Posted On: January 22, 2021

Insurance buyers should be ready for change.

  • Most markets have adopted cyber exclusions on marine policies.
  • The impact of COVID-19 and the economic slowdown are still TBD.(Uncertain markets lead to price fluctuation.)
  • Analytics are playing an important role in setting terms, conditions and pricing in this changing environment. Useful tools include diagnostics for catastrophic modeling, loss trend analysis, deductible studies, heat mapping and total cost of risk (TCOR) exercises.

Additional Factors that affect your boat insurance rates, include:

  • Your use of the boat: If you only take your boat on occasional fishing trips, your rates will typically be lower than if you tow water skiers, wake boarders or parasails.
  • Your motor vehicle driving record: Good automobile drivers tend to be good boat drivers.
  • Your record of boat insurance claims: You may have to pay more if you’ve filed many claims in the past.
  • The boating experience of others who will be driving the boat: Adding your teenage son as a driver on your policy, for example, may increase your rates.
  • Safety measures: Have you had a certified safety course? Do you have Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers and radios to communicate with the mainland?
  • Horsepower of the boat: Often, boats with a higher horsepower engine will have higher insurance premiums assigned to them.
  • Your gender and age: Studies have found that women over the age of 27 tend to be quoted for better rates than men of the same age, even with equal driving records.
  • Spec’s of your boat: Year, make and model of the boat and motor, and whether you have an inboard or outboard motor come in to play when determining rates.
  • Region of the country: This is to determine if you will be using the boat in areas where there are natural hazards like hurricanes.
  • Your credit score: Believe it or not, insurance companies have found that a person with a lower credit score is statistically more prone to boating accidents.  If your credit score is low, you may be charged more for your boat insurance than someone with a higher credit rating.


Posted On: January 18, 2021


What should I look for in a yacht policy?

There are two main section s of a yacht policy. Hull insurance is all risk direct damage coverage that creates a very broad insuring agreement. It will include agreed amount hull coverage, meaning all parties agree at the time the policy is written on the value of the vessel and that value will be paid in the event of a total loss.

A true yacht policy also includes replacement cost (new for old) coverage on partial losses, with the exception of sails, canvas, batteries, outboards and sometimes outdrives, which are depreciated. Protection and indemnity insurance is the broadest of all liability coverages, and because maritime law is unique, you will need coverages that are designed for those exposures. Such things as Harborworkers and Longshoreman's coverage and Jones Act (crew) coverage can be critical, as an uncovered loss in this area could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Besides providing payment of judgments against you, P&I also provides for your defense in Admiralty Courts.

What is a normal deductible?

A yacht policy usually carries a percentage of the insured value deductible, for instance a 1%, deductible means a boat insured for $100,000 would have a $1,000 deductible. Most lenders allow a maximum deductible of 2% of the insured value. Beware of "named special deductibles" such as storm damage of 10% or more.

What are some of the other standard coverages I can expect?

These standard coverages have standard deductibles and average limits:

  • Medical payments, $10,000 limit
  • $5,000 limit personal effects, $250 deductible
  • $500,000 limit uninsured boaters liability, no deductible
  • $1,000 to $3,000 limit Towing and assistance, no deductible
  • $1,000 limit Fishing equipment, $250 deductible
  • $1,000 Hurricane haul out coverage. Small percentage of limit as deductible. Hurricane warning must be posted by NOA. Payment made to move boat to safe location, haul out or make special preparations to withstand storm.

What is Breach of Warranty?

That is coverage that primarily protects the lienholder's interest in your boat, paying off the balance owed but nothing more. If you breach the warranties in the policy, such as promising not to go outside your navigational limits, not to use your boat during the lay-up period, not to use your boat for anything but private pleasure use, and you do NOT have this coverage and experience a loss, you don't get paid for that loss and neither does the lender. You could end up making payments on a boat you cannot use.



Posted On: January 15, 2021

SAFETY TIP: BEWARE OF THE Extension-Cord Danger

As you work on your supplies for the next boating season, pay some attention to the oft ignored, but always needed Extension Cord.

