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Top Spring & Summer Northern Boating Destinations

As spring and summer bring their warm sunshine and mild temperatures, it’s time to start planning your boating vacations for the coming season. There are many excellent locations for recreational boating across the country and in neighboring Canada, so to make your planning a little easier, we’ve put together a list of our top five boating destinations.

Now keep in mind that you have so many choices that this could have easily been our top 50 or top 500 boating destinations! Narrowing this list down was hard, but we think we’ve come up with a great cross-section of exciting locations and superb boating conditions.

So here you go! Here’s our list of the top five destinations for spring and summer boating:

1. Lake Champlain

This massive lake spans more than 120 miles from Quebec in the north to Whitehall, New York in the south. Surrounded by beauty in all directions, boaters can enjoy views of the majestic Adirondack Mountains, Vermont’s verdant Green Mountains, and Canada’s rugged shores.

When boating on Lake Champlain, you can also travel by canal to the mighty St. Lawrence Seaway and head to the Atlantic.

The fishing here is excellent, but make sure to keep your eyes open for the mysterious sea monster affectionately known as “Champ.” Sightings of Champ have been reported since the 1700s when explorer Samuel de Champlain first traveled these waters. Maybe you’ll be lucky and see Champ too!

Mysterious monster aside, Lake Champlain is an incredible fishing destination that the entire family can enjoy. You can also visit Fort Ticonderoga and other historical sites and take advantage of the local entertainment and restaurants.

2. Harbor Springs, MI

Each year in late spring, after enduring the winter season’s cold, boaters in northern Michigan get a little bonus. At this time of year, the hours of daylight are longer. The sun rises well before 6 a.m. and only begins to fade away at 9:30 p.m. That gives recreational boaters not only more time on the water but a magnificently long sunset to enjoy either from their boat or from nearby sandy beaches.

Nestled in a protected harbor on Little Traverse Bay, Harbor Springs boasts the Great Lakes’ deepest harbor. Visitors new to this bay on the north shore of Lake Michigan marvel at the clear freshwater. The marina is well equipped, and the delightful town is perfect for a stroll, shopping in the many boutiques and art galleries, or sitting down to enjoy a delicious treat. And if you find yourself in this part of the world in mid-July, be sure to check out the Blissfest Music Festival. This world-renowned showcase of music and dance is definitely worth the trip!

3. Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence River Region

Part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, the Thousand Islands, and St. Lawrence River are a must-see at some point in the life of every avid boater. You’ll want to bring your camera along since the natural beauty along this mighty river is incredible.

Visitors come from all over the world visit the St. Lawrence River, which makes it not only a major transportation route for large ocean-going vessels but a popular destination for boating enthusiasts too.

Known as the Recreational Boating Capital of the World, the Thousand Islands region has more than enough trails, state parks, lighthouses, and waterfront villages to keep you and your entire family entertained.

4. Lake George, NY

Not far from the hustle and bustle of New York City, nestled in Adirondack Park is the serene and sparkling Lake George. This lake, created by glaciers and partially fed by underground springs, offers crystal clear, deep water that makes it perfect for a boating destination.

The lake is 32 miles long and can stretch up to 3 miles wide in certain areas. There are more than 25 marinas along the 109 miles of shoreline for all of your boating needs.

And, there’s also plenty to do when after boating. The Lake George area offers hiking, ATV trails, mountain biking, bird watching, camping, resort hotels, shopping, and many restaurants.

5. Penobscot River, ME

Picturesque Maine has produced shipmasters and fishermen for generations. It’s no surprise, given the boating conditions and breathtaking scenery along its coastline. So if you’re looking for a mix of rugged beauty, historical sites, and waterfront villages with shops, restaurants, and open-air markets, The Penobscot River area near Bucksport is an excellent choice for you.

Recreational boaters will appreciate being so close to the open ocean but protected from the weather and elements, while anglers will be ready to try for bass or mackerel. The Penobscot River is easily navigated, and there is a full-service marina located just one-quarter mile from the Penobscot Narrows Bridge that offers transient and seasonal slips. If you like history, be sure to add a visit to historic Fort Knox to your itinerary. The views from the observatory are definitely worth the trip.

While a boating destination vacation can be the highlight of your summer, it’s essential to review your boat insurance coverage before setting out. That way, you can relax and enjoy your vacation, knowing that you’re covered for anything that might come up during your trip.

If you plan on traveling a distance for your boating vacation, make sure your marine insurance covers towing and claims incurred in foreign countries. Get in touch with your boat insurance company, review your coverage and then have a great vacation!

Spring Boating Checklist

Spring is around the corner. Getting ready to go out on the water means more than just de-winterizing your boat and reviewing your boat insurance. Here’s a helpful list of some tasks on your to-do list.

