Keep Safety in Mind as Boating Season Begins

Unfortunately, every summer includes fun weekends on the water that take a turn for the worse when accidents occur. Often, these accidents on the water could have been prevented with just a few simple precautions. Don’t let an accident ruin your fun; keep the following boating safety tips from our partners at Safeco Insurance in mind as boating season begins:

boating safety tipsLife Preservers Aren’t Only for Kids. Don’t just have life jackets on board — wear them! When an accident occurs, people rarely have time to reach for a life jacket and put it on. This rule applies to adults, not just children. More people in their 30s die in boating accidents than any other age group. Life vests have evolved greatly over the years; today, you can even get vests for your water-loving dog!

Watch the Back of the Boat. Carbon monoxide kills in minutes, so be sure to tell your passengers where your exhaust pipes are located, turn off your engine when people are in the water, and don’t let passengers “ski” or “teak-surf” by holding on to the back of the boat. Both Washington and Oregon made teak-surfing illegal in the last few years, after several tragic deaths occurred. Carbon monoxide detectors are standard on most new boats, and older boats install devices for less than $100.

Alcohol and Boating Don’t Mix. More than 50 percent of drowning accidents result from a dangerous combination of boating and alcohol. Just as you should never drink and drive, don’t ever operate your boat after ingesting alcoholic beverages.

Boats Need TLC Too. When you’re out on the water, make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste and grease. Carry a charged fire extinguisher and have your boat’s operating systems checked yearly by a certified marine technician. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons also offer free vessel safety checks.

Experience Counts! According to the U.S. Coast Guard, operator errors account for 70 percent of all boating accidents. Make sure anyone who drives your boat is properly trained. Consider completing a safety course with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons, which will also typically earn you a boat insurance discounts.

Never Set Sail Without Boat Insurance. Most home insurance policies have limited coverage for boats, so if you own a boat, boat insurance is your best bet. This type of policy covers theft, damage, and injuries or accidents while you’re on the water, as well as some of your expensive watersports gear.

At Knapton, Reade & Woods Insurance Agency in Hillsborough, NH, we’ve been helping boaters protect their watercraft with the right coverage for more than 60 years. Call us today at 603-464-3422 or click here to get a free boat insurance quote today!

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