First Time Boat Owner Checklist

If you’re a first-time boat owner, there’s a lot to keep track of regarding this recent purchase. However, this first-time boat owner checklist will ensure you’re thoroughly prepared to safely take your new craft out on the water.

If you’d like to purchase a new craft, design one to fit your exact needs with our Build Your Scout tool. You can add features for fishing, sporting, entertainment, and more to best enjoy your boating experience!

Boat Insurance

Your boat should have enough insurance to cover you legally and provide protection from liability. Like car insurance, there are many different types of boat insurance, and they come at a variety of coverage levels. If you keep your boat in a marina, you may need insurance to pay for damage caused to your boat or pay for the cost of recovering a sunken boat. There may also be special insurance requirements for boats in hurricane zones and other areas.


Where will you keep your boat when it’s not in use? If you are planning to buy a boat, you need to think about storage, as well as the potential for additional costs. If you keep the boat at home, you’ll need to consider if you have enough space. Will you move a car out of the garage to make room for it? Can the boat be parked beside the house? Are their neighborhood restrictions against this?

Or, if you plan to store the boat at a facility, you need to research into costs. Winter storage can cost be quite expensive, but it saves you the trouble of having to find space on your property.


It’s easy to forget about the trailer if you’re a first-time boat owner. Trailering the boat makes it possible to move from one body of water to another, and you need the right trailer to ensure safe travels. A good trailer will have all the right fittings to properly connect and secure your boat. It will have good tires and balance properly so there is not too much weight on the hitch. Even if you plan to keep the boat at a marina, it’s always possible that you may want to take your vessel to a new location. Don’t forget this expense when you’re buying a boat.


Before going out on the water, you need the right documents. You should have your title, registration, and proof of insurance on the boat at all times. Make sure they are up-to-date and have your name on the appropriate documents.

Safety Equipment

Safety is crucial on a boat, so make sure you have life jackets, fire extinguishers, and other important safety equipment. Your safety checklist should also include tools for calling for help, including lights, flares, and horns.


If a problem occurs, it helps to have tools on your boat. Wrenches, screwdrivers, and flashlights are critical. You should also have tape for temporary fixes (enough to get you back to dock), as well as extra parts like lights, fuel filters, bulbs, plugs, engine oil, and spark plugs.

Purchase a Luxury Craft from Scout Boats

We hope this first-time boat owner checklist assists you. If you want to have an outstanding boating experience, a craft from Scout Boats can thoroughly enhance your time on the water. With refined features and advanced technology that are customizable using our Build Your Scout tool, you can create a craft that suits your exact needs!

Scout Boats

530 LXF Scout Line Drawing

Build Your Scout

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