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“Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.” –James Taylor
Bliss, isn’t it? Of course we all think of ‘safety first’ when out on the open water - we’ve got our life vests and navigation systems - but it’s easy to forget that properly insuring the boat itself can save you a boatload of problems in case of a claim.
If you’re new to boat insurance, these pointers will help you navigate these complex waters. If you have existing boat insurance, it might be the perfect time to talk to your broker to make sure they’re up-to-date on any changes that need to be made - or to guide you in a better direction if options have opened up.
A common question from first-time boat owners is, “Doesn’t my homeowner’s policy take care of it?” Most homeowner’s policies have significant restrictions and exclusions for boats and personal watercraft. Your homeowner’s policy may cover inexpensive, slow, and small craft (canoes, kayaks, dinghies, etc.) but when it comes to personal watercraft like Wave Runners/Jet Skis, any watercraft that can exceed 40km/h, large sailboats or yachts... DO NOT assume that your boat, guests, or personal property are covered by your homeowner’s policy!
Good comprehensive boat insurance will protect your investment, as well as safeguard you from liability claims from injury or property damage. Rather than listing each individual element of boat insurance here, it’s best to consult with a knowledgeable broker who will help you understand exactly what you can expect to be covered for in case disaster strikes. Generally, anything that is permanently attached to the boat is covered; but don’t guess. Ask.
Make sure you understand the two types of cover available, and the risks associated with each:
Actual cash value pays the value of your boat at the time of the damage/destruction. The insurance company determines its market value.
Agreed amount value. If the boat is destroyed, the insurer pays a previously-agreed amount. If it can be repaired, old items are replaced with new without deducting for depreciation.
There is more to consider when choosing a policy, including the intended use of your boat (personal or commercial); its size and horsepower; where you will be using it; whether operation requires a license; and whether you’ll be participating in racing of any kind.
You will also want to consider the risk you are comfortable carrying as well as costs (lower deductibles/greater cover, or higher deductibles/lower premiums).
So… how do you choose the best policy for your boat? Our best tip is:
DO NOT base your cover on price alone. Consider the intended use and what you want to be covered for, the risk you are willing to assume, and talk to a knowledgeable broker who will help you navigate the intricacies of boat insurance and help you choose the best cover for you.
Now is the perfect time to get more information about your options or to review your current policy to see if it still meets your needs. Check out our free Boat Insurance Comparison Tool – just submit a quote request and our expert brokers will find the best policy for you at the best possible price!
After many years of preparation, endless challenges (including a dismasting in the depths of the Southern Ocean) and 104 days at sea, Lisa last week arrived back in Albany, becoming the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, below 45 degrees. I can’t wait to hear her story in more detail, but for now, here are the 10 most pressing questions I had for Lisa:
Lisa: Surfing waves in the Southern Ocean, and finishing.
Jess: In that order?
Lisa: A lot of people would probably think the dismasting, but I actually think that it was the container ship collision [as they attempted to transfer fuel to Lisa after the dismasting, see Lisa’s blog about the incident here]. It just simply shouldn’t have happened. That would probably be the lowest lowlight.
Jess: What about the voyage surprised you?
Lisa: The amount of time that I would spend inside the boat. I thought I’d spend on deck but given the cold, I was indoors about 23 hours a day, I’d spend maybe an hour on deck, and that was broken up. I was surprised by how much my world shrunk to about 10 square meters.
Jess: At what point did you feel the coldest?
Lisa: When I sailed across the demisting track after the repairs had been completed in Cape Town, I got hit with a blizzard. I had about 2 inches of snow on the deck in a couple of minutes.
Jess: Was there anything you’d wished you’d packed?
Lisa: For the first half of the trip, a hard drive with all the DVDs that were left behind in Albany. That would have been really, really nice. I wish I’d had more variety in the meals I liked. Then just a few spares for the boat such as electrical switches, some heat shrink, electrical tape; I wish I’d packed more of stuff like that.
Jess: What was your favorite food while at sea?
Lisa: A freeze-dried dinner which was a bare burrito, and porridge. Love porridge; the way to my heart it through a nice hot bowl of porridge.
Jess: What did you crave most while at sea?
Lisa: I use to get really excited when I’d do radio interviews and things like that because I’d have a conversation with someone new. Good conversation was the biggest thing I craved. It really makes you aware of how much you rely on conversation.
Jess: What will you miss most about life at sea?
Lisa: Just the peace, even in a storm; sailing in the middle of nowhere, in the open ocean, on your own is a peaceful experience.
Jess: Would you do it again?
Lisa: In a heartbeat.
Lisa will be speaking at the Sydney International Boat Show this weekend, so make sure you head along to ask any questions of your own.
At committee meetings and yacht club bars across the country — and no doubt around the world —there’s a debate that appears to play on repeat: how do clubs boost participation in sailing and grow fleet racing? While the debate rages on, one man has jumped right in and is offering a million-dollar solution.
Tom Pearce grew up sailing dinghies in the UK, but after retiring he made the move out to Australia. Restlessly cheerful and passionate about grassroots sailing, Tom now spends his time volunteering with various sailing charities and importing RS sailing dinghies through his company Sailing Raceboats.
Through Sailing Raceboats, Tom has already helped out a number of clubs with discounts and interest-free payments, and is constantly looking for ingenious ways to help clubs build up their training fleets. But his latest initiative is on a much grander scale. Tom is offering a million-dollar subsidy to allow not-for-profit sailing clubs to receive two boats for the price of one, therefore instantly creating the beginnings of a fleet.
‘There’s still a perception that sailing is a bit elitist, and the high-performance sailing gets all the attention’ says Tom. ‘We want to make it easy to get newcomers into the sport, to have fun on the water and to get them trained up. Discover Sailing and other similar programmes have been successful, but more can be done to get families regularly participating in club events.’
There are two different boats on offer under the scheme: the RS Feva, which is the highest selling double-handed youth dinghy worldwide; and the RS Quest, another double-handed dinghy, well-suited to adults and training. Both boats are designed to be easy to maintain, robust and affordable, and their global popularity is an indication that they are also likely to become increasingly popular here.
Tom’s personal goal is to see 50 new RS Fevers and Quests in Australia before Christmas. Australian Sailing is supporting the initiative, and so far Tom is well on track to meet that goal with strong interest from clubs as far afield as the Whitsundays and King Island.
Interested clubs can find all the relevant details and an expression of interest form here.
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