Owning a boat and learning how to sail can be fun and adventurous. While boat insurance coverage helps to protect you and your boat from damage and injury, there are also steps you can take do to improve your safety. If you regularly follow safe sailing guidelines you may even be able to use your safe boating record to lower your boat insurance premiums.
Get regular updates on the weather. The best time to do this is just before departing. Gather all information on possible storms in your area. Since weather patterns are not always predictable, it’s a good idea to be prepared for anything. A radio to keep you informed of weather updates or warnings can be a valuable asset, especially if you will be far from shore. An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) can save your life by transmitting a distress signal. As a bonus, certain safety features can help you obtain competitive boat insurance rates.
Know basic sailing safety. Wear a life jacket at all times and, if you are the captain, encourage your passengers to do the same. Passengers should be taught to remain low and on the central line, minimizing the dangers of capsizing. When the vessel is leaving or approaching the mooring, ensure that no arms or legs are dangling over the sides. This helps lessen the chance of accidents.
Avoid alcohol as it may inhibit judgment, especially during emergencies. Due to the sun and wind, alcohol’s effects are especially detrimental to people who are sailing. It may seem like a good idea to sip cocktails all day in the sun but if you are knocked overboard, you will likely feel differently. Likewise it is illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated, and your boat insurance policy may exclude coverage if you cause an accident while operating your vessel drunk.
Correctly load the boat. The greatest risk of sailing is capsizing. If the boat capsizes, there is not only a high chance of damage to the boat but also of injury to the sailors on board. To prevent this, make sure the boat is the correct weight. Boats that are too heavy will ride low in the water. Boats that are too light may have difficulties in storms. Regardless of weight, boats may capsize due to unequal weight distribution. There may be no boat insurance coverage compensation if a boat capsizes due to loading beyond maximum capacity.
Sailing is a rewarding pastime full of adventure, fresh air and friends. By educating yourself, taking simple precautions and purchasing adequate boat insurance coverage you can dramatically increase the odds of having years of great boating ahead of you. If you would like a boat insurance quote please call Global Marine Insurance at 800-748-0224 or email us today.