Blog Archives - Velos

Do You Need a Sailing License for A Sailboat? (Qualifications & Certifications)

Given just how big even a small pleasure craft can be and how dangerous it can be to sail anywhere, one would expect that there must be some kind of boater education card or at least a mandatory safety course as minimum requirements for sailing.

However, is there a need for a sailing license for a sailboat – or can you just take to the waves?

Legally, no, you do not need a sailing license to use a sailboat for recreational purposes in most countries. However, getting qualified might still be worth your while.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the sailing qualifications you should consider, and why you might need them. 

What Sailing Qualifications Do You Need? 

From a quick Google search, you will be able to deduce that nowhere does it say that you absolutely have to have a boating licence of any kind in order to sail a boat. Great news!

That being said, that does not mean that you should not get a license at all – as it can be beneficial for you for multiple reasons. 

First of all, of course, it is a great way to learn basic sailing techniques which will help you to sail easier, and much safer. That goes for not only you but also everyone on your boat and those around you.

As simple as sailing may look to some of us, it can be hazardous – even smaller sailing boats can quickly get into turmoil if they are mishandled.

Therefore, for your own safety and that of others, it is definitely best to have at least a few sailing lessons, even just from your local sailing club, to help you to understand the basics of control.

If that leads to a qualification, that can at least show you know what you’re doing!

However, having a sailing education will not only help to ensure your safety, it can also help to save you money.

Whether you have local competence certificates or an actual license, any proof that you have experience and an education in sailing a boat will help to lower your insurance rates.

As you can imagine, most insurance companies are not keen on covering boats that inexperienced people are sailing. These users are far more likely to get into accidents, get injured, or injure others.

Therefore, they are considered high risk, and some insurance carriers may not cover at all.

However, by being able to prove that you actually can control your boat, you are far more likely to get your sail boat insurance approved – and pay less, too.

Ever wondered if you need a boat survey to get insurance? Or what kind of boat insurance do you need? < Find out in our guides here.

Do You Need a Sailing License for A Sailboat blog post image

Do You Need a License to Sail Around the World? 

Generally speaking, no, you do not need a license to sail around the world. While there is no doubt that there are some countries in which boating licenses are a legal requirement, it’s not a given.

Even on sailing boats, these rules generally only apply to those living in that country, and not to those visiting. 

That being said, many charter companies require proof of a boating license before you can actually take helm of the boat.

Understandably, this ensures that the boats they loan out are in relatively good hands and, therefore, less likely to run into trouble.

So, if you plan on travelling around the world and renting boats in different areas, then chances are that you will need appropriate licences for each territory.

However, there are some countries in which the necessity for a boating license is a bit unclear.

While you may not be asked for one, it is best to check with the country and even the specific state or region that you plan on visiting in order to better prepare for your journey. 

When it comes to the legal definition of international waters, you have no need for a boat license.

However, again, taking at least a boat safety course is a good idea, especially if you plan on taking your boat around the world.

The Different Sailing Certifications and Licenses

Just because there are no sailing qualifications required to sail your own personal watercraft, having basic knowledge will be extremely beneficial for you.

For that, you could stick to entry-level lessons or learn more about maritime rules, first aid, and professional level sailing. 

Thankfully, there are a few different courses available, depending on what kind of level of recreational sailing you want to learn. If you’re in the UK, it’s worth getting in touch with the RYA, or Royal Yachting Association.

The RYA offers multiple tiers for budding sailors – even for those getting into commercial sailing, too.

First of all, there is RYA’s Tier One, beginner level sailing course.

During this course, you will learn how the boat moves, your basic navigation techniques, boating safety, and of course, some basic sailing lessons.

This kind of course should only take a few hours in one sitting, or can be spread across a few days. You will be with your instructor the entire time, and some will even come to teach you on your own boat if you have one

It’s also worth considering a certificate of competence from the RYA, or the American Sailing Association (in the US).

During the course in the UK, you will learn advanced navigation, safety procedures, night cruising techniques, maintenance, repairs, how to work the deck, emergency procedures and more.

This course can take up to five days to complete – however, it is not for everyone.

In the UK, you have to be at least sixteen years old, have basic knowledge about sailing, and have spent at least five days and four-nights on a sailboat. If you can prove all of this – go right ahead!

Finally, consider an international certificate of competence, too – if you plan on renting a boat or even sailing around the world on your own.

As the name suggests, it is recognised internationally, so you will not have to worry about potentially needing to provide a license when you port somewhere.

You will have to go through both a practical assessment and an ICC theory assessment (if applicable). During the practical assessment, you will go through engine checks, mooring, fires, first aid, confined handling, and man overboard procedures.

Then, during the theoretical assessment, you will work on buoyage, sound signals, international boating regulations, VHF radio and more. It can take between three to four weeks to complete the course and the ICC exam. 


If you are interested in using your sailboat for recreational use, then whether you plan on charting foreign waters or enjoying local boating, it is best to go through at least some sail training.

Ideally, it is best to work your way through all of the suggested courses above – including the internationally recognised ICC course – to gain the best sailing experience, ensuring that you are equipped for whatever you may come across. This should especially be the case if you are carrying passengers!

It is important to note that exam fees will vary depending on the country in which you are taking the course. ASA courses can even vary slightly depending on the state, too.

In any case – regardless of legal requirements, a boating safety course might be just the ticket to get you out into the wide blue yonder. Happy sailing!


RYA Training (UK)

ASA Training (US)



Categories: Blog

The Difference Between a Boat and Ship (Compared)

While most of us tend to use the terms boat and ship very loosely, the truth is that the two do not necessarily refer to the same things.

Of course, they both have the same concept of being vessels that float on water, there are, in fact, very big differences between different water vessels, differences which enable us to define them as either being boats or ships.

So, what are these differences? 

It’s all down to the size of a vessel and what it’s used for. For example, fishing boats are much more different in terms of size and scope compared to sailing ships!

