Having your own boat makes a big difference to your fishing experience. Whether it is a dinghy, deck boat, or motor yacht, your own fishing boat gives you the freedom and flexibility to fish not just from the shore, but out in open water.
As a boat owner, you have to make sure to register your boat. Registering a boat is required by law. The rules vary from state to state, but generally speaking, you must complete a form, present identification as evidence of ownership, pay a fee, and renew your registration on a regular basis.
Check out this list of boat registation agencies by state.
Boating registration benefits
Having said that, the benefits of registering a boat go beyond just following the law. In many states, boater registration requires you to complete a boating education course, which teaches you the rules of boating and what to do in case of an emergency. If you get into a mishap, your boat registration is used for identification. It’s also helpful in case your boat gets stolen or lost.
Meanwhile, a portion of the boat registration fee is used to support boating safety programs such as search-and-rescue efforts, boater education, and waterway marking, among others.
So, by registering your boat, you’re helping ensure safety not only for yourself but also for other boaters.
Boating safety tips
Speaking of boating safety, here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you’re heading out into the water.
- Before your fishing trip, check if the weather is good and safe for boating. Once you’re out in the water, however, be on the lookout for signs of an approaching storm, like sudden gusts of wind, dark clouds, or a drastic drop in temperature. Forecasts aren’t perfect. It's always better to be safe than sorry, so head for the nearest dock when you feel the weather is going to turn bad.
- Know your boat's safe carrying capacity. Never overload with people or cargo.
- Have a safety kit for emergencies. It should contain the essentials for any situation. Some items you should consider packing are: a flashlight, whistle, bucket, ropes, and a first aid kit. Have your boating registration documents on board, as well.
- Bring life jackets. Every person on board the boat should have one. Try on your life jacket before you head out to make sure it fits properly.
If you’re interested in decking your fishing boat with useful fishing accessories, check out these picks:
There’s nothing quite like having your own fishing boat. You get to decide where to head and cast from wherever you want. Just be sure to register it, follow the rules and safety tips. While we all want to land the fish of a lifetime, our safety should always be the priority.
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