Spring is upon us and it is time to prepare your boat for the first launch of the year. Reviewing boat safety is always a good idea before the first cruise of the season. This includes an inspection of your boat and the equipment you have onboard. You will also want to make sure all of your documents are up to date, as most marinas will require proof of boat insurance before issuing a slip. Here is a short list of tips to prepare for the upcoming boating season.
Preparing Your Boat
Complete legal requirements first and verify that your registration, boat insurance, license, and decal are all current. A boat insurance policy provides property damage and bodily injury liability, giving you added peace of mind when out for a day of sun, wind, and water.
Once you have all paperwork in order, it is time to inspect your boat.
- Check the hull for any damage that may have occurred in the offseason.
- Ensure that your engine and water pump are working properly.
- Test navigation lights, GPS, radars and radios, and purchase replacement bulbs and batteries.
- Check and repair, if needed, all onboard safety equipment.
- Life jackets are crucial to safety on the water with one jacket per person required. Check that no holes are present and that they will still fit your friends and family.
- In the event of engine failure, you will need paddles or a trolling motor to return safely to shore.
- Do you have the correct type of flares?
- Have you inspected your anchors, anchor lines, and dock lines?
- Has your fire extinguisher expired?
- If you are transporting your boat to launch, do not forget to assess the trailer. Examine all tires, hitches, wires, and bearings before transport.
Safe Boating Tips
Once your boat has passed its seasonal check up and the time has come for your first departure. There are precautions that should be taken to ensure a fun and safe time on the water.
- Look up weather conditions before leaving the marina to avoid being caught in a storm.
- Each person on the boat should wear their life jacket at all times.
- Develop a float plan to alert someone on shore if you are gone longer than expected.
- Do not rely on your cell phone as the only means of communication. Multiple devices such as radios, walkie-talkies or locator beacons with spare batteries are good choices.
- A secondary captain should be capable of operating the boat should the need arise.
- Avoid alcohol while on the water.
Following the rules of the water will ensure a safe and happy boating season!
Before your next trip on the water, be sure you have the coverage you need for your boat insurance. Our team is happy to assist in helping answer your questions and making sure you are fully covered. Call us at (800) 443-7007.
The weather is getting warmer, trees and plants are beginning to bud and bloom, and soon enough spring will have sprung once again. Along with better weather and beauty, spring also brings with it potential safety hazards in and around your home. It’s a good idea to observe the following safety tips and prepare your home and property accordingly for the additional risks of springtime.
Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors
- Get a battery or crank-operated weather radio for severe spring weather like tornadoes and thunderstorms. The NOAA is still the best source for real-time weather and emergency services updates during natural disasters and storms that are prevalent in the spring.
- Head inside when you hear thunder or see lightning. Try counting to thirty between the flash of the lightning and the sound of thunder. If you don’t make it to thirty, get to shelter quickly and remain there until at least thirty minutes after the last thunderclap.
- Never attempt to cross flooded roads or streets on foot or in your vehicle. Even six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet and sweep you away. If you are in your vehicle and water is rising around you, immediately get out and seek higher ground. Even large cars and trucks can be swept away by as little as two feet of rapidly moving water.
- Keep a stock of emergency supplies like water, canned and dried food, a can opener, and other necessities handy throughout the spring in case severe storms or flooding knock out power and utilities in your area.
Safety Tips for Inside Your Home
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors, and remember to change them out every time Daylight Savings Time changes.
- Sign up for a PO box at your local Post Office, and send and receive mail there to protect yourself against identity theft.
- Ensure all your door locks are in good working order, and you should have a deadbolt on all doors with exterior access.
- Keep shrubs, hedges, and trees trimmed and well maintained to protect sightlines on your property and eliminate places an individual could easily hide when breaking into your home.
- Don’t leave your garage door open while working in the yard unless you can keep it in your line of sight the entire time.
Safety Tips for Vacation
- Don’t post plans about departure and return publicly on social media before you leave, and do not post photos while you are traveling. Disable GPS features on social media apps to prevent your mobile device from advertising the fact that you are away from home, too.
- Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check out your home while you are away. Tell them to feel free to park in your driveway, and request that they pick up any flyers or papers that accumulate in your driveway in your absence.
- Asking the post office to hold your mail deliveries until you return is highly recommended.
- Turn off your garage door opener.
- Use timers to mimic a typical lighting pattern for your daily activities inside the house.
- Make sure your answering machine message on your landline phone does not imply that you are away for any significant amount of time.
Following these safety tips is a great way to keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe and secure during the warmer, more active months of spring. Remember to review your homeowners, car, and personal insurance annually to ensure your coverage is sufficient, and consider contacting Northeast Insurance should you require additional insurance. Let us help you protect your home and family during the spring and throughout the rest of the year.