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The Responsibilities of Boat Ownership

The Responsibilities of Boat Ownership

Owning a boat is meant to be fun—it’s something you can take family and friends on, something you can go fishing on, something you can travel on; the list is exhaustive. It’s always advisable to take some boating safety courses and do some reading before buying a boat, and definitely before getting behind the wheel of a boat. Once you’ve done that, then you’re ready to prep for leaving. Packing is essential—it’s key to preserving order on your boat. Without your supplies, you can’t go on a trip. However packing is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to boat ownership. If you’re a fisher, you’re going to want to make sure that you have everything you need to fish. If you’re trying to do water sports, bring your equipment. If you’re trying to just relax, make sure you’re prepared for that too.

These are the responsibilities of boat ownership, courtesy of the Coloradoan, a partner of USA Today:

Upkeep and Maintenance

First things first—it’s time to make sure your boat is in the most pristine shape before taking off into the water. It’s important to keep your boat in top shape all of the time. If you have a larger boat, then there might be a trailer to worry about. Even if you have a smaller boat, it’s still important to check it over on a regular basis, as well as before any trip you’re planning on taking.


When boating, it’s good to remember that you don’t need a license to boat like how you need one to drive (unless you live in Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, or Mississippi: check your state laws!). You need to know the rules of the road before getting out there, for your safety and the boat’s safety. You should be able to pass a boating test if it was given to you. If you can’t, then you might not be the one to run the boat.

Make sure your passengers are comfortable and safe, wearing life vests when operating the vessel. Make sure you can pass a U.S. Coast Guard safety check: are there life jackets? A floatation device? Horn and lights? Fire Extinguisher? Having care of your boat, knowledge of the law and providing safety to your passengers is everything that you need to do as a responsible boat owner.

On top of that, make sure that you’ve got a Newport Beach Boat Insurance policy in place. Your boat could be damaged or you could be held liable for damage caused in a boating accident, so having the right coverage will provide you with protection and peace of mind.


Depending on the size of your boat, you might have a trailer. Don’t forget about it. Make sure you know exactly how to back it in. A busy road ramp isn’t a good place to learn. And don’t get in line until your boat is completely ready to be grounded. Make sure everyone is quickly in and out of the loading dock, but make sure it is done efficiently.

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.