So, let’s take a closer look at these differences and see what makes a boat a boat, and a ship a ship. This will also help you understand what kind of boat insurance you need.

A Ship Vs a Boat: What’s the Difference?

You’ll know if your ship is not a boat depending on size, areas of travel, cargo held, available crew, and equipment involved. Let’s go a little deeper.


The biggest difference between a ship and a boat that people tend to note is their size. An easy way to remember their difference is that ships can carry boats – but boats can’t carry ships.

While a boat can technically be a very large vessel, and most can carry other boats (such as kayaks, canoes, lifeboats, etc.), ships are in part built to carry other boats as well as heavy machinery, complicated equipment, a captain and crew, and more. 

To get technical, most seafarers refer to ships when they are at least 550 tons in weight.

Cargo capacity on a ship, of course, is therefore likely to be much larger than a boat’s.

Area of travel

Operational areas for boats and ships tend to vary. While some boats do travel across oceans, it is not common for them to do so. They tend to stick closer to their home coastlines, traversing small passages of water.

Ships, meanwhile, are built to take on the high seas, travel across deeper waters, and reach various countries around the world. 

They are commonly used by organizations such as the Royal Navy, or for delivering international cargo.

Ships are also built to traverse deep water – a boat sinks easily if you take it too far off the coastline. That’s why when a ship sinks, it’s normally got a very good reason!

Boats will take to inland waters – and while not all boats stay on shore, it’s rare you’ll see them taking to the sea.


While some boats can technically carry cargo, ships tend to carry a lot more and a lot farther. Boats generally aren’t built to carry extensive cargo – meaning large transfers and sea trading normally takes place on ships.

cargo boat - Difference Between Boat and Ship

Crew and demand

While some boats do indeed carry a small crew, especially if they are being used for commercial purposes, they vary wildly from ship crewing standards.

Naval ships, fishing vessels, and commercial vessels tend to have far bigger crews that are trained for different circumstances.

A ship spends months at sea at a time and has to face different kinds of challenges to those of boats, with crews that can spend up to a few weeks away from land.

Although both certainly have their challenges, ships tend to have bigger and more trained operatives on board.

Ships also demand their own ship’s captain in order to keep the crew in line and organised, whereas boats can be less strict. 

A boat’s captain, for example, may sometimes be the only crewman on board.


While boats can be used for different purposes, including for commercial reasons (such as fishing boats, tourism, etc.) and even rescue (lifeboats), boats are also commonly used for recreational purposes.

On the other hand, no one buys a ship for recreational purposes. They are largely used for commercial, military, trade and research purposes. 

The exception to the rule here is, of course, cruise ships – but these are large-scale commercial vessels.

How they work

This point is a little more complicated to define. While it isn’t the case for all boats, there are some smaller vessels that can move without engines at all, such as sailboats, canoes, kayaks, etc.

On the other hand, ships have a different propulsion system and need to be moved forward by very powerful engines.

Although one could argue that motorboats are not considered to be ships and yet have engines, this is a slight distinction between the two that is worth noting. 

When Is a Boat a Ship?

Again – there are no real set rules! Some suggest that a boat is a ship when it has three, square rigged masts, or when it’s over a weight of 550 tons, as mentioned above.

Generally, however, many people refer to any small vessel as a boat – regardless of purpose or intention.

If it has less complicated equipment, and fewer demands than your larger sailing vessel, it is likely to be a boat.

Types of Boats and Ships

Just when things couldn’t get more complicated(!), there are of course a variety of different boats and ships out there with specific roles and names.

Here are just a few of the more commonly used boats and ships you’re likely to have come across over time.



  • Cruise ships
  • Naval ships
  • Tankers
  • Carriers
  • Container ships
  • Offshore vessels
  • Other passenger ships
cruise ship standing - Difference Between Boat and Ship


So – what is the difference between a boat and a ship? It turns out there are plenty of distinctions – and it might not always be so easy to tell between the two definitions.

On the whole, you can expect a ship to be larger, to cover more distance, and to sail almost exclusively offland or offshore.

Boats, meanwhile, are much smaller and are likely to be recreational – and will usually stick to waterways onland (though bigger bluewater boats do make trips offshore).

We found this discussion on The Guardian interesting where people and boaters added their own definitions of what a boat and a ship is.

However, if you happen to mix up the two terms, then don’t worry – we can help you define your ship or boat, especially where boat insurance or commercial ship insurance implications are concerned.

As it happens, most people have no real idea that there is any difference between the two – but if you run a commercial vessel of any kind, it’s worth keeping aware of the key differences.

Need more information about boat or yacht insurance? Have a look below:




Categories: Blog

What Is Marine Insurance? Everything You Need to Know

If you’re running a business at sea and are importing and exporting goods, then you are going to need to consider marine cargo insurance – or, at least, marine insurance coverage.

This type of cover helps to not only protect your business and your customers’ interests, but also any stock you may be carrying, too.

However, the world of marine insurance can get a little complex.

Keep reading, and we’ll let you in on what you need to know about different marine insurance policies – and what marine insurance covers.

What Does Marine Insurance Mean?

A marine insurance policy is one which covers any form of business or professional operation involved in freight or cargo at sea.

An insurance provider offering this type of cover to ship owners will protect both vessels and cargo alike – meaning that you are effectively covered in the event of any loss or damage.

As you may imagine, the risk of either may end up costing you, any customers and professional partners dearly in the long run.

However, there are different types of marine insurance – there are policies that generally cover your goods, and others that focus on liability insurance.

Crucially, the aim of any kind of marine freight insurance is to protect you from escalating expenses, as well as from losing business over time, too.

What Does Marine Insurance Cover?

