Interested in taking to the water this summer in Canada? We don’t blame you. Our team at Portside Marine Insurance is proud to offer a wide range of suitable policies, each refined to align with the needs and budgets of watercraft owners. That being said, boat varieties are a dime a dozen, and it can feel overwhelming in deciding which is ideal for you but also insurable. Today, to help you make a well-informed purchasing decision, let’s take a stroll down the promenade of common vessel types that are ideally suited to our marine insurance policies.
Aluminum Fishing Boats
Simple in design and functionality, aluminum fishing boats are small, single-motor vessels. Their straightforward construction and minimal number of features, although containing plenty of seating and open space, make them a great choice for casting lines from either the port or starboard side. The propulsion unit, usually a single propellor and diesel or gas combustion engine housed in an outboard motor, is stern-mounted and can be turned on a 180-degree axis to help steer the vessel without the use of oars (though those are also available in a pinch). If you have trailer boat insurance, it will cover your aluminum fishing boat in the event of an accident, theft, or damage.
Zippy, nimble and lightweight, Seadoo vessels are small pleasure watercraft designed for speed and maneuverability. Usually capable of having space for a driver and passenger, their steering system is not unlike a bicycle or motorcycle; port and starboard handles are affixed to the driver’s dashboard housing, which features a windshield to protect onboard electronics. This housing can rotate, steering the vessel, so there’s no outboard motor. If you’re considering owning one of these, wearing a lifejacket is just as important as with any other boating choice, and having small craft insurance – or better still, dedicated Seadoo insurance – is essential for hassle-free repairs and agreed value coverage.
Do you have bass boat insurance and a vessel classified as such? If so, we’re a little envious! These are wonderful choices for coastal fishing and can operate with ease in shallow waters as little as two feet in depth. With comfortable seating and room for standing while remaining balanced, their open-concept, outboard motor design makes them easy to maneuver. Usually, the driver and one or two passengers have plenty of space from which to cast off, and other features including an aerated livewell for catches and plenty of engine horsepower means you can not only look after the fish you collect but get back to shore in a timely manner.
Beautiful and sleek, sailboats always draw attention from the shore with their majestic, towering form. These are wonderful boats for day trips, sightseeing, and even pleasure cruises stopping in multiple docks along coastal areas. Propelled by large, billowing sails in addition to emergency backup motors if the weather isn’t quite so cooperative, they usually include plenty of open deck and cabin space, the latter of which normally features sleeping accommodations and a bathroom. There’s also plenty of storage onboard, perfect for when travelling with children or multiple passengers.
It’s crucial that you have charter boat insurance if you plan on renting a vessel out to others, even if you have someone able-bodied and experienced at the helm. Charter vessels include everything from sightseeing pleasure craft to ocean-ready fishing trawlers and even personal yachts. They’re usually booked for a long-distance itinerary such as out to the middle of Lake Ontario for fishing or a pleasure cruise stopping at multiple destinations. Setting this itinerary is known as a charter, hence the term and subsequent important charter boat insurance policies. Should your vessel become damaged, stolen, or otherwise, your plan can cover repair costs or even reimbursement for loss of the boat in question.
With their sleek, aerodynamic form and state-of-the-art jet motors – usually two of them – jet boats offer a thrilling and fun new way to take to Canada’s many waterways and lakes. However, they demand a highly experienced driver with lightning-quick reflexes, not to mention a sharp eye. Propulsion systems are contained inside the hull itself rather than hanging outboard, lending to their increased agility and therefore reducing drag while cruising at high speed. With plenty of seating and even sunning areas, they make a great choice for a day trip or pleasure cruise, but it’s crucial that you’re well aware of the conditions around you including depth, obstructions such as rocks, and boating laws. Having the right insurance is important with jet boats as their increased speed and power make them more prone to accidents and damage if the driver is inexperienced.
One of the most popular types of personal watercraft in Canada, particularly in Ontario where the local waterways and lakes are generally smoother, bowriders offer the perfect combination of form and function. Living up to the name, they feature ample seating inset into the bow of the vessel, and further aft the driver’s and rear passenger seating area are protected by a large surround windshield. On some bowriders, the middle panel is simply not included, meaning you’ll have a window in front of the driver and passenger seat only with a space in the middle for bow access. On others, a middle window is included with a latching mechanism, allowing you to cut off bow access on a windy or choppy day. By design, bowriders are well stabilized, able to accommodate standing and sitting passengers with relative ease, and there’s usually plenty of onboard storage.
Think of these as the “big sister” of the bowrider – a larger, even more spacious vessel with bow access. However, this is where the similarities end, as cuddy cabin boats contain a small private cabin with storage, seating, and sometimes even a head (bathroom). There’s plenty of seating on board and usually, a platform affixed to the stern, jetting over and outwards from the propulsion units. This is typically a great spot for fishing, sunning, or for use as a swimming platform.
Cruisers and Motor Yachts
These are the vessels many boaters aspire to own. Spacious, grand, and rich in amenities and features, personal cruisers and motor yachts are large and costly to own. However, especially if you have the ideal insurance policy in place and sufficient income to actively maintain one, they afford a luxurious waterborne lifestyle unlike that of most other vessels. Multi-day or even multi-week stays onboard are perfectly manageable as long as you have a sufficiently experienced crew and supplies, and they cruise at high speeds without much “bobbing” in the water thanks to their sheer size and room for powerful engines. With complete kitchens, living spaces and bathrooms, multiple bedrooms, and even a dedicated bridge or cockpit, they allow plenty of room for large groups of passengers. That being said, you must operate one of these with care and precision, following local charts and boating regulations.
These are just some of the many common boat types out there deserving of an insurance policy. Looking after your investment means less financial stress and more time to enjoy what you love about being on the water. Whether fishing, pleasure cruising, chartering, or otherwise, we at Portside Marine Insurance are happy to help with all your personal watercraft insurance needs. Contact us today to learn more!