It’s time to throw out a stereotype that many insurers and most yacht owners will believe to be true. Racing Yachts attract higher premiums because they are more likely to have an expensive claim… or at least an educated guess would assume right?
The truth is, there is much more to consider than just an umbrella definition of a yacht that goes racing. A lot of factors that come into play, which will alter how likely it is for a yacht to have an expensive insurance claim. Lets start off by looking at the Hull and Machinery policy which a yacht would have, and figure out the factors that would reduce the yacht having a claim.
Firstly, racing yachts are usually run by professionals all year round, who ensure that the equipment is regularly serviced and that every aspect of the yacht is inspected with a magnifying glass to make sure that there are no stress fractures, no signs of wear and tear and nothing else that could lead to a catastrophic failure. An example of this is the rigging on a yacht; when it is properly serviced and looked after, the chances of a rigging pin failing and the mast coming tumbling down are slim. This is great news for racing yacht owners, as most insurance policies would exclude this type of wear and tear.
It is these same boat captains and skippers who will regularly exercise the sea-cocks, ensure the batteries are charging as per usual and make sure that the boat and its equipment is washed down to stop the dreaded salt water and grit in the air getting to the aesthetic beauty of the boat.
To play devils advocate, we also have to acknowledge that a large factor to consider is that when yachts are racing in the heat of the moment, decisions are made for the best interest of the results sheet and not always for the safety of the vessel. This is a valid reason why Third Party Liability or Protection and Indemnity premiums are considerably higher for racing yachts.
If we however take the flipside of a coin, and consider that a racing yacht has been built to be raced, is crewed with a ‘well-oiled’ racing crew, and has been training before any and all events; then you could jump to the conclusion that they know what they are doing around the race course and have a thorough understanding of the collision regulations and the racing rules of sailing.
The polar opposite to this example on the race course, is a yacht that has been cruised a couple of times a year, and July 2018 is around the corner. The Island Sailing Club is about to host the annual Round the Island (the Isle of Wight) yacht race, and many yachtsmen have their annual spur of the moment to go out and do some racing. They assemble a crew with a promise to race on a yacht that has been their noble steed for many years, with an even bigger promise of a beer tent reception in Cowes afterwards.
The day comes round and it’s a notoriously fresh 15 knots of wind, gusting at 20. The yachts leave their docks early in the morning and motor out to the start line where the gruelling and both exciting 50 Nautical Mile race sees over 1,300 yachts all on the course at once. This is the time where the flaws in a yachts maintenance program over the years rear their ugly head, combined with rusty crew work and the ‘rules of the road’ a distant memory… at least the 2018 updated edition that is.
What we have to consider, is that every yacht, crew and skipper are different. Whether they are weekend warriors or professional sailors on a race yacht. Accidents will always happen across the course, no matter how vigilant the sailors are. Every yacht owner therefore knows the importance of pairing up with an insurer that knows their needs, knows that they will be racing their yacht for the accurate amount of events that they declare every year, and is supported by an expert claims team in all eventualities. Coming to that information is not easy however and therefore you’ve got to go out and compare as many policies as you can. And why not use a simple service like ours to help you on your way to making the right decisions?