7 Boat Safety Tips for Smooth Sailing in Parry Sound

7 Boat Safety Tips for Smooth Sailing in Parry Sound - PAIB Insurance

7 Boat Safety Tips for Smooth Sailing in Parry Sound

Jul 15 2022
PAIB Insurance

Did you know that more than 7% of Canada’s land mass is covered in water? With the Great Lakes and numerous bays, it’s no wonder that water adventures are a beloved tradition and one that countless Canadians look forward to all year.

Among these adventures, boating is one of the many popular water activities in a destination like the 30,000 Islands off Parry Sound. And now that it’s the season, it’s time to bring out your canoe, pontoon, paddle boat, yacht, or other watercraft, and steer to adventures on coves, islands, and more.

Are you ready to bring your boat out to the water? Before you leave the docks and call everyone all aboard, you need to keep in mind some essential safety tips, so you’re always safe on the water. For one, did you know that about 40% of boaters typically sail without required safety equipment? Don’t be one of them. And most importantly, make sure you have the right watercraft insurance coverage to mitigate risks when you’re boating in choppy waters.

7 Boat and Watercraft Safety Tips

Find out how to sail safely with everyone aboard, in Parry Sound and across Ontario’s 30,000 Islands. From preparing your boat to ensuring passenger safety, set sail happily and safely all summer long.

1. Stock your boat for safety

Perhaps the biggest risk that a lot of boat owners take—and the biggest mistake they make—is sailing without safety equipment. Did you know it’s the law to always have safety equipment aboard? Make sure your boat is fully stocked for safety, with:

  • Life jackets for everyone on board
  • First aid kit
  • Toolkit and spare parts
  • Sound-signaling device, and more.

2. Make sure everyone aboard suits up

Life jackets aren’t just meant to be stocked in your boat. By the time everyone is aboard, they should be wearing a right-sized life jacket, whether they’re a child or an adult. It doesn’t matter what type of watercraft you’re on; life jackets are required. Not only do life jackets ensure floatation and prevent drowning, but they also provide thermal insulation and come in bright, highly visible colours for faster search and rescue.

In addition, it’s also helpful to double up with personal floatation devices for each person on the watercraft. PFDs are generally recommended for recreational use, though they are more comfortable and less bulky. 

Keep in mind that stocking up on floatation devices isn’t a choice between one or the other. Both are vital and useful, so it’s always better to double up and maximize safety.

3. Plan your route

Where are you sailing to? While it’s easy to get lost in the spirit of adventure, you need to plan ahead where you’re going. This helps you avoid boating in choppy waters, and risking capsizing and drowning. 

You can also provide trip details to family and friends on dry land so they know where you’re going and when to expect you back. Finally, your route plan should include accounting for weather forecasts, so you can avoid setting sail in inclement weather.

4. Fuel up

Just like driving, you need to fuel up your boat. But unlike a road trip, refuelling is much more challenging out on the water, potentially leaving you stranded if you can’t contact help. Make sure that you have enough fuel for the trip you’ve planned.

5. Be visible and keep a clear view

Much like other forms of transportation and ways to travel, it’s just as important to see and be seen when you’re boating. Maintaining good visibility is one of the most effective ways to ensure your safety in the water.

Start by keeping a clear view of your surroundings. This can be as simple as wearing polarized sunglasses to avoid glare. At night, turn on the appropriate lights on your boat and ensure they’re fully functional.

By following these, you can be aware of kayakers, swimmers, waterskiiers, stand up paddlers, and other boaters. In turn, they’ll be able to see you, allowing you both to avoid collisions and injuries.

6. Be mindful of boat traffic and waterway safety

The 30,000 Islands and Georgian Bay may be vast, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be sharing the waters with a lot of other boaters. Just like when you’re driving on dry land, there are traffic rules to follow on waterways.

For starters, it helps to take a boating course, and while not mandatory in Ontario, obtain a boating license. Most importantly, follow basic traffic rules, such as avoiding speeding, careless or distracted driving, poor visibility, and avoiding boating too close to the shore. This helps you avoid boating accidents and can help keep your watercraft insurance premiums to a minimum.

7. Don’t drink and boat

And finally, stay sober in the water. It may be tempting to crack a cold one open while you’re sitting on the deck after a refreshing dip, but it’s never a good idea. Boating under the influence greatly increases your risk of accidents. It is also illegal and may result in fines similar to drunk driving on land. Simply put, don’t drink and boat—it’s illegal, dangerous, and isn’t as scenic as it sounds.

Sail Smoothly and Safely in Parry Sound with Watercraft Insurance

Getting ready to go aboard and sail off Parry Sound to explore the 30,000 Islands? Before you head out, make sure to take the most important precaution: get watercraft insurance, and review your coverage.

At PAIB Insurance, we share your love of the water and watercraft activities. Whether you’re boating, kayaking, or canoeing, we’re here to make sure that you can sail safely with the right watercraft insurance coverage. If you don’t have one yet, now is a good time to get it; and even if you’re an experienced boater, make sure to review your watercraft insurance policy to find out how and when you’re covered. Protect your watercraft and belongings from damage or loss, and get liability coverage in case of accidents.

Sailing off Parry Sound to explore the 30,000 Islands? PAIB Insurance helps you sail safely and smoothly with watercraft insurance. Contact us today to learn more.

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