How Not To Read A Hurricane Map

Maps shown in the media are often misunderstood. Be careful: Incorrect interpretation could leave you and your boat unprepared. When Hurricane Irma swept across Florida in September 2017, the damage was catastrophic. It was the most intense hurricane to strike the continental United States since Katrina in 2005. It was also deadly. Before finally dissipating […]

The Critical World Of Backing Plates

Avoid serious boat damage and personal injuries by ensuring your hardware is properly installed. Here’s how. After major storms, you hear a lot about broken lines on boats. But a related issue that members of the GEICO | BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe (CAT) Team also routinely find are cleats torn from decks. When you see […]

Stay Safe On Deck

Installing guardrail netting on a sailboat makes a lot of sense for keeping crew, gear, and pets safely aboard — and it’s an easy DIY project. Look around almost any anchorage and you can spot the serious long-distance voyager. You know, the boat with the extra fuel cans tied to the deck, wind generator, solar […]

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Heating Up

Make sure you have your plan set because the latest prediction calls for an above-average season with 25 named storms and 9 hurricanes. Outside of Hurricane Dorian, which raked the Bahamas, the eastern Florida coast, and Cape Hatteras, the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season ended with a collective exhale from recreational boaters, despite 17 named storms. […]

1st Mate Is Ready To Assist For Boater Overboard Scenarios

This connected safety and security system also provides theft deterrence functionality. Mercury Marine’s new 1st Mate Safety and Security System is an app-based multifunction system that combines boater-overboard alerts, distress messaging, and theft deterrence. The system is currently compatible with all Mercury SmartCraft capable engines (with compatibility with all leading engine brands coming soon) and […]

Boating After Dark

Don’t let a bad night ruin a perfect day on the water. Here’s what you need to bring — and do — if you’re caught out after sunset. Eventually, by choice or not, most boaters find themselves out on the water at night. Whether the day got away from you, or because of a breakdown, […]

Why You Should Use A Float Plan

When your day doesn’t go as planned — and you’re not back at the dock when expected — ­someone needs valuable info to send the cavalry. You’re a few miles from shore, wrapping up a few hours of fishing, when you turn the key to start the engine and hear “click.” Your battery is dead, […]

Dangerous Gases Aboard

Here are four of the most common dangerous gases and fumes that most of us encounter on our boats. It’s important to know how to handle them and when to sound the alarm. Gasoline Fumes Highly volatile and a leading cause of marine related explosions and fires, gasoline fumes, which are heavier than air, can […]

Storm Anchoring: A Success Story

Our Leopard 42 catamaran, Valiant Lady safely rode out three major hurricanes anchored in about 12 feet of water just off the Intracoastal Waterway in North Palm Beach, Florida. Here’s how. Before Frances, our preparation consisted of removing all of the sunshades and windshields, removing the jib from the roller furling headstay and securing the […]

Boating During Coronavirus

Though COVID-19 still looms large for summer 2020, the water still awaits you. As we each feel our way through this pandemic that has turned our worlds upside down, one commonality we share is a longing for the return to some semblance of “normal.” Well, lo and behold, it turns out that the boating lifestyle […]