Has it been a dream of yours to buy a boat with your first salary bonus? If that's your goal, you've probably put a lot of thought into the process. However, even once you sign for the vessel, you still have to take a few other steps. Buying a boat is a lot like buying a car. Here’s what to do to make sure you own and operate it legally.
1. Take Your Boating Safety Course
Pennsylvania law requires certain boaters to carry a boating safety certificate. The certificate verifies that you have the understanding and qualifications to sail safely. Those who must get certificates are:
You can obtain the boating safety certificate by taking a boating education class offered through multiple community resources. Contact the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission for more information.
- Anyone born after January 1, 1982 who operates boats with motors over 25 horsepower
- All personal watercraft operators
2. Register the Vessel
Like you register your car, you will also have to title and register your vessel. Most motor-powered vessels have to carry titling and registration. Sailboats and unpowered boats might also have to carry registration, depending on if they have electrical features or how or where you plan to use them.
3. Stock Safety Gear
You must outfit your boat with appropriate safety gear. The right materials will help you avoid accidents and keep you and your passengers safe. Some of these items might include:
In some cases, you must carry these items on your boat, by law.
- Life jackets and life preservers
- First Aid kits
- Emergency flares
- Auxiliary generators
4. Buy Boat Insurance
Pennsylvania law does not require boaters to buy boat insurance. However, you still need it, nonetheless. With boat insurance, you’ll be able to protect yourself and other parties in case accidents occur. Some of the coverage you need includes:
- Liability coverage: This coverage pays for the damage you cause others if you are at-fault for a boating accident.
- Collision insurance: If you collide with other objects, this coverage can pay for your repairs.
- Comprehensive insurance: Boat damage that results from non-accident hazards, like fires, vandalism or severe weather, will have coverage under this protection.
- Uninsured boater coverage: If another boater doesn't have liability insurance, they might not be able to repay you for your own losses, even if they are at-fault for the damage. This coverage can help you do so instead.
- Salvage/pollution cleanup coverage: This coverage will help you pay to salvage a sunken boat or clean up fuel spills that result from accidents.
Keep in mind, though the state might not require coverage, other parties, like financial lenders or marina companies might. So, before you hit the water, make sure to have your paperwork in line. Call Kasky Insurance at (412) 341-6550 to learn more about insurance options for your boat.
Also Read: Discounts To Ask For When Bundling Your Insurance