enough time to do enough research to know how much exactly it’ll cost you every season.

How much you need to pay varies from several hundred dollars every month when storing a runabout in a municipal marina to one thousand or more dollars each month for a huge boat stored in a yacht club.

Many marinas charge a slightly lower fee for a long-term lease as opposed to the monthly payment. You might also qualify for a discounted price for areas with cooler climates if you choose a winter om-site storage option. Therefore, it’s advisable to always factor in winter lay-up expenses when doing your calculations.

Boats that are stored on trailers are also are subject to a certain level of storage expenses. This is because most urban trailer-boat owners prefer to have their boats at a secure storage facility. By doing this, you save yourself from the risk of having to deal with vandalism or theft, hence saving you money.

Furthermore, you’ll spend more on fuel expenses if you reside far from a boat ramp due to trailing the boat back and forth, unlike storing it near the water.

Another vital aspect of mooring you must consider is ensuring the proper securing of your boat. By not doing this, your boat might break free or get banged against pilings, and this, in the long-run, might necessitate you to spend more money on repair cost.

Trailer is Another Boat Owning Cost

If you want a trailer to transport your boats, this might increase its buying price and, in some cases, is included as a package of the deal. It’s something commonly practiced by boat shows, dealerships, and at seasonal dealer sale events. This is usually done in cases when the trailer translates to sale conversion for the dealer.

The trailer needs to be maintained to ensure its overall condition doesn’t get ruined. This entails inspecting the brakes, tires, general maintenance, and monthly storage fee if storing your boat in the water isn’t possible.

Winter Storage

If you live in the colder climates, setting aside money for winter storage is essential. This is because you’ll need to do boat winterization prep for your boat and engine. In addition to this, you’ll need to buy a sturdy cover to safeguard your boat from winter winds, rain, and snow, which might destroy your boat.

If you choose outside storage of your boat in winter, the cost of shrink-wrapping your boat averages between $10 to $15 per foot. Therefore, you’ll have to spend between $200 to $300 for a boat, which is 21 feet.

For inside rack storage, you’ll need to pay a lot more as this provides your boat with improved protection from the elements. This means the cost per foot is $50, meaning for the same 21 feet boat, you’ll pay around $1,000 in preparation for winter.

Maintenance Cost will Always be There

The cost of maintaining a boat varies depending on its age and size. However, everything you need to shop to maintain your boat successfully is the same. This means the routine inspection of essential parts such as safety equipment servicing, engine servicing, sail, and rig servicing, as well as winter and anti-fouling.

It also entails the repair of one-off issues, including hull damage, equipment failures, engine problems plus upholstery, and interior wood repairs.

If you’re into doing DIY repair tasks, there are some maintenance stuff you can do by yourself. Nonetheless, there are other issues that you’ll most certainly need help from a qualified professional. With that said, you need to know that maintain your boat costs money as well as time.

Therefore, you must never ignore time management when organizing contractors, keeping lists, carrying out administrative tasks such as annual mooring, and renewing an insurance cover.

Oil/Fuel Changes

Many boats use plenty of fuel, meaning you need to be ready to spend a substantial sum of money than what you spend on your vehicle. For example, assume the price per gallon is $2.50, with this much lower than the actual rate in most places.

If you go ahead and use an average of 25 gallons of fuel per hour, which is the average for fast boast cruising at speed, you’ll end up spending $300 for a five-hour trip. This translates to over $16,000 per annum if you’re using your boat more than once each week.

If you own a slower pontoon boat, the amount spent on gas is a lot lower. This is because most use about five gallons each hour, meaning the annual fee cost will be near $3,000 for a similar number of hours cruising on the water. Therefore, how much fuel you spend on your boat depends on the speed.

Safety Items

When buying a boat, you must always factor in the safety gear, including paddles, life jackets, signal flares, and horns.

If you’re looking to buy extra accessories, you shouldn’t pressurize yourself into buying everything simultaneously. Instead, you should buy things gradually with an excellent plan to buy an additional boat accessory every fall and spring.

The most popular accessories you should look to buy include watersports towing equipment, stereos, lighting, among many others. As you buy these items, make sure to spend your money wisely, and consequently, you’ll be able to enjoy great fun on your boat.

Navigation Equipment

Are you planning to take an overnight trip or venture far away from the port? If so, you’ll need to factor in the price of installing a GPS when assessing the cost of owning a boat.

For a low-end GPS, you’ll need to spend at least $200. Nonetheless, if you’re on a tight budget, installing a GPS isn’t necessary and should instead focus on sticking familiar waters.

Education And Boating Licenses

All states require you first to get a boating safety and education certificate to get permission to use the boat. The set requirements differ from one state to another, but these boat licenses might be finalized online in many cases.

Furthermore, this online boating license or education in many of the states is done by a third-party, with the cost ranging between $29 to $50. You’ll only be required to pay this amount once you’ve managed to complete the course successfully.

These boat courses are meant to present information on all boating aspects with the goal not to make it difficult but to raise awareness instead.

During the course, you’ll learn about the state boating regulations, navigation rules, ways to enjoy watersports, boating terminologies, and basics and ways of handling boarding emergencies. You’ll also need to consider administrative fee, which varies across states.

Grand Total For Cost of Owning a Boat

Once you factor in all the costs mentioned above, it’ll be easier to determine the actual cost of owning a boat. Here’s a breakdown of the costs you’ll need to pay.

The buying price of the boat: $20,000

Taxes: This amount differs from one state to another

Insurance: $300

Registration: Varied rates

Dock or Mooring Fees: This cost differs.

Little boat: $500

Trailer: $1,000

Winter Storage: $2,000

Maintenance: $2,000

Gas: Free

GPS: $500

Safety Kit: $500

Grand Total: $26,800

You’ll need to spend a total of $26,800 when buying the first year of a boat. In addition to this, you’ll be required to pay for the maintenance of your boat, which includes maintenance cost, winter storage, and insurance. All these costs total to $4,3000, which translates to $358 each month.

However, this cost doesn’t take into account dock or mooring fees, registration, and taxes. Therefore, a total of $26,800 doesn’t show the actual cost of owning a boat, which is greater than this.

It’s thus evident that buying a boat is an expensive investment, even though the monthly maintenance cost isn’t that bad. Either way, you still need to do a lot of thinking before deciding to buy a boat to avoid causing yourself financial strain.


Knowing the actual cost of owning a boat is essential before you go out to buy one. If you didn’t know about the costs involved, reading through this detailed article has offered you useful insights.

Therefore, now that you know about all the costs involved, it’ll be a lot easier to make an informed decision about whether buying a boat is a practical decision.

Types of Lake Boats | Find The Best For You

Are you searching for a boat to enjoy yourself on the lake? If so, the first thing you need to do is learning about the different types of lake boats to consider. This is vital because the wide variety of options might make it somewhat challenging for you to pick one that best suits your needs.

Types of Lake Boats

If you’ve been going through such a problem, worry no more. This article is a detailed guide on the type of lake boats you should consider buying. However, before deciding the kind of boat to buy, make sure first to consider the lake you intend to use your boat. Moreover, you need to consider the type of boating activities you enjoy perfuming. With this in mind, here are the different types of boats you need to consider.

Ski and Wakeboard Boats

If you’re into adventure and want a boat that provides you with immense power, then consider getting a ski or wakeboard boat. The difference between the wakeboard and ski boards usually comes in their field of action.

You can tell of this difference since in-board wakeboard boats have deep hulls, incorporate a V drive engine system, and a big wake to start moving. In contrast, ski boats usually need a powerful acceleration range, with the engine’s propeller and shape accentuating it.

Ski and Wakeboard Boats

Therefore, with the wakeboard and ski boats, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a captivating experience while out on the lake. Nonetheless, these boats are expensive and with the average ski boar priced between $25,000 to $50,000.

