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NEW TO BOATING? Avoid taking unnecessary risks on the water

NEW TO BOATING? Avoid taking unnecessary risks on the water

Talk to the PANTAENIUS Sail & Motor Yacht Insurance Gold Coast team at the Boat Works office

Boating is fun, peaceful and relaxing. Most of the time. It’s a great way to connect with family and friends for everything from short day trips to venturing off farther, even escaping to as far as you can go. It does not matter what type of boating you do, for no matter where you look, there’s always something new to find.

ANCHORING – This can create the best or worst experience of your trip depending on how it is done. On the plus side, it can provide a great opportunity to relax with family and friends and enjoy the surroundings with some good food and wine. To avoid disaster you need to consider a few things. Make sure you find a safe spot, consider water depth, effects of any change in the wind direction and/or tide may have, and other boats in the area. Also check the surrounding anchoring area for any hidden rocks or shallow spots, which will put an end to your fun very quickly if you hit one. Consider the type of anchor you are using given the surface of the seafloor, relative to sand, seaweed, or rock. Also, have an anchor watch system so you can quickly identify if you are drag-ging your anchor, as you don’t suddenly find yourself bumping into other boats, or that nice little shoal you were all admiring earlier in the evening. Your eyes can be your best assets here, but your mind can also play with you a bit. AIS and radar, even inApp items on your phone can give you electronic eyes as well, and if you are planning on having a nap, they can add another level of safety, in addition to you coming on deck and checking every hour or so.

CHARTS – Paper charts are still the pinnacle of navigational aids. Nothing works quite as well in terms of giving a more total and complete picture, but alas they are expensive and cumbersome. You only have to look at the way the modern craft’s nav desks are aligned more to the laptop and chartplotter to see that. It is very important to have the correct, updated charts for where you are travelling on board and stored in a dry place. What is even more important is that you understand how to read them. You never know when all that whiz-bang navigation equipment you were so proud of may fail and you find yourself relying on them to help you find your way to safety.

RIG – The only time you want to see the rig come down is when it is underneath a giant crane. For the rest of its life, you want it standing up tall, in column, supported by the standing rigging, and able to withstand the loads applied to it by the running rigging, and the very sails it is up there to carry in the first place. Professional riggers can do an annual onsite inspection. It can come out for a thorough overhaul, the rod rigging can be sent off for x-raying, and new wires can be installed for lights, radio, radar and sat domes. One thing you can’t do after it has gone ‘timber’ is replace the one knuckle, joint or flange that failed and caused the whole problem in the first place. Prevention is way better than the cure, and it is also one of those things that never seems to happen when you’re in an idyllic anchorage.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CRAFT – After fires in shipyards, and extensive damage across the globe at the hands of named storms, the leisure marine sector was always going to see changes to the way insurance was handled. Taking responsibility for your craft both when you are on board, and even more importantly when you are not, is singularly the best way to ensure there is cover available in the first place, and that you personally will be offered it. There is always something you can do, and it is important to take that on, before there is no more cover to be had, and everyone will have to be self-insured.

WHERE TO FROM HERE? – We can’t answer every question in just one article, and you might have additional questions rela-ting to cover, claims and help. If so, then please get in touch.

PANTAENIUS Sail & Motor Yacht Insurance Ph: 07 5649 6622





Published in print July-September 2022