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Survival Tips for Boating During a Storm

Boating During a Storm

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a day of fun in the sun out on the waters. When the weather’s right, some quality time in a boat can do wonders for your mood. While you may never plan to be boating during a storm, weather conditions can change quickly. If you find yourself out on a boat when a storm hits, are you equipped to survive the storm? Here are some things to know.


You’re best able to survive while boating during a storm when you’re prepared in advance. This includes everything from making sure your watercraft has survival equipment to having an active and comprehensive insurance policy that could cover any damages or losses. Think carefully about your watercraft and its features and ask yourself, “What boat insurance do I need?” This will help when you talk to an agent to get the appropriate coverage.

Besides having Newport Beach Boat Insurance, it’s essential to make sure that you’ve attended to other important issues before setting sail:

  • Weather – If a storm is forecast to occur anytime that day, you should postpone sailing activities.
  • Emergency Gear – Your boat should have a life jacket for each person, an emergency VHF antenna, or an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), medical equipment, flares, etc.
  • Boat Condition – Check your watercraft in advance to ensure no leaks or other deficiencies threaten the safety and proper operation.
  • Ditch Bag – If you have to abandon your boat, you need to have a kit that contains essentials such as water, a cell phone, and emergency gear.

Other preparation items, such as a lightning protection system, will depend on the type of craft you’re operating. Understanding your craft will give you guidance as to the kinds of equipment your boat should have.


Don’t wait until trouble hits to reach out for help. Boating during a storm can take a turn for the worst quickly, so notify the local Coast Guard or other governing entity to let them know of your presence on the water and your itinerary of the day, including your destination. It’s recommended that you check in regularly to keep them informed of your status.

Heading for Port

If possible, head for the nearest port or harbor ahead of or during a storm. This may be in the opposite direction of your planned destination, but it’s usually safer to be on land than out on the water. Before you head out on the sea, make a note of possible mooring locations along your route that you can use for safe harbor during a storm.

Dragging Your “Feet”

During a windy storm, it’s especially important that you’re able to control your boat’s position. A sea anchor slows your boat’s speed, making it easier to manage in a storm. You can fashion a makeshift anchor out of a rope tied to the handle of a bucket.

Sailing can be a fun activity for all involved, but you need a safety plan for both emergency and non-emergency situations. Communicate your plans to all participants and rehearse them in advance. Then, you can enjoy your time on the water without having to panic about the potential of boating during a storm.

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 (888)  402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine  business.