HRC Insurance Blog

Boat Safety

The first day of summer is less than a month away and many of us can not wait to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather that will soon be arriving. Whether you own a boat or you’re at a friend’s cottage for the weekend it’s always a good idea to be up to date with the current boating laws, rules and regulations. If you operate a powered watercraft in Canada, it is Canadian law to carry your Pleasure Craft Operator card.  With this week being safe boating awareness week here is a few tips to keep safe out on the water. 


Before you head out on the water


 Before heading out on the water check for signs of weather changes. A change in wind speed, darkening clouds or the sudden drop of temperature are all signs that unsafe weather could be approaching. Even when there is not a cloud in the sky it is always a good idea to check the local weather forecast through the news, radio, or a weather app before jumping in the boat. If you’re traveling on an unfamiliar route check nautical charts or talk to local residents to pinpoint any areas that might cause issues. Check for bridges, overhanging obstacles, underwater cables, dams and rapids on your route.  In the event of extreme weather or accident, have a plan in place and let a friend or relative know your route. Be prepared for any possibility on the water.


Life Jackets and PFD’s


 Close to 90 percent of people who drown in recreational boating accidents are not wearing a life jacket or PFD. Even if you have available life jackets on board, conditions like rough wind, waves or cold water can make it extremely difficult, if not impossible to find your life jacket and put on. By minimum requirements everyone on board must have a life jacket that fits and is approved by Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  Life jackets that are in poor condition or that have rips are not considered approved. A life jacket only works if you’re wearing it. 


Safety Equipment


 Having the proper equipment on board your boat helps you deal with an unexpected situation. All safety equipment must be in good working order, easy to reach and maintained or replaced in accordance to the manufacture’s instructions and recommendations. In Canada, the safety equipment required depends on the type and length of your boat. Equipment requirements are the same whether you own, rent or borrow a boat. This includes typical boats including power boats, sail boats and personal watercrafts. Evenly distribute the weight of occupants and equipment, properly securing equipment to avoid shifting. The owner’s manual, tool kit, fuses, bulbs, duck tape, spark plugs and a first aid kit are always good things to have on board.


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Since the 1900's...

Born under the name George Hutcheson, Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. began providing insurance policies in Muskoka since the early 1900s. Bernard Reynolds joined the firm in the 1940s and purchased the firm from George Hutcheson in 1967. Finally, in 1980, David Caswell joined the company's ranks to complete Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell. We have grown along with our name and provide the same dedication to superior customer service and top-notch insurance coverage that George Hutcheson was famous for over 100 years ago.