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Old 25-06-2024, 14:05   #1
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Head on collision

We had the unfortunate experience of sailing into another boat at full speed. We were on a port tack and the other vessel was motoring in almost the opposite direction. We didn't see each other. Really disappointing. We were 8 hours in on a passage approaching an island and met the only other vessel around. They were not on AIS which we were checking frequently. Since it was early afternoon, we weren't using the radar. I was actually looking straight ahead and saw them at the last second; and tried to turn away, but the autopilot didn't let me turn the wheel. Not sure it would have helped or made it worse.

No one was injured in either boat.

I'm curious what the insurance will cover...
Since the boat needs to go on the dry, will they pay for hotel accommodation? Car rental? New flights? (We have crew who were supposed to leave in another country we probably won't reach in time).
What has other people's experience been when they lost their "summer home"? (i.e. the boat)
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Old 25-06-2024, 14:35   #2
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Re: Head on collision

Well my suspicion is that they are about to tell you to go to hell, reason being that you just had a major accident in broad daylight which is going to be considered 100% preventable which it was.

You are about to answer some hard questions as to why you were not standing a proper watch as you should have been.

As to what your insurance will cover, that is a function of what is in your contract and what coverages you have paid for, the person who can answer this for you is your insurance agent because not all insurance is the same.

First and foremost your responsibility is to your crew, you need to get them where they need to be so they do not wind up stranded.

Second, the boat needs to come out of the water to be inspected, and for the insurance to even be able to have an adjuster look at it.

You are going to probably have to pay for this up front then have the insurance reimburse you when the time comes as that is usually the way it works. Sometimes you can stay on the boat on the hard, so your best bet is going to be looking for boat yards where you can do so.

What you also need to be aware of the fact that after this you may become uninsurable, I am not sure how the European insurance markets work, but in the states that is often the case when you have a rather careless accident.

The only thing that may be your saving grace here is that you were indeed under sail and the other boat was motoring, when the insurance looks at this to find fault they are going to be examining how fast each vessel was going, and what type of vessel each was.

If the other boat was a speed boat that whacked you going 25 knots verses if it was a displacement hull motoring at 6 knots is going to make quite a bit of difference as to if you were in open water or a limited navigation area.

Simply put if it is determined you were on open water with the auto pilot engaged with nothing restricting your navigation ability and you hit another slow moving boat, it is going to look very bad in their eyes because it will be seen as each vessel being irresponsible and not standing a proper watch.

Especially considering that you did not see them coming and there was no attempt to contact the other vessel or to maneuver away from them.

The other factor is going to be determined by the extent of the damage sustained, if both vessels glanced off of each other and need just a bit of paint work, that is different than if there is major structural repairs needed or your rig came down etc the boat may be totaled.

As well if this devolves into a lawsuit, be prepared to have your electronic devices searched, as part of the discovery they are going to demand that you produce your screen names for all of your messenger services, Telegram, Whatsapp, Facebook, Line Etc. as well they will get your phone records to see who you were texting and likely seek your browsing history if they are able to obtain it.

This is because crashes where people were looking at a phone not paying attention to driving have become such an issue.

If that does occur you need to be honest, and you need to retain a lawyer to guide you. Do not delete anything or delete accounts because even though they look deleted on your device with a search warrant they can still get the true history of what you are doing, and then you get in trouble for evidence tampering.
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Old 25-06-2024, 15:06   #3
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Re: Head on collision

svtickles, I'm really sorry this happened to you. I'm sure you figured out that you need to keep watch to leeward, too, around the sail.

Mostly, with collisions, responsibility is apportioned, and I am guessing (not being in the EU and not knowing what your policy will cover) that what will happen is that the other guy will wind up bearing a good deal of it. If he was motoring, did he have his cone up? Also, that puts you as the starboard boat for him, and he should have not stood on, but turned so as to avoid you; so maybe he was not keeping watch either?

I would report the collision to my company immediately--almost. First get out your policy and read the fine print that's put there by lawyers to help the company make money for its stockholders. Get a good idea of what you will be expected to pay for in any event.

Decide which yard you want to do the work, and go there for your haulout, and plan on paying about 60% of what the charges will be. Hopefully, they will be a lesser percentage, but you and the other guy should both have avoided each other, and the adjusters will work it out between them, and you will have to absorb the impact.

Another CF member had a head on collision, just before last Christmas, the thread about it is here: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ng-282626.html Now, this all happened in the US, and I don't know how different the role of the insurance companies would be, but it was clear that it was an event with many impacts of the emotional variety. In SB1's case, the insurance co. totalled the boat. You will need to step back and cut yourself some slack, and work on the whole complex situation as best you can. Do not discount the emotional impact on your wife, either. Much as we love them, boats are things.

