INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING, FROM OUR BOATU.S. MARINE INSURANCE FILES
108 | BoatU.S. alerts!
experience. Seems like everyone can learn
a little from this.
Bigger boats tend to strike things in the
water more frequently, as seen in the
chart “Frequency by boat length” at right.
Once boats get over about 18 feet, these
claims double in
boats, of course,
draw less and have
less dangling in
the water. Large
boats will typically
have two or more
outboards or sterndrives, and the hulls
tend to extend farther below the water.
What to do: Be aware that your big
boat draws a lot more than that little jon
boat you’re following. Keep a sharp eye
for floating branches; they might be con-
nected to a big tree trunk.
Bass boats are the third most prevalent
type of boat in the study. While their
drafts are typically less than a foot, they
hit submerged objects twice as often as
other types of boats. That’s because bass
boats are typically used on inland lakes
with lots of stumps, sandbars, and often
extremely variable water levels. And they
go fast, making it harder to avoid things
in and under the water.
What to do: The faster you go, the
harder it is to avoid something in the
water – and the harder you’ll hit it.
Especially after heavy rains, slow down
so you can see what’s in the water.
Fishermen are often in a hurry to get
Prop shafts and
stuffing boxes are
often victims of
If you have a depth sounder, know whether it’s reading from
the transducer to the bottom or from the boat’s lowest point
to the bottom. The difference could be up to a couple of feet
depending on where the transducer is located.
Frequency by boat length
< 14’ 14’– 18’ 19’– 22’ 23’– 27’ 28’+
Frequency by boat type
Runabout Bassboat Sailboat Cruiser Trawler Pontoon boat Houseboat
Frequency by propulsion type
Inboard Unknown Outboard Sterndrive Waterjet pump
Claims resulting from hitting submerged objects