Lallis and Higgins Blog

Recent Posts


Boat Launching Tips

- Monday, April 26, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Boat Launching Tips

When you trailer your boat to a launch, there's only one thing between you and the water — a boat ramp!

Some people make boat launching look easy. But it's a touchy, tricky business, especially for new boaters. If you've struggled in the past, don't give up in frustration. Practice makes progress!

Here are eight tips for getting your boat back to its natural habitat!

Practice, practice, practice.

With experience comes confidence. Instead of getting this experience at a crowded boat ramp with an overabundance of impatient, opinionated spectators, consider going to an empty parking lot—you can practice by backing the trailer into a parking space.

Nonverbal communication is key.

Sometimes the sounds of engines, stereos and other noises drown out verbal directions from your co-captain. Avoid this frustration by agreeing on a few common hand signals for "stop," "left," "right," "start over" and "perfect."

Slow and steady is the way to go.

Take a deep breath and disregard the pressure to move fast. This will only lead to mistakes. Take it slow—there isn't a time limit—and control the majority of vehicle movement with your brake pedal.

More brake, less gas.

Backing down a ramp requires only a little gas. Instead, focus on using your brakes and checking your mirrors. For optimum maneuverability, make adjustments with your brake applied—hold the brake, turn the wheel to where you want it and then release.

Consider 8-4 instead of 10-2.

Backing up with your hands in the traditional 10-2 position is OK, but many prefer switching to 8-4 instead. With hands at the bottom of the wheel, you push in the direction that the trailer moves, which can feel more natural.

Get used to different trailer sizes.

Recognize that not all trailers and boats behave the same when being towed. Generally, a longer boat trailer is easier to back up and harder in forward turns; a shorter boat trailer is the opposite.

Try correcting a jackknife before restarting.

While holding the brakes, turn your steering wheel all the way in the opposite direction of the jackknife. Then pull forward slowly—if effective, your tow vehicle and trailer will realign.

Don't forget the guide poles.

Placing guide poles on your trailer will increase visibility, making it easier to maneuver. Try using them and see if they give you the confidence of a boat-launching pro!


What to Consider when Buying a Boat

- Monday, April 19, 2021
Lallis and Higgins Insurance - Boat Insurance

Before buying a boat, there are some things to keep in mind. Whether you're buying a fishing boat, cabin cruiser, pontoon or speed boat, different components like cost, horsepower, weight capacity or onboard storage may prove to be more important to you than others.

Answer these questions before going boat shopping:

What are you hoping to use your boat for?

All boat styles have a different design tailored to the use. Speed boats may be better for tubing and water skiing, but wouldn't hold as many people or be as fish-accessible as a pontoon or fishing boat. Maybe you're in the market for a sailboat, or leaning towards a houseboat. There are so many different varieties of boats, so make an informed decision on which one is right for you (information provided by Discover Boating).

What's your budget?

This may help decide whether to purchase a pre-owned boat. According to Discover Boating, new boats depreciate anywhere between 25%-33% immediately after leaving the dealer's lot. So if you buy a pre-owned boat, someone else has already paid that depreciation cost - more boat for fewer dollars! However, buying a new boat will offer a warranty, the newest technology, and that nice shiny look as you move across the water - the choice is up to you!

How many people are you hoping to go on your boating excursions with?

The capacity on personal fishing boats is generally smaller than a pontoon boat, which are made to hold anywhere between 8-15 adults comfortably.

What type of equipment will you want onboard?

Here's some suggestions:

  • Trolling Motor
  • Light
  • Depth finder
  • Live well
  • GPS
  • Canopy/bimini
  • Stereo
  • Tables
  • Emergency survival kit
  • Fire extinguisher

Will your car be able to tow the new boat?

According to Auto Bytel, the average 21-foot boat trailer weighs between 500 and 1,000 pounds, while most boats in this size range hover in the 4,000-5,000 pound range. This means that you'll want an SUV or truck that is rated to tow between 4,500-6,000 pounds in total.

Where will you boat be stored?

Will your new boat fit in your garage during the off season? Alongside your garage? In a separate storage space?

And a few other components to consider…

  • Horsepower
  • Engine Type
  • Hull (Deep V, Modified V, Pontoon, etc.)
  • Storage Onboard

No matter what you decide, get out there, matey, and enjoy the open seas!


Boaters Insurance

- Monday, April 12, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Boaters Insurance

Boat sales continue to soar while we are still in a pandemic, and as we approach summer 2021 — this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the sale of boats and marine products reached a 13-year high in 2020, and they expect it to remain at historic levels for 2021. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take advantage of this market, start right now with Foremost Choice Marine!

Contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance for more information on boaters insurance.

Get Your Boat Ready for the Waves

- Monday, April 05, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Boat Insurance

Warm weather is on the way!

If you are struggling with the pre-launch boat preparation, here are some great tips to help get that ride out as soon as possible.

  • Inspect the fuel system for any leaks or damage. Ensure the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are all functioning properly. (You may want to run the motor out of the water first.) Also, it's recommended to change the oil before your first run of the year.
  • Check the belts, cables and hoses. They can become brittle and may crack or swell during the winter.
  • Inspect electrical connections for cleanliness or tightness. Charge your battery and have it tested to ensure it can hold a charge. Electrical systems should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.
  • Check all fluid levels; change the engine oil, oil filter, and drive lubricants, if these tasks were not done prior to winterizing your boat.
  • Inspect propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion. Be sure to clean the hull, deck and topsides and make sure the drain plug is securely in place before every launch.
  • Check your safety gear! Make sure your life jackets are in good condition and that there are enough on board for all potential passengers. Be sure on board fire extinguishers are the correct class and are fully charged.

A couple hours before your summer launch could save you huge headaches later. A lot of boat owners say to have extra plugs on hand, just in case. Also, brushing up on a boater's safety class is always a good idea.

Get prepared to enjoy this boating season and leave the rest to the water.


Get an insurance quote &
see how much you can save.