Hurricane Preparedness

First responders, boating organizations, and Florida boat insurance companies have no shortage of lessons from recent hurricanes and superstorms. Let’s consider some steps that boat owners can take to protect their marine investments:

Get prepared. Create a storm plan for your boat and put it in writing. Having a written plan will make it easier for others to assist you in implementing the plan if you are unable to do it yourself.

Keep a current record of the inventory on your boat, from electronics to appliances and ensure that all the necessary documents related to your boat (including a copy of your boat insurance coverage contract) are stored securely on land.

Confirm your plan is workable. Test it out. Can you secure your boat the way you should if a storm hits? What if you’re away – do you have a designate to take care of these details? Remember that your plan also has to work with the hurricane plan of the facility where your boat is moored or stored. You might need to adjust your plan to meet their protocols.

Consider taking your boat somewhere safe. One of the best hurricane strategies is to hire a haul-out provider to get their boat away to safer ground before a hurricane hits. Haulout dramatically reduces your risk of damage, salvage recovery costs, and undertaking a claim with your Florida boat insurance company.

Review your insurance. Don’t wait until a hurricane hits to figure out if you’re adequately insured. It’s much more cost effective to pay for good Florida boat insurance than to pay for repairs or salvage costs out of pocket. Be mindful that you understand and meet all of the requirements of your boat insurance.

Not sure where to start? Call the friendly and knowledgeable professionals at Global Marine Insurance. We can review your coverage with you and discuss the best options for Florida boat insurance available for your unique requirements.

Homeowners Insurance for Your Boat

One thing our boat insurance company professionals want you to know is that homeowners insurance is not a substitute for boat insurance.

Some homeowner insurance plans will include selective coverage for boats, but what that coverage entails is variable. If your homeowner’s policy provides coverage for your boat, familiarize yourself with what the parameters for coverage are. For instance, It’s not unusual for homeowner’s insurance to only cover damage if the boat is on your property. Additionally, the actual financial benefit through a homeowner’s insurance policy may not be enough to cover repairs or replacement.

It is worth pursuing specialized insurance with a reputable boat insurance company because a boat is very different than a home. An exclusively marine insurance company will know and understand the valuation for various marine vessels as well as the risks boat owners face.

There are many things to consider when you explore your boat insurance options. A specialized boat insurance company will be very knowledgeable about the factors that can impact the cost or requirements for boat insurance – like the age of the boat or how powerful the engine is.

Be aware that there are very diverse options available to boat owners for seasonal boat use, towing or transporting your boat, and damage from vandals or natural disasters. You’ll also want to understand the difference between actual cash value coverage and agreed value coverage.

The other consideration is that as a boat owner, you need to ensure you have adequate liability coverage in the event of an accident or another mishap. Specialized service has real benefits, and it’s much better to be informed about your options before you need to make a claim.

You don’t have to navigate this alone. Global Marine Insurance is a specialized boat insurance company that has served boating enthusiasts and the commercial boating industry since 1989. We are one of the leading marine insurance agencies in North America, and we’re ready to help you get the best boat insurance coverage at the most competitive rates.

Center Console Boat Advantages

Center console boats are growing in popularity. Our boat insurance specialists will tell you that it’s not just in Florida as you may have thought. More and more people are discovering that they like the layout of a boat with a center console. And it’s more than just appearances that have boaters outside the Sunshine State choosing them over traditional side console boats.

Here are some of the advantages that make a center console boat attractive:

Unobstructed view: Anyone piloting a center console boat raves about the visibility. This is not to say that other kinds of boats don’t have good visibility, but the raised center console is undeniably wise when you have to stay watchful of passengers on board and surrounding traffic. Florida boaters have already discovered, and our boat insurance specialists will agree the added visibility adds to your boating experience and safety.

Open space: If you want a recreational boat that will have room for a family member or friend who uses a wheelchair or other supports, ample deck space on a center console boat is ideal.

Family friendly: center console boats are perfect for people of all ages and abilities (but don’t forget to distribute the weight evenly to stay balanced!). Bonus: There’s even room for baby or kid essentials.

Storage: Center console boats often boast very generous storage areas that easily accessed on all sides. Not only is this practical and convenient, but it helps to minimize the risk of accidents because you can safely stow gear and supplies when they’re not needed.