The average marine insurance policy covers plenty of ground. You’d normally expect a business or cargo voyage policy to cover:

  • Accidental damage to cargo
  • Marine risk – potential ship damage and deterioration
  • Capsizing and running aground
  • Hull insurance
  • Loss of goods / cargo
  • Weather or natural damage or loss
  • Cargo loading concerns
  • Theft
  • Malicious damage
  • Machinery insurance (breakdown cover, etc)
  • Third party liability
  • Physical damage in any shape or form
  • Partial loss and total loss when transporting goods

As a cargo owner or ship owner, if there is any risk to a loss of goods or to the structure and stability of your ship, it’s likely you will be able to find a policy that protects your interests.

In fact, insurance company policies will vary in terms of flexibility and scalability, meaning you may be able to add and subtract specific ‘tweaks’ to your policy as you see fit.

If you work in the marine industry, it’s also likely to will need to load on land as well as off land – meaning it’s worth researching the insurance market to see how you can cover your specific interests and intents.

What Are Some Examples of Marine Insurance?

It’s true – there are many different types of insurance policy that affect the marine industry.

No matter what you do – full shipping company operations to individual marine services, it pays to make sure you are insured against a variety of different risks.

Let’s take a look at how different types of marine insurance can provide coverage for your daily operations.

Liability Insurance

This type of marine policy will cover you should any collisions or accidents result in your liability.

For example, if you accidentally run a cargo boat or ship into rocks or even another vessel, you will expect to pay fees.

Liability insurance coverage will, variously, see that you have the financial backing to cover this potential scenario.

Providing you operate your vessels and ship cargo carefully, there are no reasons why liability insurance should ever be necessary.

However, as with other types of insurance policy, it makes sense to have a form of safety net in place should the worst case situation ever come to pass.

Third party liabilities covered by marine insurance allows for any costs you need to pay to other boat owners or cargo owners on route.

Should you be required to pay a plaintiff in court, for example, this policy will cover you as such.

What Is Marine Insurance blog post image

Freight Insurance

You’ll need to consider this type of marine insurance if you wish to protect the cost of goods that you transport.

Imagine that something happens to the stock you have on board that results in disappointment at the other end.

What if your customer’s goods are irreparably damaged or even lost (through theft or otherwise) while on route?

If the cargo you agree to ship doesn’t make its final destination for whatever reason, then it stands to reason that you will be expected to pay for the loss.

This type of marine insurance policy is also known as marine cargo insurance.

Of course, there are always likely to be individual clauses and points to keep in mind with this type of cover.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to look into what’s expected from you while in transit sailing under this policy style.

Hull / Risk Insurance

Of course, in any stretch of maritime or international trade, there is always likely to be a risk to your own hull – and your cargo vessels will need protection in case you happen upon an accident, or even a collision or malicious event that cause you severe damage, Repairing cargo ships is not a cheap business!

This type of marine insurance will, therefore, assess any damage caused to you and pay should you not be found liable for said problems.

For example, if your boat runs into oil pollution or other risk factors outside of your control, you may expect financial reparation.

Wreck removal, at the very worst, may come into play if your boat cannot be rescued at all.

Whichever marine trade you are involved in, you can trust your vessel with Velos. Start your boat insurance policy quote now by clicking on the quote button below:


Working in the shipping industry, you are unfortunately going to come across some dangers which makes marine trade insurance a must.

If you’re not operating in the US, you won’t have to worry about extensive cover such as inland marine insurance – but it’s crucial to make sure you are protected with a policy document to cover your boat, your crew, and any cargo you intend to carry from one end to another.

Ultimately, it could make all the difference between having to pay out hugely for unavoidable damage, and not at all.

Therefore, do always take time to research policies that stand to protect you.



Categories: Blog

What Kind of Boat Insurance Do I Need?

Are you considering looking into boat insurance cover?

While it may seem simple enough to arrange boat insurance coverage for any vessel, there are actually different types of boat insurance policy that cover different needs, wants and activities.

It’s important to know what different boat insurance policies offer before you take to the water.

Let’s take a look at what the main types of boat insurance policies are, and how they can support you.

Commercial Marine Boat Insurance

If you are running a vessel for business, then standard boat insurance policies won’t cover your needs and demands at sea.

For example, this type of cover includes liability insurance in the event of crew accident and ship repair.

Commercial marine insurance policies may also offer third party liability in some cases.

The right commercial boat insurance for your commercial marine operation can be tailored to the specific size of vessel you are running, too.

Inland Waterways Boat Insurance

If you’re planning to run a houseboat or canalboat down inland waterways, there are specific boat insurance costs you can pay to protect your vessel down smaller bodies of water.

For example, you could insure your boat against weather and temperature damage, accidental loss, fire, or personal accidents.

Crucially, if you’re going to run a boat down canals or rivers, you’re going to need your insurance company to cover you specifically for non-sea use.

Yacht Insurance (Pleasure Crafts)

Pleasure craft or yacht insurance coverage comes in handy if you intend to sail a personal watercraft for cruising, racing, or watersports.

In some cases, you may not need this type of boat insurance quote to cover a yacht outright. It’s worth checking specific boat insurance requirements with your chosen carrier.

In most cases, you’ll need boat insurance for these vessels that cover personal accident, fire and explosion, malicious attack, theft, third party incidents and more.

You can also add extra cover for racing, too.

Bluewater Yacht Insurance

Bluewater yacht insurance generally covers those vessels that are likely to head out into the wide blue yonder!

If you’re going to sail your yacht or pleasure vessel into the Atlantic or to explore the Pacific, this cover is going to be your best port of call.

Many carriers will protect you in international waters, meaning it’s worthwhile checking which type of yacht your prospective bluewater insurance cover protects you for.

Super Yacht Insurance

A super yacht insurance policy is likely to go further than most.

Super yachts are almost like luxury holiday homes on water – in which case, boat insurance rates can cover you for up to millions of pounds in potential claims!

These insurance policies will cover you for accidental loss, malicious attack, machinery freeze and more.

