If you ask anyone who owns a motor yacht and regularly cruises, they will always say that there is nothing like it. But the idea of taking your yacht out for a cruise can sometimes seem difficult when you factor in the planning, scheduling and finally being able to head out to open water. If this is you, we have created an informative and helpful list of some ways that you can enjoy your next cruise and get more out of it. Read along and keep these in mind the next time you start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of taking a cruise.
- Be flexible. When yachting, things do always go your way and if you plan for them not to, you might be pleasantly surprised when they do. Be flexible and you will soon find that you will begin to enjoy your cruises more and feel more relaxed after every trip.
- Be open-minded. When cruising, especially in areas that you are a foreigner to, you should always remain open minded. If you do, you will find that you will have a better experience and you may learn something new.
- Don’t try to adhere to strict schedules. Making a plan is a good idea, but sometimes you don’t get to stick to a schedule that you have created especially if that schedule is very strict. A loose itinerary will enable you to enjoy your cruise and give you time to make a few extra stops along the way.
- Enjoy the locals. This may seem obvious, but many people will take their yachts out for a cruise and will stick mainly to themselves. Meeting new people is a big part of cruising and something that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, the locals may know of some out of the way spots that you might want to see or they could alert you to some dangerous areas that you might want to avoid.
- Be confident in your abilities and your boat. We are not saying that you have to be a pro at this, but you should be confident in yourself and your vessel. Understanding the basics, knowing how to use the navigation system and knowing your abilities is important. This is how you become an experienced sailor and how you can enjoy your cruise even more.
There are those who promise you the perfect yacht. One that offers everything you want and more. A yacht that is a no compromise work of art that shines in comparison to all others. But does this type of yacht really exist? I mean, there has to be some compromises in the design or construction of it, right? Ask any engineer and you will find that every machine, every electrical component and every vehicle we use on a daily basis is full of compromises. So how can there be a no compromise, perfect yacht?
Compromises are what yacht design and construction are all about. There is no perfect yacht for all yacht owners or for all sea and speed conditions. Even if it is custom-designed and built, the key to having your perfect yacht is knowing what the important factors and choices are, and making informed decisions about where your priorities lie. Let’s take a look at some yacht design basics that will provide a better understanding of how your next yacht is built.
One factor that yacht builders can’t compromise on is safety and that leads us to the stability of the craft. If you say more stability would be better, you would be wrong. Stability is dependent to some extent on vertical center of gravity, but is also highly dependent on hull beam. You could build a wider boat and have more stability, but then you would sacrifice in resistance and weight which would lead to a need for more horsepower and more fuel usage. The wider the boat, the greater the stability, but more beam also means more resistance and weight, and thus more horsepower and fuel, or less speed and range.
The top speed of a boat is another area where designers must make compromises. By adding more speed, you will be adding more weight and more cost. It could also mean that your hull could be less efficient at extended cruising speeds which will increase fuel consumption.
With hulls, you have a wide range of choices, many with their own positives and negatives. You have planing and displacement hulls, as well as semi-displacement hull (or semi-planing) with the latter not very good at planing or running slow. At the stern, you could have a fantail, cruiser stern, transom, or double-ender. You can have a raked and flared bow to lift the boat above the waves, a plumb stem to moderate pitching, or even a reverse stem to plow through the waves with almost no pitching, but with the potential for lots of water on deck.
Once you decide on the type of hull, you will need to choose how many you need. Then, you will need to choose a colour, with each colour option having its own positives and negatives. Finally, the material a hull is made from must be chosen. With steel, aluminum and several woods and composites available, the possibilities can seem confusing.
How will your boat be powered? Will you choose the wind in your sails, or gasoline, diesel or gas turbine engines? You could also choose batteries and solar cells or a combination of the above. This all leads to yet another compromise and another decision that must be made when designing and building your boat.
As you can clearly see, there is a lot that goes into the design of a modern yacht and there are just as many compromises. To own the perfect yacht, you must decide what is important to you and which features you want or need. To learn more about yacht design, contact Yachtwork today!
