How To Protect Your Boat

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,219
    BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston discusses some of the best ways to protect your boat through warranties and insurance.

    Chris Edmonston: It's a great day to be out in the water. Hi! I'm Chris Edmonston, President of the BoatUS Foundation. So you've just bought a new boat. Well, you might want to consider the warranty that came with your boat, as well as how you have your boat insured.

    A warranty is a manufacturer's promise to stand behind its products by providing service and repairs after purchase. Since marine warranties vary widely in their coverage comparison shop before you buy. Look for multiyear warranties for hull structures and engines as well as coverage for things like osmotic blistering, a common but expensive to fix problem on fiberglass boats.

    Check also to see whether the warranty transfers to subsequent owners, a strong selling point when it comes to use boats. Written warranties must be made available to you before you buy, call the manufacturer for a copy if the dealer won't provide one. The limited warranties on most boats and engines mean that you may end up paying for some part of their repair costs. Read the fine print to avoid surprises later on.

    New boats come with separate warranty coverage from the engine and the boat manufacturers as wall as the makers of other major components. Fill out and return all warranty cards and return them to make sure you get the service you need when you need it.

    Regardless of the size of your boat, you most certainly want to have marine insurance. Insurance is usually required by lenders for large boat loans. Basic marine insurance includes hull coverage for damages to the boat whether it is on-land or in the water.

    You should also look at protection and indemnity coverage, also called PNI coverage or personal liability insurance for property damage claims and claims for injuries to your crew or those on the boat you may have damaged.

    Insurance costs are affected by length of the boating season, area of navigation, previous insurance claims, boating experience and even your credit score. You can also expect to pay more for insurance if you have a muscle boat, a wooden boat, if you live on board or if you go far offshore and having a warrantee and good marine insurance will give you peace of mind out on the water.