February is the shortest month of the year and it is often wished away by everyone wishing for an early spring. Rather than speed through this month and next, take these months of winter as a chance to make a big difference in your upcoming boating season. And, if you’re lucky enough to be a year-round boater, you can still utilize these tips from the Sea Tow Foundation to improve your time on the water.
Week 1. Take a boating safety class. This is the perfect time to brush up on your skills whether you take the class in person or online. Classes are available through the US Power Squadrons and BoaterExam.com as well as through your state boating agency. And, as an added bonus, passing the course may earn you a significant discount on your boat owner’s insurance.
Week 2. Check your policy. Look over your boat owner’s insurance policy and Sea Tow coverage to make sure they cover everything you need. If you trailer your boat, do you have trailer coverage? If you’ve recently purchased a jet ski, did you add it to your policy? Have you changed the location of where you dock your boat in case you need a dock-to-dock tow? Now’s the time to check. If you have any questions or concerns, call Chris at Sea Insure, he can answer any questions you may have and provide you with a free quote – 877-568-1672 and 800-4-SEATOW for questions on membership.
Week 3. Shop for boating supplies. Buying boating gear during the spring and summer months can be expensive and stores can often be sold out which means that you have to wait. Getting those supplies now can save you some time and money and ensure that you’re prepared for that first warm day. Plus, most boat shows take place during the winter months and they offer great deals, so find a boat show near you. Check to make sure your life jackets are in good shape and still fit everyone in the family, look over your lines to see if they have dry rot, and think about getting some spare lights and fuses to have on hand.
Week 4. Plan your boating trips for the spring and summer now. Look at the calendar and schedule some days to spend on the water with family and friends. If you can get the dates booked with everyone well in advance, you won’t have anyone canceling on you because something else came up. You can even plan who will be the Designated Sober Skipper and list that on the calendar as well as note where to borrow some extra life jackets for your friends at your closest Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station. Don't forget to explore marina's and book slips in advance using Snag-A-Slip.
With a focus on safe boating practices that result in fun on the water, the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – was established in 2007 by Sea Tow Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer. After his passing in 2015, Captain Joe’s legacy continues as the Foundation brings attention to the number of preventable boating-related accidents, injuries, and deaths, and directly addresses prevention methods through education and awareness. More than 350 life jacket loaner stations are now available across the United States and the Foundation’s Designate a Sober Skipper program continues to grow. For more information, please visit BoatingSafety.com.