Free Moving Water - Avoid a boat insurance claim!

When navigating through free flowing waters; be they high seas or rivers and estuaries; strong currents, tides and strong water flows can all stretch or even catch out the most experienced boaters out. Free flowing water deserves your absolute respect, particularly at times of weather extremes. Give it's navigation your full concentration to ensure you apply the best judgement, vigilance and navigational skill to which you are capable. Clearly, the effect of any type of flow be they erratic or otherwise results in a faster moving vessel and one which isn't going to necessarily respond exactly as you would prefer. The result (as a boat insurance company we are unfortunately too well qualified to confirm!) is an increase in likelihood of accidents and harm to passengers.

Here are some simple safety tips which we recommend you follow to absolutely maximise the likelihood of avoiding the common pitfalls;

  • Don't try to do too much on in one day
  • Ensure you have an anchor and chain available for use at all times when in free flowing water
  • Alert others if unable to re-position your vessel in time (1 long horn blast + 2 short horn blasts)
  • Stay away from rivers weirs (always!)
  • Give way to faster moving vessels or vessels much larger than you.
  • Don't go out at night
  • When new, always boat with an experienced other or take some lessons
  • Read the weather reports, don’t cruise in tough conditions... tie-up, wait, relax... stress-free living is what boating is all about!
  • Know the capabilities of your vessel... can it cope with the current strength of tide/ flow?
  • Accept that sometimes mother nature will change your plans/ prevent you from going out
  • Allow some slack in mooring ropes to provide for adjustments in tides/ lock water levels

This article was brought to you with best intentions to help keep you safe and avoid a boat insurance claim! Its contents are provided with best intentions only, if in doubt always seek professional advice!

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