Anyone who owns a boat either understands or will soon grasp the fact that there is a specific etiquette to follow when navigating public waters. There is no shortage of potential mistakes you can make, especially as a novice sailor, which is why we’ve comprised this list to ensure you stay safe and don’t end up in a bad situation. Most importantly, protect yourself and your vessel here and in international waters with a Sailboat Insurance policy.
Mistake #1: Sailing too close to someone else.
Hitting another boat is the worst-case scenario. Not only do you risk damaging both boats, you risk the mizzen toppling over, which is difficult to recover. Keep at least 25 feet between you and other boats, especially when it’s a busy day in the harbor and the winds are unpredictable.
Mistake #2: Not closing your thru-hulls.
Much like locking your vehicle when you leave, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of closing your thru-hulls when leaving your boat overnight. Any opening where water could enter your boat needs to be shut before leaving for an extended period of time. This small practice will prevent a bigger issue from happening down the road.
Mistake #3: Showing your disapproval of power boats.
Sure, they might have the reputation for making waves on the water, but lashing out at a poor power boat driver might cost you later on. If you’re stuck in a bad place, or the wind dies on your venture, power boaters can be your life line. Remember to share the waters and be respectful to everyone else.
Mistake #4: Letting your sails be flogged.
Letting your sails thrash in the wind is not only bad for your sails and their life expectancy, it’s also annoying to everyone around you. One all too common example is jibs stored on headstays that aren’t furled tightly enough. The breeze comes up, pulls a piece of leech free, and soon there’s a huge flag blowing the boat around. Not only will the jib be damaged, but the tranquility of the anchorage or marina will be disturbed, which means annoyed neighbors. A tight furl will prevent all but a hurricane from unraveling it, and taking a final wrap with the jib sheets will almost guarantee a secure sail, recommends Boats.com.
Mistake #5: Not looking before you start the engine.
If you start your engine to get back to the mooring dock, be sure to look over the side to ensure no stray lines or jib sheets have fallen overboard. Look before you start to prevent having to unwrap a line from the shaft at the end of a long day.
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.