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Blue water insurance - owner/skipper qualifications


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Hi Team,

My brother is looking at commissioning a new 53ft sailing cat and is currently examining his insurance options.

He has a business broker who deals with all is business plant, professional indemnity, public liability stuff, loss of income, health etc. Specifically, he has queries as to what qualifications if any he should/must/ or recommended he hold that are likely to reduce his annual premiums for offshore cruising ( I know this depends on insurer requirements)? Thoughts and recommendations from the experienced crowd here?

Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very much insurance company specific, but given you've no replies so far here's my 2 cents worth.

For offshore then expect skippers/sailors requirements for Cat 1 as set by YNZ minimum.
Suggest you refer to the YNZ web site for the Safety Regulations, section 21 and Appendix 6 re Sea Survival.
Yachting New Zealand safety regulations of sailing 2017-2020
Mostly very vague I know.

But some decent blue water miles under the belt, probably looking for Ocean Yachtmaster qualified or equivalent commercial certification. 

The other aspect is the cruising grounds where the boat will be and plans if these include cyclone areas and who will be sailing the boat.
If he wants to solo sail it will probably be impossible to get coverage.

In my own experience having the experience and qualifications doesn't reduce the premiums, it simply means that you might be offered a full comprehensive policy. 

A good place to deal with is The Marina Shop at Opua.
Bill is a really helpful, down to earth guy and even if he can't do a deal he'll still help you out.
He really knows his stuff about pleasure yacht insurance.

As an aside, it would be really interesting to know what proportion of boats leave NZ without comprehensive policies.
I think many will have 3rd party only (sufficient for moorage in marinas at most small Pacific island nations). 
Even if you can qualify for full comprehensive it's (to me) horrifically expensive.

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I get a reduction on my policy, both in NZ waters and offshore, with RYA Yachtmaster tickets. Doing one is not a simple undertaking though, and it's not recognized commercially in NZ.  Most boats leave NZ without any formal qualifications. However, more and more jurisdictions are starting to require certification...

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The boat will be commissioned offshore. Plan is to go collect and sail back to nz. Most likely skeleton coast, st helena, caribean, panama, and then pacific at this stage. Port of registration is undecided at this point. May not even come back to NZ.

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Insurance underwriters are mostly London based and therefore tend to think highly of the RYA Yachtmaster qualification (and rightly so). It isn't recognised in NZ for commercial use but if you're not intending to operate commercially here then the Yachtmaster is the way to go. You'll learn a lot too. Make sure to take the exam in tidal waters because the non-tidal certificate doesn't have the same prestige. NZ Coastguard do arrange Yachtmaster courses in NZ I believe, but nothing beats doing it in the Solent if you have the opportunity. Yachtmaster Offshore is sufficient for most insurers but Yachtmaster Ocean adds celestial navigation. If you progress to Yachtmaster Instructor then your premiums might come down further.

Edited by syohana
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Actually, RYA Offshore is a prerequisite for NZ Master Yacht <24 m, which is a commercial ticket. So RYA sort of is accepted here....

Stupidly, Maritime NZ allow someone with SRL to run a yacht here, but someone with the NZ Master Yacht <24m, (allows up to 12 passengers, out to 200 miles) which is a MUCH more advanced ticket, can't run a power boat. And there is no formal path to get from the NZ Master Yacht <24m ticket to SRL (12 passengers, 12 miles out).

Oh, and the inner Auckland Harbor is pretty tidal, and the "Blind" navigation section of the practical test in there is interesting :-) . I'd recommend the Auckland Sailing School, Phil Bishop for anyone who wants to do, or consider doing, an RYA course in Auckland.

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On 31/08/2020 at 11:19 AM, Island Time said:

Actually, RYA Offshore is a prerequisite for NZ Master Yacht <24 m, which is a commercial ticket. So RYA sort of is accepted here....

Stupidly, Maritime NZ allow someone with SRL to run a yacht here, but someone with the NZ Master Yacht <24m, (allows up to 12 passengers, out to 200 miles) which is a MUCH more advanced ticket, can't run a power boat. And there is no formal path to get from the NZ Master Yacht <24m ticket to SRL (12 passengers, 12 miles out).

Oh, and the inner Auckland Harbor is pretty tidal, and the "Blind" navigation section of the practical test in there is interesting :-) . I'd recommend the Auckland Sailing School, Phil Bishop for anyone who wants to do, or consider doing, an RYA course in Auckland.

What, Maritime NZ doing something stupid - who would have thought we'd live to see that!    /sarcasm

As for blind nav, did mine at the entrance to the Solent - tide, mud, forts, submarine barriers.....  These days I do love my chartplotter!

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17 hours ago, Dtwo said:

What, Maritime NZ doing something stupid - who would have thought we'd live to see that!    /sarcasm

As for blind nav, did mine at the entrance to the Solent - tide, mud, forts, submarine barriers.....  These days I do love my chartplotter!

Yep did my blind nav for YM Offshore many moons ago in the Solent, it was shall we say challenging , had to know Morse and Flags too and no I'm not that old.....

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I’ve just had a (pleasantly) surprising experience dealing with Pantaenius. I’ve got a particularly complex offshore insurance requirement which I expected would blow most insurer’s minds. But they took it all in their stride and I went from a nervous initial enquiry to confirmation of cover within 24hrs - all at very reasonable / affordable terms.

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