Again, the exact liability coverage will vary with the carrier you sign up with.

Marine Trade Insurance

Marine trade insurance is a little different to the third party insurance policies and cover you’ll find for standalone vessels.

These policies will protect your marine business on land as a fixture – for example, you may run a sailing club, or a marina in your local area.

What Kind of Boat Insurance Do I Need blog post image


How do boat insurances differ?

Comprehensive cover for one type of boat might not be relevant for another – for example, running a houseboat down a canal will require inland waterway insurance, which won’t cover you for a diesel powered boat, for example, in the open sea!

As a responsible boat owner, it’s mainly important to choose the adequate financial protection for your type of vessel, where you’re sailing, and who may be impacted by your activities.

Beyond that, many different types of boat insurance policy cover familiar ground.

For example, you can expect to receive protection against a potential boating accident, frost cover, accidental damage, loss of personal items, bodily injury liability, etc.

Is It a Legal Requirement to Have Boat Insurance?

In the UK, it’s not a legal requirement to run a boat.

However, boat insurance claims will protect you in the event of damage to your own boat, or to someone else’s property.

If you run a business, too, you can expect financial cover to help with salvage costs, boat management fees and other potential costs.

Ultimately, an uninsured boater is likely to be at significant risk of high fees and costs should the worst happen – an accident involving another vessel, for example, or if they lose personal items.

What’s more, comprehensive coverage will support those running businesses at sea – whose livelihoods may be impacted greatly by service interruption or unexpected costs.

Do I Need Insurance for A Small Boat?

It’s a good idea to insure any boat you intend to run, for personal or professional reasons.

While vessel insurance is not like car insurance (in that the latter is a legal requirement), insuring even a small boat will protect you against potential costs of repair and replacement should something go wrong.

If you don’t have enough actual cash to pay for potential damage, it makes sense to protect yourself with a safety net.

How much do different types of boat insurance cost?

The price you pay for different types of boat coverage will vary depending on a few different factors.

For example, the actual cash value of your boat, where you intend to sail, what you intend to use your vessel for – all will have direct impacts on the price you pay.

Consider, too, that the costs you pay will likely vary from insurance agent to insurance agent.

What’s more, add-on services such as hull insurance, additional coverage for medical payments, etc – all will likely increase the price you pay in premiums.

Whether you own a yacht, sailboat, pleasure craft, motorboat, or a commercial boat or marine trade, you can trust your vessel with Velos. Start your boat insurance policy quote now by clicking on the quote button at the top of this page.


The unfortunate reality of running any kind of boat is that you are at risk of property damage, accidents and more.

While it’s not a legal requirement to set up boat insurance, choosing the right insurance policy will ensure that you have financial recourse to recover from the worst possible case scenarios.

Take your time to look through different policies and types – and be sure to protect yourself and your interests for the years to come!



Categories: Blog

Boat Insurance vs Yacht Insurance - What's the Difference?

If you are considering getting your boat insured, then you should consider which would be best for your vessel: boat or yacht insurance?

The policy that you choose will dictate a lot about how and where you can use your ship.  But what is the difference between boat and yacht insurance? 

Simply put, yacht insurance covers more precise and wider-reaching insurance coverages for larger vessels.

Yachts are considered to be vessels that measure 27 feet or more in length, whereas boats tend to be 25 feet in length or less. 

So, what will your yacht insurance cover for you, and which boat insurance policy of the two will be the most expensive? 

What Are the Major Difference Between Boat and Yacht Insurance?

As you may know, a standard boat insurance policy covers what are generally considered to be smaller boats (up to 26 feet).

Of course, the specific types of boat insurance policies depend on the boats themselves.

It is important to remember that a ‘boat’ can be anything from a fishing vessel or speedboat to a recreational or professional vessel.

As you can imagine, these different kinds of boats require different levels of insurance based on their age, where they go, who helms them, what they are used for, their market value, the mooring locations, etc. 

However, a general boat insurance coverage usually offers liability, personal property damage, assistance, and will even cover physical damage. 

You should be able to add other things to your insurance terms based on your specific vessel (for example, insuring your fishing equipment). 

However, the policies are a little more precise when it comes to yacht insurance.

Boat Insurance vs Yacht Insurance blog post image

Given that yachts (boats over 27 feet) tend to go further into the ocean, even crossing them, the insurance policies have to be able to meet the needs of owners. 

Generally speaking, every yacht insurance policy should contain the general terms that you would find in typical boat coverage.

As is the case with boat insurance, you will also be able to add fuel spills coverages and coverage for other boats that are uninsured or even underinsured. 

If you do plan on travelling far with your yacht, then you will also be able to extend the insurance past the general navigational limits to follow where you plan to go.

Another thing that tends to be added to yacht policies specifically is certain weather coverage – for example, hurricane coverage.

This will, of course, depend on where you are planning on travelling with your yacht, but it is definitely worth considering. 

Specifically, yacht coverage generally oversees P&I insurance (protection and indemnity) and hull insurance. 

To distinguish boat insurance from yacht insurance, the main things to remember are that yachts tend to be the bigger vessels and that, therefore, their insurance policies tend to be more specific and have broader coverages to cater to greater navigational areas. 

In short, the P&I coverage extends past the general liability coverage that is included in most boat insurances.

It adds certain coverages to meet maritime law. For example, it can cover bodily injury to a crew member and damages caused to other boats during a boating accident.

What Is Not Covered by A Boat Policy that is Covered by a Yacht Policy?

Boat and yacht coverage do tend to have very similar policies that apply to many of the same things.

That being said, as mentioned, yacht insurance policies tend to be far more detailed than a general boat insurance policy. 

For example, animal damage does not feature on most boat insurance policies.

That being said, if you do plan on taking your yacht across an ocean, you could come across certain animals that could potentially damage your boat.

