Taking your boat out on the water can quickly go sour if an accident occurs. There are many ways your vessel can run into problems. Going over a boat damage checklist after a mishap helps you get it back in working order quickly.
Boating Accidents: What To Do Next
If you strike an object or collide with another watercraft, you must take the following steps before you sail again:
- Ensure no one is hurt.
- Secure the vessel to prevent further losses.
- Obtain the other party’s contact details, hull number and insurance information.
- Call your insurance provider to report the incident and get advice about making repairs and minimizing additional damage.
- Notify the U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities.
- Take photos to document the damage.
- Contact a repair company after discussing it with your insurance agent.
Boat Damage Checklist: What To Assess
After an incident, inspect your vessel thoroughly:
- Check for stress patterns or cracks.
- Take note of anything missing, stripped, exposed or out of place.
- Remove the outboard cowling to look for signs of leakage.
- Open the hatches to examine for the presence of water or gas.
- Check the oil and fuel tanks for water or leaks.
- Look for any bare wiring.
- Inspect the motor for corrosion.
- Check essential components like the drive belt, serpentine belt and dipstick for wear, improper installation or damage.
- Examine your upholstery for algae.
Boat claims are complex. Contact your insurance company for advice and mitigation services so that you can get back in the water as soon as possible.