Getting a marine insurance policy is the best way to protect your investment from accidents, damage, weather and other issues that can plague yacht owners in the northeast. But if you plan on taking your boat out during the winter months, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of winter yachting safety tips because they won’t just protect your investment, they could end up saving your life.
Have a Float Plan
Regardless of the time of year, you should always have a float plan with someone you trust that will work on your behalf to launch a search if you don’t return at your expected time. While this is a good practice year-round, it is especially vital in the winter months when storms and squalls can blow up out of nowhere, risking the safety of you and your passengers. Falling overboard is most risky in the colder water temperatures of winter.
Insure Your Yacht
Make sure that your marine insurance policy is up to date and that you know and understand your coverage. Yacht insurance in Fall River can be purchased through Sullivan Insurance Agency, which has nearly 60 years of experience providing marine insurance policies to area boat owners. Contact your agent right away if anything happens to your yacht, either out on the water or while it is stored for the off-season.
Plan Your Trip Well
Make sure that you have enough fuel to make a proper return trip. Figure in any weather delays that might occur during this time of year. You never want to run out of fuel on the water, but especially not during bad winter weather. This is perhaps one of the most important winter yachting safety tips because it is something that can be easily overcome just with some simple planning and common sense.
Winter Weather Life Jackets
Did you know that there are specialized life jackets for winter weather? You can purchase floatation jackets that are designed for cold-water temperatures because they are more insulated and offer better winter protection. You might even want to consider purchasing what is known as a survival suit, especially if you work professionally as a charter boat operator or as a commercial fisherman. Even in warmer weather, cool water can increase the speed of hypothermia setting in, so it is important to prepare ahead of time in case someone gets knocked overboard and into the winter water.
Stock Safety Supplies
Another way to insure your yacht from liability and to keep your passengers safe is to stock safety supplies on your boat. A first aid kit is a basic essential and it should be checked regularly to make sure that you have all of the most important supplies. An adequate drinking water and food supply should be available to cover you and all of your passengers for a few days’ time and, if possible, a change of clothes for each person in case someone gets wet and needs to get dry and warm up on board. Thermos containers full of hot coffee, tea or cocoa, as well as soup should also be brought if you don’t have a galley on board.
Dress for the Weather
Layering your clothing is best for proper winter yachting. If you get too warm you can peel off a layer, while still maintaining a proper body temperature. Cotton, wool and thermal underwear is a great choice in the South Coast area, as well as gloves or mittens, a warm hat and possibly even ski goggles if you will be out in snowy weather. Remember that you will still need protection from the sun, so tinted lenses or sunglasses might also be in order.
Prepare Your Yacht
When you purchase yacht insurance in Fall River, ask about information that can help you keep your marine property in tip top shape year round. The winters here can be very harsh on boating equipment, so it is important to protect your gear year-round. The battery can be affected by cold temperatures, so it can really pay to invest in a solar charger that will help your battery get going again no matter how cold it gets. Look into extra protection, such as ways to protect plumbing lines or hoses from freezing.
Know How to Get Help
In the event of an emergency, you’ll need to know how to get help. You should have a distress light or a flare gun that can be used to send out an SOS signal to the authorities or to other boats in the area. If you have a VHF marine radio, you can also go on channel 16 and issue a Mayday call, including the name of your boat, the boat’s location and a short description of the emergency you are facing.
Where to Get Yacht Insurance in Fall River
The best way to insure your yacht against all of the potential problems that could cause damage to it is to get a marine insurance policy. Contact your local insurance agent to find out more about getting yacht insurance in Fall River. A good policy, combined with a strong understanding of valuable winter yachting safety tips, will help you to have a safe and fun winter trip in your yacht out on the water.