Strong storms, the tail end of the boat buying season, and a lack of contested marine claims have me in my chair this morning. Given some time to reflect, I thought of researching and writing about claims I have investigated and discussing prevention with my fellow boaters. I have to give Beth Leonard from BoatUS both credit for simplifying my research, but also providing tips for prevention.
So what about claims that weren’t covered…the repairs that were paid by the boat owner? Far and away the most common reason a claim is not paid, is due to lack of maintenance. Cooling systems impellers or low coolant (overheats), wasted hoses or clamps (sinkings), engine damage (lack of lubricant / low oil). These systems should be checked regularly. For most boaters, they should be checked before leaving the dock or the slip, every time, since we get so few chances to get out boating.
Have some time waiting on a summer storm to pass. Water conditions too rough to go out. Go through your service manuals and develop a checklist of things to check before every use of your boat. If you spend a few minutes in your bilge before every outing, checking fluids and looking for things which may be ready to fail, you may well be saving yourself thousands of dollars. Just ask your marine technician how much it would cost to have your engine replaced. More importantly, you may be saving the health or life of someone onboard.