Do I need separate insurance for my boat?
Boats have a high recovery and replacement cost and come with their own risks. So, insuring them makes sense. You may find that your home or car insurance provides a degree of cover, but there are lots of good reasons for taking out dedicated boat or watercraft insurance.
Will my home contents insurance cover my boat?
While your boat is stored at your home it may be covered – up to a certain value – by your home insurance.
Home insurers, for the most part, do not have any particular expertise in insuring watercraft. So, you will find the coverage is not tailored to your needs. And if you are in the unfortunate position of needing to claim for damage or an accident to your boat, you may be getting help from someone who does not have a full understanding of what has happened and what your needs are.
It is certainly worth calling up your home insurance provider and asking them whether your boat is covered.
But specialist boat or watercraft insurance will give you better coverage, better service and better peace of mind. It will provide coverage when your boat is on the water, in a marina or in a boatyard, too.
Will my car insurance cover my boat?
While you’re towing your boat to the water, it may be covered by your car insurance if you’ve made appropriate arrangements. Note that some motor insurances have restrictions about the length of boat you can tow. It’s best to call up and ask before you set out.
Do I need boat insurance?
You probably do need boat insurance, particularly if we’re talking about a larger boat with a high replacement cost. Insurance may also be a condition of navigating certain waters or taking part in organised sailing activities. So not having boat insurance can be quite limiting.
Your home insurance might cover your boat while it’s stored at your home. But it won’t cover your boat on the water, in transit or in a boat yard.
Is boat insurance a legal requirement?
There is no UK law saying that you must insure your boat – but you will need at the very least third-party cover if you want to access the facilities at a marina or use a boatyard. And you’ll also need it if you plan to navigate rivers and canals.
Am I covered by the previous owner’s boat insurance?
If you buy a boat second-hand, the insurance previously held won’t apply any more. You need to take out a new policy for your boat.
How do I cut the cost of my boat insurance?
You can reduce the cost of boat insurance by:
- shopping around to find a policy that best meets your needs (note that Velos won’t be on any price comparison websites because we offer a tailored insurance service)
- building up a no claims bonus
- taking some training (particularly if you are a new boat owner).
How much does boat insurance cost?
The cost of boat insurance varies enormously according to what type of boat you wish to insure, where it is stored, your level of experience and competence and what activities you have planned on the water. At Velos we provide tailored insurance, so the best way to find out the cost of your boat insurance is to use our form to get a quick quote.
What steps should you take when your boat capsizes?
An accident in which a vessel sinks or capsizes is every boatowner’s nightmare. But it’s something that everyone who goes on the water should consider so that they know what to do if the worst happens.
Boating accidents can occur as a result of striking something – like floating debris or another vessel. They can be caused by bad weather, mechanical failure, poor maintenance, user error or simple bad luck.
Reduce the impact of a boating accident before you sail
The most important thing you can do to protect those you sail with is to insist on everyone wearing lifejackets (or personal floatation devices – PFDs) while on the water. Be sure to keep your PFDs in tip-top shape by checking them regularly, storing them well and replacing them as necessary. The RNLI has some helpful guidance about lifejackets.
Make sure your boat has the right level of insurance. Before you set sail think about whether the coverage you have is right for the activities you have planned. The right insurance policy will help with the costs of recovery and repair – but if you’ve got the wrong coverage, then you may find yourself paying for more than you otherwise might have. If you want to check your coverage with Velos, get in touch on +44 (0)20 7929 4058.
Keep your vessel in good repair. Take steps to maintain your watercraft to a good standard. This will reduce the chances of an accident.
Carry a communication device. Look into the different options, including handheld VHF; personal locator beacon; EPIRB; SART.
Talk with your passengers and crew about what to do when things go wrong. It might put a bit of a dampener on the launch – but it’s a conversation that could save lives.
What happens when a boat starts to sink?
A boat can start to sink very quickly once it starts to take on water. So, make sure everyone is wearing a lifejacket.
You will want to have your communication device and your ditch bag handy in case you need to evacuate.
Once everyone is as safe as they can be, call for help. The coastguard will want to know your location, boat name, number of people and situation. They may also ask how long you can stay afloat.