Pontoon Boats | A Popular Type of Lake Boat

Another popular type of boat used on lakes is the pontoon boat. This boat’s size ranges between less than 16 feet to over 25 feet and features a broad range of sizes, performance, and amenities.

Nowadays, these boats are rigged to deliver enough power to skiers and tow tubes to cruise at speeds of 40 MPH or faster as opposed to in the past when they were only used for slow cruising.

Pontoon Boats for Lakes

The amenities found in this boat range from basic to luxurious, with the different options aimed at fishing, watersports, and entertainment.

Handling a pontoon boat is very easy and stable on the water. Moreover, they have a huge interior space, so you can accommodate your entire family and friends when sailing through the lake.

This boat’s downside is loading a trailer onto it is quite challenging and don’t handle rough water as excellent as other boats such as the deck or runabout boat. It also isn’t very efficient or fast as these boats, something some boat enthusiasts don’t love about it.

Fishing Boats

These boats come in different sizes and are designed specifically for fishing both on fresh and saltwater bodies. Fishing boats can either be un-manned or manned and incorporate many useful features that make it an ideal choice.

This includes having rod lockers, live well, an outboard power cell, a trolling motor system, and a front bow. These many useful features give its many appealing traits such as durability, strength, and stability.

Fishing Boats

Unlike other boats built to be used on rivers and lakes, fishing boats have more robust build quality, making it more than capable of withstanding extreme conditions and saltwater.

It’s also taller in size, and for the fishing boats made from aluminum, they’re very durable and weigh less.

Furthermore, fishing boats usually feature two or three anglers on board and have a slim profile, making them the perfect choice when fishing. You’ll need to pay about $5,000 when buying a small fishing boat of decent quality.


This boat has a size of between 17 to 35 feet and has an open bow area where additional seats are positioned in front of the helm. They provide you with great flexibility in terms of speed, power, usage, and access to beaches, land, and coves. In addition to this, they’re powered by an outboard engine or stern drive.

If you’re new to water sports and fishing on lakes, bowriders are the perfect boats since they’re user friendly.


The bowrider’s starting price of acceptable quality is $15,000, and you can use it for swimming, watersports, or cursing.

High-Performance Boats

Do you enjoy incredible speeds while cruising in the lake? If you do, then consider buying a High-Performance boat, which is typically built for speed.

The unique features of this boat include a high power to weight ratio, a steep deadrise, as well as a narrow beam. Inside, this boat features cockpit seats that can accommodate two to six passengers and Spartan cabins.

High Performance Lake Boats

Another feature found on this boat includes surface drives, stern drives, and high horsepower outboards. As a result, this boat, which has a length ranging between 25 to 60 feet, is strong, light, quick, and an excellent choice for fast cruising or racing.

When looking to buy this boat, the minimum amount of money you’ll need to spend is $50,000, while the premium models cost millions.


When looking for a boat that includes all the needed amenities while out on the lake, the yacht is a perfect choice. These boats’ use is mostly for relaxation, and their sizes vary significantly from 39 feet and above.

Moreover, the yacht may either feature one or two diesel engines depending on the navigation requirements, whether for use in the ocean or inland water bodies.


There are many different types on the market, meaning you’re spoilt for choice. The popular varieties include Cruising yachts, Day sailing yachts, luxury sailing yachts, Weekender yachts, among many others, depending on your individual needs.

The starting price of yachts is about $30,000, which depends on its feature and size.

Cabin Cruisers| Comfortable Lake Boat

Do you want to enjoy a relaxed sailing while out on the lake? If you do, then cabin cruisers are, without a doubt, one of the best picks due to the many essential and exciting features it incorporates.

This boat comes designed with a berth and galley and thereby provides you with modern comforts, including power generators and air conditioners. It also features a secure shaft drive mechanism, deep-V bottom, and rudder steering and is perfectly suited for use in salty water.

Cabin Cruisers

If you want to buy a cabin cruiser, be ready to spend at least $10,000, and this price continues to increase as you increase the size.


This type of boat is unique as it depends on sails and masts to navigate through the water powered by the winds instead of a diesel-powered engine, which might only be installed as a backup. As a result, it has a majestic feel brought about by its easy open-air feeling, making its riding experience out of this world.

However, before you know the sailing basics and get to perfect how to ride sailboats, you must perfect your skills on how to rig. Furthermore, you need to be open to working with a team as it’s something that requires both technique and teamwork.


When looking to buy a sailboat, the minimum starting price is $10,000, but other models are usually expensive, averaging several hundred thousand dollars.

Personal Watercraft (PWC)

One of the most popular types of boats you’ll find on most natural water bodies is PWC boats. These boats are also referred to as jetski or water scooter and incorporate customizations that make it suitable for undertaking adventures.

With this recreational boat, you can partake in various games, including sportfishing and water-skiing, hence why it’s especially popular among the youths. It also is an excellent choice for exploring water.

Personal Watercrafts

Personal Watercraft comes in two types, that is, the stand-up and sit-down models. The stand-up models can only be used by one rider, whereas the sit-down models are perfect for two or more persons. If you’re looking to buy this boat, be ready at about $5,000. You can have a look at the buying guide for PWC.

Bass Boats | Useful Lake Boat

This is also another boat type of lake boat that you need to know about when looking to buy a boat to do freshwater fishing. The size of bass boats usually ranges between 14 feet to 23 feet.

Furthermore, incorporated into its design is a V hull as a low freeboard. Therefore, when searching for a boat to use on rivers and inland lakes, look no further since bass boats are the perfect pick.

Bass Boats

Nevertheless, these boats are costly as they incorporate high horsepower outboards, special gear as well as trolling points. With an average length of 15 to 25 feet, these boats’ starting price is $10,000.

Inflatable Boats | Cheap & Good Enough

Another type of lake boat you need to know about is the inflatable boats, which have a length between 6 to 14 feet. On the sides of this boat are inflatable tubes, and its floor is either made using rigid or flexible aluminum or plywood depending on its size. They also feature outboard motors that are useful on a rigid transom.

Inflatable Boats

The best part about inflatable boats is that they’re easy to transport due to their deflectable design. Because of this, these boats are generally used like dinghies on bigger boats. If you’re new to boating, this is a great boat to get as its affordable with a starting price of $150. Other more expensive models cost $10,000.

Deck Boats

These boats are available in a broad range of sizes, from not more than 16 feet to over 27 feet. Deck boats are usually designed with fiberglass with others incorporating aluminum construction.

When buying this boat, you should choose between jet propulsion, sterndrive, and outboard.

Deck Boats (Photo Nautical Ventures)

Deck boats have an open bow that has a lounge space and is designed in a sporty look. Therefore, if you want a boat with a spacious and big deck area to relax while still having a V-shape for cruising, look no further.

This boat’s price ranges between $15,000 to more than $100,000 depending on its size, varying from 12 to 30 feet.


There are numerous types of lake boats to choose from, and finding the ideal one can sometimes be confusing. If you didn’t know where to start in your search for a lake boat, this article has been of immense help to you. Now that you know this, it’s a lot easier to know which of these boats mentioned above is best suited for your needs.

Winterizing A Boat Checklist To Avoid Damages

After the boating season is over what you need to think about is how to winterize your boat and protect your valuable asset. Winterizing a boat checklist will definitely help to do so. The effort and time you put on winterizing can go a long way in affecting its performance and will save you money, time, and effort come spring.

Winterizing A Boat Checklist

Preparing your boat for winter requires various steps that should be performed so that the boat is kept in the best possible condition. Step one on how to winterize a boat is to create a checklist of everything which needs to be achieved. Here is a step by step winterizing a boat checklist.

