It is National Safe Boating Week 18-24 May, a good reminder for all boat owners and boat lovers to review the boat's best practice and to take "Wear It" Life Jacket Pledge . And if your boat represents a serious investment, it's also a good time to think about insurance.
Why are life jackets important? The Coast Guard counted 201
Life jackets do not protect you from property damage, but they will help save lives. But having only life jackets on board is not enough – accidents happen too fast to access them. Being a good swimmer is not enough – an injury or water-logged clothing can disturb even the strongest swimmer's ability. Another big objection is that the jackets are too hot, too restrictive, or not "cool", but new, lightweight jackets are slimmer, cooler and less restrictive. Plus, for the cooling factor, the bike helmets didn't look at one go until they became a sporty fashion outfit.
Refrigeration requirements for US Coast Guard for recreational craft:
- A portable life jacket for each person must be on board
- Life jackets must be approved by US Coast Guard
- Jackets must be the correct size for the intended carrier
- I good and useful condition
- Correctly laid out (easily accessible)
The Coast Guard publishes a brochure that talks about different types of life jackets and how to ensure a good fit.
Before taking any boats in water, make sure you know federal laws and any state laws that may apply. The US Coast Guard offers links and resources on boat regulations and laws, including federal and state laws, navigation rules, and more.
Talk to your independent boat insurance agent
Do you need boat insurance? Your homeowners or tenants insurance can cover canoes and small sailboats or motorboats, but larger boats require a separate policy. Talk to your independent agent about the coverage you have, and for all the boats you have. Typically, liability insurance would need to be added as an approval for a homeowner's policy. The Insurance Information Institute offers a good overview of boat and watercraft insurance, as well as best security orders.