While you wait for help to arrive, start work on some self-help. It may be possible to plug a leak with anything soft like bags of food or bedding. Think about whether you can shift the weight in the boat to raise the leak above the water line. Use bilge pumps to remove the water, and think about whether beaching the boat is an option, as this will prevent the boat from sinking.
What should I do if my boat capsizes?
Stay with a capsized vessel. It is easier for rescuers to spot a vessel in open water than the head of a swimmer. You can also stay dryer and warmer for longer, even in a listing vessel.
What should I do if my boat collides with another vessel?
In the event of two boats colliding, you must stop and identify yourself, your vessel, your home port, your ports of origin and destination. You are obliged to help the people on board the other boat – as long as it’s safe to do so.
You will need to report the collision if there are extensive damages or the seaworthiness of the vessel is affected or if it’s resulted in death or injury that requires more than first aid.
If you are racing: protest the third party if they do not accept the penalty.
Finally, you should get witness statements and details from everyone involved.
What should I do once I’ve been rescued from a sinking yacht?
Once help arrives and you and your passengers are safe, you may be able to negotiate a tow if your boat is not completely sunk. Take steps to safeguard the vessel, then let your insurers know. They can advise on salvage and repairs and will tell you what estimates to get. Gather witness statements, and details of any other vessels involved.
At Velos, our claims are managed by trained, UK-based claims handlers who are experienced in marine insurance.
What should you do if you get stranded on the water?
Dead batteries, soft grounding, empty fuel tank… Whatever the reason, your boat is dead in the water, or unable to attain a good speed and you need to get back to a safe harbour or mooring for repairs. A breakdown on water is stressful wherever it occurs, and it will certainly be expensive. But insurance coverage can help reduce the impact.
Do I have to pay to get my boat towed?
The cost of getting your boat towed to safety will vary by the distance you need to go and the conditions. You may be lucky and find someone to help you for free – but you may have to pay, and it is decent to give a donation if a voluntary organisation comes to your aid. The price will depend on the time of day (according to the marine breakdown service SeaStart, 80% of pleasure craft breakdowns occur at the weekend or in the evening when recovery may be more expensive).
Many boat owners opt to pay for an annual breakdown and recovery service. That way they can be sure of priority attention and a predictable bill.
How do I call for assistance when my boat is broken down in the water?
In the UK, at sea, if you don’t have a breakdown policy, and you can’t fix your craft, you can put out a pan-pan call on your radio, or contact the coastguard on channel 16. The coastguard will ask another boat in the area to help you. If there is an immediate risk, make a mayday call.
On an inland waterway, in an emergency when lives or property are at risk, call 999. The Canal and River Trust has boat service listings to help you find a nearby boatyard that can help with a tow.
What information should I give the coastguard during a breakdown?
Ideally, you should be able to give an accurate position. This shouldn’t be much of a problem on inland waterways. But at sea it is very difficult to judge distance by eye, and interpretations of ‘just off’ or ‘not far from’ can vary. Make sure your radio is GPS-enabled so you can get your position quickly and easily.
As well as your location, you should also tell them what type of craft you are in, and briefly explain your problem.
Do I have to accept the tow company’s fee?
If you want to get back to a safe harbour from a breakdown at sea, it’s as well to check where whoever comes to your aid is towing you to, and what compensation they want. In some cases it may be enough to agree to buy them a beer, or pay for fuel, but a professional boat breakdown service will send you a bill.
On an inland waterway, it may be possible to shop around, but if you do not take action to move your boat you risk the waterway authority acting on your behalf.
How do I get ready to have my boat towed?
While you wait for your rendezvous with the rescue boat, set up lines and fenders. The skipper may have their own lines and fenders, so don’t deploy yours until you are asked to. Yachts should lower their sails, unless they think they might need to manoeuvre before the tow-boat arrives. The skipper may try to call your phone, or contact you by radio to let you know help is coming. So keep an eye on your communications devices.
How much does it cost to get my boat towed to my home mooring?
Many watercraft breakdown policies will include recovery to the nearest safe mooring or haven. This might not be your home mooring. You will have to pay extra if you want your boat taken to your home mooring, and you may not be able to arrange this immediately.
What should I do once my watercraft has been towed to safety?
Once you are in a safe haven and your craft is protected from further damage, contact your insurance company and find out what the next steps are.
Will my boat insurance cover me if I need towing?
At Velos we tailor our policies to our customer’s specific needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with pleasure craft insurance.
