With the recent changeable weather in the UK, the likelihood of finding yourself out at sea with bad weather coming in fast is a very real threat. Luckily for us, electrical storms are rather rare here in the UK, but at Insure4Boats we like to make sure you’re prepared for every possible scenario. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for staying safe on your boat during a storm.

1. Timing

In an ideal world, you would only go out on your boat on sunny, cloudless days – but, as we all know, in the UK that could easily mean that you never take your boat out at all. So, planning when to take your boat out based on the weather forecast is paramount.

Same-day forecasts are usually very accurate at predicting big storms, but small localized storms might not be reported – especially if you’re further out at sea. Therefore, knowing how to read the weather yourself can come in handy, as well as having all the appropriate tech to spot a storm when out on your boat.

As soon as you can tell that the weather is closing in, it’s time to head to the nearest dock for shelter – if it’s close by.


2. Act quickly

If you’ve been caught off guard and can’t get to shelter quick enough before the storm sets in, then it’s time to act fast. Boating magazine recommends your next action should be to quickly find a spot that is as sheltered as possible and drop anchor – the last thing you want is to capsize.

If you have an open boat then you are the highest point on the boat, and, as such, you’re the most likely to get hit if lightning does strike. If you see lightning, then make sure your life jacket is on, take off all metal jewellery, and get low towards the centre of the boat (away from metal objects) – ideally in the enclosed cabin if your boat has one.

It is also recommended that you shouldn’t use your VHF radio unless it’s an absolute emergency.


3. Wait it out

Once you’ve taken all the precautions you can, all you can do is sit tight and wait for the storm to subside. The average storm should take about 20-30 minutes to blow over. It is advised that you should probably wait a minimum of 30 minutes after the last sounds of thunder before you start sailing again.

If the worst does happen, and your boat is at risk of sinking or damage as a result of a storm, you’ll be glad to have specialist boat insurance you can trust. Insure4Boats is one of the UK’s leading specialist boat insurers – offering tailored cover so you only pay for what you need. Get an instant online quote today and see how affordable peace of mind can be.

Please note the information provided on this page should not be taken as advice and has been written as a matter of opinion. For more on insurance cover and policy wording, see our homepage.