  • Start by inspecting the boat for damage which needs to be repaired
  • Clean propeller shaft before applying protective grease
  • Install a de-icing device inside the boat and store in water
  • Inspect then repair wiring
  • Ensure that the fuel valves are sealed
  • Change the oil as well as any filters
  • Use fresh water so as to flush the engine, afterward ensures that you drain everything
  • Lubricate grease fittings of the engine
  • Grease external engine fittings
  • Circulate antifreeze via engine block as well as manifolds
  • In case the boat has an inboard motor you can change the transmission fluid
  • Clean the boat inside and outside then remove barnacles or plant life
  • Remove valuables inside the boat
  • Remove the battery and store in a dry and safe place
  • Ensure that you lock the boat and the keys are left with a responsible person

How to Winterize a Boat for Avoiding Loss?

Step 1

You can start by cleaning out the interior of your boat like water sports equipment or fishing, accessories, ladders, and floatation devices.

Also, ensure that you remove non-factory installed electronic equipment like depth finders, and external audio players then storing them indoors so as to prevent theft or damage.

You can thoroughly clean the floor of the boat or pontoon boat so as to remove dirt, food crumbs, and dust. Also, ensure that you wipe down everything inside the boat then ensure it is dry. This will eliminate the chances of mildew or mold growing inside the boat thus making the pontoon boat less prone to rodents. In addition, clean off the exterior of the boat so as to ensure it is dry before you cover the boat.

How to Winterize a Boat

Step 2

Ensure that you remove equipment from inside the boat. You can remove any miscellaneous equipment from the boat. This includes anything from floatation devices such as tubes, skis, floatation devices, towels as well as fishing equipment which traps moisture leading to mildew.

Additionally, ensure that you remove any electronic equipment that should be removed then stored indoors so as to protect it from moisture and cold temperatures.

Step 3

Confirm that you winterize the fuel tank and engine. Because the engine of your boat will remain dormant for a few months, ensure that it is well protected. Ensure that you check the owner’s manual because it shows you the specific instructions on how to prepare the engine for storage during winter.

During cold temperatures, any water inside the boat’s engine expands thus resulting in damage and cracking. You can lubricate the engine cylinders then spray fogging oil into spark plug holes as well as carburetors.

From there, ensure that you store the boat inside a fuel tank which is 3/4 full. In case, the fuel comes with ethanol, you can add a fuel stabilizer that protects the fuel.

Like the engines, the freshwater system, waste system, fixed generators, and fixed air conditions should be taken care of. The water should be reduced from the tanks and the antifreeze should be circulated through the lines and tanks.

In Step 4

Make sure that you charge then store the battery. In case you are planning on taking your boat outside the water, you can remove your boat battery as well as store it inside a dry environment which is near room temperature. Ensure that your boat’s battery is charged fully before it is stored away.

The final step ensures that you cover the boat with the right winter boat cover. You can choose to cover your boat with a tarpaulin which is designed to withstand harsh winter and extreme temperature conditions. A good winter cover should fit the boat snugly as well as expand and contract slightly so that it does not rip from changes in temperature.

Step 5 of Boat Winterization

After preparing everything properly we need to cover the boat and the trailer with a good quality boat cover. Different types and shapes of covers are available in the market.

A Brief Video on Boat Winterization

How to Winterize a Boat Motor?

The first step is to prepare your boat motor for winterizing. To reduce the chances of the tank being filled with air, you should fill it with gas. Air is not a good thing because it can lead to condensation when the temperature is low.

If you fail to fill up your tank with gas, you will end up with water inside which can lead to major problems later on. From there add fuel stabilizer which prevents buildup when the boat is left for extended periods. Next, warm the engine by running it while in water.

The second step, add antifreeze as well as spraying fogging oils. After cleaning the motor ensure it is prepared as above. You can add antifreeze so as to prevent condensation of water inside the motor.

In addition, make sure you add antifreeze to engine blocks. It is important that you follow the boat’s manufacturer specifications on how to drain the engine block. The antifreeze to add once you drain the engine block of the coolant is propylene glycol. You can also add antifreeze to sterndrives, which refer to an inboard motor.

The third step, ensure that you replace the oil filter and change the engine’s oil. It is easier to drain then change the oil when it is warm. Your transmission as well as engine oil can be contaminated with particles and dirt, which harms it during winter when it is not dealt with well.

You can change your transmission and engine oil which can be contaminated with dust particles and dirt.

Fourth step and finally, conduct a final inspection of the boat motor. The first inspection to do is to check the exhaust system for corrosion. To inspect the exhaust system you need to disassemble it from the water lift muffler then check for defects such as corrosion.

Second, inspect the hose clamps and hoses. Check the clamp and ensure it is shredded, cracked, or rusty. The third inspection to do is to seal off cracks from the air intake.

You can double-check the exhaust outlet and air inlet. Ensure that you take care of the battery and remove then keep it indoors. You can choose pests whether you keep them in storage or lift. Invest in theft prevention so that you can stay vigilant as well as a stop so as to check on the boat once after a while.

Boat Winterization Kit

If you have already researched on winterizing a boat checklist, then you probably have come across the term “winterization kit”. Simply put, a winterization kit refers to a compact supply of different tools and supplies which are needed to winterize a boat yourself.

Unless you live in sunny areas that allow you to boat throughout the year without worrying about the cold season, you should think early about preparing your boat for the winter season. You can find a trusted and reliable shop that sells winterization kit that you can count on, which allows you to maximize your boating experience the following season.

Even if you are a DIYer, it is likely that you will winterization kits that you can use to protect your valuable asset. In case you have never winterized your boat yourself, it is recommended that you choose Starbrite’s Do It Yourself Kit. This winterization kit comes with everything you need to protect your boat during the winter season, including step by step instructions on how to use the kit.

Other winterization products you can get include Starbrite and Camco. The benefit of these winterization kits is that they come with items such as an antifreeze jug, including tubing which pumps out moisture as well as antifreeze.

Some of the items which come with a boat winterization kit include antifreeze, tubing which is used to pump out moisture, and an antifreeze jug. If you are looking to buy a boat winterization kit, you can expect to spend anything from $50 to $100.

How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a Boat?

It is true that the cost of winterizing your pricey boat when the cold season sets in can be a drag. However, the cost of not winterizing your boat can be much higher.

If you fail to winterize your boat, you will find that the engine can be ruined by frozen fluids mildew and molds fouling the interior of the boat, cracks in the hull, wiring, and corroded spark plugs. Ideally, you should expect to pay around $300 for winterizing. However, if you are winterizing a small boat you should expect to pay something like $100 or a lesser amount.

In case, you have a large cabin cruiser or a specialty boat, then the amount you will pay to winterize it is much higher in the region of $500 to $600 or more. This might seem like an added cost for boat owners but it is cheaper compared to purchasing a new boat.

Do I Have to Winterize My Boat?

In case you live in places that have a warmer climate, then it Is easy to think that you do not have to winterize the boat. However, despite the warm climate, you should not be surprised when you experience freezing weather which can lead to costly damage if you failed to winterize.

If you stored your boat unwinterized inside the garage all winter, then you should monitor the weather so that in case there is a storm or the temperature drops you have a backup plan which includes a heating source.

It is important to winterize your boat during the cold season because it will save you money in the long run. Additionally, you can winterize your boat because it is not only effective to protect your pricey boat but also you can increase the lifespan of the boat.

In case you did not know, your boat is not just a precious machine but a complex one. During the spring season, you need to inspect if your boat is fine. It cannot be possible for someone to tell if the boat has thawed or frozen parts, but it is possible to see visible damage.

In case you failed to winterize your boat you should be ready for commissioning your boat. Thus winterizing your boat will keep it in a clean and perfect condition which will in turn affect the trade-in and resale value when you decide to upgrade it to the latest model.

If you want to avoid problems in the spring season, you can make a checklist of the things you should do in the cold season such as applying corrosion protection to the boat’s engine, adding fuel stabilizing additive to the fuel system, changing the engine’s fuel system, adding antifreeze to the plumbing system, and removing drain plugs.