Moreover, yacht insurance tends to cover a broader and more varied area as the owner is likely to sail far and wide on a bigger ship.

However odd that may appear, it is actually very logical. Think about it – if you took a houseboat onto the great open sea, it is likely to come across many things that it will not be prepared for and scenarios it was not built to traverse!

Therefore, the insurance company will not be willing to cover the damages that the boat will receive in those areas.

However, yachts can go to farther and more varied locations, meaning it means a more detailed approach to its insurance policies.

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Yacht vs a Boat on Average?

The amount that boat owners have to pay for marine insurance compared to yacht owners depends on many factors. Sadly, boat insurance is not as straightforward as you might think, and boat insurance prices can vary a lot depending on: 

  • The insurance company: As is the case with home or car insurance, some insurance companies are a lot more expensive than others, which is why it might take some time to find the right one for you and your boat. It is best to get as many quotes as possible before making your choice. 
  • The age of the vessel: Generally speaking, it will cost more to cover an older boat than it would to cost a new boat, whether it is a yacht or not, as more things are likely to go wrong and repairs are more likely to be needed. 
  • Whether or not you are a first time boat owner: If you are about to get boating insurance for the first time, then like a new driver, you are bound to pay more, whether you have a boat or a yacht. 
  • Whether it is a personal watercraft or a professional/commercial boat: Vessels used for professional purposes generally pay more than personal vessels. (we also provide commercial boat insurance)
  • Your vessel’s current market value: The price of the insurance will depend on the agreed value of your ship.  
  • Whether or not you already have a homeowner’s policy with the insurance company: this can sometimes make a difference and net you a discount, depending on the insurance carrier.

The list goes on! However, here’s a comparison of what you might expect comparing yacht insurance to boat coverage.

Very generally speaking, fully comprehensive insurance covers for a yacht costs around £380, whereas a fully comprehensive cover on a boat, such as a speedboat, for example, will cost around £340.

A houseboat will cost more, and dinghies even less.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The cost of your boat and yacht insurance will completely depend on the type of boat and other features on board. Costs can vary hugely due to the many variables and your personalised needs.


If you are considering getting boat or yacht insurance, then do ensure that your policy covers everything that you consider to be important for your ship.

The insurance may cost a lot, especially if you do plan on going far; however, there are ways of reducing the costs of your insurances, on both yacht and boat insurances. 

It is also important to remember that while boat insurance isn’t necessarily a legal requirement, if you do plan on taking your yacht into international waters, then you are very likely to need some form of boat insurance.

Personal property coverage alone won’t cut it!



Categories: Blog

Do I Need a Survey for Boat Insurance?

If you are currently looking at getting boat insurance for your vessel, then you may well come across boat surveys as viable options.

Some insurance companies do indeed request that professionals survey certain ships before they can accurately insure them.

However, not all vessels are necessarily subject to these kinds of surveys, so how do you know if yours will be and if you’ll need a survey for boat insurance

The chances are that, yes, your boat will need to be surveyed by a professional in order to secure fully comprehensive insurance. It’s worth preparing yourself for a pre-purchase survey regardless of the vessel you’re buying.

But why does your boat need to be surveyed, and what exactly happens during a boat survey?

What Is a Survey for Boat Insurance?

A marine insurance survey is a series of inspections that your boat will have to go through to determine the current state of both the interior and the exterior of your vessel.

Boat surveys happen whether you have a new boat or an older one. 

Boat insurance companies either suggest that you use a marine surveyor that they know and work with or that you contact an accredited professional by yourself.

The surveyor will check the hull, the fuel system, the sole boards, the deck, the rigging, the electric system, the fire extinguishers, other safety equipment, etc.

A proper survey will include a detailed inspection of both the exterior and the interior of the boat to determine the current state of the boat, how safe it is, and generally, what it is worth.

Most surveyors reference moisture meter readings, oil testing, and other tests to determine the current state of the boats.

A good surveyor may even request a sea trial and is likely to request that you haul out your boat in order for them to take a better look at the hull in particular. 

Many insurance companies require that boat owners have marine surveys in order to fit the policy to the specific vessel better.

The insurance company can also decide whether or not it is worth covering the boat and may advise you to fix certain problems before they can give you a comprehensive cover. 

However, you may have successfully managed to set up boat insurance before and have found that your boat insurance company wants all the information regarding your vessel, including insurance surveys before they can move ahead.

It’s a good idea to comply!

Do You Need a Boat Survey for Insurance?

Whether or not your insurer will require a survey depends on a few things: 

  • The insurance company: Many insurers do require boat surveys; however, there are still some that don’t. However, if they do not ask for a survey, it won’t necessarily be a good thing. Given the fact that the survey is there better to determine the value and safety of your boat, your costs could be a lot cheaper than what they would be without a survey. 
  • The vessel type: Whether you have a brand new yacht or an older boat will have a big impact on whether or not your insurance company will ask for a survey report. Boats become more difficult to maintain and are more prone to issues past a certain age. Large boats are also more prone to needing a condition survey, as they tend to go farther and cost more to maintain, repair, etc. So yacht insurance or super yacht insurance will generally require one.
  • Any previous claims that you may have made: Whether or not you have already made a claim, your boat insurance will determine whether or not you will need to have your boat surveyed. It will also determine whether or not you have had accidents in the past, what kinds of accidents, etc. 

Generally speaking, boat surveys depend and vary on the insurance company and on you as a boat owner. Some insurance companies may even ask for a pre-purchase survey, too.

How Much Does a Boat Survey Cost?

Generally speaking, surveyors charge based on the size of the boat and, therefore, the time that it will take them to examine the boat entirely.

They very rarely run at a flat rate due to the differences in vessels that they see.

Certain things may cost more to test, although most things that need surveying are generally included in the price.

It is best to ask the surveyor about the different tests that are needed and their general marine survey cost before you have them come to do the survey. 

