Winter may not be the ideal time to take your boat out, but die-hard boaters believe that any time is a great time to go boating. You will face heightened risks when you go to go boating in cold weather, so make sure your Boat Insurance Policy is up to date before you head out. And, heed the following safety tips from Boating Magazine to increase the likelihood that you’ll return with only positive stories to share with those back on shore.
Make Sure You Leave Detailed Plans with People Staying Behind
When you go boating in the cold, you may not run into anyone else on the water. It’s extremely important to let several people know where you plan to go and when you plan to return. Tell these contacts you will call or text them when you’ve arrived back to shore. Agree that if it gets to be a certain time and they haven’t heard from you, they should assume you are in trouble and take appropriate actions.
Pay Attention to Your Battery Charge
Batteries lose charge more quickly in cold weather. Always keep idle batteries hooked up to a maintenance charger to ensure there’s enough “juice” to power your engine and electronics. If you’re on the water and discover that your alternator doesn’t seem to be refreshing your battery, only use your electronics when it’s absolutely necessary. This will conserve charge so you’ll be able to restart your engine.
Scoop Any Snow Buildup
If you’re on the water and it snows, even if you have a self-bailing boat, snow will not drain from your scuppers. You will need to shovel out snow so it doesn’t weigh down drains and through-hull fittings and cause them to submerge and back-flood your boat.
It usually feels at least 15 degrees colder on the water. Dress extra warm and wear plenty of water-repellent layers in case you fall overboard (when every moment counts.) When you’re boating in the cold, always wear a life jacket the entire time and insist that everyone else on-board do the same.
As the year comes to a close, it’s wise to review your insurance coverages. Mariners General Insurance Group will make sure your boat is sufficiently covered and you are protected. Contact us at 800-992-4443 to get started!