Practical Boat Owner: British Sailing Team sailor Elliot Willis is cycling 250 miles this September for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity: ‘Because they got me to this point where I feel I can do it.’
Elliot says: ‘I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in November 2015. Due to the amazing doctors, nurses and surgeons at the Royal Marsden and the world class treatment I have been and continue to receive, I am starting to live my life again, and feel able to support this amazing trust by doing something that I used to enjoy so much.
‘Let’s see how it goes as I haven’t had the opportunity to do much riding yet. Thank you for your support.”
Last December it was confirmed by the British Sailing Team that following medical tests, 470 Olympic campaigner Elliot had unfortunately been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Willis, 32, from Sevenoaks was among the first athletes in any sport to be selected to Team GB for the Rio 2016 Games, alongside 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience.
Elliot said at the time: ‘It’s still my dream to win Olympic gold but right now my focus and energy needs to be on getting better.’
Luke went on to regain selection for the Games with crew Chris Grube and achieved fifth place overall after a whirlwind eight month campaign together.
Meanwhile Elliot has been undergoing ‘world class treatment’ and now wishes to undertake the challenge in support of the ‘amazing doctors, nurses and surgeons at the Royal Marsden.’ who have ‘got me to this point where I feel I can do it.’
Elliot added: ‘The Royal Marsden have been amazing and their pioneering work has led to me receiving a newer type of treatment, immunotherapy (Pembrolizumab), for my type of cancer. The approval for this was made possible by BUPA through UK Sport and I cannot thank them enough for their continuous support on multiple levels, and for enabling and allowing me to receive this new treatment. I hope it can help other patients in the future.
‘I’ve have set up a fundraising page to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, so they can continue to do the great work they do, promote early diagnosis, provide the very best treatment and care for cancer patients in the best way they can.’
Yachting Boating World: The yacht suffered major damage after it drifted onto the rock armour at Rosslare Harbour in Co. Wexford, Ireland. The RNLI rescued the two people on board.
The eight-metre vessel had suffered engine failure and drifted onto the rock armour at Rosslare Harbour.
The crew were seeking shelter from the weather, which had worsened to a strong force seven north westerly gale. The RNLI says the wind was blowing into the mouth of Rosslare Harbour.
When the lifeboat crew arrived, they found that one of the yacht’s crew had been able to leave the boat and make it onto the rocks.
However, due to high waves and the rocks, it was not possible to attach a towline to the yacht from the lifeboat.
Two of the RNLI crew successfully managed to get the remaining occupant off the boat from the land side of the harbour. The lifeboat remained offshore providing cover.
The couple were brought to the lifeboat station to get warm and recover from their ordeal. They were also provided with dry clothes. They are currently being looked after by villagers at Rosslare Harbour.
Speaking after the incident, the Rosslare Harbour RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, Jamie Ryan, praised the efforts of the lifeboat crew.
“It was a challenging rescue in the early hours as the boat was getting dashed against the rocks and we needed to get the two crew members to safety,” he said.
“The best way to recover them was from the land side, with the lifeboat providing cover from the sea,” continued the press officer.
“The boat has suffered major damage, but the two people are recovering well from the incident. The couple, who are not from Ireland, are being looked after by the people of Rosslare,” concluded Ryan.
Yachting Boating World: The Canal & River Trust has announced that a survey amongst boaters has shown demand for pre-bookable moorings on London’s waterways.
It is now trialling pre-bookable, short-stay mooring spots at Rembrandt Gardens, where the Regent’s Canal meets the Paddington Arm.
The trust carried out a survey over the summer as part of work towards its mooring strategy for the capital.
It found that perceived pressure on mooring space was putting some boaters off visiting London.
Of the 27% of respondents who hadn’t visited the capital by boat, 85% said it was because they weren’t certain they’d find a place to moor.
Those who took part in the survey also wanted an increased range of mooring options, with 59% of all respondents saying they’d consider paying for a reserved mooring.
Of the 1,400 boaters surveyed, 73% had visited London by boat, of which 45% had visited in 2016 and 18% in 2015. 10% had visited before 2010.
Most visiting boaters moored on general towpath moorings (64%) or visitor moorings (63%), with 14% stopping on paid private moorings.
59% of respondents said they would consider paying for a reserved mooring, with most boaters saying they’d pay £10 a night.