Are you a Claims Handler?
Are you an Underwriter?
Are you a Manager of the above?
We very much hope that you have read our previous posts, which gives evidence to the fact, that we have quite an understanding of the repair, refit and building of a boat. We also intended our posts to demonstrate that we have a deep understanding of the claims process.
Are you a Claims Handler?
We would love the opportunity to sit down and talk to you, and discuss your requirements. I, Jim Vintner, have worked in many areas of the marine industry from a Captain and Engineer of Superyachts, to an Operations Manager of a prolific repair facility with the past four years as the Principal Surveyor and Director of Yachtnet Ltd TA as www.yachtwork.co.uk. We have developed an excellent relationship with our clients and established a UK wide network of Surveyors, currently expanding into Europe, USA and Australasia, saving you time and travel costs, whilst continuing to give good concise reporting, with information backed up by the industry knowledge as mentioned earlier. Many Clients have reported an improved claims ratio, many have reported greater customer satisfaction and client retention. With all of the above points, and the fact that there is no cost in making contact, we will come to you for a meeting, why not make contact? After all, it is part of your role to make sure you are giving the best service on behalf of your underwriters.
Are you an Underwriter?
If you are, and have read the above, we very much hope that you may insist on a meeting of minds with the Claims Team, and will find the next part of interest: –
We have developed a system for Conditional Yacht Surveys, that will result in you having a numerical understanding of the risk you are exposed to. Current Surveys tend to be over-worded documents that tell you the weather on the day of the inspection, the designer of the yacht and who built it rather than the Risk you are exposing yourselves to, which is what we believe you require?
Maybe we should talk?
Are you a manager of the above?
I am hoping that the above gets to you, I feel we need not say too much.
Claims ratio down
Client retention up
If you feel the above to be relevant, please forward to anyone you feel may benefit, we are trying to expand our business by offering a service that adds value.
Jim Vintner firstname.lastname@example.org 07712713740
Causation, repair requirements, costings, project management.
So, you have been unfortunate enough to have an incident, be it your fault, the fault of another or extreme weather. Your next move is the most important, let your insurers know as soon as you can, they are more used to, and more qualified to deal with what is to happen next.
The cause, although important, is not as important as you and your crew’s safety. The safety of the vessel following an incident, is also important to mitigate any further loss. The cause needs to be understood, and the insurers and their panel of surveyors, will clarify this.
People: Make the people safe and secure immediately.” Oh, well John would have been fine, but we spent so long cleaning up the boat, following the incident, by the time we got him to hospital, his internal bleeding had caused……”.
The repair requirements are always going to be varied, this will obviously be dependent upon the incident. As the owner, first aid of the vessel by qualified persons is imperative to mitigate increased repair costs. If you are the owner, act in a prudently uninsured manner.
Do not start the actual repair process, until all costings are understood and agreed with your insurers.
The yard, who you have used for years, may not be the most qualified, or the most competitive for the requirements.
Again, your insurers will have vast experience in appraising this aspect or they may instruct one of their surveyors to carry out this part on their behalf.
Insurers, make sure the surveyor you appoint is qualified to carry out the appraisal.
The insurers will generally not cover the cost of a project manager for the repair procedure, they use yards that have vast experience and do not require this, on most occasions. If you, as the owner, feel this to be a requirement, please talk with your insurers at your earliest convenience, rather than presenting them with an invoice for project management upon completion. You may be disappointed with the answer you may well receive.
- Safety of you, your crew, your family.
- Safety of the vessel.
- Clearly laid out estimates for repair.
- Clarification with your insurers.
- No hidden surprises.
Refitting Your Yacht
Refitting of a yacht is a requirement from time to time. It is like the refurbishment of our houses or our cherished cars, a necessary requirement that can be quite a stressful experience or one of great enjoyment and a sense of achievement.
We have, over the years, been involved in many refits and have experienced what we would consider satisfaction and disappointment from owners, and yards in equal measure.
