It’s the 21st century and yachts with large range capabilities are about as common as electric cars in big cities. Not only do both these ‘vehicles’ share in common an environment friendly approach to travel, they also emit a true sense of championing “out with the old and in with the new”.
Production built yachts are now capable of travelling around the world without needing to frequently pull into ports for supplies. Build standards and regulations have improved so much that designs themselves are becoming more and more radical. Open transoms, thinner and stronger hulls, less supports around the masts, all mean that design specifications allow for significantly more deck and interior space. That kind of space allows for more crew members, more supplies and more enjoyment of the yachts space.
Not only have the designs and builds become more radical, but the injection of new technology into the electrical systems have also allowed for safer crossings and worldwide trips. Yachts can now have access to the internet from point nemo, by means of satellite telecoms. Ocean going vessels are also generally tracked by tracking devices such as YB Tracking handheld or fixed tracker. All engineering systems and electrical devices can be monitored from ashore while the vessel may be in port or on the ocean by a specialist engineer or shore team. All of these upgraded electrical and engineering parts, are designed to make sure you are safer, and more in control of any problems you may encounter while at sea.
Oyster yachts are a builder at the heart of British yacht design. The name has become more than synonymous with offshore cruising, such that there is a world rally for owners that circumnavigates the globe. One yacht in particular, the Oyster 885 Firebird is the quintessence of cruising capabilities. Whilst she is available for charter in the world’s most sought after and exotic waters, she also delivers on the demands of her owners. It is astonishing that as a 88ft fibreglass yacht, she has made numerous transatlantic crossings, whilst also navigated the waters as far north as Svalbard, taking her guests right up to the edges of glaciers to go skiing, raced around the superyacht circuit in the Mediterranean and culminates an astonishing itinerary in 2020/2021 to go to Antarctica to further push the boundaries.
Yacht Insurance is something that has had to follow sharply to meet the demands of the industry. With new cruising areas and risks imposed, the right level of protection needs to exist in case something goes wrong. Unchartered waters are exactly what it says on the tin. Charting companies such as Navionics have pioneered this void in world maps by creating customer curated maps. Depth Sounders and Chart plotters syncing with apps are now populating maps for everyone to utilise. Crowd sharing at its best.
Whilst the pristine Firebird is an example at the higher end of the spectrum of luxury yachts, prospect and current yacht owners should not be turned away with the high price tag of ocean going yachts. Beneteau, Jeanneau and numerous other European yacht manufacturers are pushing the boundaries constantly to create affordable yachts to make cruising more accessible to the masses.
Even here yacht insurance is playing it’s part. Production built yachts are easier to repair than their counterparts, and therefore their insurance premiums are lower. This is not only a trend over decades, but over a short period of years too. Any yacht owner should be looking at renewing their insurance with a new insurer every few years. Premiums are constantly dropping and therefore it’s important to shop around. ‘New Business’ are often significantly more enticing than renewal quotes for loyal customers where insurers know they can bet on them paying a higher premium for an easy renewal.
With the development of yachts, refined cruising areas have also emerged. The exotic names of Ibiza, Palma and Monaco are amongst the more common destinations every summer. Antigua, Virgin Islands and St Maarten are all more and more frequently visited than ever before. Patagonia, Tahiti, Polynesia and the Easter Islands are now quickly adapting to lure yachts into their waters. With local industries booming from sudden influxes of wealth spent in marinas, restaurants and shops, it is easy to see why support networks catering for yachts are plentiful available.
It’s important to keep tabs of this and have a rough cruising plan in mind for the next season. Speak to your insurers and let them know where you are looking to go, more often than not, cruising areas are being increased. Brest to Elbe is a thing of the past, and most insurers will now offer you the entirety of Europe for the same premium as the Solent.
The industry is changing, and all aspects of it are embracing the change. The accessibility of the world from a cruising yacht is now significantly more sought after than sitting in a Tesla on one’s commute, and we are excited to see more development and support our customers fully with any and all of their insurance requirements.