Posted On: January 17, 2020

We see too many claims that could have been avoided by improving the skills of the operator.

To see what we mean, try answering these quick safety quiz questions:

Answers at bottom

1. What is the safest thing to do for someone suspected of having hypothermia?
a. Give them a warm alcoholic beverage
b. Massage the body to circulate blood
c. Get immediate medical attention
d. Apply hot towels to the head to thin the blood

2. How does alcohol use affect boat operators or passengers?
a. Physical reactions become slower
b. Depth perception becomes sharper
c. Reasoning ability becomes quicker
d. Balance and sense of direction improve

3. Which of the following is considered a safe refueling practice?
a. Closing all hatches and doors while ­refueling
b. Turning your key on to operate the fuel gauge
c. Sending all passengers below while ­refueling
d. Using the hands-free automatic shutoff to avoid spills

4. U.S. Coast Guard regulations require that a 14-foot powerboat carry which of the following items between sunset and sunrise?
a. Power horn and bell
b. Garbage placards
c. Navigation lights
d. Navigation handbook

5. Which of the following is a requirement for life jackets?
a. They must be properly sized for the intended wearer
b. They must be stored safely in a watertight bag
c. They must provide miles-per-hour impact
d. They must be orange or other highly ­visible color

6. Which of the following is recommended when docking with wind and the current?
a. Whenever possible, approach the dock with the wind and the current
b. Have your fenders and docklines ready before you approach the dock
c. Have crew positioned to physically fend off the dock
d. Prepare two docklines; any more than that will get tangled

How'd you do?

Answers: 1: C, 2: A, 3: A, 4: C, 5: A, 6: B



Posted On: January 13, 2020

Considering peer to peer boat renting?

Here"s an interesting excerpt from an article in BOATUS,

Give us a call to see if you are covered.

Peer-to-peer, apples-to-oranges Insurance offerings vary significantly from platform to platform, and in many cases, from boat to boat.

For example, Boatsetter provides the BoatUS Peer-to- Peer Boat Rental Policy and on-water assistance through TowBoatUS with every rental.

On the other hand, other companies, like GetMyBoat, require the boat owner to hold the appropriate insurance.

Click&Boat, a European P2P platform, requires boat owners to have their own insurance for boat rentals and offers optional assistance, repatriation, and cancellation insurance to renters.

To further complicate things, there are also important differences between P2P boating insurance and recreational boat owner's insurance. During the rental you could be subject to different insurance terms than what you may be used to. For instance, the geographical area you're permitted to boat in is likely to be different. Boat owners and renters should do their due diligence and understand their insurance coverage before renting P2P.

Questions A Boat Owner Should Ask

According to Boatsetter, in 2018 the average owner grossed $4,600 in rental income on the platform. It's one way to offset the costs of moorage and maintenance, though regional and demand differences make that figure vary widely.

If you're thinking about renting your boat out on a P2P rental platform, here are the insurance questions to ask:

Does my existing insurance cover rentals?

Almost all recreational boat insurance policies prohibit rentals, which leaves boat owners with two other options. The first is through a platform like Boatsetter that provides P2P insurance.

Many platforms, however, do not offer insurance or recommend insurance providers.

Essentially the only other option is to get a charter policy that allows for bare-boat charters. Otherwise you and your renter may not be covered at all. These types of policies are typically more expensive and harder to find.

How will my boat be valued in case of a total loss?

One of the marked differences between P2P policies and recreational policies is how the boat is valued in the case of a total loss (e.g., major fire, sinking).

The majority of folks have agreed value policies on their boats, but the P2P policy is an actual cash value policy. The difference is that an actual-cash-value policy accounts for depreciation.

Let's say the agreed value on a recreational policy is $30,000. That's what would be paid out if the boat is a total loss. If you have a total loss during a rental, which is covered by a P2P policy, the value will be based on actual cash value. If the market industry reference material (BUC or NADA) says that boat is worth $25,000, that's what would be paid out. So when your boat is used in a P2P program, the insured value may be less.

"With that said," Pellerin continued, "there are very few total-loss claims that we see come through the peer-to peer program. Most losses are things like striking submerged objects, striking the ground, hitting the dock, and dock rash scenarios."

How much liability insurance do I need?

