In the first of a four-part series looking at the causes of recreational boat sinkings, the July issue of Seaworthy, the damage avoidance newsletter from BoatU.S. Marine Insurance, took a close look at claims and identified the most common reasons outboard boats sink. The research found that most sink while tied to the dock, outnumbering sinkings while under way 4-to-1. Nearly half the outboard boats that sank at the dock were victims of heavy rain or snow, although almost all had “self-bailing” cockpits.
• Sinking at the dock: rain/snow, 47 percent; underwater fittings, 20 percent; above waterline fittings, 10 percent; poor docking arrangements, 9 percent; water over the gunwales/transom, 9 percent; other, 5 percent.
• Sinking while under way: water over the gunwales/transom, 32 percent; live well/bait well plumbing, 20 percent; drain plug, 16 percent; struck a submerged object, 12 percent; other, 12 percent; construction, 8 percent.