With all of the extreme weather that has hit Southeastern Massachusetts and the rest of the northeastern states this winter, it could be time for Fall River boat owners to conduct a mid-winter check to make sure that everything is protected and in good condition. Even in mild winters, a mid-winter check is always a good idea, so it’s smart to learn how to do one and make it part of your routine.
Your boat owners insurance can cover a lot of things, but neglect is not one of them. When you insure your boat or get personal watercraft insurance, your agent should talk with you about what is covered – and what isn’t. For the best Fall River marine insurance, speak with an agent at Paul Sullivan Insurance. They can help you insure your boat, your home, your car and your business all at one convenient, local insurance agency. With nearly 60 years of experience providing quality insurance to the South Coast region, Sullivan Insurance can help you get the boat owners insurance and coverage you need.
Boats in the Water
If you left your boat docked in the water, the first thing you will want to do is make sure that all of the above water through-hulls are above the current waterline. When there is a lot of ice and snow, the weight of it can cause those hulls to submerge. If you notice that your boat is sitting lower in the water, start shoveling away as much snow and ice as you can, but also check on your bubbler system to make sure everything is in order.
Boats out of the Water
If you stored your boat this season on a trailer, cradle or jackstand, it is important to go and check to make sure that your boat hasn’t shifted during the winter weather. Your boat should be level on a cradle or jackstand or set slightly “bow up” on a trailer. If your boat is more than 26 feet in length, you must have at least three jackstands per side that are placed on top of plywood if you will be parking the trailer on loose soil or gravel. Make sure nothing has moved and that everything is still chained together properly to prevent movement. Inspect the point of contact to ensure that there isn’t any hull deformation to make sure that everything is placed where it should be. Contact marina staff right away if you see a problem – don’t try to make any adjustments on your own.
Covering Your Boat
If you are unable to store your boat indoors, make sure to always protect your boat with a cover. Don’t ever tie your tarp to the jackstand. Strong winds can sometimes blow underneath, which can cause the stand to just yank out. If you have ever done this in the past and haven’t experienced any problems, consider yourself lucky, but don’t ever take that chance again. Make sure you cover your boat properly to prevent water from pooling and then freezing on top of a saggy area. This can add a lot more weight than you might expect, so it is vital that you make sure that your cover is still on properly during your mid-winter check to allow the snow, rain and ice to just fall off to the side.
Check for Water & Ice
When you do your mid-winter check, make sure to look around to see if there is water or ice in the bilge. If this occurs, you have a leak. You must find the source of the water during your inspection. There are temporary fixes that can be done to plug the leak up until the spring, but you’ve got to make sure you locate the problem and do something about it. If you have trouble removing ice from the bilge, you can try using rock salt or non-toxic antifreeze. Make sure you let the area dry up completely before you leave, after patching up the leaks. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask someone in the marina. Chances are they have seen whatever your problem is before and can make suggestions or help you out.
Boat Owners Insurance: The Best Insurance Against Winter Weather
The best thing you can do as a boat owner is to insure your boat. Boat owners insurance or personal watercraft insurance is essential for boat owners, regardless of where you live or store your boat. Speak with your Fall River marine insurance expert at Paul Sullivan insurance for more information on the different policies available under the marine insurance umbrella for residents of or visitors to the South Coast region.