What Temperature Do You Need to Winterize Your Boat?

The question of what temperature you need to winterize your boat is on everybody’s lips. It is important to note that the temperature you choose to winterize your boat will determine whether you get the most of your winterization process or not. According to experts, you should winterize your boat at temperatures between 29 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I Winterize My Boat Myself?

Yes, you can winterize your boat yourself and only spend a few dollars to complete the job. You do not have to incur the extra cost of hiring an expert to winterize your boat for you.

If you are a handyman, you can winterize your boat yourself. The benefit of this is that you will not only save money but also time. This is because winterizing your boat yourself will take less than one hour, which is less than the time you will spend driving the vessel.

Typically, you should expect to spend anything from $125 to $150 for doing it yourself boat winterization. However, while you are at it you should not hurry up to get the job done in record time because it could lead to waste.

How Long Does It Take a Boat Winterization?

The length of time it takes to winterize a boat will vary depending on whether it is DIY (do it yourself) or getting the help of a professional. Usually, DIY winterization of your boat will take a shorter time compared to when you seek professional help.

If you are a handyman, it should take you about 4 hours to winterize your boat. This includes draining the ballast system then blowing the lines for the shower and heater, including changing stuff in the engine such as oil change.

What Happens if You Don’t Winterize a Boat?

You may experience a lot of problems if you fail to winterize your boat. First is your engine which may crack and break in case the seawater lines are not properly drained which means that you can have cracked parts. Freshwater cooled engines that come with inadequate anti-freeze can also crack and freeze.

Dirty oil comes with acidic contaminants as well as salt which causes a wide array of problems thanks to corrosion. If you leave unchanged oil including unflushed engine, it might lead to damage which reduces the lifespan of your boat engine.

The second problem you will experience if you fail to winterize your boat has to do with the batteries. Batteries that are not completely charged at the beginning of winter can completely be discharged before the coming season can damage the life span of the battery.

Third, frozen bilge can sink in your boat in case it is left in the water during the cold season. The problem with frozen water inside the bilge pumps is that they do not go out.

Therefore, if they are run when frozen they will be damaged, while the expansion will lead to expansion and damaged forces from water. Also, through-hulls are in the water and it freezes thus getting damaged or cracked.

The fourth thing that will be affected when you fail to winterize a boat is the deck fittings and hardware. A boat that is left uncovered may have a pile of ice and snow on the decks which lets water inside the deck fittings and stanchion bases as well as other parts that are exposed to external elements. The deck areas that are around fittings may come with cracks which lead to water sipping inside via cracks and openings.

Fifth if you do not winterize your boat you risk it having molds and mildew. This is especially true if the boat is unventilated which traps moisture, leading to mold, mildew, and rot.

In addition, trapped moisture can expose the upholstery, boat canvas, curtains, as well as sails to the risk of mildew and mold. If you leave the boat uncovered it might accumulate dirt during the winter. Also, if you store the boat near trees, you are likely to find filth, rotted leaves, and stained deck during the spring.


To sum it up, you might think that winterizing your boat requires a lot of hard work and that you will spend a lot of money on repairs. However, the truth is that winterizing just before the cold months can save you lots of dollars as well as time.

Failing to winterize your boat in the name of saving your money can prove to be a costly mistake because the water inside your boat can freeze leading to damaged engines, pipes, or the boat itself. The benefit of winterizing your boat is that it will give you the peace of mind that you will not experience any problem when you want to take the boat back into the water.

Is Kayaking Good Exercise? Here is Why It is

If you are thinking of a way to keep fit and have fun then you should consider kayaking. Kayaking is one of the best outdoor activities that puts you right in the middle of nature and provides a great workout. When you go for kayaking, you will not only build lean muscles but also burn fat. The question that you are probably asking yourself is kayaking good exercise? Yes, kayaking is a good exercise.

Is Kayaking Good Exercise

Because kayaking engages your arms, it can be a good exercise for strengthening your arms and forearms. The controlled upper body twist that comes with kayaking can help enhance your core strength. Additionally, kayaking is one of the best ways to build your back, shoulders, and chest muscles. Most people can go for kayaking without requiring special training or skill, which makes it a great sporting activity for the entire family.


Physical benefits of kayaking

Reduced stress It goes without saying that exercise plays an important role in reducing stress. The good thing about kayaking is that it benefits users in more than one way because the kayak not only works your muscles as you paddle but also helps you relax as you paddle in open water.

If you are stressed out, you can kayak in a calm lake and enjoy the relaxing sound of the water and enjoy the fresh air as well as the natural environment.

Weight loss

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Adding exercise routine such as kayaking is a key factor that helps in weight loss. To move at a speed of 5 mph you are going to require approximately 0.1 hp of effort which burns about 400 calories per hour. So, if you kayak for 4 hours you are going to burn about 1600 calories.

Health Benefits Of Kayaking

Enhanced heart health

Kayaking can help raise your heart rate, which produces a wide variety of cardiovascular health benefits with time. When you are kayaking at a high level, you will not only burn more calories but also improve your blood pressure.

Additionally, your good cholesterol will go up while the bad cholesterol down, which makes it less likely to develop medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Flattens your tummy

Kayaking can help tone and flatten your tummy. If you want to glide over open water, you will need to paddle the kayak which takes lots of core movement and strength. Paddling the kayak with the 1-piece paddle on both sides requires twisting that targets muscles which might be overlooked by other workouts.

It strengthens your lats

If you want to be stronger, you need to work out your muscles. The muscle groups which benefit the most from kayaking are lats or lower back muscles. With every stroke you make on a kayak, your lats are heavily exercised. If you want to work out your lats more you should consider varying the rowing speed. You can choose rowing at a fast speed for a short time or do it more slowly.

Great source of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients required in the body so that at to function optimally. In case your body lacks Vitamin D, your bones might become brittle and break easily. The good thing about kayaking is that it gives you the opportunity to soak up the sun and get the vital Vitamin D. Kayaking for only 15 minutes in sunny areas can trigger Vitamin D production.


Mental benefits of kayaking

Exercising regularly has been proven to eradicate symptoms of mental health such as depression and anxiety. When you are physically active, it will increase blood flow to your brain and stimulate good hormones such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine.

Reports show that kayaking has a positive effect on mental health. Other studies have shown that aerobic exercises like kayaking can release chemicals into the body which can lift your mood, and provide a sense of well-being.

One of the benefits of kayaking is that it contributes to mental clarity. This means that your brain is calm even when you experience the beauty of nature while on open water.

The other mental benefit of kayaking is that it makes you happier. When you combine time spent outdoors as well as physical exercise, it is known that it can lead to happiness.

Additionally, kayaking can help reduce your stress levels. Therefore, if you are suffering from mental health problems like depression, you should consider engaging in a sporting activity like kayaking. Kayaks and canoes are different, but all these mental benefits can also be achieved by canoeing.

For more benefits, you can practice a few minutes of meditation and deep breathing while you are kayaking.


The social side of kayaking

Although a kayak is designed to be used by one person at a time, you should not kayak alone. Kayaking is a social activity that can be done with a team of kayakers.

For example, you can choose to paddle with family and friends. The benefit of this is that if you get into trouble, you will have someone to help you. As a beginner, you may find it difficult to kayak with other people but with time it will change. When you join a kayaking club, you will get the opportunity to bond and make new friends.


Is kayaking a good way to lose weight?

If you have been trying to lose your weight, then you will not go wrong with kayaking. But for kayaking to be considered as an effective weight loss workout it needs to effective at burning calories.

For you to see results, you need to exercise as often as you want. Kayaking for 1 hour via the waters can help you burn 400 calories. That means, if you spend 3 hours kayaking on the waters, it can burn up to 1200 calories.

