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Old 05-29-2020, 08:45 PM   #1
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Insurance questions

I am having some trouble getting insurance. It seems i made to big a jump in my boating experience. I have owned boats for 45 years or so but the largest i had moored was 28ft. It seems the main carriers will insure the boat providing i get 50 hours of on water training from a licensed captain or hire a captain to operate the boat.
I did get a quote from boats us with no requirements but they did raise the deductible to 5 percent which i am fine with.
Is there any reason not to just go with boat us?
I have made arrangements for a 100 ton captain to go out with us for some handling , anchoring and garmin training before we actually venture off by ourselves but we will be relying on him saying were ready to go regardless of the hours. My training as a helicopter pilot was a FAA minimum of 20 hours.
Your thoughts?
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by magna 6882 View Post
I am having some trouble getting insurance. It seems i made to big a jump in my boating experience. I have owned boats for 45 years or so but the largest i had moored was 28ft. It seems the main carriers will insure the boat providing i get 50 hours of on water training from a licensed captain or hire a captain to operate the boat.
I did get a quote from boats us with no requirements but they did raise the deductible to 5 percent which i am fine with.
Is there any reason not to just go with boat us?
I have made arrangements for a 100 ton captain to go out with us for some handling , anchoring and garmin training before we actually venture off by ourselves but we will be relying on him saying were ready to go regardless of the hours. My training as a helicopter pilot was a FAA minimum of 20 hours.
Your thoughts?
Or you could get the 50 hours of training recommended. I think you're underestimating how much you need to learn to go up in size and likely to change boating habits. I'd owned boats all my life and was stepping up from 30' but largely had boated inland. I have no issue with you going with a captain for an undetermined amount of time but the fact you imply that surely 20 hours will be enough worries me a bit. 50 hours is only one trip cruising up the coast.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:19 PM   #3
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Hi
My comment was only referencing what the FAA required when i got licensed. We may not be able to meet the requirements of the captain or our own comfort but that amount of time will be what it is. Our boating will be limited to the Puget sound and lake washington. We have no desire at this point to venture the coastline. That would obviously add several variables.
My main question is there anything wrong with just going with boat us/geico for a year?
The premium is competitive just a higher deductible?
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:21 PM   #4
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Rod,
My advice would be to wait to hear from Peter (Pau Hana) the insurance guru on TF!
I agree that training is very important with a boat the size of what you just bought, and for this area (PNW and Canada) in particular. Depending on what you already have, some Power Squadron courses supplemented with hands on handling might be in order??
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:36 PM   #5
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Another consideration. Join MTOA and talk with their insurance guy Jack Martin & Assoc...866-206-8821. MTOA have negotiated some special deals that may help you - and the membership cost is minimal.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:42 PM   #6
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we have made contact with captain Randal Parten at the dreamboat company in blaine to provide instruction. We plan to take our motorhome to blaine for a week or so and train daily until he feels comfortable with our instruction. We have no intentions to just jump into something that could endanger ourselves or others.
I am just trying to decide whether it would be an advantage to work with one insurance provider or just go with boat us.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by magna 6882 View Post
My main question is there anything wrong with just going with boat us/geico for a year?
The premium is competitive just a higher deductible?
Nothing wrong with going with them.
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:36 PM   #8
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We have had insurance with Boat/US for 40+ years. They are good to work with as far as I am concerned.
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:46 PM   #9
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They are probably the biggest, best known insurer and have an excellent record, at least in my mind, for efficiently handling claims. In some circumstances there may be reasons to use others, but there is no reason not to use them.

How much time one needs is wholly dependent of the location and circumstances in which one operates, as well as one's natural talent and demeanor.

My first boat was a 42' trawler and they wouldnt insure me because I literally had no experience on the water, "Don't fit our risk profile". They gave me no option for training. I ended up going with State Farm that insures the rest of my world.

I started out at Absolute Zero single handing a 42' trawler around Los Angeles harbor. I made a brief attempt to hire a captain to teach me. The first was with a not-so functioning drunk. The second was with an excellent boat handler -- who wantes to exhibition, not teach. 3 hours and $300 wasted.