One of the most important aspects of cruising into central London was security.Having a safe and secure place to moor was important to 92% of respondents, while having a guaranteed place to moor was important to 74%. 63% wanted to moor close to local services, attractions or transport links, while 50% thought it was important to moor close to boat facilities.
The boating strategy & engagement manager at the trust, Matthew Symonds, said he was pleased that boaters got in touch to share their views, both positive and negative, of boating in London.
“Our job is to manage the finite space on the canals so that all boaters have a fair chance of finding somewhere to moor up, and in popular places like parts of London this becomes even more important,” he explained.
“It looks like being able to guarantee a mooring spot will give many boaters peace of mind and encourage them to visit. Taking this into account we’re planning to trial pre-bookable short-stay mooring spots at Rembrandt Gardens which will begin later in the year. We will be announcing more details soon,” he continued.
Symonds said the trust had also received a lot of feedback on how to improve boating in London.
“It’s no surprise to see that boaters want to see more facilities, and we’re doing what we can to find suitable places to put them. Boaters also want to see more mooring spaces and rings and we’ve worked hard to get funding to install around 3, 500 metres of rings over the past two years, creating or improving around 195 mooring spots,” he explained.
“We will continue looking for opportunities like this. Also high on the list were requests to reduce overstaying and better enforcement of the rules. We’re going through the comments carefully and they will prove really useful in the development of our wider London mooring strategy, which seeks to meet the needs of boaters and others who enjoy these historic, popular waterways,” concluded Symonds.
The survey ran from 30 June to 26 August, 2016.
The Canal and River Trust will also be carrying out further engagement work including surveys of boaters and other stakeholders in London over the coming months to help inform the wider London mooring strategy.
Yachting Boating World: Ladies Day on 22 September 2016 promises champagne, fashion shows, live music and, of course, gorgeous yachts to explore at Southampton Boat Show’s marina.
Held on Thursday, 22 September 2016, Ladies Day guests will have the opportunity to marvel at some of the gorgeous yachts and spectacular feature boats on display.
There will also be plenty of opportunities to indulge in a glass of champagne at one of the waterfront vantage points that the show’s bars and lounges have to offer.
Live music performances from the likes of Might Be Bublé, as well as fashion shows make this day totally unmissable.
Fantastic spot prizes will also be handed out on the day by official media partner for the occasion, the Southern Daily Echo, for the show’s best dressed ladies.
The Honda Champagne Bar will welcome the show’s very own Ladies Hour from 2pm to 3pm, where every lady that buys a drink will have the chance to pick the winning key to open a padlock of prizes.
Managing director at British Marine Boat Shows, Murray Ellis, commented: “With the recent fantastic success of our female sailors in Rio, there is no better time for women at the show to take to the water and share in the fun, with our signature attractions such as Try-A-Boat, the Suzuki RIB Experience or the Global Challenge Sailing Experience.”
“As well as the more relaxing activities with our fashion shows and fabulous bars, the show provides a host of opportunities to get out on the water for free,” he adds.
Ladies Day is sponsored by Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth, one of the UK’s leading private wealth firms.
A partner in the company, Ursula Danagher, said: “Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth is proud to be sponsoring Ladies Day at the Southampton Boat Show. It is one of the most prestigious events on the south coast and highlights our commitment to the region.”
“We are already one of the biggest private client businesses in the UK and sponsoring the show highlights our plans to grow our business in the south of England,” she added.
The Southampton Boat Show runs from 16-25 September 2016.
Yachting Boating World: Two crew died after the wheelhouse of the Viking Freya hit a bridge in the city of Erlangen, Germany in the early hours of 11 September.
A police spokesman is reported as saying that the retractable wheelhouse may not have been lowered in time.
The Viking Freya was leaving Erlangen along the Main-Danube Canal when the accident happened.
It was on its way to the Hungarian capital, Budapest. Around 230 people are reported to have been on board. The wheelhouse was crushed in the impact with the bridge.
The two crew members killed were a 33-year-old sailor and a 49-year-old who was helming. No-one else was injured in the incident.
In a statement, Viking River Cruises said the families of the two men were in their “thoughts and prayers”.
“Viking Freya experienced an accident in Erlangen, Germany early Sunday morning.
“Viking Freya’s wheelhouse collided with the bridge in Erlangen.
