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Snow A Danger For Boats

By Dr. Julie Ball, fishing report contributor,
IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach.

Here it is January, and we have had our first big snow in Hampton Roads. Our first thoughts after a snow are usually centered around how to clear the snow and ice to get in and out of our homes and businesses…and then how to negotiate the roadways. But many folks don’t consider their boats.

Ice and snow on a boat can be a recipe for disaster. Even experienced boaters can easily slip on the extremely slick icy surfaces in a boat. And the rocking and tossing associated with a boat on the water, just adds to the challenge of maintaining your balance on these treacherous surfaces.


Snow is also heavy and can accumulate very quickly, especially in areas able to hold concentrated amounts of precipitation, such as the cockpit of a boat. It is not uncommon for a snow-filled boat to succumb to the weight, sinking right at the dock. This can be a shocking discovery for an unsuspecting boat owner. According to the Boat U.S. Marine Insurance claim files, for every boat that sinks underway, four boats sink in their slips, and 32% of all boat sinkings occur due to rain and snow. So, during the next snow storm, don’t forget to check on the boat.

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