Keeping up with boat preparation and maintenance is vital to a successful boating season. You’ll want to ensure your engine, fuel system, electrical system, propellers and water system are all working in proper condition.
Let’s look at the value of getting a survey before the start of the season. For larger vessels and yachts, there are special requirements put in place for such marine surveyors, architects, and engineers. Many surveyors are certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors ("NAMs") or the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors ("SAMs"). A thorough marine survey by an accredited NAMs or SAMs surveyor will identify structural issues or other maintenance conditions requiring further attention. For general inspection tips, click here.
For smaller vessels, there is also value in getting a marine survey, however, because of budgetary restrictions many boaters will rely on self-inspections or an inspection by a marine repairer. If you are planning on self-inspecting, we have developed a comprehensive maintenance checklist that you can reference.
Insurance is likely the smallest expense associated with owning a boat, but arguably the most important as it protects your entire investment in the boat and your other assets.
If you don’t already have boat insurance start by speaking with a boating specialist to lay out your options. Decide on the highest deductible you can afford in the event of a loss. Then, make sure you choose a policy that provides “all-risk” coverage on the hull, and your trailer if you have one. In addition, decide what extra options you are looking for. This might include freeze coverage, consequential losses, a disappearing deductible, or towing (both on and off the water). Do you want an Agreed Value Policy or an Actual Cash Value Policy? There are many factors to consider when picking which coverage options are right for you. Having a solid policy protecting your craft is a key component to a successful season.
If you have boat insurance, but want to change your coverage, need a policy endorsed for a weekend trip, or have any questions contact us at 800-225-6560 and we would be more than happy to help.
Otherwise, double check that your boat insurance policy is up-to-date, and that you have proof of insurance in a safe place on the boat.
If you are planning a boat trip for Memorial Day Weekend, or any weekend for that matter, it’s important to have a thorough plan. You’ll want to create a personalized checklist for all your belongings, as well as necessary reminders as far as maintenance for your watercraft. Some things you’ll want to plan for include your boating license, proof of insurance, weather, tides, fuel, food, water, and a familiarity with where you are going. In addition, check with your insurance provider to ensure your policy will cover this trip.
It’s critical to confirm that all necessary safety and navigation equipment is ready for boating season. Be sure to adjust windshield wipers and replace blades, inspect and certify fire extinguishers, and make sure you have an adequate number of lifejackets on board. Check that all the lights are working properly, such as navigation lights, running lights, and anchor lights. In addition, check that all electrical equipment, including the VHF radio, radar, and GPS, are in-tact. If you end up getting a marine survey, the surveyor will investigate all of this.
For a complete guide on boating safety, click here.