Preparing For Rough Seas – Tips on Preparing Your Boat For Summer Storms

By: Advocate Brokerage

Summer is the perfect time to get out on the water and enjoy some leisure time on your boat! With all the unpredictable weather we’ve been experiencing lately (not to mention, it’s Hurricane season), it’s wise to do a little preparation ahead of time to ensure that your time on the water is smooth sailing.

Safety First

Making sure you start your day on the water with safety in mind is important. We’ve got a list below of a few key items to make sure you have them on hand. Take the time to review them and our top safety tips also listed below:

Safety Items To Have On Board:

  • Provide a life jacket for each passenger.
  • A first aid kit.
  • A horn or whistle.
  • A Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher.
  • A flashlight.
  • Paddles & oars just in case the motor fails.
  • A marine radio.
  • Key contact list with numbers saved so that if a storm occurs you aren’t scrambling (the marina or yacht club, towing company)

Top Safety Tips:

  • Wear life jackets!  In 83% of all boating fatalities, the person who drowned was not wearing a life jacket!
  • Be mindful of the weather. You don’t want to get caught out on the water in the middle of a storm.
  • Take a boating safety course.  You may even be able to get a discount on your coverage upon completion.
  • Much like when you are behind the wheel of a car, you should observe the following rules:
    • Don’t drink and drive.  According to the US Coast Guard, 19% of the boating fatalities were alcohol-related.
    • Don’t drive distracted.  Put away cell phones when you are navigating your watercraft.
    • Don’t speed.

Just In Case – Plan Ahead For Stormy Weather

It is wise to set aside some time at the start of the season and put a plan in place, so you know what to do if a storm warning is issued.  Making decisions ahead of time and understanding who will be doing what will help cut down on stress when an actual storm arrives. Below are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Who will be responsible for preparing your boat or yacht. Take the time to list out the necessary tasks and who will be taking care of them so there are no questions when the time comes.
  • Will you be hauling your boat out of the water? Or will it remain in the water?
  • If it is being stored out of the water, where will it be relocated to?
  • Do you understand your insurance policy? It is important to know the policy benefits and the limitations (more on that below).
  • Share this plan with anyone who may be utilizing the boat so that everyone is on the same page.

Our friends at CHUBB have put together a video that highlights the importance of creating a boat preparedness plan, you can find it here: Boat Preparedness ( Additionally, they have a guide for preparing your boat for hurricanes.  You can find it here.  Protecting your boat from hurricanes and other major storms | Chubb

Understand Your Insurance

Whether you own a power boat, a sailboat, or a yacht, you want to be sure you have adequate insurance.  Below are some important boating insurance facts:

  • Neither your homeowners nor your auto insurance will protect you should you be involved in a crash while out at sea.
  • Insurance is not required to operate a boat unless you are financing it, in which case the bank will require you to carry insurance.
  • Your personal excess liability policy will not generally cover a boat unless it is specifically listed, and you carry the required underlying liability limits.
  • Many insurance carriers offer coverage for reimbursement to help you move your vessel to safety in the event of a hurricane.
  • You may be covered for towing costs to have your vessel towed safely to shore.

If you want to learn more about boating insurance, we have a blog on the subject here.

Advocate wants you to relax & enjoy your summer! That is why we invest so much time in providing educational information to help keep you, your family, and your personal property safe. A bit of preparation can go a long way to making sure you have the perfect day out on the water.  If you are a new boat owner, Advocate can review your coverage portfolio to be sure that you have the type of coverage suited to fit your needs. We would love to help ensure you have adequate protection for your boat and its passengers without any gaps in coverage. If you have questions, we encourage you to give us a call at 914-723-7100.

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