Safe Docks, Happy Boaters

April 2021 Feature ShoreMaster Web Exclusive

Spending time on the water is a good time until someone gets hurt. Safety isn’t something that should only be on your mind when you’re on the water or on your boat: there can be safety risks on your dock that could lead to injuries or damage to your boat. No one wants to spend the summer on the shore because of injuries, fines, or damage. Making sure that your dock is as safe as possible to people and property before you get the season started starts with these five steps. Combine them with a boating and dock safety plan that you consistently practice and you’ll be all set to stop problems before they start.

Check Your Insurance Policy

Even if you have boat insurance, not everything will be covered under your plan. As part of making sure that you’re up to date with the latest in dock and boat regulations, check with your insurance provider before you set out for the season to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your boater’s insurance policy. Make sure that you know what your policy covers, and do everything you can to ensure that you never have to file a claim.

Keep the Dock Clean and Clear

Part of your dock safety plan should include tidying up. Keep your dock and the area around your boat lift clear of debris and other objects. Make sure that you’re careful when spraying your dock’s surface, checking on your boat, or getting ready to leave or return. Never let children play on or around the dock without supervision. Add lights and railings to your dock to maximize its safety and give everyone the best chance of avoiding injuries.

Invest in a Canopy Cover

Your boat is already exposed to water, but a canopy cover can keep it from being continuously exposed to all the elements. A cover helps keep your boat durable and beautiful season after season by protecting it from harsh sun rays, wind, salt, heavy rain, hail, and debris.

Inspect Your Cables and Rigging

Exposed or weakened boat lift cables are a significant safety hazard, so make sure yours are free of dirt and debris. Check for any weak spots that might already be there to ensure that they don’t snap and seriously injure anyone nearby. Ropes, strings, and rigging can also pose tangling hazards, which can result in injuries or the need for a rescue swimming operation.

Call an Electrical Expert

Boat docks are exposed to the elements, so if you have any electronics on your dock such as lights or a motorized boat lift, it’s subject to damage and needs to be observed carefully. Stray ropes, strings, and rigging can also conduct electricity if they’re exposed to circuits. You should have an electrical technician examine your dock’s electrical system at least twice a year, even if it’s functioning perfectly. Make sure that your lighting works, but also that your wiring is checked for corrosion, breaks, and shots.

With these five tips in mind and a commitment to safety, you should see smooth sailing and many happy and healthy boating seasons!

For More Information

ShoreMaster, LLC

1025 International Drive

Fergus Falls, MN 56537


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