Is it Safe to Go Boating at Night?

Driving at night can prove to be harder than during the day, but it’s by no means an impossible task, and the same goes with boating at night. Cruising at night means your vision is going to be limited and things can jump out at you while out on the water. That’s why plenty of people keep their boating times to the limited daylight hours. But sometimes you’re still out on the water after the sun goes down. Maybe something happened out on the water with the boat mechanically, or maybe you decided to try your hand at some night fishing. Maybe you wanted to have a nightly get-together on your vessel. Whatever the reason, you’ve got to navigate your boat safely back to shore.

Boating at night can be safe, adventurous and enjoyable if done with the right weather and equipment. It can even be romantic! There’s technology available that can help make your cruise enjoyable, such as GPS, advanced radar, detailed electronic cartography and night vision scopes. On top of that, follow these tips to enjoy a safe night of boating.

10 Safety Tips to Follow

  1. Have All Your Gear Available. Glowsticks, flashlights, and night-vision gear are some of the things you should be stocked with before going out on the water. Make sure you’re prepared for any scenario.
  2. Turn Down Ambient Light. Dim everything you can, including the chartplotter. It’ll make sailing smoother when you have less background light.
  3. Slow Down. There’s no reason to go fast. Make sure you’re aware of what’s going on around you.
  4. Post a Look-Out (Who Isn’t Driving). Someone needs to be looking at the horizon while you’re doing the rest.
  5. Don’t Rely On a Chartplotter. Rely on a compass instead. This can often diminish your night vision.
  6. Have a Towel Ready. This can be used to drape over any light that can’t afford to be blacked out.
  7. Don’t Believe Your Eyes if They Tell You The Chartplotter is Wrong. Things get deceiving on the water at night when looked for lighted landmarks, and it’s good to be vigilant. Sometimes things may be closer than they appear.
  8. Leave Headlights and Spotlights Turned Off. Those lights might seem helpful, but they are actually pretty hazardous to your trip. Docking lights are good for docking, and that’s about it. Spotlights should only be used for a moment or two.
  9. Don’t Get Close to Boats With Their Lights On. If their lights are on, they’re telling you something. Maybe they are inexperienced with night boating. Also, if a wave hits the lights while you’re close by, you could get blinded and lose all sight of night vision.
  10. Don’t Look At The Sky Too Hard. While it is tempting, it’s also a little dangerous. Sure the stars look nice, but they won’t look nice when you get a spout of vertigo from staring at the stars while in motion for more than a few seconds.

Day or night, it’s important to have a California Boat Insurance policy in place before you venture out to sea. Boating trips can be fun and unforgettable experiences, and you’re going to want to make sure that you and your boat are protected on these voyages.

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.

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