“Two crew members of the ship were in the wheelhouse and died as a result of injuries sustained during the collision.
“No other crew members or guests were injured, and all guests have been transported to local hotels.
“We are heartbroken, and company executives are on the scene to work closely with local authorities to understand the details of the accident. Viking Freya had embarked on its September 10 sailing and will now be moved for repairs.
“Guests on this sailing may continue on their journey with a modified itinerary, embarking on Viking Bestla in Passau. Or, they may return home as soon as possible.
“Guests currently booked on Viking Freya sailings for the remainder of 2016 will now sail on Viking Bestla, a sister ship that is virtually identical.
“Guests on these sailings will be contacted directly by a Viking Customer Relations representative or their travel agent. The families of our crew members are in our thoughts and prayers,” concluded the statement.
Yachting Boating World: Team GB’s Paralympic rowing team make history at Rio 2016 after taking three golds and one bronze – their best medal haul yet.
Rachel Morris, who only switched from hand cycling to rowing in 2013, was the first of the team to secure a gold medal.
She beat China’s Lili Wang and Moran Samuel from Israel, to win the arms-shoulders women’s single scull boat.
Morris, who trains at Guildford Rowing Club in Surrey, has previously won gold in the cycling at Beijing 2008 and bronze at London 2012.
Meanwhile in the equivalent men’s event, Tom Aggar took bronze. The 32-year-old made history during Beijing 2008 when he took gold in the first-ever arms-shoulders men’s single scull.
The four-times World Champion is the longest-serving member of the GB Rowing Team para-rowing squad having made his debut in 2007.
Aggar came third in the race after a fierce battle with China’s Huang Cheng. The Ukraine’s Roman Polianskyi took gold and Australian Eric Horrie secured silver.
“I am so pleased to have made that cut and to have got on the podium,” said Aggar.
“The event has moved on hugely since Beijing and it’s an amazing feeling. We did a lot of rehearsals of having to race three times here and I knew I had the fitness so being in the repechage didn’t faze me,” he noted.
World Silver medallists Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley clearly showed why the gold was theirs after blasting from the blocks in the final of the trunk-and-arms mixed double sculls.
The pair beat the world record in their heat and dominated the final to take the top podium spot.
“I don’t think I can sum up the emotions,” said Whiteley, who only partnered with Rowles in 2015 after a two-and-a-half-year search.
“Two and a half years of thinking every day that it would be alright in the end. There were days when I could have walked away some days but for the end prize to be Paralympic gold, I would have done it again in a heartbeat,” he said.
Rowles added: “We beat the world record in the heat and we had confidence that we would do well but every crew out here is incredible so you know that you are not going to win it by miles. We have been putting in hours and hours and it’s so good.”
Meanwhile, Grace Clough, Daniel Brown, Pamela Relph, James Fox and cox Oliver James retained GB’s Paralympic crown in the mixed coxed four.
Making their mark from the start, the team was leading comfortably half way through the race, with clear water by the finish. They won in a time of 3:17.170.
Yachting Boating World: Turn your car into a boat! Turkish engineer Yusuf Kahvecioğlu didn’t have the money to buy a motor boat. Instead, he designed his Drive on Water prototype to open up boating to anyone with a car!
Known as D.O.W, he has now launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop the project.
He wants to raise $20,000 Canadian so he can modify the prototype.
“I made a prototype, it works fine but it is a little slow, needs more modifications,” explained Kahvecioğlu.
The D.O.W uses the car’s engine for power, and has the same horse power as the vehicle.
Facilities in the car, such as air conditioning and music system, can also be used while out on the water.
According to the project website, it is controlled by a joystick and can be used for cars with a maximum length of 5 metres.
“Now you can ride a boat while you are driving!” writes Kahvecioğlu on his Kickstarter page.
“Now you can ride a very cheap catamaran motor boat while sitting in your car. Your boat uses your car’s engine, electrical system, etc. If you have 150 HP car, now you have a boat with 150 HP engine. You also bring your car wherever you go by boat,” he explained.
Kahvecioğlu, who has previously designed planes, has collected just $327 from 11 backers so far but he is hopeful others will be inspired to support his project.
He is collaborating on D.O.W with physicist and designer Zafer Caner.
Caner has previously worked on other innovative projects including the Korea solar powered car.