This is why kayaking is considered to be one of the top workouts for those who want to burn more calories conventional weight loss such as jogging.


What muscles does kayaking exercise?

The first muscle group that kayaking targets are the ones available around your arms. The biceps and triceps are the muscles that help you paddle through the water. These muscle groups work in conjunction with the upper back to propel you forward.

The second muscle groups that are worked out are the ones in your hands and forearms. You will need a tight grip to hold on to a paddle and apply constant tension to your hands and fingers.

Third, you will work out the muscles available on your shoulders. After every pull, you will need to bring back the paddle which exercises the anterior, lateral, and rear deltoids of your shoulder.

The fourth muscle groups which are exercised while stroking a kayak are the ones in your oblique, lower back, and abdomen.

Fifth kayaking targets your lower body muscles which include muscles in your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves while you are on the water.


Is kayaking better cardio or strength?

Kayaking is a great strength workout because it strengthens your arms, shoulders, and lower body. As you push the paddle and twist your upper body, you are working out your shoulders, back, and chest.

Additionally, kayaking helps improve lower body strength and increase muscle strength. Kayaking might be good for strength but it offers more benefits when used as an aerobic exercise.

For you to enjoy a good cardio work out, you need to increase the pace and elevate your heart rate. This means you can burn between 400 and 500 calories in 1 hour of kayaking making it an effective cardio exercise just like using a treadmill or elliptical.


Is kayaking good for your back?

The answer to the question is kayaking a beneficial exercise for your back is yes. Paddling, balancing, and controlling a kayak can help strengthen your back muscles as well as lower back and spine muscles.

Make sure you use good posture and twisting motions as you paddle the kayak. With time, you will have a stronger back which is less prone to pain.


Is it easy to kayak?

Kayaking is a wonderful sport that can be learned by any beginner. Just like cycling, it is very simple to pick up the art of kayaking. Within a few hours of practicing, you will paddle along happily. Note that for you to do kayaking, you will need to work out your body.

Never forget to warm up before kayaking and start with mental and physical preparation for kayaking.


Disadvantages of kayaking

Sun exposure

One of the disadvantages of kayaking is that it leads to sun exposure. Kayaking for one hour might be dangerous but if you kayak for longer it can be a big threat. This may lead to health conditions such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, sunburn, and dehydration. To protect yourself from the sun, it is advisable that you wear sunscreen or a hat.


When you are exposed to too much sun while kayaking, it can lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration include confusion, dizziness, fatigue, and extreme thirst, which can adversely affect your ability to paddle a kayak. Also, kayaking requires a lot of energy which is why you need to stay hydrated. Depending on how hot it is outdoors, you need to carry enough bottles of water.


Hypothermia can occur when a kayaker is exposed to cold temperatures for extended time periods. This can happen if someone is submerged in cold water but can happen if you are badly dressed and paddling in cold air.



By now you know the answer to the question is kayaking good exercise. Kayaking is a wonderful exercise that strengthens your shoulder muscles, glutes, and core. As you move the paddle, you are strengthening the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and chest. Also, kayaking can lead to increased leg and torso strength as you power the kayak and rotate the torso, which applies pressure to your legs. Kayaking can give you a good cardio workout as you paddle the kayak through the waters.



Where Should You Avoid Anchoring For Safety?

Anchoring is arguably one of the trickiest aspects of operating a sailboat. It requires knowledge, precision, patience, and a healthy dose of self-confidence to boot. For rookie skippers, those early attempts can be nail-biting, to say the least. Where should you avoid anchoring? Did you drop enough cable for high tide? Should you trust your buddy when he says he knows the most incredible spot?

Where should you avoid anchoring

The point is anchoring a sailboat isn’t easy. There are scores of things that can go wrong – there’s a reason so many skippers are insomniacs – and the consequences may include putting yourself and any passengers in mortal danger. So, it’s a serious skill that even experienced captains never take lightly. Luckily, the rewards are intoxicating.

Once you know how to anchor a boat safely, you no longer need to rely on marinas or moorings for stationary docks. The open water can be your place to stop and think, to kick back, relax, swim, fish, or whatever else makes you feel peaceful. For many sailors, it represents the ultimate freedom. Why head back to dry land when you can spend the night gently rocking on the waves?


The Many Joys And Perils Of Anchoring

Nobody heads out for the first time without some knowledge of how to anchor safely. Regardless of whether you intend to drop anchor and sit stationary for any length of time, understanding the basics is vital. If an accident happens and you get stranded in out open water, the first thing to do is stop moving.

It’s essential to know which types of seabed tolerate anchoring, how to identify these safe spots, and when to watch out for anchor drag. Do it right and you’ll enjoy a tranquil night’s sleep. Do it wrong and you’ll be pacing the deck until the early hours flinching at every creak and groan. Nobody said sailing was easy.


Where Should You Avoid Anchoring And Why?

The following areas are unsuitable spots to anchor a boat. Let’s take a look at why anchoring in these areas is strongly discouraged.

  • Lee Shores
  • Fairways
  • Channels
  • Prohibited/Restricted Areas
  • Oyster/Mussel Beds
  • Unsuitable Sea Beds
  • Unsuitable Depths


Lee Shores

Lee shore is the term used to describe any shore positioned on the lee side of a sailboat. In this position, the wind is blowing from the open water and inwards toward the land. It leaves the boat stuck right in the middle. It can be difficult to escape a lee shore and, if a vessel loses control, it may be run aground by the pressure of the wind pushing it inland at high speed.

This is why you should never anchor on a lee shore. Pick a weather shore with the wind moving outwards and passing over the boat on its way out to open water. If your anchor drags and/or the engine fails, there must be plenty of space to leeward set the sails, and force your sailboat away from a collision with the shore.

Before heading out, check the weather forecast to know when and where these lee shores are likely to develop.


Fairways are established routes taken by vessels moving in and out of harbors or offshore mooring facilities. You must never anchor in a fairway because it’s dangerous and illegal in most areas. Think of it as a parking garage. There are lots of boats reversing, performing turns, and trying to maneuver into small spaces.

You can get information on fairways from the local harbor or regional sailing guides.


Anchoring in a shipping channel is twenty times more dangerous than stopping in a fairway but the reasons are largely the same. These channels are established routes for vessels passing through the areas, many of them extremely large indeed.

Let’s say anchoring in a shipping channel like setting up a tent in the middle of a traffic intersection. These areas are for moving vessels only and they tend to include sprawling container ships that can and will crush your little boat. If you’re planning to sail through unfamiliar waters, consult shipping maps and guides to find out where the channels are.

Prohibited/Restricted Areas

There are many reasons why areas of open water get marked ‘restricted’ or ‘prohibited.’ In either case, there are limitations to acknowledge in these spaces and they’re usually backed up by real, enforceable laws.

The most common reason for a prohibited warning is the environmental conversation. Anchoring may cause irreversible damage to marine species.

Restricted Area

The use of restricted zones is a little more varied. Sometimes, they represent conservation spots but more often they signify areas of the potential danger for boats. For example, restrictions are in place around offshore reefs because they are difficult to see. In other regions, such as the Caribbean waters, piracy is a big threat so sailing may be forbidden without special permission.

Oyster/Mussel Beds

Boats cannot anchor in or too close to live oyster or mussel beds. Anchoring causes extensive damage to these habitats which may then severely impact the livelihoods of local pickers and impair food supplies.

When consulting regional shipping maps and charts, look for areas marked with a cross. Where you see a cross icon, you are not authorized to anchor.

Conversely, some maps contain anchor icons representing popular and safe spots for stopping. These are the areas you can definitely navigate to and enjoy for an afternoon or evening.

Unsuitable Sea Beds

Part of the anchoring process is checking the condition of the seabed to determine whether it will tolerate your anchor. This is something you need to do every time even if you’ve successfully anchored at a spot before. Always remember, the seabed is in constant flux. It changes according to the weather.