Whilst it is important to understand, that the owner’s satisfaction is paramount in this process, there are factors that can, and do, detract from this.
“I want a bow thruster” the Client has asked.
“OK, we recommend this model Sir”.
“Oh No” the Client has replied,” I have seen a much cheaper option online!”.
Upon completion, the finding was that the bow thruster was under powered, therefore, over utilised, leading to eventual overheating and failure. Luckily, no fire.
The yard then changed the thruster for the one that they recommended in the first instance. It now works fine.
Bow thrusters do have similarities to ears.
You don’t have to use them, but generally it helps, and what is the point of having something if you do not use it!
Having a third party surveyor in the above circumstance, may well have removed the stress, eased the decision making process, and reduced the financial and time penalties.
We could harp on about this for many paragraphs, but feel the above alone, gives a firm example of how things can become stressful.
The yard, or yards, invariably are busy places, with many projects underway at the same time. Projects can become very convoluted and timelines stretched, budgets over run. Eventually the vessel approaches completion and the invoice arrives on the owner’s desk. The invoice is now 35% more than the owner was expecting, and a dispute ensues! The yard’s opinion is that certain jobs were fraught with problems, corrosion etc., and the over runs were unavoidable. The owner’s version is,” Why was I not told”. The yard operatives were requested to undertake works, keep time sheets, but were never told of the budget, or the exact specification, it happens, daily! This is eventually cleared up, generally leaving a bitter taste with one party, and the vessel is launched.
The vessel goes for sea trials, “where is the new navigation equipment”, askes the owner.
“What new navigation equipment”, says the yard hand.
“Well, when I visited the yacht in mid February, ish, I spoke with one of the electrician chaps, and we agreed it would be a good idea”.
This obviously never got to the office, and it never got done. I am sure the yard would have preferred to have done this, and had it gone through the correct channels, it would have been done.
In all of the above, a suitably qualified marine surveyor would have been invaluable. A comprehensive specification with all pricing signed off prior to a yard being awarded the project.
Any anomalies to work requirements, to be notified, and costs agreed, prior to the work being complete.
What was not mentioned above, was the fact, that many items may well have come in below budget, and these funds could have been used against any over runs, and more competitive pricing may have been obtained for many items prior to the refit commencing.
Surveyor, or no Surveyor?
Qualified to manage the above?
Contact Jim email@example.com
Building a boat?
You lucky thing!!!
So, you are going to buy a new boat and it is one of the slightly or totally bespoke options available.
The question is – do you have a Project Manager/Surveyor to oversee this or not?
Unless of course, you are from a marine background and have all the relevant experience to undertake this without it taking over your life you will need to know the following: –
Timeline – knowing what is realistic and what is just plain ridiculous or unachievable.
Option list pricing – with a lot of options having a price tag of more than 100K, do you understand enough about this to possibly save a few points on all of them.
Quality control – have you built a boat, with your own hands, have you overseen a team of boat builders, have you been involved in the repair of vessels when it has gone wrong, do you have industry connections within just about every part of the marine industry to check out if things you are told are correct?
Drop us a line.
Let’s get safety and operational quality designed in, rather than being an after thought.read more
Choosing a Marine Surveyor
If you are looking to own a boat, it is almost written in stone that you will at some point require the services of a marine surveyor.
Buying a boat. Pre Purchase Survey
Insuring a boat. Conditional survey for the insurers to base their decisions upon
Building a boat. Project management, contract negotiations, quality control
Refit of a yacht. Pre project planning and costing, project management, quality control, yard selection, negotiation, sea trials upon completion
Following an accident. Causation, repair requirements, costings, project management.
Are you a claims handler? Understanding the cause, are the costs fair and reasonable, are all items within the claim incident related, is the yard suitably qualified.
Safety systems and crew training in the use of. You may have all required equipment, are your crew aware of systems to mitigate loss and danger to your craft, family and friends?
