Always Keep Updated and Informed

Are You Prepared for the Most Common Causes of Boat Damage?

Are You Prepared for the Most Common Causes of Boat Damage

Unfortunately, accidents are a common enough occurrence, no matter the type and size of vessel you own and operate. From inclement weather to rough waters, other boaters, and occasional human error, there are a number of circumstances that can lead to even the most experienced boater seeing some damage to their vessel.

There are, however, ways in which you can prevent or minimize the severity of boat damage you endure. First, you will want to be prepared with boat insurance to offset the potential financial impacts of damage to your boat. Then, it’s time to take note of the most commonly recurring problems faced by boaters everywhere.

Dock Rash 

Your vessel can easily get boat damage by rubbing up against a dock, piling or other boats. The level of damage may range from a few scratches to structural damage from transferred force to other parts of the boat. Damage to the hull can require extensive boat repair if there is water damage that seeps into electrical wiring or wooden fixtures.

Depending on water commotion, size, and type of boat, there are a variety of safety devices to minimize or avoid rash. Mooring whips, bumpers, and fenders are simple but effective methods. It is smart to use a custom boat cover or indoor storage facility.

Submerged Objects 

Striking submerged objects is responsible for roughly a third of boat insurance claims. Low water levels and storms often result in boats colliding with objects unseen below the water surface, from hidden sandbars to floating pieces of dock. The damage can vary greatly depending on the type of object encountered and the speed the boat was moving. Damage to the hull can occur, causing water to seep in, mechanical failures, and even sinking.

Always observe the water around you while boating. This is especially important if you are on rivers, near ports with construction, or an area that suffered a storm. Keep your radio on for warnings from others in the area. If you do hit a submerged object, check immediately for any water leaks, smoke or oil spills. Slowly make your way back to the docks and radio for help if necessary. Have the boat inspected for any damage that may need repair before going back in the water.

Extreme Weather 

Hurricanes, hailstorms, snowfalls, and other extreme weather conditions can cause havoc for boats. Most marinas will have a hurricane plan or guidelines on how to safely dock your vessel to cope with these challenges.

If you live far from the dock or rarely use your boat, storing it ashore would be ideal. Be sure to add extra jack stands, have them supported by plywood, and chained together. Ideally, you’ll keep your boat in strong sheltered storage.


Have you secured boat insurance? Collision damage tends to be more severe than those involving fixed objects like docks and buoys. If you are veering too close to another vessel, quickly make appropriate course changes. Obeying speed limits and acting prudently where there are other boat users can also help reduce the risk of collision and injury.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.