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Old 02-22-2011, 11:42 AM   #1
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Everyone would have seen the devastation from cyclone Yassi and the depressing images of millions of dollars worth of yachts and launches piled, one on top of the other at Cardwell marina. Lots of pain ahead as the insurers push the argument that the height of the pylons had been considerably reduced by the developers reluctance to obstruct the view of the apartment owners. Local government are running for cover and the mud is about to fly.

A couple of days after Yassi went through, and much to the relief of all concerned, a lone yachtsman cruised back into what was left of the marina after deciding to seek shelter amongst the mangroves of Hinchinbrook rather then risk weathering the blow in Cardwell. Not a scratch on him.

In Cairns, all vessels are required to leave the central Marlin Marina and head up into the mangroves - after all the pontoons floated off the pylons during another major cyclone. Further up the coast at Yorkeys Knob where we tie up, the marina claims to be cyclone rated and apart from the finger pontoon opposite the entrance which is usually cleared of all vessels; we simply put out extra lines and fenders, take down all sails and pray to the insurance gods to spare us the paperwork.

Fortunately for Cairns (but unfortunately not for everyone else), Yassi took a southerly turn and we were spared the devastation and the 6m tidal surge promised. Even so - I was a bit alarmed to discover that the pontoons were sitting only a foot below the top of the pylons during the blow - and that was without any tidal surge. Next time - we'll all be sitting on the golf course

So the thought was - next cyclone we'd join the throng up in the mangroves until a few yachties pointed out that there was a very real risk of rendering our insurance null and void by leaving a 'cyclone rated marina' for a muddy mooring in the mangroves.

At the moment we're looking through the fine print but I'm hearing similar stories from a few others. It's a strange position to be in knowing that if you go and suffer some damage you may not be covered but if you stay and get trashed - you get a full payout. We love our lil boat and even an agreed payout is going to be little consolation if she's sitting up in the trees behind the ninth hole.

Fair winds
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:03 AM   #2
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Here in the US, we know many boaters who take their boats into the mangroves (Florida) or up little creeks into the mud (behind South Padre Island in Texas). However, most did not have hull insurance and were doing their best to protect their asset. W/O hull insurance, you look at things differently.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:05 AM   #3
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Everyone would have seen the devastation from cyclone Yassi and the depressing images of millions of dollars worth of yachts and launches piled, one on top of the other at Cardwell marina. Lots of pain ahead as the insurers push the argument that the height of the pylons had been considerably reduced by the developers reluctance to obstruct the view of the apartment owners. Local government are running for cover and the mud is about to fly.

A couple of days after Yassi went through, and much to the relief of all concerned, a lone yachtsman cruised back into what was left of the marina after deciding to seek shelter amongst the mangroves of Hinchinbrook rather then risk weathering the blow in Cardwell. Not a scratch on him.

In Cairns, all vessels are required to leave the central Marlin Marina and head up into the mangroves - after all the pontoons floated off the pylons during another major cyclone. Further up the coast at Yorkeys Knob where we tie up, the marina claims to be cyclone rated and apart from the finger pontoon opposite the entrance which is usually cleared of all vessels; we simply put out extra lines and fenders, take down all sails and pray to the insurance gods to spare us the paperwork.

Fortunately for Cairns (but unfortunately not for everyone else), Yassi took a southerly turn and we were spared the devastation and the 6m tidal surge promised. Even so - I was a bit alarmed to discover that the pontoons were sitting only a foot below the top of the pylons during the blow - and that was without any tidal surge. Next time - we'll all be sitting on the golf course

So the thought was - next cyclone we'd join the throng up in the mangroves until a few yachties pointed out that there was a very real risk of rendering our insurance null and void by leaving a 'cyclone rated marina' for a muddy mooring in the mangroves.

At the moment we're looking through the fine print but I'm hearing similar stories from a few others. It's a strange position to be in knowing that if you go and suffer some damage you may not be covered but if you stay and get trashed - you get a full payout. We love our lil boat and even an agreed payout is going to be little consolation if she's sitting up in the trees behind the ninth hole.

Fair winds
Gooday Shaun, Robin & Mico. I'm very pleased that 'y'all' came out of 'Yasi' in one piece. Also pleased that many others come out-of-Yasi O.K. Equally sorry about the carnage in Cardwell & nearby areas. The 'heart-ace', anguish & distress felt by these owners may well be worse than the years of argument with the insurance companies & the subsequent 'short pay out' which they will no doubt try to get away with in every way possible. Legal, moral, ethical or not.