  • Boat Prep: either you or a trusted maintenance professional should complete the following:
    • Fluids replaced as mandated by the owner’s manual
    • Wipers checked and replaced if needed
    • Complete boat inspection (including the engine)
    • Detailed cleaning – a great way to identify any concerns
    • Electronics test
    • Safety equipment – replace batteries and check the condition
  • Boat Insurance Coverage: review your boat or boat insurance to ensure that you have enough coverage. For example:
        • Does your policy provide agreed value coverage?
        • Have you updated your policy to reflect any updates to the boat? For example, a new stereo system, electronics, or engine upgrade.
        • If you will be trailering your boat, do you have ample coverage while your boat is on the trailer?
  • New Operators: Do you have a new driver in your home this year? Before you put new operators at the helm, make sure they are comfortable with the boat. Seriously consider enrolling them in a boating class.
  • Safety:
    • Education: Spring is an excellent time of year to review boating safety with your family, including rescue basics, signs of drowning, what to do in the event of an accident, and general boating protocol.
    • Unfamiliar waters: Know the water in which you will be boating.
      • If water temperatures are cold, do you have an extra set of dry clothes?
      • Is the area known for floating debris or sandbars?
      • Are your boating charts updated?

Completing your spring boating checklist will leave you confident and better prepared to have a great time out on the water. Take the time to run through the tasks and address any relevant to you. In the long run, it’s well worth the effort. Click here for a quick boat insurance quote.

Hiring Global Marine Insurance Customer Service Representative

Global Marine Insurance is hiring Customer Service Reps in Traverse City and the surrounding areas. Insurance experience is a plus, training will be provided. Find details and apply online at the parent company website, HUB International.

Yacht Trends

The yachting industry has been busy. As yacht insurance specialists, we’re always watching what’s winning awards and what’s getting all the buzz. Here are some of the hottest trends we’ve seen in new yachts, from the 48′ Ocean Alexander to superyachts like the 350′ Black Pearl, an award-winning sailing yacht:

Environmentally-friendly vessels. More and more, we see a focus on sustainable building materials, eco-friendly paint, and designs that maximize natural light and require lower levels of fuel consumption. Even better, while the newest propulsion systems require less fuel, there’s real optimism that hybrid yacht batteries will improve significantly in the next few years.

Multihulls are appealing (even among superyachts). With the focus is on yachts that leave a less negative environmental impact, it’s impossible to ignore that catamarans and trimarans are very efficient. Renowned naval architect, Jean-Jacque Coste, has predicted that the multihull will become the standard before long.

Technological advancements are improving safety and security. There are some exciting safety and anti-theft features, which bodes well for yacht insurance rates, in addition to an increase in “smart-home” gadgets. Communication is improving, making working from a yacht less stressful than in previous years when owners lost connectivity. (Remember to discuss new technology with your yacht insurance specialists to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for repair or replacement.)

Interiors are bright. There’s lots of natural light, enhanced with more floor-to-ceiling glass to exteriors and full glass walls in interiors to open up space. Luxury has gone from opulent to minimalist, and it’s very striking with high-quality natural fibers, renewable woods, and metals.

Explorer yachts are all the rage. These vessels have both luxury and practicality. A full complement of amenities, stronger hulls, ample storage space, larger refrigerators, and bigger cabin areas allow you to comfortably explore more remote areas.

The designs we saw in 2020 have been very thoughtful and creative. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s unveiled in 2021.

If you’re considering a new yacht or boat, check your insurance coverage options with the yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance.

Spending the Holidays on Your Yacht

If you’re a yachting enthusiast, you know that one of the best places to celebrate the holidays is on your boat. Whether your destination is a remote island or your favorite marina, it’s easy to make things festive on the water and remain safely socially distanced. As yacht insurance specialists, our clients often share their boating holiday plans. Here are a few of our favorites.

Many people who live in snowy states leave the white Christmas behind in favor of a Florida coastal adventure. There are so many beautiful waterways to wander and ports of call to explore. Others enjoy a wet West Coast Christmas vibe off the coast of Washington or Oregon or the unforgettable warmth of a California yachting yuletide. You can forget about Jack Frost entirely!

Remember that it’s essential to check your yacht insurance coverage any time you travel outside your usual boating areas. It’s not only to ensure you’re covered when you cross state lines or international boundaries. You also want to be covered in the event you run aground, get involved in a collision in unfamiliar waters, or have items stolen from your vessel.

Here are some of our favorite ideas for making the holidays on your yacht festive and fun:

Pull out the holiday decorations and add some holiday cheer from stem to stern. You can string lights, hang garlands and add wreaths, a tree, or even some seasonal inflatables to celebrate the season.

Do a quick bit of research and visit villages along the shoreline with light displays or holiday markets. (They’ll also get to enjoy your yacht being all decked out in decorations!)

Play some holiday tunes as a backdrop to your festive adventure. It’s easier to bring along a wide variety of tunes now that we can download songs to our electronic devices. Just don’t forget the Bluetooth speaker.

Plan ahead so you can enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with minimal effort. There are so many incredible (and easy!) recipes for holiday hams and roasts done in a crockpot. Or support a local restaurant by pre-ordering your holiday meal to go and eat a professionally prepared feast aboard your vessel.

Wherever you cruise this holiday season, our yacht insurance specialists wish you good weather and all the best! Before you head out on the water, contact the yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance to ensure you have the best and most comprehensive coverage. 

Note: Some insurance policies contain a lay-up period where your vessel is covered only while being stored. Lay-up periods are particularly common in Northern climates where your boat is not used during the winter. If necessary, update your policy before using your boat or yacht during the holiday season.

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