Moreover, as easy as it may seem, you cannot do the survey by yourself.

In fact, most insurance companies will not even allow the marinas to do the surveys and instead ask that you hire professionals to do it.

You can always ask their advice about surveyors that they have worked with and their general rates. 

Do All Insurers Require a Boat Survey?

Insurance companies typically ask for boat surveys on both new boats and older vessels.

You may find that your boat is not subject to a marine survey just yet, but it is very likely that it will be in the future as it gets older. 

You may even find that, a boat survey is required on an older vessel that might still be a new purchase to you.

As the current owner, it is best if you know as much about the boat’s history as possible to better determine the points that will need to be addressed in the policy wording. 

However, you will not necessarily need to get a boat survey in order to get insurance quotes.

It can help to assure market value, however – so even if you are not offered a marine survey outright, it’s worth keeping them in mind.


If your boat does need surveying for insurance purposes, then it is best to prepare the vessel beforehand. Take up any repairs that you think need doing, and clean up your boat.

Leaving clutter around will make it more difficult to determine the current state of your vessel, and it will take longer for the surveyor to complete the survey. 

There are also ways of helping your insurance policy go down in price, and increasing the market value of your ship, simply by investing in safety equipment, certain repairs, etc. Preparation is key!



Categories: Blog

Does Your Boat Liability Policy Exclude Marine Activities?

Did you know, it is crucial to arrange public & products liability through a specialist marine insurer as many general insurance policies will specifically exclude marine activities within their policy wording?

Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to take out public liability insurance, many business owners see it as an essential business expense, and it’s required by many trade associations.

In many cases, you may find that you’re asked to show proof of public liability before you’re permitted to trade. Tradespeople will often need to show proof of cover before they’re allowed to enter a marina or boatyard and start work.

Similarly, if you are exhibiting or selling products at an exhibition or event, you may be asked to show proof of cover before you’re allowed to set up a stand.

What Is the Difference Between Public and Products Liability Boat Insurance?

Public liability insurance covers compensation claims made against your business by a third party for injury or damage.

Product liability insurance – which is often included in a public liability policy – covers compensation claims for injury or property damage that’s been caused by a product you’ve sold.

Types of Potential Claim

Examples of what liability insurance would cover you for:

  • Someone trips over your toolbox and hurts themselves
  • You are working on a vessel and accidentally spill paint on the deck
  • Whilst valeting the interior of a vessel you accidentally knock expensive marine electronics off the shelf
  • You are working on a vessel on hardstanding using a ladder and debris falls onto a pedestrian

Geographical Limits

The ‘geographical limits’ are the countries where the policy will provide cover to the policyholder in respect of their business activities.

Standard geographical limits are:

  • United Kingdom
  • Europe
  • Worldwide excluding North America
  • Worldwide including North America

Limit of Indemnity

The Limit of Indemnity (LOI) is the maximum amount the insurer will pay under a policy during the policy period.

Standard limits are £3 million or £5 million with many insurers able to offer up to £10 million.

Noted that should a higher limit be required this can often be arranged as Excess Layer Insurance, also known as Excess of Loss, is a policy designed to provide increased limits of liability over your primary insurance cover.

If you need more advice or a quotation for Public & Products Liability for your business, contact the experts at Velos.

Call us now on 0207 929 4058 or email us at



Categories: Blog, News

How Much Does Commercial Boat Insurance Cost? (Examples Included)

Boat insurance is one of the first things you should always consider for any kind of commercial vessel. It is essential for any ship, but it is crucial for those whose livelihoods depend on their vessels!

However, to find the best cover for your boat, you will need to work with an insurance broker that will happily tailor the policy to your specific needs.

So, let’s get started – and look at a few sample commercial boat insurance policies, rates, and a few things to bear in mind in your hunt for the perfect cover. One of the most asked queries is how much boat insurance costs, so let’s give you an idea in this article.

How Much Should Commercial Boat Insurance Cost on Average?

Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer here – there’s no such thing as average commercial boat insurance rates!

Due to the varying uses of commercial crafts, there are many different commercial boat insurance policies and specifics.

In fact, most insurance companies apply different covers and prices to individual needs. That is why creating an average for commercial marine insurance policies is nigh-on impossible.

As you can imagine, a cruise ship with hundreds of passengers, more difficult mooring and countless instruments and employees will pay a far different comprehensive cover than a local fisherman.

It pays to compare and contrast.

There’s a reason why the average is likely to vary so much. Whatever your business, running a commercial craft has a variety of challenges.

Whether you will have your own customers boarding and even staying on the boat, or you use it for your own commercial purposes (such as fishing), your boat will likely go through a lot – including different settings, weather, and even the occasional breakdown.

That is why ensuring that you are fully covered is essential – and why you should start comparing rates as priority.

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What Does Commercial Boat Insurance Cover?

When looking into boat insurance comparison, you’ll likely find the following areas are covered by policies:

  • The vessel’s commercial purpose (whether it is for fishing, diving, cruising, ferrying, sightseeing, potting, layering, water sampling, etc.)
  • Your trading style (how you’re registered)
  • The age of the vessel
  • The owner’s experience and previous claims
  • Its mooring location

The list goes on.

Now, depending on what the boat is used for, insurance experts will be able to better determine what exactly your commercial boat insurance policy should cover.

Some of the more common policies include:

  • Marine legal protection cover
  • Crew liability
  • Third-party liability
  • Personal belongings
  • Personal accident cover
  • Outboard motors

And, again, the list goes on.

The best insurance brokers will work closely with you to better determine exactly what should be covered for your vessel – it’s worth setting up a conversation once you have at least three commercial boat insurance quotes to hand.

Commercial Boat Insurance Price Examples

We understand that finding an average price for boat insurance can be a little tricky.

As there are so many things to consider before being able to reach a set price, and of course, with the price varying depending on the insurance brokers, it can be quite stressful, especially when you are setting out your business plan at the same time!