Acess to all sides: The center console leaves a lot of deck space around the entire boat, not only for gear and supplies but also to move around quickly from bow to stern from side to side. Anglers and divers alike seem to appreciate being able to access any area of the boat safely and swiftly.

Regardless the size and style of vessel, call the boat insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance for customized coverage at a fair price. Our knowledgeable team will review your needs, discuss policy coverage, and present the best options available for your recreational or commercial boat or yacht.

Camping on Your Boat

Your overnight camping options increase when you have a boat. There are countless destinations along the coast and on inland lakes and rivers where you can embark on a camping adventure sure to create incredible memories, but what do you bring?

Having your boat or yacht as basecamp may give you the feeling of unlimited space but you’ll find soon enough that excess gear can feel cluttered. On the other hand, no one wants to be without necessities.

Here are some things to consider as you plan for camping on your boat:

Packable sizes: Think of the storage space on your boat and pack accordingly. You’ll want to bring bags and containers that will slip under berths, seats and into bench storage spots. For instance, bringing two small vs. a large one that you can’t tuck away.

Need versus want: Bring essentials – from clothing to food to recreational activities. Pack clothing that is easily interchanged and dries quickly (and bring more than one swimsuit for each person so that you have one to wear while you wait for the other to dry). If you plan your trip route, you may also be able to plan stops along the way to replenish your food supplies. Then you can just stock up on essential non-perishables. Similarly, bring along games or books that you know you’ll use and leave the rest at home.

Think safety: Before you start your voyage, replenish your first aid kit, fill prescription medications, and check your lifejackets to ensure you have enough for each passenger–and that they’re in good condition. Make time to review your boat insurance coverage before you leave so that you know you’re sufficiently covered during your trip. And most importantly, file a Float Plan before you leave.

Have good sun sense: You’re going to be spending a lot of time outside. Pack sunscreen, sunhats (that won’t blow off) and water shoes so you can quickly move from boat to water, to shore without worrying that you’ll lose your footwear.

Expect the unexpected: Depending on the weather, you might encounter campfire bans or soggy days. Be prepared for changes in weather and perhaps bring along a propane stove in case you can’t roast your dinner over an open fire.

Happy camping on ship or shore, contact our friendly boat insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to discuss your coverage before your departure.

Boat Shopping – Things to Consider

Boat show season is getting started, and it’s easy to be excited about investing in a boat, but there are so many options available on the market, how do you know which is the best choice? Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

What do you want to do on the water? First and foremost, you need to be focused on your end goal because a boat to tow water skiers is going to have very different specifications than those you need to enjoy freshwater fishing. Are you particularly interested in speed, fuel economy or cruising distances? Will the boat be on large bodies of potentially rough water or are you concerned accessing shallow areas? Would you prefer a center console or traditional side console?

 

Who’s coming with you? Consider realistically how many people will regularly join you on the water. Will your guests have comfortable seating during different activities? For example, if you purchase a towboat does it matter if the tow rope makes some seats unusable when pulling a skier?

 

What’s your skill and ability? Boating courses and experience on the water will determine what sort of boat you can safely handle (bonus: boating courses can also lower your boat insurance rates). Investigate your options but be reasonable about boat length and propulsion options. Explore your options wisely.

 

Where will you keep it? You will want to explore not only the cost of trailering versus mooring at a marina but also availability. If it’s a smaller boat and you are considering storing it in your garage take measurements to ensure it will fit. You can also find trailers with folding and removable tongues to create extra space. Also, take the time to explore your options for boat insurance coverage to protect your marine investment when it’s not in use.

 

Have you done your research? Read online reviews, talk to boat enthusiasts and scour online boating sites to see what other people are saying about different types of recreational boats. You’ll gain insight on the benefits and challenges of particular makes and models.

 

Before you finalize your purchase, contact the boat insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to explore your options for coverage. Our specialists will make sure you have the coverage options relevant to your boat, region, and use at a fair price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stray Electric Current Hazards

Lethal stray electric current is a common risk that marina operators, boat builders, and yacht clubs need to take steps to prevent.

 

This insidious threat can very quickly pose a risk at marinas, who could suffer electric shock drowning. Aside from fatalities or bodily injury, some electrical incidents can also wreak costly damage to boats and yachts. So what does a vigilant marina, club or other waterfront business watch for to mitigate risk and liability?

