Labor Day weekend, which occurs just a few weeks before the official end of summer, often
serves as a “last hoorah” for many boaters. The three-day weekend is ideal for relaxing,
unwinding, and enjoying The Great Outdoors!
Labor Day weekend, like any other major holiday weekend in the summer, is a busy time for
boaters on lakes and coastal waterways. As avid boaters, we are thrilled to see people get out on
the water to relax and share memories with loved ones and friends! It is important to remember
that times of heavy boater traffic typically coincide with a rise in boating accidents.
The good news is that there are several things you can do this Labor Day weekend to stay safe
on the water. Let’s look into them now!
Tip #1: Take a Boater Safety course before you get in the water
Find a course recognized through the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators
or NASBLA. NASBLA is a federal non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that works to formulate public
policy to ensure the safety of recreational boaters. NASBLA is the representative of authorities
responsible for recreational boating across all 50 states and U.S. territories.
A Boater Safety course that is NASBLA-approved will cover all you should know, from the basic
anatomy of a boat and the local state regulations for boating to the best practices for sailing
on the water and what you should do in the event of an emergency.
Tip #2: Know the area in which you will be boating
Knowing your surroundings is essential whether you are a seasoned veteran or this is your firsttime boating in the area. The last thing you want to happen is to lose your way or capsize your
boat due to a lack of preparation.
Thankfully, a lot of boats come equipped with navigational systems and depth finders.
Additionally, you can buy and install several aftermarket upgrades on your own to help keep you
on the right path and out of trouble.
Tip #3: Have a backup plan in place
The best thing you can do is have a game plan in case you run out of gas, break down, or end up
stranded on the water. Research local boat towing and emergency services before you sail and
save their contact details to your phone.
Tip #4: Make sure you have insurance
It is typical for marinas and banks to require insurance on boats. If you’re a borrower that relies
on your boat as collateral for the loan, the lender is almost certain to require insurance for your
boat. As per the Global Marine Insurance Agency, some lenders might “force place” a marine
insurance policy on your boat when evidence of insurance is not provided. A lot of marinas will
insist that you have current boat insurance to maintain the boat on their premises.