The BoatUS Peer-to-Peer Boat Rental Policy provides up to $300,000 in liability coverage, which is comparable to most recreational policies. "With recreational policies, the majority of people carry a $300,000 limit," said Pellerin." However, depending on your risk tolerance, you may want to buy supplemental insurance.

Pellerin suggests that high-net-worth owners may want to ask how much liability coverage the P2P policy is providing and then check with their homeowners or umbrella insurance to see if there are any additional limits available.

Is my boat safe, and am I meeting regulatory requirements?

"It's the owner's responsibility to make sure that the boat is equipped with all legally required safety equipment, everything is operational, and the boat is seaworthy," said Pellerin. "They should be doing a quick safety check and walk through with the renter."

Boat Owners

Ensure your boat has all the required safety equipment.

Request a trip plan.

Do a detailed walk through and test drive with renters.

Create your own "renter's manual" with safety and basic boat operation checklists, emergency contact information, and what to do in case of an accident.

Consider additional insurance that may increase your liability coverage on the water (e.g. umbrella and homeowners insurance).




Posted On: January 10, 2020

You hear what sounds like a squealing noise coming from your engine.

it may be a warning that your alternator belt is too loose. This usually can be easily diagnosed and should be fixed as soon as possible. You can probably handle the job easily, quickly, and with tools that you have aboard.

First, check the alternator for significant problems. If, for example, the belt is rapidly deteriorating or a mechanical part is interfering with the alternator, shut down the engine if it's safe to do so.

Then check for an increase in the DC alternator load. Examples of this could be from 12-volt refrigeration, a 110-volt microwave powered by a battery-fed inverter, or even a wiring short that you'd probably find by seeing "arcing" (sparks or electrical discharge), a burning smell, or even fire.

Confirm at the 12-volt panel if possible; if there's excess electrical draw, turn off or fix the device. If the extra loading has occurred before without squealing, or if squealing continues after you turn off the DC load, then it looks like the culprit is a loose alternator belt that needs tightening or replacing.

Keep in mind:

Fine belt "dust" around or under the belt's path could indicate any of the above or misalignment of pulley wheels, but these particles are normal to a limited extent after lengthy running.

Misalignment of wheels is usually best determined by removing the belt and putting a straight edge into the center of the grooves.



Posted On: January 06, 2020

Take A First-Aid Course

If one of your guests falls and hits his or her head on your boat, would you know what to do?

How about if one of your crew develops heat exhaustion? Or has chest pains?

Unfortunately, panic during these frightening situations, and an understandable focus on the injured individual, often lead to a cascade of other problems.

According to insurance files, claims for damage (and sometimes liability claims for injuries that weren't properly addressed) result. The more you and your crew know about how to treat someone who's hurt, the better.

Dreaming of summer cruises doesn't usually include fishhook-impaled fingers, sunburn, or sprained ankles, but we all know stuff happens on the water. Having a first-aid kit is great, but you need to know how to use what's in it, and how to respond if there's a medical emergency onboard. Having a course under your belt will take away much of the stress of an emergency as well as make it more likely your crew (or you) will quickly recover.

The Red Cross offers first-aid and CPR courses around the country, and you can also find American Heart Association courses specifically for boaters that cover extras like carbon monoxide exposure, hypothermia, electric shock drowning (ESD) and seasickness.

Based on an article in BoatUS



Posted On: January 03, 2020

2020 (MMXX) will be a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2020th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 20th year of the 3rd millennium, the 20th year of the 21st century, and the 1st year of the 2020s decade.

A Leap Day, February 29, is added to the calendar during Leap Years. This extra day makes the year 366 days long – not 365 days,

According to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar it"s the Year Of The Metal Rat.

Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first. In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.



Posted On: December 30, 2019

New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve is one of the largest global celebrations because it marks the last day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, December 31, before the New Year. People count down to the New Year no matter where you are in the world

What Do People Do?

New Year’s Eve is a day of mixed feelings for many people. On one hand, it is a time to celebrate the end of the year gone by and welcome what is in store in the New Year. On the other hand, some people experience a sense of nostalgia as they reflect on the events that took place in their lives in the past 12 months. Many people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions at this time of the year.

Some people celebrate New Year’s Eve by attending midnight church services, while others gather around in public venues such as Times Square in New York City, or Trafalgar Square in London to count down for the closing seconds of the old year. Many people hold parties to farewell the finishing year and to celebrate the New Year. The size of festive events for New Year’s Eve can vary in size and theme. Some people attend formal masquerade balls while others have costume parties. Some people have small parties or gatherings at their homes. Many New Year’s Eve celebrations are highlighted by firework displays.

