Episode #039: Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast Top 10 things I wish I knew before getting my own boat…

This week we are talking about boat ownership! My Spindrift was an unexpected “gift” from my grandfather. I was not boat shopping and was not planning to have a large boat out here in Nelson. However, when he decided he wanted to pass the boat along, I could not pass it up! In the end, there are things I wish I had known before getting Spindrift and I may have done a few things differently…

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#61: Sails – Finding a Sailmaker Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast

  1. #61: Sails – Finding a Sailmaker
  2. #60: Sails – Maintenance and DIY Repairs

Top 10 things I wish I knew before getting my boat


Every project will take three times longer than you think. You need to be a jack/jill of all trades, or have very deep pockets.


Prepare to order several sizes for all spare parts. You will likely never find the one you need the first time around, so save yourself some trouble and order several sizes from the get-go.


You think you will get out sailing more. You won’t. You’ll get sucked into boat projects that never end. LOL. But seriously, get a good crew bank going as it always seems to be difficult to get people out!


Do your research and figure out what type of insurance you need. Surveys are pretty much a must now, so find a good local surveyor as well.


Make specific checklists for your annual maintenance specific for your boat. Include the little odds and ends that are specific to your boat.


Research which boating services are available in your area. Marinas, moorings, divers, surveyors, marine mechanics, diesel technician, sail maker, canvass repair, etc.


As noted above, projects take three times longer than you expect. If you are not handy, do not buy a fixer-upper. You will be working on it far too long and will probably begin to resent the boat.

Weather & Surroundings

Look over weather patterns and find out about local hazards. Get your hands on charts and talk to local boaters about where you are thinking of keeping your boat.


Many used boats come with an extensive sail inventory. They are often garbage and should be replaced. Be prepared to invest in new sails. They will make a big difference.

Keeping up with the Jones’

Don’t change things on your boat because another boat in your marina has something fancy that you think you should have. Take a couple of seasons to get to know your boat before you make upgrades and changes. Often you will find that you don’t need the extras that you thought you might!

As always, listen to the podcast episode for more details, but this is the quick and dirty!

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