Great subject you have raised here. Hope many others join in with their views & opinions. Here are some thoughts I have.

I've 'weathered' many Cyclone seasons in the Cairns area over the last 25 years & most of them afloat & in charge of more than 1 yacht. I've 'storm-anchored' up to 5 yachts (@ 1 time) - - up in the mangroves in 2 cyclones & put my own yachts 'in-the-mangroves' on several other occasions. During Cyclone Steve (I think it was) whilst on a 58' monohull c/w a 90' high mast-head wind-indicator (which stayed attached & working) I recorded a maximum wind speed of 38 kts while at the 'pier-masters' office only a few k's away the 'pier-master' himself recorded some 98 kph & the Marlin Marina was almost totally destroyed. The 'rolling-effect' of mangrove swamps in dissipating the wind strength is not to be underrated. One must anchor extremely well though.

The 9th-hole or anywhere else on said Golf course is not the ideal place for a cyclone storm anchorage, agreed!! As an owner, builder & repairer of yachts for over 50 years, I had never thought that the insurance company or any/all of their so called 'professionals' were in charge of my vessel or the Captain of same or even remotely capable of that task.

All of us in here would sure like to know what you find out in regards to the 'insurance companies' thoughts & policy interpretation regarding this touchy subject. Please take time to keep us in the information loop. Thanks!!!!!!

As the Captain of any vessel is the SOLE person ultimately in charge of his vessel & his interpretation of the severity of the situation is in real terms 'unquestionable' - (& in international maritime law), I'm indeed left wondering where that leaves any/all insurance companies, whose opinions are financially 'self-interest' based & not based on facts at hand - such as 1/ not on board, 2/ not in command, 3/ not in-touch with the on-board conditions 4/ & without the skills, knowledge &/or experience to make the 'ULTIMATE' CALL - - 'to stay of go'.

We - all of us in this 'forum' have several highly qualified professional people with many years of experience that I do hope grace us with their knowledge. Stephen - Aye - mate, please come in on this one. We here locally have the likes of Lew Hone - aka 'lewsea' - SV Kristine - a very qualified professional experienced seaman who I will ask to venture an opinion in these pages. I know he personally feels that the - mangrove area in Cairns - may well be considered to be the safest 'Cyclone anchorage' on the North East Coast of Australia. I know that is what I believe. I'd rather keep my yacht safe, well, in 1 piece & without major damage than risk trusting an insurance company to pay to rebuild it properly.

Keep in touch on this one - everybody that has something informative & constructive to say. Please. Ciao, 'JJ-geri-hat-trick' james

I have personally loved my vessels, each & every one of them & didn't want to loose them or wish to spend several years of total heart-break rebuilding them just to find out the insurance company found a loop-hole & my - decision to stay (when I knew full well I should have moved to a safer anchorage) was all for nothing.

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Old 02-25-2011, 06:00 AM   #4
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All of us in here would sure like to know what you find out in regards to the 'insurance companies' thoughts & policy interpretation regarding this touchy subject. Please take time to keep us in the information loop. Thanks!!!!!!

As the Captain of any vessel is the SOLE person ultimately in charge of his vessel & his interpretation of the severity of the situation is in real terms 'unquestionable' - (& in international maritime law), I'm indeed left wondering where that leaves any/all insurance companies, whose opinions are financially 'self-interest' based & not based on facts at hand - such as 1/ not on board, 2/ not in command, 3/ not in-touch with the on-board conditions 4/ & without the skills, knowledge &/or experience to make the 'ULTIMATE' CALL - - 'to stay of go'.


There are two aspects here, the legal and insurance.

Let's look first at the legal aspect.

Every maritime state has developed its own Merchant Shipping Act, Vessel Safety Act or whatever it may be called in that state. Irrespective of the name, the acts are, more or less, similar in content with many based upon the British Merchant Shipping Act.

In these acts (not international law) you will find the rights and responsibilities of a ship’s master laid down. One will also find that even the term “ship master” defined as being the person in charge of a vessel irrespective of the size of that vessel. A skipper of a yacht is therefore, in the terms of the acts, a ship master with the ship master’s rights and responsibilities.

One of the major, in fact I would say the primary, responsibilities of the ship master is ensuring the safety of his vessel, its cargo and its crew.