I probably had about 50 hours the first time I went from LA to Catalina, my first real cruise -- at night in 10ft (west coast) seas during a small craft advisory. I had 4 passengers, one of whom was an excellent and experienced deckhand (grabbing mooring ball, etc). There wasn't a tense, confused, or white knuckle moment.

I had less than 100 hours of helm time the first time I made the crossing in 100% fog (which neither included Avalon or the LA Harbor, but included nearly all of the channel. It was a long, slow crossing 100% on radar and AIS. A lot more was white than knuckles.

Early on, 5he only moments where I had real trouble were while returning to the slip. To this day, bad cross wind/current gives me trouble -- I just to wait it out if I need to.

Early on, I probably had 4-5 /really/ bad days getting back in before mostly figuring it out. One day I got blown past my slip thrice, ended up at an angle to the slips from which I couldn't recover, got blown to the side dock and backed into an empty slip there. On another day this 70-something year old neighbor came running to help and got pulled in as the wind got control of the boat when I should have had it (he was a trooper, saved himself, and dripping wet on dock in slacks and a button-down shirt secured the rope and then helped me ease in).

And, yet, now that I'm in Florida with a ton more helm time, I won't go out very far from my home matina at night without locals aboard, or go out during bad weather, etc. The shallower water makes for squarer waves that are beaters, narrow channels bounded by shallow water and crab traps allow little room for error, and entries to matina areas are often "passes" with approaches that look like a Christmas trees of lights and waters shallow enough to walk away from an errant boat.

I hate to admit it, but recently I soft grounded myself exploring a bayou off of a river (I wiggled out very quickly) while some guy on land yelled at me, "You need to get some more helm time before taking that out!". How does that even make sense? I knew what I was doing had some risk of finding bottom. I went slowly enough to get back out. Since then locals have let me know that bayou isnt for my boat, except along an uncharted path, at the right tide, until the next big storm changes it up.

My point isn't that one doesnt need instruction -- one does. My only point is that one probably doesnt need to have 50 hours of instruction to enjoy safe boating in many common circumstances. By the time I had 50 hours of helm time, I had a ton of fun -- getting 50 hours of helm time.
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Old 05-30-2020, 12:56 AM   #10
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I didn't mean for the discussion to be what experience one needed nor to devalue experience required for safety.I am just confused as to how they will provide insurance with the 50 hour requirement. The way i read it the boat would be uninsured until i provide documentation of the completed requirement . I will not operate any machine without liability.It would appear i would need some form of bridge insurance to cover the time i am on the water. I assume the captain will carry his policy and i could be named insured on his certificate but the whole process just sounds like a mess. I am going to call Boatus in the morning.
Thanks for all your comments.
Rod
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magna 6882 View Post
I didn't mean for the discussion to be what experience one needed nor to devalue experience required for safety.I am just confused as to how they will provide insurance with the 50 hour requirement. The way i read it the boat would be uninsured until i provide documentation of the completed requirement . I will not operate any machine without liability.It would appear i would need some form of bridge insurance to cover the time i am on the water. I assume the captain will carry his policy and i could be named insured on his certificate but the whole process just sounds like a mess. I am going to call Boatus in the morning.
Thanks for all your comments.
Rod
Hi, Rod,

There would be no need for any type of bridge insurance policy, as any policy that has a requirement for training will also add coverage for the training skipper- this will cover the period of training. There are no licensed skippers I know of that carry their own insurance (myself included)- the coverage comes from the vessel insurance.

Also- you'll want to be very open (as you were with me) about your experience level. The last thing you want is to have a claim, and then have the claim declined because all aspects of the risk were not fully disclosed.

I also reached out to GEICO/Boat US, but did not send you the quote because they have a hard requirement regarding jumps in ownership size- no more than 15', and they don't offer any training skipper options. With GEICO/Boat US, it's either the max 15' jump in size as owner operator, or have a skipper onboard for the first year anytime the vessel is underway. (I was the program manager for GEICO Marine/Boat US commercial and charter operations, and helped write their yacht policy and underwriting guidelines/requirements).

Most insurers won't allow a jump in size of more that 10'.

The 50 hour training requirement is in lieu of having a requirement for a full time skipper- underwriting is taking your experience into consideration, and wanting a solid basic competency on the boat prior to allowing solo operations.
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