Delaware is a great place to own a boat. The C&D Canal, the Chesapeake Bay, the Indian River Inlet near Rehoboth Beach, and the Assawoman Bay in Ocean City, MD are all conveniently located boating areas. Go to any of those places on a sunny summer weekend, and you’ll find boating enthusiasts of all types. While riding the waves is definitely a popular summer past time in Delaware, there is more to it than simply placing a cover on your boat during the off-season! 

Do you have a boat or are you thinking about purchasing one? Here are six tips for Delaware boat-owners to follow:


Just like cars and other land vehicles, boats need proper upkeep and maintenance too. To save money on fuel, check for damage or debris by removing your boat’s propellers periodically. Items can become wedged in the propellers and slow you down while using more gas. You’ll also need to clean your boat after each use. Algae and aquatic critters can dry on the sides and damage the paint. You may want to think about investing in a pressure washer, or calling a professional power washing service if you don’t have time to do the cleaning yourself.

Don’t Drink and Boat

While drinking and boating is a common summer-time activity, those doing so should be aware of Delaware’s Boating Under The Influence law. Just like driving a car, the person operating the boat is expected to have a BAC of .08 or less. First time offenders can pay up to $1,000 in fines or face up to six months in jail.

Always Wear a Life Jacket

According to the Delaware Department of Natural Respurces (DNREC), children 12 and under are required to wear a life jacket at all times while in a moving boat. While not mandatory, it is strongly recommended to bring enough life jackets for everyone on board, just in case.

Do your Paperwork

In the state of Delaware, all operators born on or after January 1, 1978 must have completed a boating course approved by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Proof of boater education (a state-issued card or NASBLA approved certificate) is required to be carried aboard during operation.

Place All Valuables in a Safe Place

Once you have gotten your boat maintenance, safety features, and paperwork squared away, you’ll need to ensure your valuables are property stored. Your cell phone, keys, wallet, and other electronics could end up in the water or lost at sea. Generally, a ziploc bag should do the trick but to help save the environment, try a reusable waterproof container! you’re parking your boat at a marina, you should be mindful of potential theft as well. Investing in a safe or other locked container can protect your items from being stolen.

Make Sure You Have The Right Insurance

A boat is an asset like any other, and you need to protect it from damage, theft, and other perils. If your boat is financed, you will be required to carry full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision. Of course you will also need liability insurance as required by law in Delaware. Our agents at Commercial Insurance Associates can help you understand what type of boat insurance you need, and help you get the best price. Call our office at 302-286-7901, or email for a quick quote.