In a hurricane/typhoon situation it is, as always, the master who is to choose the best course of action to ensure the safety of his ship, cargo and crew. The courses of action open to the master depend upon the capabilities of his ship. As an example, I can mention an occasion when I was a cadet on a cargo-passenger liner. We were lying at A2 buoy in Hong Kong. The buoy was classed as a typhoon buoy where a vessel could remain in safety under typhoon conditions. On the occasion in question, typhoon Rose was heading for the colony. The ship’s master, taking into account his responsibilities, gave orders to batten down and proceed to sea. We slipped the buoy and proceeded out into the Taiwan Straits where we experienced two of the most uncomfortable days of my life heaved to in what became exceedingly high and confused seas. We received a little superficial damage – awnings carried away and some slight damage to a couple of cars (one a Rolls Royce) we had as cargo. On our return to Hong Kong, we found ships washed ashore and buildings collapsed. It was one of the worst storms ever to hit the colony with extreme damage caused. Our master had taken the right course of action. He had under his command a well found ship built to survive under the most adverse of tropical conditions.

Had we not been a large cargo-passenger liner and instead been a small sailing vessel would the decision have been the same? I sincerely hope not. In exercising responsibility for a vessel one must always take into account the capabilities of the vessel and, importantly, those of the vessel’s crew.

And to the mangroves. Mangroves are fantastic. They are a nursery for small fish, a sanctuary for many marine animals and amphibians and a protective barrier shielding the coast from the furies of the ocean. Unfortunately, and never with a good result, mangroves are being torn out in some parts of the world: Yemen springs to mind where a stretch of Red Sea mangroves were torn out to build a road which president Saleh paraded along to mark the country’s independence.

What mangroves also do is to provide a shelter for small boats in exactly the same way as they protect the coast from storm waves. In a hurricane/typhoon situation the ship’s master may find it an appropriate course of action to shelter in the mangroves. This he cannot be faulted for as it has been a recognised “haven” for centuries.

The insurance aspect is not the same as the legal aspect. A master could be well justified in sheltering in mangroves but if his insurance policy excludes this then he has no right to compensation should his vessel be damaged. Is this fair? Probably not. Is it legal? Yes.

The bottom line here is that the law requires you, as master, to do your utmost to ensure the safety of your vessel, cargo and crew without specifying what you must do. The choice is yours but, if you make the wrong choice, you will be held responsible. The insurance company insures you against specified risks in a specified area (read the small print). Anything which takes place outside the parameters established in your policy (which is just an agreement between you and the insurers) is not covered and you cannot expect compensation for. This may mean that the best course of action is one which you are not covered for. The choice is yours!

Aye // Stephen
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:29 AM   #5
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Well said, Stephen.

One little nit-pick here. With regard to private yachts, the knowledge and experience level of the skippers varies widely, from clueless to master. And in a few examples that I know of, years of "experience" has meant nothing more than years of cluelessness. Truly.

In the U.S. yacht insurance has change dramatically in the past 25 years (which is the limit of our experience). As late as the 90s, there were few conditions or restrictions on yacht insurance regarding tropical cyclones. Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew were instrumental in changing that situation. I can't say that the average yacht owner's understanding and attitudes have changed, though.

A friend of ours, when faced with a hurricane bearing down on his boat, declined Peter's offer to help secure the boat for the storm with the reply that he had it all taken care of. Knowing this person's cavalier attitude to the care and security of his boat, Peter asked what had been done. "I got out the insurance policy and read it. I'm covered." Right. No chafe guard on the mooring lines, the boat went on the rocks when the single line was chafed through. Total loss, insurance covered.

Nowadays, most US boats in hurricane zones have greater restrictions. Most are required to file a "hurricane plan" with the insurer. If the insurer doesn't like it the owner has to rethink and make better arrangements. And if the owner doesn't follow his filed plan, I assume that the insurance company would hold the owner at least partially responsible for any damage.

Many insurance policies do not cover hurricane damage. For example, we are covered for all risks provided that the boat is not in the water in Florida from July 1 through November 1. If it is, all risks except damage attributed to a "named storm" are covered. In other words, choosing to stay in Florida during hurricane season means we are self-insured for damage caused due to a hurricane/tropical storm.

