Boat Insurance Tips!
A few Boat Insurance Tips to help you get the best insurance rates (and a few other things to remember):
- Get out there and boat. Experience moves you up the boat ladder and helps your insurance rates and requirements.
- Plan on getting a survey whether the insurance requires it or not, it is just a good practice. Plus it helps determine a value for the boat.
- Participate in training programs Coast Guard or others.
- Regular maintenance can help reduce the cost of ownership and risk of problems. Inspect or have your boat inspected by a qualified marine mechanic at least a couple of times a year.
- Fix things that are broken or in need of repair before someone gets hurt or you get stuck on the water and you have to make a claim. Claims will affect your rates and ability to get insurance.
- Have a plan to protect or move your boat if bad weather is heading your direction. If bad weather is winter, lay up the boat. Most underwriters offer reduce rates for boats that are not used year round.
- Securely store your boat by installing theft prevention devices on electronics, outboard engines, out drives, trailer hitches, etc.
- Install alarm and safety systems to protect against high bilge water levels, fires, vapors and theft.
- Keep your supply of charts and data cards current and plan your routes to avoid accidental grounding and bad weather.
- Be a responsible boater and use appropriate Personal Flotation Devices; don’t drink and boat and follow the “rules” of the waterway.
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How can I improve my boats fuel efficiency?
To help improve the fuel efficiency of any boat make sure to inspect the engine and components, checking to see if they are working at their peak capacity. That means the air filters or spark arrestors are clean and in good condition. Spark plugs should be cleaned or replaced (if their condition is questionable) and adjusted correctly. Fuel filters and water separators should also clean or replaced along with any worn or damaged hoses, belts, wires or cables. The better the engine runs the better your fuel efficiency.
It is also very important that you have the correct propeller on your boat. The wrong propeller can over “rev” your engines burning too much fuel for the speeds and performance achieved. To much pitch can do the opposite and put too much load on the engine. Too much load will make the engine work harder than necessary and burn too much fuel for the performance. Besides reduced fuel economy there is a risk of damage to the engine.
It is also important to make sure the boat hull is clean and free of barnacles, algae or scum buildup. Anything that sticks out from the hull surface can reduce the performance of the boat hull and reduce the fuel economy.
Owners that have access to the exterior of their boat can regularly clean, polish and wax the hulls to reduce drag and increase performance. If your boat spends its life moored, you should have the hull regularly cleaned and refinished with an anti fouling paint. Depending on the water conditions and your hulls anti fouling protection, this can be a once a every few years or once a year project.
Many companies sell products to reduce growth and build up. Look for a product that is appropriate for your hull material and gives long life and low cleansing speeds. If the cleansing speeds are too high, some vessels will never be able to take advantage of the cleaning action while moving.
What ever brand you use, make sure it is suitable for your boat and for the environment. Look for an anti fouling treatment that last awhile. Cleaning and painting the bottom of any boat is a time consuming job. The better the material works and the longer it lasts better your fuel economy.