At this point we don't have any concept of how badly damaged either boat was. Please consider counseling, it can make your recovery faster and more lasting. I went for it when I found myself afraid after we were dismasted, years ago, and have not regretted it, ever. In my case, I also went for Reiki healing at the same time.

Good luck, I hope your boat is reparable.

Ann
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Old 25-06-2024, 15:11   #4
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Re: Head on collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by svtickles View Post
We had the unfortunate experience of sailing into another boat at full speed. We were on a port tack and the other vessel was motoring in almost the opposite direction. We didn't see each other. Really disappointing. We were 8 hours in on a passage approaching an island and met the only other vessel around. They were not on AIS which we were checking frequently. Since it was early afternoon, we weren't using the radar. I was actually looking straight ahead and saw them at the last second; and tried to turn away, but the autopilot didn't let me turn the wheel. Not sure it would have helped or made it worse.

No one was injured in either boat.

I'm curious what the insurance will cover...
Since the boat needs to go on the dry, will they pay for hotel accommodation? Car rental? New flights? (We have crew who were supposed to leave in another country we probably won't reach in time).
What has other people's experience been when they lost their "summer home"? (i.e. the boat)
Your previously reported “near miss” with a large catamaran back in February should have been more than enough incentive to maintain an adequate lookout. I have no idea how a minor collision is dealt with by authorities and insurance companies in the EU, at least nobody was injured.
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Old 25-06-2024, 16:36   #5
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Re: Head on collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by svtickles View Post
We had the unfortunate experience of sailing into another boat at full speed. We were on a port tack and the other vessel was motoring in almost the opposite direction. We didn't see each other. Really disappointing. We were 8 hours in on a passage approaching an island and met the only other vessel around. They were not on AIS which we were checking frequently. Since it was early afternoon, we weren't using the radar. I was actually looking straight ahead and saw them at the last second; and tried to turn away, but the autopilot didn't let me turn the wheel. Not sure it would have helped or made it worse.

No one was injured in either boat.

I'm curious what the insurance will cover...
Since the boat needs to go on the dry, will they pay for hotel accommodation? Car rental? New flights? (We have crew who were supposed to leave in another country we probably won't reach in time).
What has other people's experience been when they lost their "summer home"? (i.e. the boat)
I had an at sea collision within 1 foot of being a head on 7 months ago.

My insurance the full agreed value policy amount with 2.5 months.

What your policy covers and how much depends on your policy.
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Old 25-06-2024, 17:16   #6
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Re: Head on collision

Sorry to hear about your accident.
The important thing "nobody was hurt" the rest will buff out.

The question is a question for your insurance company and broker.
The answer will depend on what the fine print in the policy says.

I would expect cover for the boat, salvage, repair ect up to the insurance company re value write off ect.
It kind of doesn't matter at this point re how its split between insurance companies.
Provided you have full cover you will be covered and so would any liability.
If you have limited cover things might be different.

The xtra bits. personnel stuff and cost incurred time lost ect.
Will vary. Put in for it the worst they can say is no.
Some things just can't be covered.

Repatriation probably is.
Onward travel you can ask.
Hotels, rental car, ect good luck with it. Depends on policy.
Some of those things are what travel insurance is for.

Being insured as liveaboard might make a difference.
For most of us a boat is a temporary residence. So general living expenses while boat is being repaired might be a stretch.
Cost of hotels and transportation to where boat is being repaired might be covered. To some extent.
Particularly if its less than the cost of having the damaged boat moved to a more convenient location for repair.

Good luck.
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Old 25-06-2024, 17:27   #7
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Re: Head on collision

Once you are hauled out you will be at the mercy of the insurance company and the yard, you are already tied to the insurance company, I would suggest to choose the yard carefully.

A fellow boat owner at our yard is still involved in a legal dispute over some insurance work that he had done.
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Old 25-06-2024, 19:49   #8
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Re: Head on collision

Do not submit your claim in an underwriters format online, You probably will not get a copy of it unless you take screen shots.

Do not discuss the claim with your insurance broker or underwriter on the phone, they will record the conversation and you will not have a copy of it.

Do all correspondence through email and keep track of it all.