Mud is a suitable surface for the majority of anchors. However, the bigger your anchor, the easier you will find it to stop here. It tends to be one of the simpler places to drop but be cautious all the same. Some mud is deceptively thin and may cause an anchor to drag because it doesn’t have the weight to hold it down.


Being right in the middle of sand and mud in terms of particle size, silt is one of the best materials for safe anchoring. It will comfortably hold most types and sizes of anchors.


Clay seabeds provide a very secure surface for nearly all anchors. In fact, clay is so secure an anchor may be reluctant to come back out. Those with sharpened tips are best suited to the job and will set more readily.


Sand is not as secure as clay or mud because it shifts much more rapidly. Nevertheless, harder sand seabeds are suitable for anchoring. You’re strongly encouraged to check the density of the sand where you are before attempting to anchor. The larger the anchor, the easier is it to stop in this type of seabed.


Neither gravelly, rocky or weedy seabeds are easy places to anchor a boat. All three materials can offer treacherous conditions because they do not grip and hold an anchor the same way as sand or mud. There is likely to be a substantial amount of drag if you try to drop in one of these areas.

Some types of anchors are better at holding in these conditions than others. We’ll discuss anchor styles in more depth later.

Unsuitable (Shallow) Depths

This is less of a concern for boats out on the open water, but something to think about for vessels planning to anchor close to shore. Without a rough awareness of the type of waters you’re sailing through and how to pinpoint their depths and shallows, you can’t know how to stop safely.

The length of chain and warp used must be significantly greater than the depth of the water you’re anchoring in. This allows a portion of the anchor’s chain to lie flat on the seabed. Horizontal pulling forces then place pressure on the anchor which causes it to dig into the ground and create a stronger, safer hold.

If not enough chain gets dropped, the anchor can drag across the seabed and take your boat with it. The rule of thumb is to drop a chain four times the maximum length of the depths you’re sailing in. With warp included, it should be around six times this maximum length. Leave space behind the boat when anchoring to accommodate for swing.


Veering Tips

The veering is the process of letting down cable after an anchor drop. For reasons already outlined, a sailor must be able to tell how much cable is beneath the waterline. If you’re anchored close to shore and the tide is dropping dangerously fast, one of the clearest indications will be the condition and position of your cable.

This is why it’s standard practice for sailors to tie brightly colored fabric wraps around anchoring cables. When this is done at measured intervals (every five meters), one glance at the cable tells them how much is still below the water and, more importantly, whether it’s enough for the anchorage to remain safe.

Fabric wraps and cloth ties are most common because pen markings fade quickly. Before creating your cable wraps, devise a clear code that you and any crew members can understand quickly.

For instance, you might use colors of the rainbow (as recited in the children’s song) or attach colored strips to the cable in alphabetic order (blue, green, red, etc.). To determine how much chain is below the surface, you must know the order of each colored tie in the arrangement and the distance it represents (e.g. 15m).

You can make up your own, completely original code. The important thing is that you understand it well. If you can’t work it out in less than five seconds, it’s not a very effective signaling system.


Which Type of Anchor Is Best For Your boat?

We’ve asked ‘where should you avoid anchoring,’ now let’s discuss the best type of anchor for your vessel. There are no hard and fast rules because sailing vessels come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The best thing to do is to consider the dominant bottom characteristics of the regions being frequented.

If you’re an experienced boater, you probably won’t be limiting yourself to just one or two regions. However, even well-traveled vessels tend to have a stomping ground. You can’t match every seabed, but you can make anchoring easier by being compatible with the areas you spend the most time in.

Needless to say, the heavier your vessel, the bigger and heftier your anchor must be to hold it stationary in open waters.

Lightweight (Danforth) Anchors

Light, easily maneuvered ‘Danforth’ anchors are commonly used on small pleasure boats. These anchors range in weight from 2.5lbs to 200lbs at their heaviest and produce a substantial amount of holding power for their slim frame and size. This combination of maneuverability and power makes them ideal for vessels with smaller weight capacities

Danforth anchors perform best in mud or hard sand seabeds. They are less effective in slippery, soft mud, and rocky seabeds.

Kedge (Navy) Anchors

This is what most people think of when they imagine an anchor. Kedge (or navy) anchors come in the traditional curved shape. They’re unsuitable for most pleasure boats as they depend solely on weight for safe anchoring. Only very large ships use kedge anchors for prolonged periods. They may be used for short term (lunch) anchoring on smaller sailboats that can tolerate a degree of drag.

As kedge anchors are not for burying (flukes don’t penetrate into the seabed), they’re compatible with grassy, weedy and rocky seabeds. They also perform well in hard sand seabeds. Anything looser (such as thin mud or sand) and you might experience drag as the flukes struggle to hook on a surface.

Grapnel Anchors

Grapnel anchors are the cheapest, most widely available anchors. They should be used only with very lightweight vessels such as canoes and Jon boats. Grapnels are unsuitable for serious sailing vessels (even smaller sailboats in most cases). They’re extremely light, easy to maneuver and simple to use but provide minimal holding power.

As such, Grapnel anchors are rarely dropped far from shore. They’re mostly used for short (lunch) moorings, wreck reef diving, scuba diving, and seabed retrieval (locating items dropped overboard).

Plow (CQR/Delta) Anchors

Plow anchors go by various names. You may see them called ‘CQRs’ or ‘Deltas’ after their different shapes. Delta style anchors have a standard shank. CQR style anchors have a pivoting shank to allow for firmer, stronger hold in more tolerant seabeds. Both styles are very effective and commonly used on small to medium-sized cruising boaters.

Plow anchors perform well in grassy, weedy and rocky seabeds because they are good at hooking into crevices. They are less effective in very soft seabeds.

Claw (Bruce) Anchors

Claw anchors are similar to plow anchors in that their curved flukes allow for a powerful hold within rocky, weedy seabeds. The difference is they have a uniquely shaped claw. With a strong enough anchor hold, a cruising boater can fully rotate without pulling its flukes out of the ground.

There’s a lot of room for error with a claw anchor. Its unique shape means even a poorly positioned drop won’t prevent the flukes from finding an anchor point.

Box Anchors

Box anchors really work great for offshore anchoring. It also works in lakes and rivers with firmness. These sophisticated high-performance anchors work with almost all types of seabeds.

I recommend this anchor to have in pontoon boats.

Mushroom Anchors

Mushroom anchors are very basic. They do not have claw-shaped flukes and, therefore, cannot hook into the seabed as other anchors do. They are straightforward weights that rest on the seabed and use a combination of heft and suction to stay still.

Mushroom anchors perform best in soft seabeds where their hollow bottoms can ‘stick’ to surfaces using suction. They are unsuitable for most large vessels and rarely found on anything bigger than small pleasure boats.

Next-Gen Anchors

Many sailors and fishermen are creatures of habit and prefer to stick to the familiar when anchoring. However, new anchor designs do emerge occasionally and there are next-generation shapes and styles currently on the market.

They include, but are not limited to, the Saraca Excel (convex), Mantus (hooped), Manson Boss (concave, no hoop), and Vulcan (weighted tip) anchors. These new styles are very effective and suit a wide variety of vessels.


Where Should You Anchor Your boat?

Asking ‘where should you avoid anchoring’ is only useful if we follow it up with practical knowledge of where it is safe to anchor. This next section will discuss safe anchoring techniques and the things you need to consider when anchoring in crowded waters.

Dropping the Right Length Of Cable

We touched on this a little earlier, but we’ll go into more detail now. The rule of thumb for dropping anchor cables is to use four times the maximum length of the water’s depth. This should be extended to six times the water’s depth if including the warp in your calculations. This method produces what’s known as the scope of your anchor, the ratio of cable to anchoring depth.

