Tips for Boat Owners
With 75 million people in this country participating in the fun activity that is boating, it's no wonder more and more people are taking to the water for sport and recreation. As a boat owner, you face certain responsibilities -- one of which is to adequately insure your vessel in the event of damage, an accident, or theft. You also have to take it out of the water when a storm is approaching, dock it properly, and follow the rules of the waterways.

Check out these six tips to owning a boat.

1 . Know and Use Three Navigation Systems

It's never wise to head out on your boat using just one method of navigation -- especially when you're new. Getting at least three fixes to come together, particularly when piloting near objects and landmarks, will allow you to check one against the other to ensure safety and accuracy.

2. Know how to Read Nautical Charts

You could use all the fancy compasses, global positioning systems and apps in the world, but none will serve you in the most dire of times as well as a nautical chart. Think of it as a road map, only this one lays out your entire marine environment and all navigational aids so you can get to your route in the safest and most direct way possible.

3. Use a Proper Outboard

You may think bigger is better, but this isn't always so in the boating world. Avoid using an outboard motor that exceeds the power rating set for your boat. Not only will this put unnecessary strain on the boat and engine, it's also a dangerous practice that can cause accidents.

4. Always be Prepared for an Emergency

Taking off on a boating journey unprepared for the worst is a fool's errand. Keep spare spark plugs, sheer pins, fire extinguisher, fuses and an emergency tool kit in the boat at all times. You may also want to add a first aid kit, chargers for your cell phone, and other essentials within a waterproof box that you can get to quickly if needed.

5. Do Your Research When Buying Used

If you're looking at used boats, do your research and make inspections of the entire vessel. Take a look at the hull. Is it in good condition? Do you see any signs of rotting? If it's a fiberglass hull, look for signs of osmosis, and if it's aluminum, check for damage due to rivets as well as corrosion that may have occurred around the electrical parts.

6. Get Boat Insurance

While smaller boats with no engine may get minimal coverage through your homeowner's insurance, anything larger than that will need its own insurance, says Bankrate. A boat is a unique entity, with its own risks and rewards. As such, you need adequate coverage through a custom-tailored boat insurance policy to cover the following:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Comprehensive and collision
  • Uninsured/underinsured boater
  • Medical payments

For additional protection, you can opt for add-on coverage such as total loss replacement, mechanical breakdown coverage, and on-water towing.

Contact Bosworth & Associates

For a custom quote on boat insurance, contact us at 903-266-1699 or request a quote online. Trust the insurance agency that's been offering a comprehensive selection of personal, commercial and business insurance products since 1939.