Insights into boat insurance

BUSH ‘n Beach has brought Nautilus Marine Insurance on board to expand the fine print and provide readers with clear, easy-to-understand and helpful tips on protecting their boating assets.

The scenario

You want to go offshore fishing. You’ve bought a different style of boat, insured it and you’re ready to head out well east of South Passage Bar. But does your insurance cover you for this bar crossing?

The answer

The short answer is: If your boat and your skills are ‘fit for purpose’, then a boat insurance specialist such as Nautilus Marine will cover you.

Let’s examine this a little more closely. South Passage Bar is very changeable, from tide to tide, day to day, month to month and year to year. That perfect run out through the northern or mid channels in the morning might be an impossible crossing for all but the most highly credentialled skippers when it’s time to come home in the late afternoon.

Your planning must take into account your skill levels, the capabilities of your boat and the possibility that weather and sea conditions might change markedly throughout the day with wind shifts and tidal changes. If all things considered, that is, you have the skills, your boat has the capability and the weather possibly encountered is considered to be very favourable, then yes, away you go and good luck on bending the rods.

However, at the other extreme, if you are in a small open boat, perhaps with tiller steering, poor balance and a very inexperienced skipper at the helm, choosing to chance a run-out tide into a hazardous easterly swell may well affect any potential claims when things go pear-shaped.

It always was highly likely you were going to come unstuck. From a maritime responsibility perspective, it goes further. As a skipper, you carry the responsibility for the safe passage of your boat, your passengers and yourself.
People such as Bill Corten train people – both citizens and emergency services personnel alike – in the art of crossing bars and rough water boat handling.

While it may not be compulsory as part of your insurance policy to undertake such training, common sense suggests you would be wise to seek highly experienced tuition from a suitably qualified person before taking on challenging conditions.

You’ll be safer and so will your passengers, your boat and the people who otherwise might have to put themselves at risk to assist you if the unexpected happens. Always check your policy and its product disclosure statement. You can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.

Win a Nautilus Marine rod
Nautilus will also be answering your boat insurance questions of a general nature and offering a great bi-monthly prize for the best questions received. The prize is a custom-built 15-24kg Nautilus Marine-branded overhead 5’6” light game and reef fishing rod crafted by Gary Howard and featuring Fuji guides, a graphite reel seat and roller tip.
Each rod has a retail value of about $300.

Just email your questions to

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