Get this right and you can leave your boat unmanned while sleeping soundly in the knowledge it is anchored securely. Get it wrong and you may drag, drift and find your boat floating somewhere else in the morning. The most difficult thing about calculating anchor scope is that rules of thumb only get you so far. They are just a starting point assumed for calm conditions in empty waters.

To be assured of a safe anchor scope, you need to get your calculator out and do some number crunching. Remember, the scope is the ratio of cable/chain to the complete anchoring depth. Complete anchoring depth takes into account the total depth at high tide plus any additional height from the top of the anchor roller to the waterline.

The total depth of water at high tide + height of the anchor roller above the water = complete anchoring depth

Total Depth Of Water At High Tide

To determine complete anchoring depth, first determine the total depth of the water at high tide. This isn’t easy to do – not accurately anyway – so most sailors use an approximated figure. As long as you make a reasonable judgment, your anchor will tolerate the extra distance. Figuring out the depth of the water is easy when you have a cable marked with colored ties at five-meter intervals.

To calculate how much deeper the water will be at high tide, use the following formula to estimate.

Tidal swing x (hours until next high tide ÷ hours between tide) = total depth of water at high tide

You should always account for the effects of high tide when anchoring. It’s particularly important in areas known for turbulent conditions. If the tide comes in strong and your sailboat’s anchor isn’t long enough, it could drag and even cause damage to the vessel.

General Rules of Thumb

Standard conditions (calm to moderate) – 4 to 5 x complete anchoring depth

Turbulent conditions (stormy, windy) – 5 to 7 x complete anchoring depth

Short term (lunch) anchor – 3 x complete anchoring depth

In some environments, it is suitable to use a smaller scope than you might normally. For example, areas with limited space such as crowded marinas and popular open water diving spots require a shorter anchor. It’s vital your sailboat doesn’t drift and twist on a long cable when it’s in a crowded area. This can cause collisions with other vessels.

In crowded spots, dockside mooring facilities will be available or prolonged overnight anchoring will be prohibited. It’s unlikely you’ll need to worry about anchoring powerfully enough for the whole evening.

Anchoring In Crowded Spaces

The key to anchoring safely in crowded spots is to determine the full circumference of the circle your vessel makes when the wind swings through the compass. If you anchor around multiple other vessels using rope/cable rodes but you are using a chain, your swing will differ from everybody else’s. They are likely to have a larger swing circumference so consider shortening your own anchor to avoid collisions.

Alternatively, you can ask the nearest skipper what length of chain or cable they would recommend. It’s never unwise to seek advice from others.

Anchoring In Severe Weather

The dangers associated with anchoring sailboats are almost always related to a lack of cable length. In open waters, where there’s no danger of collisions with other vessels, it is significantly more dangerous to drop too little chain than too much. Therefore, in severe weather, there is no reason not to drop extra length if you feel it’s required.

You will have to spend more time and energy hauling the chain back up but, sometimes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If there are other vessels close by, think more carefully about dropping a longer anchor. Regardless of the weather conditions, you must have plenty of space to safely swing.

Use the following formula to estimate the length of cable required for windy conditions close to shore (4 to 8 meters deep):

Wind Knots + 4 x Water Speed + Boat Length (in meters) = total anchor length required


What Is The Best Way to Retrieve An Anchor?

You’ve anchored your sailboat successfully without incident or accident. Now, it’s time to go home. What is the easiest and safest way to retrieve an anchor and start moving again? As with all sailing and anchoring processes, it largely depends on where you are and what conditions are like.

It is harder to retrieve an anchor safely in strong winds or currents if you are close to other vessels. You don’t have the same freedom to ride with the wind until you hit those calmer waters. Instead, you must account for the position of other boats and, particularly, the approximate time left for maneuvering a safe course after de-anchoring.

Retrieving An Anchor Under Power

The first thing to do is weigh down the boat’s anchor which just means tautening its cable. This is the standard pull and belay method. First, pull in a length of cable. Then, wind it securely around a cleat. Repeat until you can feel the whole cable go taut with no relaxed lengths left resting on the seabed. Belay.

If you have companions, ask a helper to switch the boat’s engine on and push forward at its lowest possible speed. This should be done very gently. All you’re trying to do is slowly dislodge the anchor with a little force. The boat needs only move until the rode is just past vertical. Once tripped, you can turn the engine off and continue pulling the anchor back up onto the boat.

Retrieving An Anchor Under Sail

If your boat is too small to have an engine or you’d rather not use it for tripping the anchor, an alternative method is to raise the sails. This is far more dangerous in crowded spaces so consider the decision carefully. The boat may start moving very quickly once the anchor is retrieved. Do you have enough time to safely maneuver to less crowded waters?

The method is largely the same whether you’re using an engine or sails to pull the boat’s anchor out of the seabed. Raise the sail only after the cable has been belayed and is taut enough to be tripped. Keep the sails unsecured until the anchor has been successfully retrieved and is back on the boat. This minimizes the chances of getting drawn.

Retrieving An Anchor Without Assistance

Retrieving an anchor is much harder and more dangerous when doing it alone without any assistance. It is a physically demanding task and requires a great deal of concentration and skill. It’s not impossible, however, and those who enjoy sailing alone become very adept at hauling their anchors overboard.

Again, the method is largely the same whether you’re using sails or the boat’s engine for tripping the anchor. The difference when doing it alone is you’re responsible for both roles. Alone, you need to pull and tauten the rode, belay the rode, and man the engine or manage the sails.

This is going to involve some rather frantic running back and forth between cleat and engine/sails. The process needs to be fast to ensure you don’t spin out of control while the anchor is being hauled. The more physically fit you are, the easier this will be. The sailboat will begin drifting off course as you pull up the anchor. The key is to do it quickly so you can race back and man the engine.

It’s not easy but, for those who love to go it alone, it’s always worth the effort.

What If the Anchor Gets Stuck and Won’t Move?

It’s a question that sailors have been asking for hundreds of years. Sometimes, an anchor simply won’t budge. No matter how it is pulled, twisted, and pried, it remains stubbornly tethered to the seabed. This can be a source of great frustration because, ultimately, there is no guaranteed way to free a stuck anchor.

If you try every trick and method and an anchor still won’t come free, the only option is to abandon it. This is another reason why it’s important to pick your anchoring spots carefully and only drop-in suitable conditions.

If your anchor won’t come free after using the engine or sails for extra pulling power, try one of these methods.

Short Haul

Pull up and belay the anchor cable until it is reasonably taut. Grab hold of the wrap tightly (wear protective gloves) and wait until the boat dips into the trough of a wave. As it rises on the next crest, pull hard. Oftentimes, applying tension at the right moment is enough to dislodge stuck flukes.

Ring Ding

Snap the retrieval ring and the buoy around the anchor’s cable. Then, switch on the engine and push forward at a 45-degree angle. This method applies the ring and the float in a rudimentary pulley mechanism. When combined with a gentle tug from the sailboat’s engine, it’s sometimes enough to free the anchor.

Leave It In Place

This should be a last resort because leaving debris in the water is always strongly discouraged. Nevertheless, if you cannot dislodge an anchor no matter how hard you pull and strain, the only option may be to abandon it.

If you must do this, cut the warp short before you leave the area. This prevents it from obstructing others. You must do this UNLESS you are definitely planning to come back and retrieve the anchor in some way.


The Final Words

In this article, we answered the question ‘where should you avoid anchoring’ and explored others relating to anchoring in crowded spaces, adhering to anchoring restrictions and retrieving anchors in the safest way possible. Hopefully, it has given you insight into the responsibilities and work involved with manning a sailboat of any size or capacity.

Few would argue with the notion sailing is one of the toughest hobbies to successfully learn and master. It’s lucky then that it’s also one of the most enchanting.


