Labor Day weekend is a staple of boating season.
Falling just a few weeks before the official end of summer, Labor Day weekend often serves as a “last hoorah” for many boaters. The three-day weekend provides the ideal time to relax, unwind and enjoy The Great Outdoors!
Like any major holiday weekend that falls during summertime, Labor Day weekend is a time of high boater traffic on lakes and coastal waterways. As big fans of boating, we love to see people take to the water to enjoy time and make memories with friends and family members! It’s important to keep in mind, however, that times of high boater traffic usually correspond with increased boating accidents.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to stay safe on the water this Labor Day weekend. Let’s explore those things now!
Labor Day Weekend Boater Safety Tips
Tip #1 – Take a Boater Safety course before you hit the water
Okay, we admit that we’re biased on this one. Regardless of whether you complete our Boater Safety course or that of one of our competitors, it’s important that you educate yourself.
Look for a course that has been approved by theNational Association of State Boating Law Administrators or NASBLA. NASBLA is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
A NASBLA-approved Boater Safety course will teach you everything you need to know, from the anatomy of a boat and your local state boating requirements to tips for navigating on the water and what to do in the case of an emergency.
Having completed your Boater Safety course, you’ll hit the water with more confidence!
Tip #2 – Get to know the area you’ll be boating in
Whether it’s your first time boating in the area or you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s critical that you know your surroundings. The last thing you want to do is get lost or run your boat aground because you didn’t plan ahead!
Thankfully, many boats come with factory depth finders and navigation systems. Plus, there are a number of aftermarket options that you can purchase and install yourself to help keep you on the right track and out of trouble.
There are even apps for that!
One of our favorite boating navigation apps comes from our partners at Wavve Boating. The Wavve Boating features GPS navigation with intuitive maps of the most popular lakes and coastal waterways in the US!
Wavve Boating provides:
- Detailed weather reports
- Tide tracking
- Shallow water markers
- Local hotspots
- Customizable maps
- Friends and family location tracking
- Route sharing
- An engaged community of boaters
The best part? For a limited time, Boat-Ed students can get a FREE 2-week trial of Wavve Boating—just in time for Labor Day weekend!
Tip #3 – Plan in case of a breakdown
Should you run out of gas, break down, or get stranded on the water, the best thing you can do is have a game plan. Before you head out on the water, research boat towing and emergency services in the area and save their information in your phone.
One of our favorite partners is Sea Tow.
Sea Tow Gold members enjoy:
- Free towing with nationwide coverage
- Priority service
- 24/7 dispatch
- Fuel delivery
Even if Sea Tow doesn’t operate in the area you’re boating in on Labor Day Weekend; they’ll connect you to a provider who will provide service—all under your Sea Tow membership.
That’s the kind of peace of mind that can add to your enjoyment on the water!
As part of their commitment to safe boating, our friends at Sea Tow are offering Boat-Ed students $20 off of their Gold Card, which provides maximum coverage for one full year.
That equates to just $0.44 per day to have rescue assistance on call any time, any day!
Tip #4 – Ensure that you’re insured
Only Arkansas and Utah require boat insurance. However, it's common for banks and marinas to place insurance requirements on boats.
If you have a loan that uses the boat as collateral, the bank will almost certainly require boat insurance.
According to the Global Marine Insurance Agency, some lenders may even “force place” a marine insurance policy onto your boat if proof of insurance is not furnished. Many marinas will also require that you maintain current boat insurance in order to keep the boat at their facility.
Benefits of boat insurance include:
- It protects your investment!
- It reduces your liability, which could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the event of an accident
- If someone without boat insurance causes an accident with you, you're still covered
- Coverage is flexible—pay only for what you need
- You can save by bundling with your other insurance policies
- Many plans come with emergency assistance and towing services
- With Total Loss Replacement coverage, you're protected if your boat sinks or suffers irreparable damage
As part of our dedication to helping our students take to the water safely and confidently, we've partnered with Global Marine Insurance, a leading recreational Boat Insurance Agency since 1989.
Want to get a quote on boat insurance without getting hounded by salespeople? Our partners at Global Marine can help!
Tip #5 – Have fun!
We wish you and your family and friends a safe, fun Labor Day weekend!