Many people start counting down to New Year’s Day in the last minute or seconds before the last night of the year ends and the New Year begins. Some people tune into watching televised countdowns. As the clock strikes midnight into New Year’s Day, many people celebrate this event by exchanging hugs, kisses, and wish each other a “Happy New Year”. In some parts of the world, including in the United States, many people sing the Scottish song “Auld Lang Syne” during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

So how do you celebrate?



Posted On: December 28, 2019

Based on article in npr

When we ring in the new year and welcome 2020, should we also celebrate a new decade?

Confusion over the answer is similar to the uncertainty that hung over historic events from the millennium to the 2009-2010 changeover.

According to the Farmers' Almanac Sandi Duncan ,"The next decade won't start until Jan. 1, 2021."

When asked about the dispute, Rick Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society says he doesn't think his group has adopted an official position on the matter — but he adds, "History is clear: Because there was no Year Zero, the first decade of the common era (CE or AD) was years 1 to 10, the second decade was years 11 to 20, and the next decade will be years 2021 to 2030."

The debate has often turned fractious. And that could be because there's something personal at stake. After all, part of the definition of a decade is its cultural significance — the meaning it has for all of us who lived through it.

Whatever you feel, you may/may not be correct.




Posted On: December 23, 2019

Celebrating Christmas Eve

Since Christmas Eve is not an official federal holiday, most people have to work. However, it is a partial day off or a full day off in some states. Many workplaces hold Christmas parties or celebrations, so there is a celebratory air to the day. People who work in the retail or catering sectors often have to work very hard to meet consumer demands on December 24.

Many people in the United States decorate their homes and driveways with seasonal decorations, although some do this much earlier, starting just after Thanksgiving Day in late November. The centerpiece of the decorations is often a Christmas tree decorated with fairy lights, tinsel, angels, stars and other seasonal ornaments. Outdoor light sculptures are also becoming increasingly popular. These are many light bulbs or LEDs in the form of trees, sleighs, reindeer, Santa Claus, snowmen and other seasonal figures. Light sculptures may be placed on driveways, roofs or in gardens.

In the evening, often just before bedtime, many families, particularly those with children, will hang up stockings on the fireplace or the end of their bed. These Christmas stockings are often red with a white fluffy trim, although they may be of any design and are often much bigger than the socks that they represent. Children hope that Santa Claus, a mythical figure thought to represent an ancient European saint, will enter their home via the chimney and fill their stocking with gifts, sweets and oranges.

Public Life

Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday. However, it is a partial day off in states like Kansas, North Dakota, and Virginia. It is a state holiday in Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. Most schools and other educational institutions throughout the U.S. are usually closed on December 24. Many organizations will open as usual, but some may close earlier or offer reduced services. Stores are normally open as usual, but may shut earlier. Stores and malls are likely to be very busy, as people look for last minute Christmas gifts and stock up on food for the festive season.

Public transit systems may run a normal or reduced service, particularly in the evening. If you need to use public transit on Christmas Eve, is it a good idea to check the services that the appropriate companies offer carefully. Many people travel to visit family members or friends on Christmas Eve. There may be some congestion on roads and highways, particularly around major cities. Airports and long distance bus terminals may be especially busy.

About Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve marks the start of the holiday season at the end of the year. For many Christians, it is a day to remember the events around the birth of Jesus. Some people, especially Roman Catholics, attend a midnight mass at church. Traditionally, the midnight mass started at midnight, just as Christmas Eve ended and Christmas Day started. However, now may churches hold this church service in the late afternoon or early evening of Christmas Eve.

Many Protestant churches also hold special services on Christmas Eve. These are often candle-lit and may be very solemn. Some include the presentation of a crib scene depicting the holy family, with statues or actors representing Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the shepherds and various animals thought to be present in the stable where Jesus was born.

On Christmas Eve in 1914 and 1915, unofficial Christmas truces began in the World War I fighting. German soldiers lit candles and sung Christmas carols. On the other side, British troops responded by singing English carols. Soldiers from both sides shouted greeting and visited each other, sometimes exchanging small gifts. On Christmas Eve in 1968, the astronauts of Apollo 8 read from the creation story in the Book of Genesis. This was widely broadcast on television.