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Old 06-19-2009, 09:00 AM   #1
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Hi to all. I'm a new boat owner and sailor who will be embarking on a long voyage from HI to New Zealand in July. Sailing for me is a long awaited dream and comes as I wind up my career as an Emergency Physician. I've purchased a very well equipped 1988 Morgan Classic 42' yacht and have been spending most of my free time checking out systems and provisioning the boat for this major cruise. My sailing is pretty limited, a lot of time as a youth on Lake Erie in Sun Fish, and a Bare Boat Charter Certificate and Off Shore Navigation Certificate 2 years ago.

Because of my lack of experience, I'm not really insurable for this trip and will be hiring an experienced sailor and one crew to accompany my grown son and I on the voyage and to serve as captain. Hopefully, by the time we reach NZ, I'll have my sailing chops and be ready for more. I own the boat outright so bank issues are mute and any loss would be mine to bear alone. My current quandry is how to write a contract for the captain's services that protects me from excessive liability but is fair.

Aloha

Rob
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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Welcome to our forums.

There are a couple of opportunities here :

Let us assume that you are seeking an insurance policy that give you cover for liabilities, in addition to cover against damage and loss of your boat - and also providing adequate 3rd party cover.

Let us assume that you will employ a skipper/captain who has the necessary qualifications and experience to be professionally in command of your boat and whose qualifications and experience are recognised by an insurance company as being sufficient for them to issue a policy commensurate with your insurance needs.

Maritime law provides definition and clarification as to the role and responsibility of vessel's skipper relative to that of the owner. HOWEVER, the whole subject is an enormous field in which there are thousands of exceptions and different interpretations. CLICK HERE

Give us some more info as to where you are located and what qualifications and experience are required by your state, coastguard and insurers for a commanding skipper.

P.S.

As the boat's year is given as 1988 - a few insurers will take on the boat provided that a condition and valuation survey is carried out by a marine surveyor of their choice and at your cost.

Richard
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:15 AM   #3
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I believe that if you can find a licensed captain to skipper your boat that you should be able to obtain insurance, perhaps liability only. *I think that you would need to have a lawyer draw up any contract, but I doubt very much that a contract binding between you and the captain will have much, if any, impact on your liability. *He is, after all, going to be your employee, and the boat is yours. *I can't think of any circumstance where anything that happens on the boat would be his liability but not yours.

Richard is correct that a 20-y.o. boat would need a survey in order to be insurable, of course. *We had to have a new survey every five years to stay insured.

fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
Welcome to our forums.

There are a couple of opportunities here :

Let us assume that you are seeking an insurance policy that give you cover for liabilities, in addition to cover against damage and loss of your boat - and also providing adequate 3rd party cover.

Let us assume that you will employ a skipper/captain who has the necessary qualifications and experience to be professionally in command of your boat and whose qualifications and experience are recognised by an insurance company as being sufficient for them to issue a policy commensurate with your insurance needs.

Maritime law provides definition and clarification as to the role and responsibility of vessel's skipper relative to that of the owner. HOWEVER, the whole subject is an enormous field in which there are thousands of exceptions and different interpretations. CLICK HERE

Give us some more info as to where you are located and what qualifications and experience are required by your state, coastguard and insurers for a commanding skipper.

P.S.

As the boat's year is given as 1988 - a few insurers will take on the boat provided that a condition and valuation survey is carried out by a marine surveyor of their choice and at your cost.

Richard
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:56 AM   #5
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Old 06-20-2009, 07:12 AM   #6
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Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I was able to get insurance for off shore cruising up to 75 nm but not for ocean crossing. The surveyor listed the boat as actually commisioned in 1989 so I got in under the 20 yr wire. The captain I'm using is not actually a uscg sanctioned captain but has good credentials and I've sailed with him to see just how he operates. I think things will be fine but the South Pacific can be unpredictable.

I'm not so concerned about boat loss as there is no lien on the vessel and I think that is unlikely. I'm more concerned for my liability in case of injury of the captain and his crew mate due to some lapse by me or my son while underway. I'm going to require that everyone have basic health insurance and would expect to have to pony up deductable expenses.

I also expect that in case of disaster there might be rescue expenses as well. I'm not too interested in getting lawyers involved but just might be naive.

Rob
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