With that in mind, here are a few examples of boat insurance quotes, bearing in mind that these are for very specific boats and their needs.

For example, all under fully comprehensive cover:

  • Large motorboats cost on average just over £260.
  • Dutch barges cost on average just over £700.
  • RIB insurance costs around £330.
  • Catamarans cost around £480.

However, it is essential to remember that these rates vary depending on the age and current state of the boat, the owner, the captain, the crew, the public, the mooring, the size of the boat, etc.

The only way to truly determine how much you will have to spend on boat insurance is by getting multiple quotes online.

Thankfully, boat insurance comparison has never been easier, and we can help you with that!

We are a vastly experienced, commercial boat insurance broker who will get the most competitive rate possible for your policy needs.

Commercial Boat Insurance Quote

If you wish to insure your commercial boat here in the UK and need to find the best commercial boat insurance quotes available, then you have certainly come to the right place!

All you need do is click on the ‘Get Quote’ button at the top of the website and fill in some quick personal data about your boat to make obtaining insurance quotations that much easier.

We’re also completely authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, too – so you can rest easier.

It takes just minutes to arrange cover for your commercial craft.

With a wide array of options available to you, it won’t take long for you to find the perfect insurers to protect you when out on the water.

It’s time to protect your business, your interests, your people – and your boat.

Run a commercial business using your yacht, sailboat, pleasure craft or other type of boat? You can trust your vessel with Velos. Start your COMMERCIAL BOAT INSURANCE POLICY QUOTE NOW by clicking on the quote button at the top of this page.


Insurance for commercial vessels is always going to vary when it comes to the cost. That’s why it makes sense to save money and time by contacting us at Velos to use our decades of experience to find you the best policies and rates, depending on your precise needs. It’s time to get yourself covered.



Categories: Blog

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost? (Examples Inlcuded)

Are you considering taking to the waves? Or are you maybe considering upgrading ? Besides the costs of the actual boat and running it, one of the biggest things you will have to consider is the cost of boat insurance.

Whether you have a rowing boat or a yacht, every boat owner needs to ensure that they have the cover that they need to protect themselves, their crew, their ship, and other traffic!

That is why we are going to guide you through boat insurance, the costs, and more – how much is boat insurance (UK based) on average? It’s time to get covered.

How Much Should Boat Insurance Cost on Average?

In some ways, boat insurance is like any other kind of insurance in that the price depends on the size of the boat, its age, where it is (where it is moored, to be exact), and on you, the owner.

Do you have any experience owning and driving a boat? What are your previous boat insurance claims, if you have any? Are you a licensed driver?

The price of boat insurance also very much depends on the kind of boat insurance policy that you are looking for.

Given that boat insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK, there are some boat owners that would assume that it isn’t necessary.

However, it is essential to note that certain marinas will not allow you to moor your boat without insurance and that in order to use your boat on the British waterways, you will need coverage of some form or other.

But what kind?

To save money, some opt for third party boat insurance alone.

Now, while third party cover is excellent, it will not cover everything, which is why having fully comprehensive boat insurance is always the wisest idea.

Now, we can practically hear you thinking that something like a fully comprehensive cover will cost a fortune! Thankfully, it doesn’t have to – keep reading and we’ll show you why.

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost blog post image

Are Boats Expensive to Insure?

On the whole, no – but that all depends on a few basics. Generally speaking, smaller boats such as dinghies can cost anything from around £100 a year to insure, whereas bigger boats such as yachts or speed boats can cost a lot more.

However, there are ways that you can reduce the cost of your boat insurance. For example:

  • Get your licence: While having a boat licence isn’t always necessary, it definitely helps to reduce the cost of insurance policies. Put yourself in the shoes of the insurance companies – if they have to insure a boat owner who has no experience sailing or driving a boat, then they are statistically more likely to have a boating accident with it. Therefore, by providing the necessary proof that you do indeed have experience commanding a boat of that size and that you have been qualified to do so, your boat insurance quotes will be significantly lower.
  • Get safety equipment: One way of lowering your rates is by proving that you are at a lower risk. Preparing your vessel for any eventuality, be it for fires, equipment failures, lifejackets, lifeboats, etc., your insurance policy is bound to be cheaper.


  • Consider using the same company as the one you use for your home and auto insurance: You may find that the insurance company that you already use for your car insurance, homeowners insurance or others can offer you good insurance cover for your boat at a lower rate. An insurance company that does not know you is bound to offer higher premiums than one that has experience working with you already.
  • Compare boat insurers: The best way of ensuring that you are getting the best policy possible is by comparing as many marine insurance companies as possible.

What Are You Paying For When You Insure a Boat?

Of course, what you will be paying for exactly with your boat insurance depends on the policy basics. However, here are a few things that you should expect to see if you get boat insurance:

  • Third-party cover: The first thing that you should really look at is third party insurance – as discussed. In many cases, boat owners choose to only have this as it covers something that none of us can control – third parties on the water. Third-party liability insurance covers you, your crew, and the guests on your boat should any injuries, damages or even death have been caused by a third party.
  • Fully comprehensive boat insurance: As the name suggests, fully comprehensive boat insurance covers most things, including things that we simply cannot control, such as theft, vandalism, third party fire, property damage, sinking, and even weather-related damage.
  • Medical expenses: Some insurance policies do indeed include cover for medical bills induced from accidents caused onboard that could hurt you, your crew, or your guests.

Example Costs of Boat Insurance

As mentioned, defining exactly how much you will have to pay on boat insurance will vary depending on a few factors.

However, there are, of course, certain averages that can help you to better understand how much you are potentially looking at when it comes to insuring your vessel.

