When operating a boat, you need to make sure you take necessary steps to keep yourself, your passengers and others safe. New Jersey implements laws and regulations to help boat operators to take these steps. First, register your boat at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Then, take a boater safety course. If you are older than 16 and born after 1978, you are required to complete a boating safety course prior to operating any power vessel, and have a boating safety certificate. If you were born in or before 1978, you can operate certain boats without taking a safety course.

There are other steps you must take to keep you, your family and friends safe while on the water. First, New Jersey requires you to have enough life vests for everyone on board, and children under 12 years old must be wearing one. In some circumstances, everyone on board must wear a life vest. Additionally, you also must keep visible distress signals, such as flares, on board so you can send a signal if you need help. Finally, there is certain equipment you must keep on your boat, but it varies by the type of vessel. This information can be found on the New Jersey State Police website in the boating safety manual.

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 New Jersey, 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 you.

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