The above list of possible requirements is not exhaustive but we feel pertinent to some of the most frequent requirements. We will not try and cover all items in this post and aim to add one item per week for the next seven weeks. We hope you find this an interesting read and we aim to not be to biased towards ourselves, that may be harder than we think!
Buying a Boat.
We will firstly start with a case study so you have an overview of what we feel is amiss with the current system of appointing a Surveyor for a pre purchase survey.
We were contacted by a potential purchaser and asked to give costings for carrying out a pre purchase survey. The prospective client found us through the website of the International Institute of Marine Surveyors.
We gave a fixed price for attending, inspecting and delivery of our report. The client called us and after some, “why are you more expensive than others”, agreed to proceed.
We sent the contract and received a telephone call, requesting that we remove the oil sampling from the survey, the broker assured the client this was not a requirement and although I disagreed in principal, I told the client we would report that this was suggested but declined. The client made payment and we began the organisation, I requested the vessel was lifted the night before the out of water survey. We received another call from the client. The Broker had told the client that most surveyors would have the vessel lifted in the slings and held for two to three hours as to inspect the below waterline areas. He asked why we would not do this. We replied that we vehemently disagreed with this practise and that we would only comment as to the condition of the below waterline area if we were allowed to carry out a proper inspection. The client reneged and agreed to this.
We carried out the inspection and found that the vessel had been subjected to a very sub standard osmosis treatment and had de-lamination in many areas and a very unfair finish to all. We then found structural defects to the internal structure and advised that we did not believe this vessel to represent good value. The owner was very disappointed and felt it had been an expensive day for himself, he also told us that he had been offered a good price for his boat in part exchange, in fact, almost double its value, in our opinion.
We will not go into any more detail and hope by reading between the lines you will understand why we feel it very important to employ the services of a surveyor who has not been recommended by the person selling the boat.
We also feel that the client would save £30,000.00 by not proceeding with the purchase.
Next week. Conditional survey of a yacht for insurance purposes.
You’ve damaged your yacht! Thankfully you’ve got suitable yacht insurance and you’re finally going to need to use it to rectify the damage to your vessel. Yachtwork is going to take you through the insurance claims process for your yacht and we’ll highlight where we, the yacht surveyors, come into the equation!
An important note before we continue: if you have suffered water ingress you must thoroughly clean the affected areas with fresh water and detergent to reduce further damage. If they engine has been flooded, get an engineer to carry out first aid and get it running if possible. This should be done immediately to stop further damage!
First thing for you to do is tell you broker or insurer what has happened. Immediate notification is vital to ensure your claim is valid; delaying notification may void your claim and you’ll be stuck with the repair bill. Don’t forget, if the claim involves a criminal act, such as vandalism or criminal damage, you must notify the police as well.
Next up, record and preserve evidence. It is your responsibility to demonstrate the losses you have incurred to your insurers (or the surveyor). Go crazy with your camera (or, more likely, your phone) and record as much photographic evidence as you can of what has happened. Take down the details of anyone who saw what happened too, witnesses can be useful. If the claim involves another party, record their damage too.
At this stage, you have done everything reasonable to inform your insurers and record what has happened. Just make sure you make every effort to limit any further damage or liability; if you’re at risk of causing more damage, or more damage happening, tell your insurers immediately and ask for advice.
Now it’s Yachtwork time! Your insurer will likely instruct an independent surveyor to survey your yacht and report back on the cause, responsibility, and recommendations to make good. If you’re lucky, your insurer will appoint Jim or one of his team of expert yacht surveyors and we’ll be along in no time to assess the damage to your vessel, record the evidence and write up a report for your insurer.
At this stage your insurer is aware of the issues and how to rectify them. You should stay in regular communication with them throughout the repairs process; they may be able to advise you on where to get the repairs done. If you’re struggling coordinating your yacht repair, our Project Management team may be able to help; they take total control of the repair management and will return your yacht to you as good as new! Get in touch for a yacht repair project management quote.
