Insuring Your Yacht
If your sailboat or cruiser plays an important role in your lifestyle, you need the best insurance package available for your particular yacht. While many insurers offer basic insurance protection at a low cost, there can be huge differences in what is actually covered.
Consider your need for these features in your coverage:
- Emergency towing and service-up to $1000 with no deductible.
- Coverage for ice and /or freezing.
- Trailers up to $3500.
- Sails-we will replace all sails that are less than three years old ‘new for old’, including spinnakers.
- Operating other watercraft-we cover you when you operate other watercraft.
- Tender coverage at no additional cost with no deductible.
- Fishing tackle coverage up to $10,000 subject to a $250 deductible.
- Removal of wreck when you are legally required to do so.
- Water-skiing-other companies may lower liability limits or exclude coverage when the watercraft is used for water-skiing, we don’t.
- Watercraft equipment on shore. We cover it up to the full physical damage amount on the policy. Most insurers restrict this coverage.
- Full-time paid crew liability. Our policy covers the liability of all full-time paid crew members including the captain.
A Chubb Yacht Policy provides “all-risk” broad coverage, including mechanical breakdown and replacement value coverage for the expensive gadgets and furnishings you have on board. If your yacht is going to be out of commission due to a covered loss, you may need rent one, so you won’t miss any of the season.
Once considered an “extreme” sport, the personal watercraft (such as a jet skis Sea-Doo, etc.) is becoming mainstream on Canada’s lakes and rivers. Here are some suggestions to maximize your own and your family’s protection while reducing your personal liability.
Individuals are required to have a PROOF OF OPERATOR COMPETENCY to operate a recreational boat with a motor, including Personal Watercraft, and must be over 16 years old (a passenger may be under 16 with competent operator). This Proof of Competency must be carried at all times during the operation of any power boat, including PWCs.
It can be demonstrated in any one of 3 ways: (1) pass the Canadian Coast Guard test to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, (2) proof of having taken a boating safety course prior to 1999, or (3) show a completed rental boat safety checklist, for a rented PWC.
Mandatory Safety Equipment
The following list indicates the minimal safety equipment required by law in the operation of a PWC on Canada’s waterways:
- Vessel license (Make sure your PWC is properly licensed and marked!)
- Canadian-approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket of appropriate fit for each person on board (Choose a bright one for best visibility.) Inflatable PFDs are not approved for personal watercraft activities
- Buoyant heaving line (15 m)
- Watertight flashlight or 3 Canadian-approved flares of type A, B or C
- Sound-signaling device.
- Manual propelling device or anchor with not less than 15 m of cable, rope or chain*
- Bailer or manual pump*
- Fire extinguisher (Class 5 BC)*
*If all people on board are wearing Canadian-approved PFDs of appropriate fit, then the three last items are not mandatory.
If waterskiing or towing, you also need:
- A spotter to be on board the PWC.
- A spare seat to be provided on the PWC for each person being towed.
- A spare PFD to be provided onboard to each person being towed, if they are not being worn.
You may also not tow overnight, anytime from one hour after sunset through to sunrise.
Safe Operation Of A PWC
You are also responsible for the wake created by your boat, and must not create a wake that will adversely affect other vessels, shorelines, docks and other users of the waterway, including any swimmers and divers. You also may not travel faster than posted or unposted limits. The unposted limit is 10 km/h within 30 m from shore in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. For this, and opening a PWC in an unsafe manner you may even be charged.
- Stop engine and unload passengers.
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid over-filling and wipe up spilled fuel.
- Make sure to ventilate the engine compartment by lifting the seat before you start the engine.
Renting and Lending a PWC
When you rent a Personal Water Craft, you must complete a rental boat safety checklist, unless you provide another accepted form of Proof of Competency. The operator must carry the rental boat safety checklist, which is signed by both the rental agency and the operator, and kept with them on board the PWC as Proof of Competency.
If you are lending your PWC, have responsibility on both the owner’s part and the operator’s part, and are responsible to ensure that the person borrowing your PWC understands Canadian boating rules and safety precautions as well as the safe handling of a PWC.