Buying a Used Boat Checklist For Avoiding Surprises

Buying a used boat is one of the easiest ways to achieve your sailing dreams, mostly if you have a little boating experience or a limited budget. Purchasing a used boat may be challenging and daunting, however, below are some of the things you should look into while buying a used boat.

Buying A Used Boat Checklist

Our Buying a Used Boat Checklist

When buying a used boat, one of the significant signs you should check out is the overall maintenance. The clues of the kind of love the boat had been portrayed eve in its fenders, lifejackets, and lines. Below are some of the things you should be keen on. You may also need to consult a pro when in doubt.

  • Think about your needs and use

Why do you need a boat? Do you use them for fishing or for having fun? How many people will be with you on the boat? Before going to get your boat you must think about these types of basic needs.

Another important point to think about is the type of boat you want. Think before you go for your one.

  • Don’t Forget to Check the Boat Documents

After selecting the type of boat, we need to confirm if the boat has registered documents. The documents will provide you with important information about the boat and the boat owner.

Check all the documents to understand the boat. You will be able to know when the boat has undergone services and revisions. If any part is changed recently, or if any of them needs to be changed, real conditions of the boat parts and many more things will come out through the papers.

  • Damage signs checkup

Moisture, flexing, mold, and cracking in the fiberglass and timbered areas such as transom, hull, and floor are indicators of decay, plywood delamination, fiberglass break down and decay in the stringers. These kinds of signs are indicators that the boat is not properly maintained.

Used Boat Inspection

If you find some problems in external inspection, try to estimate how much it may cost to repair the damages. Have a rough calculation to add to the expenditure list.

  • Oil testing

Be keen to identify engine wear and tear, which can be felt by the gritty feeling of oil between your finger. You should abandon the boat if the mechanic confirms it. The presence of milky oil in the lower unit or the engine means there is some water getting in.

A prop shaft that is bent can be uncoiled and worn out seal replaced. But that kind of impact might have caused some stress to the gears, and the bad news could be if the water is sipping in because the gears could get destroyed.

  • Examining fiberglass cracks below and above the waterline

Tiny cracks in localized parts are mainly cosmetic. They mostly appear around the screws that are not fixed correctly around the wind-shields, handles, and gunwales.

It is not much of a trouble, but it can get worse if not set. Cracks that exceed two inches indicate huge problems underneath. It would help if you asked whether the boat has ever been in a collision and also inspect for indicators that translate to massive repairs such as a gel coat. An expert is also very essential for the inspection.

  • Loose seat inspection

The loose seat could be as a result of the rotten floor or as a result of stripped bolts. The bolts get strained when one sits on the bench back while driving. The latter can get fixed quickly.

  • Mildew checkup

You should check whether the top of the boat, the seats, or the carpet has mildew or any other damage. Inspect the storage lockers also.

The covers and the upholstery can be replaced or cleaned, but lots of molds in the seats is not a good sign. Because fungi spread quickly, the areas with the spores may be an indicator of their presence in the wooden parts. A ski locker or a carpet, which is moldy, can also be a sign of more problems underneath.

  • Start the engine

Checking the engine is also crucial when buying a used boat. Check whether the engine start is a slip or rough, smoke, vibrate, or with a lot of noise. Plenty of oil or old gas in the first tune-up is easily fixed.

These symptoms are, however, indicators of more significant problems like low compression at the cylinders leading to the want of an expensive engine repair.

  • Inspect the electronics

When it comes to bilge pumps and burned-out bulbs, there are cheap solutions.

The presence of multiple devices failing to work could de due to a faulty battery or wiring is not a big problem. But when it comes to peeling up labels in the engine or melting of the insulation wires, there is trouble because that indicates that the driver is overheating.

  • Inspect the belts

Worn, thin, or cracked power-steering or alternator is a hint that the boat was not adequately maintained. The belts are supposed to be changed every 100 hours. When belts are damaged, laxity gets noted though you can cover it in your first service.

  • Survey the Boat if necessary

If you have selected a boat roughly but you don’t have sufficient knowledge to finalize the boat, you may take the help of a registered surveyor.

This type of service is not very costly today. It may cost something like 20 to 50 dollars only. But you will get great professional support to confirm your boat.

The boat surveyors may be particulars, from the insurance or from an agency.

Surveying a small boat may take around 20 minutes.


Advantages of Buying a Used Boat

Buying a second-hand boat

Buying a used boat has its benefits; that’s why some buyers would prefer going a used one to a new one. Some of these advantages are:

  • The price

One of the best advantages of buying a used boat is that you will buy the same boat at a lower price. The cost of a used boat is less compared to a new boat; therefore, if you happen to be on a tight budget, you can save a lot of money, if a good dealer with a quality boat can come along, one can be able to save a lot of money. But all the same, it’s good to check if every part of it is in excellent condition.

  • Purpose of the boat

The plan you have for the boat also matters. If your project is to use it for recreation purposes, the used boat is perfect for that use because it will not get used regularly. Most of the boats sold by the dealers are of good quality, but in case you are not satisfied with its looks, you can tailor it to your preference.

  • Additional items negotiation

When purchasing a brand new boat, you will spend quite a large amount of money on it and also in the additional requirements which are necessary as well. For example, you will require safety equipment and other things of that kind.

But when it comes to buying a used boat, you can acquire the additional materials by negotiating with the owner for a reasonable price. It will help you save a lot of money.

  • Record of maintenance

By checking the boat’s maintenance record, you will be able to identify the parts of the boat have been replaced. It ensures you are fully aware of the condition of the boat, and in case of any new items to be acquired, you may negotiate.

You can also give the boat a new look by painting it and mastering the parts that need more observation with the help of the maintenance record.


Disadvantages of Buying a Used Boat

Buying a used boat has its disadvantages. Here are some of the difficulties that come with buying a used boat.

  • No warranty

Most of the used boats are usually out of warranty for the engine, appliances, and equipment inside. This means if you decide to buy it, you will have to take it as it is, and in any complication arises later, it’s all in your hands.

  • Hose clamp and rubber hose failure

A new boat rarely has the broken hose clamp or spitting hose failure. But when it comes to used boats, this is a common problem. A boat with a rotten hose causes the overheating of the engine and can as far as making the boat to sink.

  • Oxidized or faded gel coat

Worn out coat is a common problem in used boats. Reviving the gel coat’s luster is very hard unless the outboard had vigorous maintenance by baffling and compounding several times in a year.

  • Old styling

When someone is not familiar with boats, a used boat may look okay and great, but there are high chances that the styling is outdated. Like in the automobile world, boat designs change and advance after a minimum of four years and a maximum of seven.

  • Calloused-riding hull

Though most builders never talk about it, the fact is that most old boats have rocky –riding hulls. The reason for this mostly varies from brand to brand.

  • Poor electrical wiring

One of the most problematic systems in a used boat is the condition of the electrical wiring. Until the previous decade, the connected wires used to be exposed in the air and therefore corroded.

Wires go through the partitions which were not getting adequate protection from wearing. Tracing the wires when something has gone wrong and replacing junction blocks can end up being expensive.

  • Wrong perception

The status and pride of owning a boat make many people purchase one. However, buying an old boat is an indication that they can’t afford a new one; this ends up being more problematic to them.

  • Poor engines

Engine makers keep improving the engine’s efficiency over the years. It leads to more efficient engines in both inboards and outboards engines, which are more reliable.

  • Structures made of encapsulated wood

Many builders were using wood in the decks, transom, and stringers in the making of fiberglass boats. It would make the wood to end up soaking the water mostly because of the drilled holes into the transom. The wood would end up soft and dense, and to some point, it would even rot. So if one is not keen on buying a used boat, it may be problematic to them.



Buying a used boat can help you achieve tour sailing dreams and, at the same time, turn out to be a nightmare for you if you fail to do a thorough inspection before buying. Weigh your options wisely and make a decision that will assure you of value for your money.


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