Each year, there are serious recreational boating accidents. Most accidents are preventable, but due to inexperienced captains, inclement weather, mechanical failures, alcohol and other factors poor choices are made that lead to a tragedy.
It’s not just leisure boat trips that can go wrong. When boat dealers take prospective boat owners out to demo a boat, accidents may happen.
As trusted boat dealership insurance providers, we like to encourage all dealers to take a bit of time to ensure they follow boat safety standards, even for the briefest of demos.
We know that making the sale is all about mood and carefully orchestrating just the right ambience. Perhaps you don’t want to get too serious and detail safety measures in an effort to keep things fun. Unfortunately, a quick demo trip is no guarantee that nothing will go wrong – even if the potential purchaser is an expert boater or yachtsman. With the right care, your attention to safety will impress buyers that your dealership will take care of every need, including personal safety.
Here are our recommendations for boat demo safety:
- Make sure you have enough life jackets for everyone on board. Keep the conversation bright and point out all the efficient and smart storage areas for adequate personal flotation devices as you hand one to each person on board. You can sell safety as you demonstrate the amenities of the vessel!
- Ensure that children wear life jackets and that they are the correct size.
- If someone wants to test drive a powerboat for watersports, put safety first. Again, the right tone will show your dealership is serious about client protection. If someone is going to be towed behind the boat, ensure you understand their skill level so that the excursion doesn’t put them at risk by pushing them beyond their ability. Also, have a spotter and require that the skier sign a waiver before leaving the dock. We have waivers available for clients.
- Ensure that all passengers are in a safe place for the boat to be under power. This will vary with the size and style of the vessel you are taking out. You never want to have passengers in a dangerous position that could easily result in a man overboard.
- Don’t take unnecessary risks. If anyone scoffs at following boating safety rules, just calmly say with a big smile that your dealership takes safety seriously and this is strict company policy.
You can ensure that any boat demos with clients do not turn tragic by adhering to safety guidelines. The marine insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance are available to answer any concerns you might have about your existing boat dealership insurance.