Surveyor’s Notebook: Good Insurance

Many boat owners look upon insurance surveys as a necessary evil, a rite of passage to be endured to propitiate their insurers. It’s important to remember, though, that insurance companies understandably want to protect themselves and make sure that a boat is an insurable risk
Author:
Updated:
Original:
By finding faults like this corroded propane line, a marine surveyor will make your boat much safer

By finding faults like this corroded propane line, a marine surveyor will make your boat much safer

Many boat owners look upon insurance surveys as a necessary evil, a rite of passage to be endured to propitiate their insurers. It’s important to remember, though, that insurance companies understandably want to protect themselves and make sure that a boat is an insurable risk, something the owner should want as well. Surveyors—me included—are not evil people who delight in finding faults. We are there at your request, you are paying our bill, and our sole motive is to ensure your boat is safe and seaworthy.

With this in mind, an insurance survey is a good way to check that your boat’s systems are in good shape. Propane installations are just one example. On this boat, seawater had found its way into the propane locker on the starboard side deck and severely corroded the propane line, solenoid and regulator. Gas was slowly but surely leaking from the pipe into the gas locker where it was draining overboard.

Thankfully, in this instance the leak was only inside the locker. Had it been inside the boat, the gas would have inevitably collected in the bilge and an explosion would have been a distinct possibility.

One way to check the safety of your propane lines is to open the gas valve at the tank and then make a note of the reading on the gauge. After that, turn off the gas at tank, wait 10 minutes and check the reading again. If it’s the same, then the system is good. If the needle drops at all you have a leak in the system that must be corrected without delay.

Photo by Mark Corke

Related

Pico-Michael

Cruising: Less (LOA) is More

The breeze kicks up. The boat digs in, and I tighten my grip on the mainsheet. It’s overcast but warm. The slate-blue water around me is patterned with whitecaps. Ahead, the low, tumbling hills of Old Mission Peninsula, a 17-mile long finger of land separating the east and west ...read more

2020-06-01_13-53-06

A New Era for Sailing Program Safety

As states begin to lift restrictions on gathering and marinas open back up, many sailing programs are still wary, especially since sailors from different households will necessarily be in close quarters, whether on their boat, in a launch or at a yacht club. Most will not be ...read more

MTcyNTIwMzc1NDYzMTkyNDkw

Zipwake

Zipwake Series S, the world's first inexpensive dynamic trim-control system, incorporates a state-of-the-art family of durable, fast-acting interceptors. The system is fully automatic, and is designed to significantly enhance performance, fuel economy, comfort and safety when ...read more

CCA-story-2048x

Safety Culture Starts with the Skipper

Sailing might not be the first pastime that comes to mind when you think of extreme sports, but that’s not to say risks don’t abound. The Cruising Club of America tackles many of them head-on in their newly released guide for skippers, Creating a Culture of Safety: The Skipper’s ...read more

GMR19_F53_0539

Boat Review: Beneteau First Yacht 53

Luxury performance-cruising isn’t entirely new. You can go fast and still be comfortable. You can even race if you make the right tradeoffs—or so says Beneteau, which recently launched its First Yacht 53, in the process also reinventing the company’s “First” brand. Design & ...read more

BirdonBoard

Cruising: Birds of a Feather

One of the neatest things about sailing offshore is the other lifeforms we encounter. We smile when we see flying fish skimming over the surface of the sea. We cheer when dolphins leap and dance in our bow waves. We are duly reverent when mighty whales sound and spout, and ...read more

pirate-marlin-logo

Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament

This Spring has felt a bit like a slow day of fishing but it’s almost time to time to Bait…and Switch. The Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournaments offer something for every member of your crew. Exceptional fishing, fun times with family, old friends and new. Our run is short, our ...read more