You might scoff at the notion of an instruction manual for an extension cord. There aren't a lot of moving parts, and most people usually don't get injured from using one. But around the water, there are some important safeguards that, if not followed, can cause a fire or even electrocution. Here's what you need to know:

  • Don't use a cord outside if it's marked "For indoor use only."
  • Inspect your extension cords regularly, and don't use one if it's damaged.
  • Don't overload a cord. Determine the total number of watts the cord will be subject to (watts can be found listed on the equipment being used). A cord will specify its maximum watt load on a label. If you exceed that, the cord can melt or catch fire.
  • Turn off the load before plugging in or unplugging the cord; otherwise, the prongs can be damaged over time and overheat.
  • Don't remove the grounding prong. If the outlet can't accept three prongs, it's not grounded and could be dangerous to use, especially outside or near water.
  • Avoid multiple extension cords. Never plug a two-prong cord into a three-prong cord; it will defeat the ground.
  • Don't get the cord wet or allow it to dangle in water. If you're working around water, use a cord with a built-in ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI.
  • If the extension cord gets hot, stop using it immediately. It's either overloaded or damaged.
  • Don't coil or cover a cord while in use. It can overheat under heavy loads.


Posted On: January 11, 2021

Next week, the inauguration promises to be different.

The inauguration of the president of the United States is a ceremony to mark the commencement of a new four-year term of the POTUS, (president of the United States. The inauguration takes place for each new presidential term, even if the president is continuing in office for a second term. Since 1937, it has taken place at noon EST on January 20, the first day of the new term, some 72 to 78 days after the presidential election, except for three occasions when January 20 fell on a Sunday. In those years, the presidential oath was administered on that day privately and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21.

The most recent presidential inauguration was held on January 20, 2017, when  Donald Trump assumed office; the next is scheduled to take place on January 20, 2021, when Joe Biden will assume office.

With the coronavirus pandemic raging around the country, President-elect Joe Biden and congressional inauguration planners have closed much of the traditional avenues for access. Instead of receiving the typical 200,000 tickets to share with constituents eager to see Biden take the oath of office on the West Front of the US Capitol, members of Congress will receive tickets for themselves and one guest only.

Left out of this year's festivities is the post-inaugural parade that usually draws throngs to Pennsylvania Avenue to see the newly installed chief executive and an array of high school marching bands, veterans' groups and others celebrate the transfer of power.It will be replaced by a televised event showcasing performances from around the country -- much like the online programming at last summer's Democratic National Convention.


Posted On: January 08, 2021

So You Have A Boat Now, have taken a few classes, and you think you know everything.

You feel good about yourself and think you are a "Salty"

Think again, Here are some characteristics of what true boys(and gals), of the sea say makes them seasoned sailors

A sailor…

         Knows what phase the moon is in                                                  

  • Can tell the wind speed by feel
  • Can light a cigarette no matter the weather conditions (French sailors)
  • Has lost a digit in a winching accident
  • Dresses in primary colors
  • Gets upset when people call the British national flag the Union Jack
  • Always passes port to the left (unless he’s in America)
  • Can sleep anywhere
  • Has an eclectic collection of yacht club-branded T-shirts
  • Sports sun-yellowed eyebrows
  • Is not afraid of seasickness
  • Does not carry an umbrella
  • Sniggers when hearing someone say ‘Over and out’ in a movie
  • Can always find a parking space
  • Drinks beer/rum/whisky for breakfast (after a long trip)
  • Never uses a wheelie suitcase
  • Finds it acceptable to eat and drink out of plastic
  • Owns a spork
  • Can fix anything (usually with epoxy or duck tape)
  • Can throw a great party in the smallest of spaces
  • Can make friends in an instant that last a lifetime
  • Is good at keeping in touch
  • Is adept at sewing up holes (in sails, in clothes)
  • Is good at whipping 
  • Daydreams of adventure
  • Actually goes on adventures
  • Shies away from botox, knowing that lines speak of a life well lived
  • Never goes for a manicure
  • Does not use the word ‘hurricane’ lightly
  • Is not daunted by third world lavatories
  • Is open-minded and big-hearted
  • Knows the name of a good pub or restaurant in every port town in the western hemisphere (and much of the eastern)
  • Has a friend in every port town in the western hemisphere – often a bartender
  • Can whip up a hearty meal consisting entirely of tinned and packet foods
  • Is not phased by the idea of making tea at 30° (whether lat, long or angle of heel)
  • Knows the difference between latitude and longitude – and is always aware of where he or she is
  • Has seen more sunsets and sunrises, dolphins and views of the Milky Way than anyone else they know
  • Is not afraid of the dark
  • Knows that lists like these are for desk-based landlubbers who aren’t busy off having adventure




Posted On: January 04, 2021

Considering a Boat Purchase?

