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Boating: Take the proper precautions and be safe!

Published on April 27, 2022


Whether you have a motorboat personal watercraft, sailboat, fishing boat or any other type of watercraft, here are a few safety tips from the L’Unique General Insurance team to consider.

​Before you put your boat in the water, check it out!

Your watercraft, engine and all equipment must be in good working order. 

  • Hull – If it's made of fibreglass, inspect the hull for spider cracks, swelling and osmosis blisters. They're often superficial, but it's important to monitor the development of these imperfections and to consult specialists when you see that they have worsened.
    Regular maintenance of your hull will not just increase your safety, but prove much less costly than repairs.
  • Fuel system – Check the condition of the reservoir, hoses and fuel hose fittings. Inspect the bilge air vent, if your watercraft has one.
    Make sure the adjustable straps are snug and functional.
    If you have any doubt, replace these items immediately, to avoid spills or even an explosion!
  • Engine and control cable – Drain the oil and replace the filters and plugs. Inspect the rubber bellows and control cable cover. Cracking or swelling of the cover may be a sign that the cables have been damaged by corrosion.
  • Propeller – If it is twisted or cracked, replace it right away. It's an excellent idea to keep an emergency propeller on board with the part you'll need to attach it to the motor shaft.

When you're on the water, safety first!

As the watercraft owner, you're the person in charge.

  • Papers ready – Whatever the type of motorboat or body of water, you must always have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card on you.
    If you have an engine of 10 hp or more, you must also have a copy of your pleasure craft license.
  • Complete security equipment – You should have as many life jackets as there are people on board. They should meet safety requirements and securely fastened around your passengers' waists. Under Canadian regulations, a fine of several hundred dollars is imposed per missing or improper life jacket.
    In addition to lifejackets, the following equipment is mandatory:

    A buoyant heaving line at least 15 metres long
    An oar or anchor with a 15-metre cord
    A bailer or hand pump
    An audio signalling device
    Compliant navigation lighting
    A class 5BC fire extinguisher
    A waterproof flashlight or 3 flare signals approved in Canada, type A, B or C
  • Number of passengers – You are required to know and refrain from exceeding the maximum number of people allowed on board.
  • No drinking and boating – Sun, wind and motion on the water triple the effects of drugs and alcohol. Alcohol is actually one of the main causes of death associated with recreational boating.
  • Weather –Always check the forecast before setting out, and be mindful of changes in the weather!

Contact your broker

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses.