What is Bluewater Cruising?

Sep 19, 2023

When insurers refer to “Bluewater cruising” for boats, they are talking about a specific type of sailing or boating activity that involves navigating and sailing in open ocean waters, often far from coastlines and in potentially challenging conditions.

This term is important to insurers because it represents a higher level of risk compared to coastal or inland sailing, and it can affect the terms and pricing of boat insurance policies.

Key characteristics of Bluewater cruising include:

  1. Open Ocean Navigation: Bluewater cruising typically involves extended voyages that take boats far from land and into the open ocean. Sailors may be out of sight of land for extended periods.
  2. Challenging Conditions: Cruising in open waters can involve facing a wide range of weather and sea conditions, including storms, heavy waves, and unpredictable weather patterns.
  3. Self-Sufficiency: Bluewater cruisers often need to be self-sufficient for extended periods since they may not have easy access to ports or assistance in case of emergencies.
  4. Long-Distance Travel: These voyages can cover long distances, sometimes spanning across oceans or involving circumnavigation.

Insurers use the term “Bluewater cruising” to differentiate between different types of boating activities when underwriting boat insurance policies. Because Bluewater cruising carries higher risks compared to coastal or inland sailing, insurance policies for such activities may have higher premiums and more stringent requirements, including safety equipment, vessel condition, and the qualifications and experience of the boat’s crew.

It’s essential for boat owners planning Bluewater cruises to understand the specific requirements and coverage offered by their insurance policies and ensure that they meet all the insurer’s criteria to maintain coverage while engaging in this adventurous and challenging form of boating.

We’d be delighted at Topsail Insurance to quote for any of your Bluewater requirements whether that’s a trans Atlantic crossing, cruising the southern Pacific Islands, the Caribbean or anywhere in between please get in touch with our team for a quote.

Top 9 Charter Holiday Locations Worldwide

Aug 9, 2023

Here at Topsail, we’ve been thinking about the top charter holiday locations worldwide.  It can be hugely varied of course, based on personal preference, your interests, and what you’d like to see! Here’s some of the popular charter yacht destinations, sought after by travellers:

1. The Mediterranean: This region offers a diverse range of destinations, including the French Riviera, Amalfi Coast, Greek Islands, Balearic Islands, and Turkey’s coastline. With beautiful views all around, you’ll be sure to enjoy exploring to your hearts content!

2. Caribbean: Known for its stunning turquoise waters, the Caribbean offers various options, such as the Virgin Islands, St. Barts, Antigua, and the Grenadines.

3. Seychelles: An Indian Ocean paradise with crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and pristine beaches. Here, you can enjoy snorkelling and diving amidst the gorgeous marine life.

4. Fiji: A tropical haven in the South Pacific, boasting vibrant marine life and unique island cultures.

5. French Polynesia: Home to Tahiti, Bora Bora, and other breath-taking islands, offering luxury and seclusion. Relax on the beaches, or head to Mount Otemanu to see the sights.

6. Thailand: The Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand offer a mix of vibrant culture, stunning islands, and clear waters. Head off the boat and to Phuket for exciting nightlife and vibrant street markets.

7. Alaska: A unique choice for adventure seekers, offering rugged landscapes, glaciers, and wildlife. Something rather different awaits with whales, orcas, sea lions and bald eagles to be sighted!

8. Whitsunday Islands: A true tropical paradise with beautiful views and beaches to visit, as well as the Great Barrier Reef!

9. New England, USA: Coastal destinations like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Newport offer a mix of history, charm, and scenic beauty. In September and October, take in the changing seasons as autumn arrives.

Is your favourite place to charter a yacht on our list? Remember, whenever you travel abroad for a yacht charter it’s important to have a good travel insurance policy that covers your boating activities. Here at Topsail Insurance, we’ve been specialists in providing our Yachtsman’s Travel Insurance product for years. We’d be delighted to provide you with a quote and can help even if you have a number of medical conditions. Click here to find out more and make an application.

Top 10 tips for preparing your yacht for an Ocean Voyage

Jun 12, 2023

Preparing a sailing yacht for an ocean crossing requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here are the top 10 tips to help you prepare for a successful voyage:

  1. Safety First: Prioritise safety by ensuring your yacht is equipped with all necessary safety gear, including life jackets, life rafts, flares, EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon), and a well-stocked first aid kit. Conduct safety drills with your crew to familiarise them with emergency procedures.
  2. Navigation and Communication: Ensure your yacht is equipped with reliable navigation equipment, such as GPS, electronic charts, radar, and a compass. Install a VHF radio and consider having a satellite phone or SSB (Single Sideband) radio for long-range communication.
  3. Weather Monitoring: Stay updated on weather conditions before and during your voyage. Equip your yacht with a weather monitoring system or satellite weather receiver to receive regular forecasts. Familiarise yourself with interpreting weather patterns and know when to take appropriate action.
  4. Rigging and Sails: Inspect and maintain your rigging, including shrouds, stays, and halyards. Check the condition of your sails and make any necessary repairs or replacements. Consider carrying spare sails for different wind conditions.  Depending on the age a professional rig inspection may be a sensible option.
  5. Mechanical and Electrical Systems: Ensure that your yacht’s engine, generator (if applicable), and other mechanical systems are in good working order. Carry essential spare parts and tools for repairs. Check the electrical system, including batteries, wiring, and charging equipment.
  6. Provisioning: Plan your food and water supplies meticulously. Stock up on non-perishable food items that provide adequate nutrition for the duration of the voyage. Calculate water consumption and carry enough fresh water or invest in a water maker for long trips.
  7. Fuel and Energy Management: Calculate your fuel requirements based on the engine’s fuel consumption and estimated voyage duration. Carry extra fuel for emergencies. Consider alternative energy sources like solar panels or wind generators to supplement your energy needs.
  8. Crew Competency: Ensure that all crew members have the necessary skills and experience for an ocean crossing. Conduct training sessions and drills to improve sailing, navigation, and safety skills. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to each crew member.
  9. Maintenance and Repairs: Conduct a thorough inspection of your yacht to identify and address any maintenance or repair needs before setting sail. Check the hull, deck, rigging, plumbing, and electronics. Carry spare parts, tools, and repair materials.  Older boats may benefit from an inspection from a professional marine surveyor and will likely be a requirement of your insurance before you embark on a long trip.
  10. Legal and Administrative Considerations: Check the necessary paperwork and permits required for your voyage, including passports, visas, and boat documentation. Ensure you have the appropriate insurance coverage.

Topsail Insurance would be delighted to help you arrange suitable insurance for trans-Atlantic crossings, transpacific crossing and indeed any long-distance sailing or blue water cruising that you may have planned.

Get in touch with our team here.