Insuring a refurbished runabout – Nautilus Marine

QUEENSLAND’S waterways are renowned for being home to many magnificent examples of runabouts from the 1970s and 1980s that have since been refurbished, repowered and kitted out with contemporary electronics.

Some of their original manufacturers have even created new corporate divisions that specialise in undertaking these refurbishments. And the standard of work undertaken in some of these restoration projects is so professional it’s not uncommon for these boats to be worth far more than they were when they left the showroom with their original owners.

The 1971 Cruise Craft Rapide pictured here is a classic example of just how good the end result can be. The vessel was bought by an executive of an electronics company and brought back to original condition earlier this year. And the good news is that while some insurance companies will not even look at providing cover for a boat more than 20 years old, specialist marine insurers such as Nautilus Marine will help you protect your investment, provided you take a couple of simple steps.

If your boat is a trailerable vessel that was manufactured 20 years or more ago, you simply need to tow your boat to a well-recognised marine dealership and have them prepare a condition report on the hull, trailer and motor. Staff will look for evidence of such things as corrosion, stress fractures, the ingress of water or areas of potential leaks, the performance of bilge pumps, lighting and other equipment as well as the overall integrity of the refurbished vessel.

They also will inspect any maintenance records available. Having this check performed by a professional is a good idea in any case – it’s somewhat like a safety check. The dealership will also examine the motor and trailer and give you a document you can then attach to your application for insurance cover.

The inspection also will give you an indication of the value of the trailer boat, which will assist you in securing an appropriate amount of insurance cover. Undertaking this inspection requires expertise and takes time and accordingly, you can expect to pay a fee for this report.

A report from a mobile mechanic or an amateur boatbuilder who lives nearby is not going to cut it as far as an insurer is concerned. The requirement is for it to be undertaken by a dealership with proven expertise in preparing these reports.
If your vessel is a moored craft, then the inspection will need to be undertaken by a qualified marine surveyor or shipwright.

Given that these vessels are obviously spending more time in the water than vessels on a trailer, the inspection is required for vessels of 15 or more years of age. The inspection undertaken by a marine surveyor will make an assessment of the vessel’s overall integrity and condition.

The value of a  moored refurbished vessel will, however, need to come from a recognised boat dealer or yacht broker. Finally, as with all insurance policies, always check your product disclosure document and if you have a query, ask for clarification. If you need further information, you can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements. Win a Nautilus Prize Package

Nautilus will also be answering your boat insurance questions of a general nature and will be offering a great bi-monthly prize to the best questions received. The prize is a Nautilus Marine merchandising pack comprising a collapsible chiller bag, a handy marine sports bag and a cap.

Just email your questions to

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