Boating in Massachusetts?  Here's 5 top safety tips

Spring is officially here and as the warmer weather approaches, many boaters in Massachusetts are looking forward to getting out on the water.   Here's 5 top safety tips to keep in mind as you head out with friends and family.

 Boating in Boston, Massachusetts skyline panorama photo by shutterstock

1.  Everyone must wear a life jacket while boating

According to The American Boating Association, in 2016 the Coast Guard counted 4,463 boating accidents.  Where there was a fatal accident and the cause of death was known, 80% of those were due to drowning and 83% of those were not wearing a life jacket.  

2.  Never drink alcohol while boating

Almost 50% of all boating accidents involve alcohol, according to Boat US Foundation.  Not only that, but operating a boat while intoxicated is a federal offense.  In most states, the standards for Boating Under the Influence match the state highway laws for operating a vehicle.  

3.  Get a Free Vessel Safety Check from the U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard will perform a Vessel Safety Check at your boat's location.   They will check that your boat is in full compliance with all Federal and State Boating Laws, and this service is performed free of charge.  You can find out more information at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary site.  What if your boat does not pass the Vehicle Safety Check?  No worries as no citation will be served, you simply get a written report of how to make necessary corrections.  

4.  Why you should always file a float plan

The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you always tell someone ashore where you are heading and what time you plan to return.  This way, the correct officials can be notified if you do not return as expected.

5.  Check the weather before you head out on the water

Even a calm day can get ugly, and don't we know that here in New England.  Stay on top of the weather conditions and be prepared for a change in the forecast.   Never forget that as a boater you need to be aware of different types of advisories and to take action before a storm hits.  

This list is certainly not all-encompassing but just a quick overview of some of the safety concerns to be reminded of before heading out in your vessel.  Boating is a time for fun and enjoyment with friends and family and should always stay that way!

Here at Elliot Whittier Insurance our Winthrop office is in a town that is virtually surrounded by water - we have plenty of boaters!  Did you know that not all boat insurance policies are the same?  Check out our blog on the subject here.  

If you are looking to purchase a new boat, or, are interested in looking at options for your boat insurance, give us a call today at 617-846-5000, or, contact us 24/7/365 by clicking on the button below and we will get back to you!

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With offices in Danvers & Winthrop Massachusetts, Elliot Whittier Insurance has been awarded the Five Star Award of Distinction  from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents.  Elliot Whittier Insurance is also a Trusted Choice® Agency and represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs.  You can visit Elliot Whittier Insurance online at or email or call 800-696-3947



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