In the Winter seemingly, Selection is high. Prices are low.

Here’s some sage advice if you want to buy a boat.

Consider a discontinued model as it may not be all that different than a just-built current model. It costs a lot to redesign boats and build new molds, so the “upgrades” offered on newer boats may only amount to different color schemes, upholstery, or slight changes in the power train. Check with the builder and engine manufacturer to make sure their warranties are in effect. You’ll need a hull ID number and engine serial number. Have the boat surveyed. Leftover models are sometimes cannibalized for parts. Be sure to sea-trial the boat and test operating systems.

Leftover  Models

Boat   dealers   use loans to purchase new product from manufacturers (called floor planning).  Ideally, each new boat sold helps the dealer keep up  with  his  loan  obligation.  The system works well until sales of new boats taper off or dry up, as they have this year. Consider the following when buying a  new  leftover model:  Expect  significant  markdowns  on leftover models and be prepared to negotiate to have extras,  such  as  electronic  gear or trailers, added in to sweeten  the  deal. Dealers who have long given up on making a profit on a sale may be happy to improve their cash flow with a bargain price.

Can't afford a new one, but saw a bargain online?

Salvage Vessels

Rehabilitating a boat that’s been totaled in an accident or hurricane may seem like a good way to get something newer and bigger or to make some money in a flip. But bear in mind: All used boats and their engines should be surveyed before purchase. This goes double for boats sold as salvage. Structural damage can add thousands to repair costs. Few states require dealers to reveal that boats have been totaled in an accident or are salvaged vessels. Used boats are sold in “as is” condition, which means that you’ll have no recourse against the seller if something goes wrong.




Posted On: January 01, 2021

January Joins the Calendar

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Julian Calendar: January 1st Officially Instituted as the New Year

In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.

Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished

In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.

Gregorian Calendar: January 1st Restored

In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as new year's day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire —and their American colonies— still celebrated the new year in March.



Posted On: December 28, 2020

Start the year right. Here are the rules that will help you avoid a collision.

Head on passing boats illustration
Head On: Keep right or steer to starboard. Pass port to port, like cars.
Boat crossing danger zone illustration
Crossing: Give way to a boat ahead and to starboard. If a boat is in your danger zone, defined as an arc measuring from zero to 112.5 degrees, alter course, slow, or stop.
Passing boats illustration
Passing: When overtaking another boat, give way and steer clear.

As you encounter another vessel in motion, ask yourself two questions: Do I have priority in the pecking order? And consequentially, am I the stand-on or give-way vessel? If two vessels have equal priority, follow the examples in the illustration.

The Pecking Order

A vessel lower on the list below must give way to those higher on the list. Generally, recreational powerboats must yield to other types of traffic.

1. Unable to steer
2. Limited turning ability
3. Restricted by draft (commercial ship)
4. Commercial boats engaged in fishing
5. Sail and human-powered boats
6. Recreational powerboats

Give-Way Boat (red): Must alter course and speed to avoid a collision.

Stand-On Boat (Green): Must maintain course and speed unless a risk of collision is imminent.

Aids to navigation mark the edges of a channel and define a course through deep(er) water. They typically don't appear side by side, as in this illustration, but rather are staggered on either side as necessary.

Aids to navigation illustration

Lighted marks are often found at headlands and at entrances to rivers or channels. Cans are always green and odd numbered, while nuns are cone-shaped on top, always red, and even numbered.

Similarly, green daybeacons are square and odd, while red daybeacons are triangular and even.

Orange and white markings indicate information or danger, including speed restrictions, shoals, or other hazards