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As we enjoy the hottest days of summer, more and more people are headed to the lake or a large body of water to cool off. Boats will be lined up at the ramps, awaiting their turn to get in the water. Before you put your boat in, make sure you review some safety tips offered by our insurance professionals.

  1. Make sure all passengers are wearing Coast Guard-approved flotation devices. Even strong swimmers need these when out on open water.

  2. Check the weather report. Summer is the prime season for intense thunderstorms, which can cause extremely unsafe conditions out on the water.

  3. Create a float plan. Always let someone know your destination, who is going with you and when you expect to be back. In the event of some sort of mishap, this information could save your lives.

  4. Captains should take a boating safety class and get certified in first aid and CPR. When you're prepared, emergencies are often manageable.

  5. Keep a communication device on board. Cell phones are great as long as you have service. A VHF-radio is a more reliable form of communication on a boat.

  6. Towing people on skis or tubes? Make sure there is one person in the boat to keep an eye on them while someone else drives. Also, develop hand signals so you can communicate over the noise of the motor.

  7. Follow the rules of the water. Obey buoys, low wake areas, speed restrictions and other rules posted wherever you are using your boat.

  8. Keep safety supplies on board, such as a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a whistle and a flare.

  9. Never drink and drive. Last year, alcohol was the leading cause of fatal boating accidents. Keep adult beverages in the cooler for later if you're driving the boat.

A day on the boat can be a lot of fun, but don't let it be ruined by a preventable accident. Follow these safety tips to keep you and those around you safe. Unfortunately accidents do happen, so before you launch your boat, make sure you have boat insurance for coverage in the event of damage or injury.

Stay safe on the water. Call us at 888-512-8878 for more information on Novato boat insurance.

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