Your yacht is in top condition and you have crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on your OC yacht insurance policy; but have you checked all the boxes on your safety checklist? Here are some tips for keeping passengers safe on your yacht before you embark, while you are out, and in the event something truly unexpected occurs.
The best time to think about boat driving safety is before you leave the safety of the harbor. This is the time when you can give your vessel a once-over, making sure the bilge pump, thru-hulls, and ground tackle are working correctly. You should also check the weather forecast at the nearest National Weather Service station, as well as look up the latest buoy observations.
Your boating safety checklist should include bringing the following essential items:
- Life jackets. The National Weather Service reports that 85% of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
- Fire extinguishers. The number you must carry depends on the size of your boat; check with the U.S. Coast Guard to be sure you have enough.
- Communication devices. Don’t just rely on your cell phone; also bring a NOAA weather radio.
The time when you are actually sailing is when the immediate consequences of your actions are most important. Stay vigilant about knowing your crew’s whereabouts and be ready to initiate man overboard emergency procedures without hesitation. Also, keep a bag of emergency supplies nearby in case you must abandon ship. At least one other person on board should also know its location.
You can’t change the weather, but you can prepare for it. Here are some ways to remain safe, whatever the forecast:
- Fog. Slow down, turn on your running lights, and listen for boats and other warnings of a possible collision.
- Lightning. Stay inside the cabin and away from metal and electronic devices.
- Hurricane. Use NOAA’s 1-2-3 rule to calculate how far away to stay from a hurricane.
No matter how competent of a seafarer you may be, you should prepare for the unexpected by investing in boat insurance. General liability protects you in case another boater accuses you of being at fault in a collision. It also safeguards your passengers should they injure themselves on board before, during, or after the voyage.
Having an OC yacht insurance policy through a reliable company is paramount, especially when carrying passengers. It covers loss in case you or they are the victims of theft. For example, if someone breaks into your boat while it is docked and steals personal belongings, you could be reimbursed. It also protects you in case the unthinkable occurs and someone steals your entire vessel.
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.