Top Boat Safety Tips For When You Hit The Water This Summer

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As warmer spring and summer weather approaches, we are excited about spending and enjoying more time outdoors.

If you are a boat owner, taking your boat out on the water is now top of mind. But before you hit the water this season, remember some top tips to keep you and your boat safe!

Have a Plan and Schedule

The first thing you should always do is have a basic safety plan, travel plan, and schedule for your boat outing. This will ensure you stay on schedule and return safely. Let someone you trust know about your plan, including launch time, expected travel route, and planned return time. Remember to check back with your trusted party to let them know you have returned safely.

Don’t Go Out At Night

Always remember to avoid going out on the water when it’s dark at night. Having a plan and schedule also helps ensure that the sun setting does not catch you off guard while you’re out in the middle of the water.

Be Wise About the Weather

Just as we should avoid going out on our boats when it’s dark, we should also prevent going out in lousy weather when possible. Check the weather channels, websites, and apps to ensure the tides, currents, and winds are in your favor. Bad weather is one of the top 10 leading causes of boat accidents. Some of our favorite sites are and Government of Canada Marine Forecasts.

Ensure All Safety Gear Is Onboard

Life jackets, flotation devices, and medical kits are just a few safety equipment items you should always ensure you have onboard your boat before heading out. Check the regulations for your boat size to ensure you have all the necessary safety equipment. Creating a boat safety equipment checklist to review during the packing, planning, and onboarding processes can help ensure you have everything you need.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Just like you should not consume drugs or alcohol before driving a car on the road, the same goes for driving a boat on the water. Avoid any alcohol and drugs during your boating day, as being impaired is also one of the leading causes of boating accidents.

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Don’t Boat Alone

It is good boating practice to avoid going out on the water by yourself, as you never know what may happen. If you can’t find someone to go with you, remember to let people know where you plan on going for the day and when you plan to return.

Designate a Spotter and Skipper

Another excellent reason for having at least one other person with you is to have a spotter or second skipper. They can help you with any boat needs and keep an eye out on the water for any hazards.

Take A Boat Safety Course

You are legally required to obtain and carry your Personal Craft Operator Card (PCOC) if you will be operating the boat. You can get this by taking a boat safety course before taking your boat out. Reviewing the boat safety course notes yearly or re-taking the system every 2 or 3 years is also recommended.

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Ensure Proper Boat Insurance Coverage

You will also want to ensure you have proper boat/marine insurance for you and your boat. This is to help you cover any damage that may occur to the ship and protect you from any liability risk you may face while out on the water. Running into a dead head, an unexpected boat collision, or bumping into the dock are all risks that boat owners and operators face when out on the water. Proper insurance coverage for these risks is required.

Contact Harbord Today

If you have questions about ensuring proper safety and coverage for you and your boat this season, feel free to call our team at Harbord. We’d be happy to help in any way we can, and we can also provide free & quick quotes for you to compare prices.

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