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Top tips for your customers’ first overseas adventure

At a glance

  • The summer months mean customers with pleasure crafts may be planning their next overseas adventure
  • Taking a boat outside UK waters can be an unforgettable and exhilarating experience, however, there may be risks that boat owners are unaware of
  • Zurich’s pleasure craft specialist, Navigators & General has more than 95 years’ experience and some helpful tips to help your customers on their next adventure

Every year, thousands of yachts and pleasure boats leave UK waters and venture into European territories. Undertaking a voyage like this can offer unforgettable experiences and create a huge sense of achievement. However, there may be risks that boaters are unaware of.

Supporting customers overseas

A third party vessel sailing through the Channel Islands caught fire at its destination marina in France. The resultant rising debris and smoke caused severe damage to a number of the boats moored close by in the marina, one of which was insured by Navigators & General.

Navigators & General approached the third party to hold them liable for the damage to its customer’s boat. The claims handler who dealt with the case was French, and to ensure there was no language barrier Navigators & General swiftly appointed French surveyors, who were able to gather estimates for repairs more quickly, achieving a faster resolution for the customer.

To ensure your customers have an enjoyable and memorable adventure, planning and preparation is essential.

Historically, only prudent mariners would undertake ‘passage planning’, but UK law now requires all mariners to have a passage plan. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has guidance notes to help with this and expects mariners to take into account the voyage, vessel, crew, weather, tide and any other relevant factors that may have an influence on the trip.

Navigators & General is committed to providing assistance to customers before, during and after their adventure. In recognition of the challenges such voyages can present, the team at Navigators & General has identified some top tips for those sailing to Europe.

Top tips from the experts

  1. Bring a companion who has done it before, especially if it is your first trip, or seek advice from those with experience about your planned route.
  2. Make the most of the long summer days – tide permitting, set off early to give yourself the best chance of reaching your destination before sunset.
  3. Let family and friends know your plans and arrange to make contact at certain times. Ensure you have a plan in place if no contact is made.
  4. Check the weather, wind patterns and tidal information for your route.
  5. Check safety equipment, including lifejackets and flares, and have life rafts and grab bags within easy reach.
  6. Prepare for the crossing of shipping lanes and familiarise yourself with any navigational restrictions. If you have one, utilise a radar system alongside visual and heading compass checks.
  7. Research the destination harbour so you know what to expect upon arrival. Google Maps and pilot books are good tools for getting a “mind’s eye” picture to help you when you get there.
  8. Investigate alternative destinations should you need to change course for any reason.
  9. Check the cruising range in your insurance policy – identify how far you are planning to sail, and ensure you are covered for this route and if there are any restrictions, for example the Bay of Biscay during winter months.
  10. Don’t be afraid to cancel your sailing plans if the weather changes unexpectedly, even if you’ve gathered your crew and made exciting plans.
  11. Don’t forget to carry the right documentation – your passport and proof of liability cover are essential for your voyage.
  12. Further advice can be obtained from the Royal Yachting Association website

Relax – you’re in safe hands

Navigators & General has more than 95 years experience and market-leading policies to protect your customers. Whether it’s damage to the boat or injury to its crew, customers are protected against a number of risks they might encounter on their voyage.

We want to encourage and empower people to take the next step and to have an adventure with their boat”
Charles Knight, Specialist Segment Development Manager, Navigators & General

Navigators & General maintains exceptional contacts with the best repair yards operating throughout Europe. Therefore, in the unlikely event that something should go wrong, you can have peace of mind that your customers are in safe hands wherever they are.

Charles Knight, Specialist Segment Development Manager, Navigators and General says: “First-time experiences can be daunting; whether it’s the first time you sail in the dark or that moment when you can’t see land. However, that’s part of the experience and we want to encourage and empower people to take the next step, and to have an adventure with their boat.”

To help your customers ensure peace of mind on their next adventure, contact the team in Brighton at www.navandgen.co.uk or call them on 01273 863420.

Image © Getty

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