When operating a boat, you need to make sure you take necessary steps to keep yourself, your passengers and others safe. Connecticut implements laws and regulations that aid boat operators to take these steps. First, you need to register your boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Then, you need to take a boater safety course. This, along with passing an exam, is required in order to obtain your boating certificate. Additionally, you must keep your certificate with you if you are operating a boat, just like you would a driver’s license.
There are other steps you must take to keep you, your family and friends safe while on the water. First, any child under 13 must wear a life vest while the boat is moving, unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin; any operator of a personal watercraft (e.g., jet ski) must wear a life vest; anyone being pulled behind the watercraft (e.g., tubing or water skiing) must wear a life vest;, and anyone in a manually propelled vessel from Oct. 1 through May 31, must wear a life vest. Additionally, you should keep visible distress signals, such as flares, on board so you can signal if you need help. These are not required unless you are boating on the Long Island Sound or on Fishers Island Sound, but they are a good piece of safety equipment to have on board, even if not required.
The state of Connecticut also requires certain equipment be on board, but it depends on what type of boat you are operating. Specific information can be found on the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s website. In addition to taking a boater safety course and taking safety precautions while out on the water, be sure to purchase boat insurance. This is not a requirement in Connecticut, but just like when you drive a car, there is a risk of an accident and/or property damage. Without insurance, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars should you have a boating accident. Boat insurance also can protect you from others’ negligence. Give us a call today so we can find the right coverage for your boat. We look forward to hearing from