Minnesota Boat Repair | Collision Boat Repair
Boats, boats everywhere! Speed boats, Johnboats, fishing boats, pontoon boats, kayaks, canoes, personal watercraft, yachts—there’s a boat for everyone and every purpose, and nowhere in the United States will you find more boats per capita than in Minnesota. A recent statewide count of boats revealed more than 850,000 registered boats—one for every six men, women, and children in the state.
Besides being number one in the nation in terms of boats per capita, there are only three states that beat us in outright boat registrations, and those are the far more populous states of California, Florida, and Michigan.
You can’t ask for a better place to be if you love to boat! What the area loses to a short summer, it more than makes up for with some of the most passionate boaters in the country. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single person in the county who doesn’t spend at least one day on the water. With such an abundance of water and shoreline, it is not surprising that boating is the ultimate Minnesota pastime.
With that many boats out there, the enormity of Minnesota’s navigable waters and the popularity of the sport make a certain number of mishaps inevitable.
This boat was repaired in 2½ weeks, to better then new condition. Our repair side of the boat was actually straighter than the factory port side.
Our Congested Waters
We are fortunate that we have sufficient resources to accommodate the wide variety of pleasure boating demands. However, our waterways can become crowded at times and be a place of chaos and confusion. While being a marvelous source of recreation, boating, to the unprepared, can be a risky sport.
There are approximately 6,400 recreational boating accidents in the United States each year. Operator inexperience is the leading cause of boat accidents nationwide, and has been for 15 years. The most common types of watercraft involved in past boating accidents were open motorboats (43 percent), personal watercraft (23 percent), and cabin motorboats (15 percent).
The causes of these boating accidents varied greatly, but the main ones include excessive speed, machinery failure, lack of a proper lookout, operator inattention and general carelessness. Alcohol abuse is the biggest contributing factor in both minor and serious boating accidents. In fact, the United States Coast Guard lists alcohol as the leading factor in 17 percent of boating accidents.
Drowning is one of the most common accidents to occur during a boating outing. In 2008, 11 children under the age of 13 lost their lives while boating, and of those 11, seven died from drowning. Overall, two-thirds of boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 90 percent neglected to wear a life jacket. These accidents were not confined to large watercraft either: Seven of every ten boaters killed by drowning drive boats less than 21 feet in length.
Tips for Safe and Respectful Boating
Boating should be enjoyable for everyone. Make sure your boat meets the requirements set out by your state and federal government. According to the National Department of Vessel Safety Checks, most boats fail safety inspections because of the following infractions:
- Failure to display registration numbers
- Lack of necessary flotation devices
- Lack of fire extinguishers
- Improper ventilation
- Improper marine sanitation device
- Lack of navigation lights
- Lack of backfire flame control
Make sure your boat meets the above safety requirements. To ensure a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved in the boating trip, it’s wise that you:
- Be courteous to other boaters. The less time you spend on the dock or boat ramp, the better.
- Remember that the skipper or operator of a watercraft is responsible for damage caused by a boat’s wake.
- Keep in mind that most states, including Minnesota, have a zero-tolerance policy for boating while intoxicated. Make a non-alcoholic beverage your drink of choice.
- Attempt to reduce your wake, especially when near fisherman, swimmers, sailboat regattas or watercraft at anchor.
Following the above four rules will ensure everyone can enjoy Minnesota’s glorious waterways. Always be mindful that you will usually not be the sole boater on any one waterway, especially at popular destinations. All 12,000 of them! (Actually there are 11,842 lakes, 69,200 miles of rivers and streams and about 4,000 miles of water trails, all waiting to be enjoyed!)
If your schedule allows, boat during the week. It shouldn’t be a surprise that most accidents occur on Saturdays and Sundays. Be extra-diligent on busy holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. And don’t forget about spring break, which typically takes place during the month of March. The numerous colleges and universities taking breaks at different times can make most of the month noticeably busier.
Remember the 4th of July holiday is only weeks away. Minnesota isn’t getting any more water, and with more than 850,000 registered boats in the state, it’s important to pay attention! So do yourself a favor and make the lakes and waterways (and you) a little bit safer this coming 4th of July weekend by making safety a priority to ensure that boating stays fun! Boat Responsibly to avoid a boating accident!
Be safe and have fun!