Floating or Fixed Docks: Boat Insurance Pro Tip #1

Much of the country is still waiting on more snow or still thawing out.  But its always boating season somewhere.  You purchased boat insurance to protect you in the case of an accident.  Now we want to help you protect yourself and your boat with some additional ideas.  Whether you’ve hit the water or not, today’s boat insurance pro tip will give you something to think about.

After purchasing our boat a number of years ago we began looking at marinas in the New York area.    A number of criteria went into choosing the right marina.

Certainly, the location had to be close to home.   We wanted a marina with a well maintained power supply, fresh water, satisfactory lighting, adequate natural protection from bad weather and safe passage to the waterways we navigate.  Most importantly, we wanted well maintained floating docks.

This may not be the first thing many people think of when considering a marina.  If you do, pat yourself on the back because you’re ahead of the game.  Floating docks should absolutely be near the top of your list when choosing a home for your boat.   With a floating dock you will not be subject to tidal conditions that can restrict access to or from the boat.

Furthermore, a boat at a floating dock will have a much better chance of surviving when it is hit with a tropical storm, Hurricane or Nor’easter.

Notice I said “when” and not “if” the boat is hit with a storm.

And then came Sandy.

Our marina is located on the Hudson River, just north of the Statue of Liberty.  When Sandy hit, boats at any marina in the area with fixed docks sustained moderate to severe damage.  Sandy’s storm surge also damaged thousands of boats that were hauled and blocked when the water level rose highly enough to displace the vessels from the blocks.

What about our boat located at Sandy’s ground zero?  Along with the other boats at our marina, it was basically unscathed.  The marina itself was under water, but the floating docks rose to just near the 18 foot level of the pylons and the boats rose with them.

Was it scary?  You better believe it was. But, I have no doubt that the high pylons and floating docks were a major reason our boat was not damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

Fixed docks certainly have their place on inland waterways that are not impacted by tidal conditions.  But for my money, in virtually any coastal area, I’ll take floating docks over fixed.

Have a question about your dock?  Drop us a line or contact as at http://www.skisafe.com to share your thoughts or discuss it with a member of our team.

In the weeks to come our boat insurance pro tips will help get you and your boat ready for the season and make you an active player in your boat insurance.

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