The southern US has seen the same carnage that Cardwell suffered. I doubt that insurers here believe in cyclone rated marinas. Marina managers do, though. It's their livelihood on the line if boats can't stay there for almost half the boating season, so would you trust their judgment? Should an insurance company trust the judgment of a boat or marina owner who has never seen the effects of a Cat. 4 or 5 cyclone?

Hurricane Hugo, in 1989, was a disaster for most of the boats in the "best hurricane hole in the Caribbean". A couple years later, St. Martin's "best hurricane hole in the Caribbean" was the scene of similar boat carnage. There weren't enough mangroves around to accommodate all the boats that should have tied up there, but those boats that did go into the mangroves survived the hurricane.

As much as I wish we could do whatever we wanted and still be covered by insurance, reality intrudes. One behaves prudently or pays for not doing so. The problem, I guess, is what is prudent behavior? Sometimes it's what works regardless of the wisdom driving the behavior, but in the absence of experience I guess it's whatever the insurance company is willing to cover.

We were told by lots of people that Peter was foolhardy to stay with our boat during Hurricane Hugo, with which neither of us agreed. As it turned out, the boat would probably have been seriously damaged had Peter not been on the boat AND because of an incompetent/dishonest insurance AGENT (not the insurance company) we were not covered by insurance when Hugo hit, though we did not know it at the time. Quite similar to what happened when sv Watermelon went through a cyclone in the S. Pacific. Peter's presence on the boat was the difference between discomfort and loss. Were we in the wrong place at the wrong time? You bet. We have excuses, of course, but had we lost the boat we would really have had nobody but ourselves to blame.

That's not the case with the victims of Yassi, though, is it? I wonder what changes will be made in insurance coverage as a result of this disaster. Perhaps something similar to what we in the US now live with.

Mico, I think you have the knowledge and experience to make competent decisions whether the insurance company agrees with you or not. But as I say perhaps too often, there is no substitute for luck.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:32 PM   #6
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... as mangroves are so extremely important to the protection of coast lines, I pass on a great share of my yearly donations to organisations that support the protection/replanting of* mangroves!

And there is the group of *yachties coming from areas of the world without Hurricanes and Cyclones: What about their insurance? Do they cover damages or losses caused by hurricanes/cyclones?

Before departing to far away coasts we have to extend the coverage to the new areas we plan to sail in, which is no problem with many companies/brokers. And as the risks are higher they ask for more money. But most times, a regular additional coverage excludes the hurrican/cyclone seasons, so that it can happen that we are not insured at all, when we need it most. So, we have to leave the area completely before the season starts or we stay at own risk and ask for local advice where the chances are best for the boat.

Some companies and brokers do not cover the hurricane seasons at all, others insure your boat during a noaa-named hurricane when you put your boat an the dry, take down sails, masts, biminis etc., the cradle must be secured to the ground, the boat must be tied to the ground or the boat must be dug etc. etc... *But the same company offers a coverage* when the boat is in the water during hurricane season, without specifying this possibility in their general info-brochure. Guess, it's better to take a very close look at the details of the agreements...*

Uwe

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Old 02-27-2011, 12:23 AM   #7
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... as mangroves are so extremely important to the protection of coast lines, I pass on a great share of my yearly donations to organisations that support the protection/replanting of mangroves!

And there is the group of yachties coming from areas of the world without Hurricanes and Cyclones: What about their insurance? Do they cover damages or losses caused by hurricanes/cyclones?

Before departing to far away coasts we have to extend the coverage to the new areas we plan to sail in, which is no problem with many companies/brokers. And as the risks are higher they ask for more money. But most times, a regular additional coverage excludes the hurrican/cyclone seasons, so that it can happen that we are not insured at all, when we need it most. So, we have to leave the area completely before the season starts or we stay at own risk and ask for local advice where the chances are best for the boat.

Some companies and brokers do not cover the hurricane seasons at all, others insure your boat during a noaa-named hurricane when you put your boat an the dry, take down sails, masts, biminis etc., the cradle must be secured to the ground, the boat must be tied to the ground or the boat must be dug etc. etc... But the same company offers a coverage when the boat is in the water during hurricane season, without specifying this possibility in their general info-brochure. Guess, it's better to take a very close look at the details of the agreements...

