Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's Boating Season! Make Sure Your Boat or Personal Watercraft Meets Regulations

With the beautiful, summer-like weather we've been having in Washington, it's time to get that boat or personal watercraft out in the water!

While everyone loves to hit the lake on the boat, there are a few things you need to take care of first.

Renew Your Registration

Boating registration goes from July 1st through June 30th, so make sure you have updated and properly attached your updated tabs before launching your boat. All boats must have a Washington title, registration card, registration decals, with these exceptions:
  • Canoe, kayak or vessel not propelled by a motor or sail.
  • Vessel is less than 16 feet in length and has a motor of 10 horsepower or less and is used on non-federal waters only.
  • The vessel is properly registered by a resident of another state or country who uses Washington waters for 60 days or fewer.
For details on Washington boating regulations, go to: http://boat.wa.gov/regulations.asp

Get Your Boater Education Card

Most Washington residents are now required to take the Boater Exams and obtain a Boater Education Card. The card is proof that you have successfully completed an approved boating safety course. This card does not expire; once you obtain it, it's good for life.

The law is being phased in by operator age over several years. In 2015, all boaters 60 or younger are required to have this card in their possession when operating a boat, and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. Not having the card can result in a fine.

Go to https://www.boat-ed.com/washington/?clid=CPOjzvO2g8YCFQqFfgodrkcAew to take your exam. The exam is free, but the card will cost you $29.50.

Have the Necessary Equipment Onboard

Boats and personal watercraft are required to have working fire extinguishers, a emergency warning signal (flare or whistle) and enough approved floatation devices (life jackets) for everyone on the boat. Children must have life jackets on at all times while on the water.

Are You Properly Covered?

Since boat insurance isn’t required in most states, a lot of people skip it in order to save money.  But that’s a very risky idea! 

First, without coverage, you’re risking all the money you spent on your boat.  Would you drive your expensive car without insurance?  Probably not! 

Second, boats are a liability exposure.  That means that they open you up to lawsuits.  If you were to have an accident and damage someone’s boat or personal property, then you could be held responsible.

With the proper insurance coverage, this wouldn’t be a problem.  You’d be protected!  In fact, we typically recommend that clients with a high level of assets purchase extra liability coverage if they own a boat. 

All in all, purchasing boat owners insurance is a simple way to give yourself a lot of peace of mind.  Who wants to worry about insurance when they’re out on the water? 

Call SAV-ON today at 888-867-2866 for a free quote on your boat or personal watercraft.