Yachtwork has its own approach to survey reporting on yacht insurance claims. We are regularly instructed by insurers and claims handlers to inspect yachts after incidents, where our role is providing an assessment of damage, insight into cause and responsibility and recommended actions to rectify.
Whilst many insurers and claims handlers are required to become experts in the structural anatomy of a wide variety of vessels in order to digest the masses of information provided in damage survey reports, Yachtwork has taken the industry lead in providing concise and easy-to-understand reports that are comprehensive but direct and to the point.
Our director, Jim Vintner, believes in a no-nonsense approach and this is reflected in Yachtwork’s reports. We also have an array of associate surveyors across UK coastal locations and aboard who are trained in the same style, using our virtual learning environment as part of the induction process.
But what do you get in a Yachtwork insurance survey report? Firstly, we’ll clearly brief you about the conditions and limitations of visual surveys. These limitations apply to all surveyors – we’re upfront about them. We’ll provide you with the insured, insurer and claims handler’s information as well as a brief about the circumstances in which the inspection took place.
Next up, we’ll take you through the visual inspection. As a general rule, if it’s not relevant, we won’t include it! This saves you precious time when you’re reading our reports! We also provide visual information in the form of charts, images, and photographic evidence where necessary.
Finally, in our conclusion, we lay out the findings of the survey. This section will provide the claims handler with all the information they require to move forward. As with the rest of our report, this is concise but accurate and will include a summary of the incident, our assessment of the cause and where responsibility lies and our recommendations.
These reports may sound simple, but they’re not. They are thoroughly planned, comprehensive, and accurate; they are put into a no-nonsense and straightforward reporting style that provides only the relevant facts and that is easy to digest and take action points away from.
Our reporting style has been the catalyst for the expansion of the Yachtwork associate surveyors network, with clients across the country wanting immediate access to a Yachtwork-trained surveyor. If you are a claims manager/ claims handler and interested in working with us, please make contact with our director Jim Vintner to arrange a meeting or telephone call to discuss your specific requirements. If you are interested in becoming an associate surveyor with us, please also make contact. To understand more about our Insurance Surveys, head over to our Surveys Page.
Yachtwork’s operational coverage extends to numerous coastal areas within the UK and internationally. In order to achieve this, we utilise a network of associate surveyors; each one is put through a rigorous recruitment and induction process and are thoroughly coached and constantly monitored to ensure the best survey reports and results.
Before a surveyor joins Yachtwork’s ranks they must already be an established member of a professional organisation. Our Principal Surveyor and Director, Jim, then assesses a selection of their previous insurance reports (redacted for confidentiality, of course) to judge their abilities and any areas of improvement that should be addressed before they begin working under the Yachtwork umbrella.
If the candidate is deemed suitable then the requirements of working with Yachtwork are laid out. Our associate surveyors must demonstrate strong industry connections and relationships in their area of operations; they must adhere to strict response timescales to ensure our insurance clients are dealt with in an efficient and timely manner; they must sign our confidentially and service agreement contracts (to ensure compliance with our insurance clients requirements); and, they must go through the Yachtwork induction programme.
Yachtwork has developed an efficient and extremely well-respected reporting style that is accurate, concise and effective at portraying the key messages. These survey reports are one of the keys to our success in the marine insurance industry. By using Yachtwork, our insurance clients save time, money and effort as they receive concise but comprehensive reports that negate the need for regular back-and-forth emails to clarify or expand on certain points. It’s vitally important that our surveyors are able to complete their work in this style, and our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) ensures that their skills are up-to-scratch.
With our in-house training expert, Yachtwork have developed a VLE that ensures consistency and excellence across our team of marine surveyors. This simple but effective training demonstrates the benefits of our reporting style as well as educating our surveyors on good practice and what is expected of them.
Our selection, vetting and training processes ensure that only the best surveyors join Yachtwork’s crew. With an expanding network of UK coastal and worldwide locations, as well as quick-response surveyors who will travel anywhere in the world, Yachtwork is the ideal solution for your marine insurance claim surveys.