Last week was the Southampton Boat Show!

Sep 29, 2022

Directors Chris and Nigel attended the show again this year, visiting brokers and companies we work with – it’s always great to catch up and see some old faces.

Jake:

It was my first time going to the Southampton boat show, so it was fantastic to see lots of different boats in person. As I only get to hear about all our clients amazing boats and don’t often get to see a photo, it was great to be up close to loads of different yachts, motorboats, Ribs and different types of vessel.

It’s great that you can freely wander onto most boats and check out all the amazing interiors, so you can get a feel of how well designed these boats are. We were really lucky to be allowed onto some of the large Sunseeker vessels – these were such amazing boats with an incredible interior, it was definitely an experience to be allowed on board. After checking out all the boats it was really nice to then meet some of our insurers, brokers and underwriters we work with and to have a proper catch up in person for the first time. Overall it was a great experience and would definitely love the opportunity to go again in the future.

Antonio:

Whilst visiting the boat show we explored through a variety of vessels, equipment & gear and got to experience in depth conversations surrounding boating life.

To start, we watched a presentation performed by a year round yacht racer who spoke on his experiences being out at sea all year round for a majority of his life and how his view of the world is vastly different from most. He also spoke on the environment and how changes have come around as things worsen with water & sea life pollution, which is of course a really important issue in the marine industry.

We also spoke with the producers of a really interesting product which essentially negates lightning from striking an area of land where their product is set up. This product was highly supported by huge names & locations, but is not yet seen too often in the boating world – it’s a market they wish to enter as there is of course huge concerns in the insurance world with lightning damage. This was amazing to see and learn how technology such as this is becoming available.

We had the pleasure of networking and socialising with other insurance companies. Chatting with them about things beyond the work life was a breath of fresh air and it was nice to get on the same page. We enjoyed visiting some of the largest yachts to offer at the convention and the treat of the day was being invited onto the 75 & 88 foot Sunseeker Yacht’s. They were gloriously designed with the best interior and exterior work on the market.

Our Optional Covers: What are they?

Sep 26, 2022

At Topsail, we offer a range of optional, additional policies to complement our Boat insurance policies! You’re probably wondering, what do they offer me – are they even worth it? Well, each optional cover we offer has its own individual, worthwhile benefits and you might find that one – or all – of them would be really helpful for you.

Protected No Claims Bonus

You’ll have probably come across this one before – many insurers in different classes offer Protected No Claims Bonus. If you choose to purchase Protected No Claims Bonus, you will be paying an additional sum, to protect again the loss of your NCB. This means that in the event of a claim, you will not lose any NCB you have earnt and can continue to take advantage of this reduction in subsequent years.  This can make a huge difference to your premiums, as some insurers offer up to 25% No Claims Bonus!

Excess Waiver

The Excess Waiver optional cover can mean that you do not need to pay your excess in certain circumstances, and insurers will cover the full claim! If you have an excess on your quote that is higher than you had anticipated, this can be a great option to reduce your future potential costs, in the event of a claim. There are certain circumstances where the excess waiver might not apply though, so you should ensure you read through the details thoroughly.

Legal Expenses

We offer a Legal Expenses product for UK residents. This provides you with access to legal advice and cover for costs and expenses relating to a personal legal dispute. For example, personal injury disputes, or a contract dispute, where there has been a breach of a contract. This could be a really helpful addition and usually comes at a low price!

Thinking of buying a boat?

Sep 15, 2022

Figures from British Marine show that in 2020, boat sales grew by 9% – and we would hazard a guess that the 2021 and 2022 figures will continue to show this upward rise! So if you’re thinking about buying a boat for the first time, or upgrading your current one, what do you need to know?

When thinking about what type of vessel is right for you, think about what you want to use the boat for, and what you’d like to get out of it. For example, do you want to take overnight trips? Will you have guests joining you on board? Children? All these factors can influence the best size and design of vessel to get. One ideal suggestion is to look into borrowing a friend’s boat, or chartering one in the local area. Go out for a day sail, ideally in a range of vessels, and get a feel for what is ideal for you and your companions!

In terms of whether you should choose a newer build vessel, or one with a bit of mileage, we would only suggest the latter if you are confident you can complete the work you will need to do (or can pay someone else to a high standard!) It is incredibly important to ensure that all work done on the vessel is of a good quality, and that all fixtures/repairs are designed to last, so there’s no good in cutting corners here.

Most importantly, ensure you hire a surveyor – it is probably the most informative and helpful part of the process! The yacht surveyor you choose will work for you, so take full advantage of all their advice and wisdom. You can get a pre-purchase survey which confirms the quality and seaworthiness of the boat, and you can also ask your surveyor for their thoughts on the vessel value too – to make sure you are paying a fair amount.

There are many different ways to purchase a boat; you could get a marine finance loan, look into partial ownership options, or of course, you could pay upfront if you are lucky enough to be able to! However, this is the most important thing – once you have decided a budget or a limit, make sure you stick to it rigidly and don’t be persuaded to spend more than you can afford.

A marine boat broker can provide really helpful advice on the boat buying process, what to look out for, and to advise you on your financing options. Marine brokers should be authorised by the appropriate authorities, so you can feel confident your money is safe and secure.

There are many options out there for sharing ownership of a boat. One is that you can arrange this with a yacht company, who will manage the boat and care for it in your absence, whilst you can reserve specific periods throughout the year to spend onboard. Alternatively you could enter into a more informal agreement with friends or family where the costs and responsibilities for the boat are split between you.

Don’t forget that, however you go about buying the boat, that isn’t where the costs end! You will find that the costs for your mooring, the maintenance on the vessel, and your insurance, just to name a few, do add up and you will be spending additional money every year. You will also probably want to do work on the vessel and improvements to make it your own – whilst this can be expensive, you can budget for potential future expenses by building up a pot of emergency funds.

Overall, buying a boat can be stressful, but after the purchase and the preparation, they can bring immense joy and adventure to your life. If you are sure of your decision and are well prepared, you can definitely make it work!