Uwe

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Gooday mate. Uwe & Lady & SV Aquaria too. Three (3) big stars to you. * * * 1/ Great article - but - What's the answer? You've read mine, I gather, which is - My vessel, I'm in charge, I wouldn't endanger the vessel, the crew or the 'cargo' believing in a bloody insurance company motivated by 'private company profit-margin motivation' any more than I would trust or worlds politicians (which is never, ever, ever). The person in charge of the 'vessel' is - in charge, can't have 2 Captains (not both in charge on the same boat) completely in charge. So it's 'the Captain' or the insurance co. - 1 or the other - not both! That person is 'in charge' & not some city bound - office jerk - 2000 miles away who probably has never been to sea in their whole life & wouldn't know what a - hurricane, typhoon, cyclone (ie 'B'-scale - force 12 c/w winds over 72 kts) was/is all about. I'm in charge of - my life/destiny, my vessel & 1/2 my marriage. I can't escape or give away those responsibilities regardless of any perceived insurance companies policies or small print. I agree with 'JeanneP' & the fact that David - (twice) - stayed on board SV Watermelon (& thus saved the vessel) & I'll cast my vote with them. STAY - totally in charge of your own destiny, stay on board, stay in charge of your vessel & move it to a 'safe' or (safer) place if necessary, if there is such a place available. 2/ I've never read an article of the total overall value that yous on 'electric motors' I my life. That is on any subject!! WOW - I am impressed & thank you so much. Don't know if a 36' (12 mtr) lightweight performance cat could/would handle the weight, but I'll sure look carefully into that possibility. Thanks again for all the real, factual information, data & presentation!! 3/ SV Aquaria sure does sound like a 'great' yacht, I'm very envious - in a nice way. Imaging a 'cruising yachtie' admitting to sailing, cruising & enjoying an - IOR 1/2 ton racing machine, especially in these 'forums'. Seems there may be hope for us all yet. AYE I sailed on a 1/2 ton out of Sydney, Aust. that went to the 'worlds 1/2 ton champs in Europe many, many years ago. It (Plumb Crazy) was an absolute joy to sail at all times, & much fun to cruise-on as well.

Thanks again for all your valuable in-put into these 'forums'. We are all much wiser for the knowledge you have shared with all of us. Ciao from 'down-under'. Wet but well, 'JJ-geri-hat-trick'. PS Do you have/sail an 'ice-boat' they are a real blast. Did that in Canada as a kid - just the other day- ha. Cold but fun & very, very fast. jj

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:32 PM   #8
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@ Silver Raven

Thank you for your kind reply!!!

... no ice-yacht sailing yet. Until two winters ago I thought it's no longer necessary to think about ice-yachts, as winters were so warm that there was no ice (due to climate change). That was different last and this winter. Very cold for a very long time, even now, on March 2nd inland lakes are still solidly covered with ice... *Well, I believe it's just *due to variations within the climatic change and the general direction is clear: *Worldwide average temperatures are on the rise, *the oceans waterlevel rises, individual weather patterns show more extremes, leaving us in the situation to react and change own habits. *For example on a personal level: Not buying an ever bigger yacht every 5 years (in 2003 we decided to keep Aquaria for the rest of our active sailing time, which hopefully will be at least another 20 years!), reducing the CO2 output at least in the field of own leisure time activities (at least the diesel had to go and rowing the dinghi as much as possible) and helping the people in the endangered regions of the world to better protect themselves against *these changes. I know it's sooo little I personally can archive with that, globally seen, but it feels sooo good to do someting aganst it.

But at least here in the wealthy area of Nerthern Europe many other sailing folks think different: Ever bigger boats, lots of money that enables them to even do a blue water cruise into the tropics once or twice in the life time. The number of boats crossing the Atlantic every year is huge (225 boats just in the ARC event!) and not all return before the hurricane season and here I'm back to the topic:

You are right, the responsible captain and crew (of *yacht and commercial ship) does everything do to the very best for their ship during the hurricane season. But the ones-in-a- lifetime cruising crew and captain will be back at home, working and letting the insuranse company/agent take care of the risk after they fulfilled all the insurance- conditions. *That leaves the space in the local known and used hurricane holes and mangroves to the locals like you that really need these rooms of retreat. *I see the point that it is not correct to leave a boat unmanned in dangerous situation and a hurricane is a dangerous situation even for a yacht in a marina. But isn't that the way the hurricane/cyclone risk is delt with today: The boat is more or less insured, sitting in a marina that claims that it is more or less hurricane safe, the marina crew is more or less taking care of the boat and if something happens the insurance company pays more or less to compensate the damage. *And maybe it is the better way to deal with the hurricane risk this way. I don't like to imagine *what would happen if *ALL captains and crews were on the scene when a hurricane is announced to arrive: On top of the material damage in a marina the number of human losses rises too. So, for all cencerned, especially the rescue forces, it is IMHO much better that most of them are inland, far away from the coast and from danger. *Was'n that the philosophy your nation's authorities were following when dealing with Yassi with the excellent result of only very vew people that lost their lives? *All damages can be repaired and insurances take care of most damages.

