5 Tips for Buying a Boat to Avoid a Boating Accident Injury

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

In the market for a new boat? Don’t forget to take safety into account. Here’s 5 tips for purchasing your ideal boat and avoiding a boating accident injury.

boating accident injuryWith the weather warming up, you and your loved ones may be gearing up for boating season. And, if you’re in the market for a new vessel, you’re probably exploring all the different sizes, styles, and innovative features offered in your price range before making a purchase. But many sailors take boat shopping one step further, and take safety into account so as to avoid a boating accident injury.

If you’re concerned about your well-being and that of your passengers, you’re probably wondering what the safest type of boat you can buy is. But with so many models on the market, how can you determine the best option to help lower your chances of a boating accident injury. Here’s 5 tips you may want to consider:

  1. Know the boat’s role. Different vessels are designed for different purposes, so it’s important to purchase a boat designed for your desired activity. Some boats are designed for fishing, others are designed for waterskiing, and others for racing. Buying the right type of vessel for your desired activity can ensure it is used for its intended activity and, therefore, lead to safer boating overall.
  2. Consider location. Choose a vessel designed for the waterway in which you plan to use it. An airboat will hardly be a good boat to take out into the open ocean, and many fishing boats aren’t designed to support long voyages at sea. Think about the local waterway you’ll want to navigate, and find a boat that fits your needs. Many local areas have restrictions on the kinds of boats that can be used in certain waterways. Read up on local laws. You don’t want to make the investment in a boat only to learn that you can’t use it at your local lake.
  3. Think about size. One of the most common factors that can lead to a boating accident injury is vessel overcrowding. It’s important for everyone’s safety to ensure your boat is large enough to hold everyone in your party and never overfill it. Boat size is also important when considering where you’ll be sailing. Smaller waterways require narrower vessels and an oversized boat may not be able to sail in certain areas.
  4. Understand the boat’s engine. According to Boating Magazine, there are several mistakes a boater can make when it comes to their engine. Without proper care and routine checks, engines can overheat and even catch fire. Before purchasing a vessel, make sure you have a full understanding of the engine’s capacities and maintenance needs to avoid a boating accident injury  related to engine mishaps.
  5. Perform a safety check. Have the boat inspected before you buy. If you’re going for a used boat, you’ll want to make sure your boat is sound. A trained inspector can check everything from the hull to the systems.

There’s no “one-size fits all” answer when it comes to buying a boat. The ideal vessel will be dependent on the kind of waterways you’ll navigate, how many people will join you on the boat, and what kind of activities you’ll be using the boat for. It can’t hurt to speak to family and friends who are boat owners and test out different models before you make a decision. Finally, remember that the best investment you can make in your safety doesn’t involve the boat purchase at all. Invest in a boating safety course and in life jackets. Knowledge saves lives.