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Old 08-05-2013, 20:28   #1
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ABYC Standards Applicability Question

I bought a 1987 Pearson 39-2 last fall and had a survey done. The surveyor stated that the boat met all USCG safety requirements, then made several recommendations; some necessary safety upgrades (which I hae done), and some to meet current ABYC standards. So now my insurance company is requiring me to meet all of the ABYC standard recommendations prior to launching this spring.

I have completed the extensive safety upgrades over the winter in order to feel comfortable with the boat, pretty much in line with most of the surveyors recommendations, including replacing all standing rigging, installing a brand new Propane system with sensors and solenoids and replaced all fuel lines and exhaust hoses, and added a smoke detector and CO2 detector.

So my first question is (and I probably should have asked this before I spent my 20K on upgrades), are ABYC Standards only required to be met when a boat is built, or is an owner required to constantly upgrade to meet existing standards? Can an insurance company require you to meet current ABYC standards on a 1987 boat?

I guess my next question is, how many of you have CO2 detectors in the salon and each sleeping compartment? Additionally, how many of you have a high water alarm in your bilge?

Starting to feel a little frustrated that I am being held to new boat standards on a 1987 boat in order to get insurance.
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Old 08-05-2013, 20:48   #2
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Re: ABYC Standards Applicability Question

Not enough information in your post to know whether what you were asked to do was reasonable or not.

ABYC standards are voluntary, but they seem to be the closest thing to a common, agreed-upon baseline, especially by surveyors and insurers. While your current insurer might insist on X to maintain your coverage, another insurer might not be as picky. Or you might have been able to come up with a schedule for making upgrades that the insurer would accept.
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Old 08-05-2013, 20:54   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Gary View Post

I guess my next question is, how many of you have CO2 detectors in the salon and each sleeping compartment? .
Unless your running a bottling plant or fermenting a lot of beer you want a CO or carbon monoxide detector.

That said having them in each compartment depends on the risk your comfortable with. If you have a generator and sleep with it running I would say its a must but if you do very little motoring and only do it with everyone awake then its up to you how many you want. Personally a wouldn't sleep in a berth without one.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:04   #4
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Re: ABYC Standards Applicability Question

Quote:
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Can an insurance company require you to meet current ABYC standards on a 1987 boat?

Of course they can if you are wlling to accept their requirements by using them.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:12   #5
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Re: ABYC Standards Applicability Question

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Can an insurance company require you to meet current ABYC standards on a 1987 boat?
They can require anything that they want. They can require you to stand on your head and sing Ave Maria if they want.

You can, of course, find a different insurance company if you want.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:30   #6
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Re: ABYC Standards Applicability Question

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Can an insurance company require you to meet current ABYC standards on a 1987 boat?
Essentially, like it or not, your insurance company is insuring the "risk" and can demand what ever they wish so that they feel comfortable insuring your vessel/risk.

These days they are very, very often siding with what ever the surveyor says. I am often the guy who gets called in to address many of the deficiencies.

Most new boats are built to the ABYC standards but above all they are "safety standards". Why would an insurance company want to underwrite less safe boats than another..?

You can try to argue with them and then run a risk of getting the; "We're not renewing your policy." letter like one of my customers got. In the end he wound up paying significantly more per year for insurance than what he had been paying. All this over a $120.00 repair that he gave them some guff over citing such things as ABYC standards.. They did not care.... His increase in new premium, for less "agreed value" was over $400.00 more per year ..IIRC

The items you listed are very typical items they are demanding be brought up to industry accepted "safe" levels...

We have a 1979 36 footer and have two smoke detector/CO Detectors, high water alarms in multiple locations, propane system with integral cut off, battery bank fusing, etc. etc..... Safety is not determined by the age of the vessel only by how safely it is set up.

The high water alarms I use are about $10.00 at Home Depot and are very, very, very loud. One in the engine bay, one in the bilge, one under the v-berth and one in the head. I've been using them for about 15 years and never had one fail...
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:52   #7
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Re: ABYC Standards Applicability Question

Which ABYC "upgrades" are they requiring? Specifically?

As Maine says and implies, this may not be a biggie, and probably isn't worth arguing over.

Bill
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:11   #8
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Re: ABYC Standards Applicability Question

Some insurance companies require a survey every five years, some every ten and one company I know of does not require a survey at all unless the boat is over 15 years old. Shop around.

Most insurance companies I deal with don't even read the survey report they just flip to the back page for the value. Even if many of them did read the report they would not know what they were reading. The only outfit that has ever impressed me is BoatUS as they read the report and actually understand it and know the difference between a "must do" and "would be nice to do"..... shop around.

FYI ... Transport Canada Small Vessel Construction Standards state that
"All vessels must meet current standards unless impracticable to do so".
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