I understand that liveaboards see this a little different: It's their home that is endangered and they surely want to rely on their own experience and local knowledge and maybe can do it alot better than crews and captains of yachts that are on a short visit (in the wrong time of year)...

Uwe

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #9
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Uwe,

What you're talking about is yachties dealing with their "financial risk" by purchasing insurance for their boat. If they were truly intent upon reducing risk (due to hurricanes or large storms) to the boat, then a boat owner would be looking at things like getting out of the hurricane zone altogether, or putting the boat on the hard in zone (some folks do this) or, taking the boat up into the creeks and mangroves.

Today, most recreational boaters have little more than money invested in their boat. It is not their home, it is not their livelihood, it is not something they've built themselves, there is nothing else, tangible or intangible, at risk for most of them. Therefore, the insurance is purchased and they boaters don't bother doing much else--after all they're "covered." The attitudes of boaters who think the marinas and insurers are primarily responsible for taking care of the boats leads to, among other unintended consequences, increased risk to other boats in a marina, the marina property, and increased risk to the insurers as well.

A result is higher and higher insurance premiums and refusal of insurers to provide insurance in large parts of the world during storm season.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:17 AM   #10
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Uwe,

What you're talking about is yachties dealing with their "financial risk" by purchasing insurance for their boat. If they were truly intent upon reducing risk (due to hurricanes or large storms) to the boat, then a boat owner would be looking at things like getting out of the hurricane zone altogether, or putting the boat on the hard in zone (some folks do this) or, taking the boat up into the creeks and mangroves.

Today, most recreational boaters have little more than money invested in their boat. It is not their home, it is not their livelihood, it is not something they've built themselves, there is nothing else, tangible or intangible, at risk for most of them. Therefore, the insurance is purchased and they boaters don't bother doing much else--after all they're "covered." The attitudes of boaters who think the marinas and insurers are primarily responsible for taking care of the boats leads to, among other unintended consequences, increased risk to other boats in a marina, the marina property, and increased risk to the insurers as well.

A result is higher and higher insurance premiums and refusal of insurers to provide insurance in large parts of the world during storm season.
G'day 'mate' or should that be 'mate-ess' or 'ms-mate'. Which ever - - yet again you hit-the-nail on the blinken head. Seems to me we have several 'topics' on this board that are directly linked at the hip. Insurance - To go or not to go, Somali pirates etc etc. As you wisely point out - the owner/captain/person in charge is after all the only person in charge of making the final call. If you break the 'first' commandment - then you should stay in a house on the land and not go repeat not go to sea. If you are in charge & make a BAD decision then you shouldn't be 'in charge'. Insurance or no insurance, where & when you sail/anchor/tie-up etc, where you choose to sail or where you choose not to sail, when you 'put-to-sea' or don't , should be governed by - rule one - the Captain IS responsible for his/her vessel, all of it's crew & their welfare, & everything on-board (cargo) - just like Stephen so wisely said. Example is like the saying "if you can't handle the heat stay out of the kitchen". I'm fully in agreement with Rob & Annette - SV Blue Lady - The time has come to stop this stupidity, actually it's long past time. STOP the pirates firstly. Fix their problems secondly but only when they are under control. It is not 'rocket science' nor does one have to be a bloody 'brain surgeon' - JUST DO IT- Bloody politicians couldn't 'stand up to the plate' if you put a broom - where the sun-does-not-shine - (ooops). Something like 90% of the worlds goods travel by sea & a large proportion (something like 60% goes through the 'canal') yet they - the worlds polies - sit on their sanctimonious butts & do not a thing to get the rules of humane behaviour under control. I remember that 'PT boats' were very instrumental in 'winning the pacific' in a time of conflict not so ling ago & JFK wasn't a bad shot either. Time is more than ready to DO IT AGAIN, IMHO Now after saying - ooops I'll get of my 'soap-box' & shut-up. Final parting comment, - if you live by the sword then be fully prepared to die by the sword. Bye for now all, james
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