Claims can get very complicated and those people are not there to look out for your interests. Some offhand verbal comment they record can screw you.
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Old 25-06-2024, 23:09   #9
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Re: Head on collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperpete View Post
Your previously reported “near miss” with a large catamaran back in February should have been more than enough incentive to maintain an adequate lookout. I have no idea how a minor collision is dealt with by authorities and insurance companies in the EU, at least nobody was injured.
That was completely different. We saw them from a mile away, monitored their progress and changed course. There was no risk to us. Also, that was a busy area, so expected. Yesterday, I counted 104 sailing boats in a 10 minute period. Different areas, different realities.
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Old 26-06-2024, 00:00   #10
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Re: Head on collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegde_Sailor View Post
Well my suspicion is that they are about to tell you to go to hell, reason being that you just had a major accident in broad daylight which is going to be considered 100% preventable which it was.

You are about to answer some hard questions as to why you were not standing a proper watch as you should have been.
Every event is preventable but human nature leads to mistakes, which is why we carry comprehensive insurance.

I was on watch, covering the entire port side and straight ahead. My crew was supposed to keep an eye on starboard, but got distracted. It was the middle of nowhere, so expectations were lower. We had seen one vessel the past 8+ hours.

We have a security camera facing the stern which caught part of the event. It shows me looking ahead and around prior to the collision.

It was an insidious set of events.
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Old 26-06-2024, 00:12   #11
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Re: Head on collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
.

Good luck, I hope your boat is reparable.

Ann
Thank you very much. We made it to a service yard yesterday. They came by this morning and told us the bow has structural damage and the boat needs to be lifted out for repairs, which I was expecting. They also said they will send a rigging company to check everything since the collision might have caused damage up to the top of the mast due to vibrations, etc. It's nice they are thinking ahead. I didn't consider this aspect.

My initial perception from listening to the contractors is that everything is repairable.

Actually, the worst part for them is getting the hull paint shipped to them and the current high ambient temperature. They said the paint dries in the gun, so they need to do things early in the morning. Since the boat will likely need a complete hull repaint, it's a big job.

The other party was very apologetic and immediately agreed to exchange contact details, insurance, etc. I think this helped a lot. If we had met a boat from certain countries or crew personality where they would immediately had gone into shouting mode, it would have made the experience so much worse.
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Old 26-06-2024, 00:19   #12
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Re: Head on collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Do not submit your claim in an underwriters format online, You probably will not get a copy of it unless you take screen shots.

Do not discuss the claim with your insurance broker or underwriter on the phone, they will record the conversation and you will not have a copy of it.

Do all correspondence through email and keep track of it all.

Claims can get very complicated and those people are not there to look out for your interests. Some offhand verbal comment they record can screw you.
Thank you very much.
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Old 26-06-2024, 00:21   #13
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Re: Head on collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uricanejack View Post
I would expect cover for the boat, salvage, repair ect up to the insurance company re value write off ect.
It kind of doesn't matter at this point re how its split between insurance companies.
Provided you have full cover you will be covered and so would any liability.
If you have limited cover things might be different.

The xtra bits. personnel stuff and cost incurred time lost ect.
Will vary. Put in for it the worst they can say is no.
Some things just can't be covered.

Repatriation probably is.
Onward travel you can ask.
Hotels, rental car, ect good luck with it. Depends on policy.
Some of those things are what travel insurance is for.

Being insured as liveaboard might make a difference.
For most of us a boat is a temporary residence. So general living expenses while boat is being repaired might be a stretch.
Cost of hotels and transportation to where boat is being repaired might be covered. To some extent.
Particularly if its less than the cost of having the damaged boat moved to a more convenient location for repair.

Good luck.
Thank you very much. Very helpful.
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Old 01-07-2024, 07:45   #14
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Re: Head on collision

one very near miss I had happened when the other boat was obscured behind the corner of the pilothouse structure! Fortunately, they blew their horn.
In many cases all sailboats have a huge blind spot on the lea bow when healed over while sailing to windward. you do need a lookout who can see everything. Many mainsails have a window!!!
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Old 01-07-2024, 08:26   #15
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Re: Head on collision

This was an accident. They happen. We try to avoid them but they happen sometimes anyway. Here is another one that looks pretty obvious but happened anyway!


https://bc.ctvnews.ca/video-shows-mo...bour-1.6920317


Watch the video, its bizarre. You just can't believe it happened. Having flown many times in these planes I can tell you that you can't see anything on takeoff. The plane is tilted up so far you can only see the sky. Not a defense really. He was advised of the boat and you need to look before you start the take off. As for the boat??? Who knows what the captain was doing.


As for who pays. You are responsible and should pay for your accident. If the insurance pays anything I would view it as a gift. Its a tough life but we get to enjoy the good times and pay for our mistakes.
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