Here are a few examples of boat insurance policy costs in the UK:

  • Yachts: For fully comprehensive insurance for a yacht here in the UK, prices average at just over £380.
  • Catamarans: On a fully comprehensive insurance policy, catamarans cost more on average, coming in at over £480.
  • Speedboats: If you are looking at insuring your speedboat on a fully comprehensive policy, then you are looking at more around £340.
  • Houseboats: Houseboats cost even less to insure, coming in at around £260.
  • Dinghy: If you are looking at a small dinghy for weekend adventures, then you will be happy to know that, on average dinghies cost around £115 on a fully comprehensive insurance policy.


Whether you use your boat daily or just every now and then, it is always best to have the best insurance possible.

Anything can happen on boats, whether you are just cruising up down a river or taking on the seven seas.

Thankfully, with high quality boat insurers like Velos to choose from, you ensure that you pay a fair amount for the cover that you need.

Whether you own a yacht, sailboat, pleasure craft or motorboat, you can trust your vessel with Velos. Start your boat insurance policy quote now by clicking on the QUOTE BUTTON at the top of this page.

It can take a little time to decide what exactly you want and need but trust us – it is definitely worth it when it means keeping you, your boat, and your loved ones safe.



Categories: Blog

Do You Need Insurance to Drive a Boat (What About a Licence?)

Owning a boat is like having a ticket to unlimited freedom. Being able to sail your own vessel, whether it is to take on the wider seas or move smoothly by across the beautiful inland waterways of the UK, there’s little wonder that boating is so popular here. Given its popularity and the number of boats on our waters, it’s natural to wonder whether or not you need boat insurance or even a licence to use your boat, however.

You do not need insurance or even a boat licence to use certain kinds of boats in the UK. That being said, certain inland waterways, marinas, and vessels will require you to have a boat safety scheme or boat licences, and at the very least some form of boat insurance (such as third party insurance).

Let’s take a closer look.

Is Boat Insurance Required in the UK?

No, you do not need boat insurance in the UK to own or even use your boat. As a boat owner, it’s not a legal requirement for you to have insurance…with some exceptions.

That being said, there are certain marinas, and most inland waterways that insist on boat owners to have at least some form of boat insurance.

It’s generally seen as good practice to provide boat insurance details if requested.

It is recommended that you have at least third-party liability insurance.

Third-party insurance will ensure that if you cause any accidental damage to other boats and people, said damages, injuries and even death will be covered financially.

There are, of course, completely comprehensive policies available for boats that cover fire, theft, personal accident, etc.

Many inland waterways and marinas require you to at least have a boat safety scheme certificate.

For more information, you should contact your own marina and the broads authority to ensure that your boat is safe to use in that specific area.

Do You Have to Have Insurance on A Boat Outside of UK Waters?

Although you will have to research the waters through which you will be specifically travelling on and the countries in which you plan on docking, most European countries and other territories do ask for proof of insurance on your boat.

Of course, it is best to enquire with the specific port and waters that you plan on visiting to be sure of whether or not you need boat insurance and whether your vessel meets all of their requirements for entry.

You should also consult the navigation authorities should you have any queries regarding using your boat.

Is It Illegal to Not Have Boat Insurance?

Since having boat insurance in the UK is not a legal requirement no, it is not illegal to avoid setting up such a policy.

However, given the sheer cost of buying and maintaining a boat, it would be wise to insure it to ensure that your vessel is covered should an accident occur, be it of your doing or someone else’s.

There are plenty of boats sailing in the UK that are not insured and who do not even have third party insurance.

It is always wise to protect your vessel from any eventuality. Especially if you own a valuable luxury yacht. Yacht insurance becomes essential.

Do You Need Insurance to Drive a Boat blog post image

Do I Need a Licence to Own a Boat?

No, you won’t need a boat licence to physically own a boat in the UK.

What’s more, if you use your vessel for commercial purposes, even a small commercial boat will require you to have a licence.

Do You Need a License to Drive a Boat in UK Seas?

Generally speaking, you do not need a boating licence to sail your yacht, rowing boats or most other vessels in UK waters. However, to run speed boats, you will require a licence.

That being said, most inland waterways, such as the Suffolk Broads, the Thames, etc., require boat owners to have a boat licence. That goes for all owners, whether you have a powered boat or an unpowered boat.

Is a Licence Required to Drive a Boat in Foreign Waters?

Many foreign countries and waters require boat owners to possess an International Certificate of Competence (ICC), also known as an international boat licence, to ensure that they are safe to travel within the waters.

However, if you are travelling somewhere abroad, be it a powered boat or not, it is best to take a competency exam beforehand to ensure that you, those on your vessel, and anyone surrounding your boat is free from harm.

You won’t have to pass any kind of exam when it comes to owning a boat – but for the sake of boat safety, it’s best to brush up.


With boating laws being what they are in the UK right now, it can be easy to assume that driving or sailing a boat is completely free and easy.

In fact, given that owning a boat does not mean that you have to have it insured, it can seem easier to own a boat than it is a car in many ways.

However, all vessels, even unpowered boats, can be challenging to use. So much affects the way that your journey will go, including your experience, the weather, and other boat users around you.

Just as you should always have certain security devices on your boat (such as inflatable rafts, life jackets, etc.), you would be wise to also have a boat licence, or at the very least, a boat safety scheme certificate.

Moreover, you will find that the broads authority and other navigation authorities will now insist upon owners having boat licenses, a boat safety scheme, and at the very least third party insurance.

Save yourself some hassle and give yourself peace of mind by making your time on the water safer for you and everyone else.

Whether you own a yacht, sailboat, pleasure craft or motorboat, you can trust your vessel with Velos.

Start your boat insurance policy quote now by clicking on the quote button at the top of this page.

Contact the navigation authority to ensure that you and your boat are safe on the UK waters for more information.

You should also look at marine finance to enquire about any financial information regarding boat insurance and insurance companies.

Read Also: Is my boat covered by my home insurance?



Categories: Blog

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