It would have to be one of the greatest moments of pride and joy. You had a dream, then did your research, subsequently spent your money, and ultimately toiled away vigorously for ages to create your own vessel to take to the seas in.
You might be planning on circumnavigating this big island of ours, crossing the Pacific or making it all the way to Europe. Who knows? You may just want to go anchor off a beach in Asia and await the next cocktail hour. Point is, when you have built your very own dream, all of those joys and more are yours for the taking.
So before you hit the beach, so to speak, here is one crucial element you absolutely need to add in to your research phase. It is very much a part and sign of our times, and one you need to consider for every step of the journey you plan on taking. As firstly the builder, and then finally the insured, you will need to ensure that you provide the underwriter with independent evidence that your new treasure is built to meet an accepted and recognised standard.
It’s about connecting the dots! So you buy or create a new design in association with your preferred designer. You must then make sure that you have your designer, if suitably qualified, provide the engineering plans for your new vessel and that these documents meet an accepted international standard, such as ISO.
Now if you’re the owner/builder, you must then have either the designer, engineer or other suitably qualified person sign off on the finished product. This way you indemnify yourself against a potential future claim that ‘may’ be brought against you if the vessel or some part thereof fails and causes injury or loss! Note, if you built without proper engineering plans and subsequent sign off, you could find yourself personally liable.
The designer that you approached should also explain this to you. If you’re buying a kit, then the supplier of the kit must provide you with the assurance that the kit, as supplied, meets the required standard. It’s at this stage you should be involving your own specialists and the first is likely to be an independent surveyor in an advisory role.
Later on, there will be numerous areas to have assessed. Sure you can do your own wiring, but it has to be signed off by a marine electrician. Equally, no one is going to tell you which batteries to have, but their installation will need to be confirmed as meeting the relevant Australian standards.
There is also your main or auxiliary powerplant(s) and the commissioning of it/them. Equally, if your dream involves wind power, then the rig installation needs to have the rigger’s seal of approval.
So as you can see, there are many aspects to these sorts of items that you should be thinking about early. Any trade who works on the boat should have professional indemnity, so as to be protected against claims related to the professional input.
Now whilst you may be as thorough and careful as the best in the business, the sheer fact of it all is that you are not a marine business. You made your money elsewhere and after all of your efforts you would not want to have to be self-insured, or have an inferior policy, now would you?
If you want to have the only true marine policy with agreed value as standard, see www.pantaenius.com.au or call (02) 9936 1670 and find out why Pantaenius is the choice of blue water cruisers.