Sail Away - July 2007

Charter InsuranceAs Sunsail’s Peter Cook says, “You never know what will happen on a boat.” Enter charter insurance, which is designed to cover you in case of a serious event—major loss or damage.In the well-established charter world of the Caribbean, the pattern is industry wide, though the actual amounts differ by company; the variables are the size and age of the boat and
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Charter Insurance

As Sunsail’s Peter Cook says, “You never know what will happen on a boat.” Enter charter insurance, which is designed to cover you in case of a serious event—major loss or damage.

In the well-established charter world of the Caribbean, the pattern is industry wide, though the actual amounts differ by company; the variables are the size and age of the boat and the location of the charter. You will be required to leave a security deposit (the range among the 17 Caribbean/Bahamas companies listed in the October 2006 issue of SAIL is $300 to $5,000), usually a credit-card imprint, against minor damage or loss, and you may be required to purchase nonrefundable insurance—“yacht damage waiver” or “yacht security insurance”—at a daily rate (among these companies, the range is $20 to $50/day). Insurance for a racing charter has a higher deductible—probably around $3,000 for Sunsail, according to Peter Cook—and the security deposit is also higher.

The damage waiver allows you to buy down the deductible, limiting your exposure to, on average, $400 or $500 instead of $5,000, says Van Perry of The Moorings. If you buy it, the whole boat, including the dinghy and motor (worth a couple of thousand dollars), is covered against accidental damage. If you decline it, your security deposit goes up commensurately.
“It’s foolish to turn down this insurance,” says John Jacobs of CYOA Yacht Charters. “Most customers don’t lose or break things, but it’s common enough to hit a dock too hard and put a hole or major scratch in the hull, or even to lose the dinghy.”

In addition, charter companies carry liability insurance against damage to the boat and/or persons. The amount varies among companies, but is likely to be at least $1 million.

It’s worthwhile to note, and it’s spelled out in your contract, that you’re not covered if you’re sailing drunk, outside the defined charter area, or deemed to be grossly negligent—if, as Peter Cook puts it, you saw a boat sailing toward you, maintained your course to make sure you hit it, and then hit it.

If you still have questions after reading your contract, do ask a charter company representative. Domestic U.S. and Canadian charter companies may have different insurance arrangements, and it always pays to ask. Amy Ullrich

Click here to return to archive.

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The double range  Every skipper knows about ranging two objects in line to keep the boat on track in a cross-current. What’s less obvious is monitoring both sides of a gap such as a harbor entrance. ...read more

FamilyCruise

Bareboating on Puget Sound

Depending on where you are, Puget Sound can look no bigger than a mountainous version of the Intracoastal Waterway. That’s what I thought when I first laid eyes on it from the lighthouse at Mukilteo Park on a sunny day last July. Then I went to the top of the iconic Space Needle ...read more

Bali4point1

Boat Review: Bali 4.1

Coming fast on the heels of its predecessor, the Bali 4.0, the Bali 4.1 adds a number of improvements, many of them inspired by feedback from owners and charterers. She’s an evolution of a concept that has already proven popular and very many benefits from its builder’s ...read more

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more

anchor

Know how: Ground Tackle

Your ground tackle is like a relationship—the more you care for it, the longer it will last. So, how do you enhance the relationship? First up, think of the accommodations—a damp, salt-rich, often warm environment, just the kind of thing to encourage corrosion. What can be done? ...read more

DSC_7522

Boat Review: Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

The Beneteau sailboat line has long represented a kind of continuum, both in terms of the many models the company is offering at any given moment and over time. This does not, however, in any way diminish the quality of its individual boats. Just the opposite. Case in point: the ...read more