I grew up in an area with serious boating families. Between vacationing at the beach and living close to some of the best lakes around, it was very common to spend most of my summers on the lake with friends and their boats.
Even here in our nation’s capital we see people hitting the Potomac on the summer weekends. Whether you are an avid fisher, water skier, or faithful skipper, boating safety should always be top of mind. GEICO has some great tips for keeping yourself and family safe during this summer boating season. Here they are:
1. Inspect your vessel to ensure that it’s seaworthy. Look for signs of damage, especially if you’ve left your boat in the water over the winter months. Pay particular attention to any through-hull fittings, such as engine-cooling intakes and cockpit drains, which can become cracked or clogged. Make sure that the valves open and close properly, and test your bilge pump, too. If blocked with debris or corroded, it won’t function properly.
2. Take time to properly stock your boat with the required safety equipment, such as flares and fire extinguishers, and double-check expiration dates.
3. Test all of your electronic equipment, including the VHF radio, and ensure that everything is in perfect working order.
4. Stock your boat with enough personal flotation devices (PFDs) for everyone on board. Familiarize yourself with state laws, too: depending on the jurisdiction, kids under a certain age may have to wear a life jacket even when the vessel is not in motion (for details, please visit the U.S. Coast Guard’s onlineBoating Safety Resource Center). Double-check that your child hasn’t outgrown the PFD. They come in four graduated sizes based on weight and must fit snugly to be effective.
Even the safest boaters sometimes inadvertently run into troubled waters. To find affordable boat insurance that protects you against potential damage or liability, speak to a representative of the GEICO Insurance Agency by calling 1-800-841-0728 or get a free online quote.