 

First, it’s important to understand there are two dangerous current types in water. These are:

 

–   Stray Direct Current (DC) – which quickly damages boats, particularly if there is an aluminum hull or any metal hull fittings

–   Stray Alternating Current (AC) – which emits potentially fatal electrical impulses into the water

 

If a person happens to encounter stray AC while in the water, even low levels can paralyze muscles and result in injury or even death by drowning. Higher levels could, of course, electrocute anyone unfortunate enough to be immersed in the electrified water. Too often the victims of electric shock drowning are children or teens swimming nearby.

 

Marine business owners will want to watch for the two most common sources of electric current entering the water: Electrical wiring from the shore power system or the connection between a boat and the onshore power supply.

 

Here are some ways to minimize the risk of stray electric currents:

 

  • Ensure that all electrical equipment is installed properly and meets required federal and local safety standards
  • Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for safety
  • Regularly review the power system for any defects or issues
  • Make repairs and maintenance a priority
  • Require all boats or yachts at the marina meet the fire protection standard
  • Ban swimming at or near the marine facilities or operations
  • Forbid diving operations without approval and be sure to use the appropriate safety precautions for the duration of the dive

 

We have Stray Electric Current Safety Checklist for Marinas and Yacht Clubs available upon request. You can refer to this tip sheet for more information about stray electric currents and preventative measures to put in place.

 

Want to minimize your exposure to risk on shore or land? Contact the marine business insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to discuss your needs. We offer marine industry expertise, broad coverage offerings, and tailored solutions.

 

Winterize Your Yacht or Boat

Cobalt BoatIf you winterize your yacht or boat, now it the time to get started. As boating enthusiasts, we want to help you protect your vessel. Here are some winterization tips from our yacht insurance team.

Line up storage: Do you have space on your property or will you need to rent a storage space? If you are looking for dry storage, keep in mind spaces often have waiting lists. If you are going to store your yacht outdoors and protect it with a tarp, protective cover, or shrink-wrap, you will have more options however you should still allow time for checking the condition of your protective covers and or scheduling a shrink-wrap. Once that’s addressed you can follow these basic steps for winterization.

Clean the exterior: pressure-wash the hull, remove barnacles, check for damage, make repairs, and wax the hull.

Clean the interior: scrub the kitchen, empty the fridge, clean out all storage lockers and compartments, and either remove cushions or set them on edge to promote air circulation.

Remove onboard items: guard against theft or damage during storms; bring home first aid and survival gear to inspect them for damage in case they need replacing before the next boating season.

Check and prepare the inboard engine: change the oil and filter, flush the motor, add antifreeze to the manifold, remove spark plugs, and use fogging oil on the cylinders.

Inspect the stern drive: rid it of debris, drain the gear case, check for damage, and follow the owner’s manual for maintenance recommendations.

Fill fuel tanks: ensure they are full to guard against water condensation during the cold weather.

Empty bilges: should be clean and dry.

Inspect and prepare the freshwater: draining the freshwater and hot water tank before flushing with non-toxic antifreeze.

Empty the waste tank and pump with fresh water: follow the protocol outlined in the owner’s manual.

Conduct a full inspection of your yacht before you secure and cover it for the winter. Always consult the owner’s manual for specific requirements for your vessel’s maintenance and care.

If this work is beyond your skill set, hire professionals to winterize your vessel for you properly. Before you store your boat or yacht for the winter, consult the boat insurance experts at Global Marine Insurance to ensure your yacht insurance covers you adequately during storage.

Boats Afloat Show – South Lake Union Seattle


The 39th annual Seattle Boats Afloat show begins later this week (Sept 14-17). There will be hundreds of new and used boats, in every size, style, and budget. Not to mention every hot boating gadget and service you need to have fun and stay safe on the water. You can even take a free 45-minute boat ride, or if you’re feeling adventurous sign up for adult sailing lessons. Bringing the little ones along? In addition to checking out the boats, they can try their hand at building one.

Want to make a weekend of it? You’ll receive free admission to the Museum of Flight and a $10 gift card to Chandler’s Crabhouse with each boat show ticket you purchase. You can use them during the show or save them for another time.

Don’t stress about the parking. There’s weekend parking available for only $3, including a shuttle that will take you to the Boat Show entrance. Spend some quality time enjoying the outdoors and appreciating the beautiful lineup of vessels at the Seattle Boats Afloat show. Hope to see you there, we will be front and center at booth 108, stop by and say hi to Holly and Gregg.