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Old 10-12-2015, 15:20   #1
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Trimaran Insurance

Hello to all trimaran sailors in CF,
I am in the process of buying a trimaran but cannot find any insurance company that accepts to insure the boat..and is not a floating raft, but a rather nice and well kept 40 ft trimaran!
Boat is in the States and intend to sail in the caribbean.
Does anyone of you have your trimaran insured?
I would prefer fully insured but at least Third Party Liability...I like to sleep at night!
Hope somebody can help me with that!
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Old 13-12-2015, 05:49   #2
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Re: Trimaran Insurance... Foreign Flag... alternatives to US market.

Hello, Fabio !

... I am still looking for my Trimaran to live on. It takes time as - by my experiences having looked at 10 Trimarans concretly - mostly the owners do not deliver all details about the boats... but still expect highly sales prizes. Its like "buying a boat hidden in the black box". Its a strange habit of many owners because of different reasons. And brokers mostly do not know the details about the boats. The brokers are too shy to ask the owners for details. It seems they dont like to stress their clients. Some owners have lots of money, e.g. selling their smaller boat and already owning a bigger one. So these guys do not care every thousand dollars.

Anyhow... its an interesting journey to explore the world of Trimarans and I have learnt a lot by this search over last months. Its good that yet I didnt make a decision, as I have seen from boat to boat coming along, that I'd have missed a lot of knowledge to judge about the efforts such kind of very specifically 3-hull boats bring up. I would have made many mistakes if I'd taken one of the first boats I looked at.

E.g. here read the story of a (Cruising-racing) Trimaran I got offered latest beginning of November...

The seller told me to get this 40 footer at a prize of only 30,000 Euros plus 2x 7,000 Euros refitting costs of the amas because of humidity/water in the wood. It sounded great. - But in reality after talking with boat builders, the designer etc. ... this project would have costed inclusive a fully refit around 150,000 Euros. For this prize I can let build a brand new Formlua 40 Trimaran in South Africa, fully made of carbon.

So I see such kind of requests/boats as a "training wheel". Even it is very time consuming and can get on one nerves heavily. But so it is... good things need time.

As I need such trimaran not just for a living, but same for "working" I try to avoid to bring too much emotions into it saying: "I love this boat so I must have it". It could ruin me financially as freelancer/media producer. So better keeping a cool head.

Now about your own issues and questions related yacht insurances.

Yes, naturally I have requested the annually fees to pay for a fully insurance. In most harbours you only would be allowed to stay/registrate the boat for living if you guarantee a fully insurance for all kind of damages. No smart community and modern marina management want have "old rotten boats" which sink in the harbour producing huge costs, e.g. oil pollution and salvage costs. In USA they even have a limit of max. 15% of all boats are allowed to be used for living on it. The marina management doesnt want this "hippie kind culture" and "messie chaos" which is often seen around such kind of liveaboard boaters.

By my experience it is not a problem to get an insurance for a Trimaran... not at all. There are some European insurance companies. But it is a problem to get an insurance for a "living aboard vessel". Not many offer it. Even big ones like Pantaneius ( ) is not doing so. They prefer "leasure kind cruising boats".

The other aspect is the age. It is not relevant you have a Trimaran or a monohull or a catamaran, but its relevant if you have a 30 year old boat. Insurance companies dont like "old timers". They see them as a higher risk, naturally elder boats bring with. Some of the insurance companies dont like to offer an insurance policy for an old Trimaran built in the 60th or 70th. So long its a boat at the age of 15-20 years no problem, so my experience. A Trimaran built around 1995 would stlll be seen as a safely boat, but a Trimaran built 1981 the insurance companies already get headage with. :-)

The other aspect is the "use and purpose of the vessel". E.g. do you cruise around privately or will you do charter business ? - As soon you use a boat commercially you are in a very different range of risks.
This is most relevant for the flag you like to registrate... as European Insurance companies do not matter about if you have a boat under British, German, Danish or Dutch flag. The insurance companies calculate the annually fees depending on the sea area you are cruising around. So the "flag" isnt the key issue. E.g. you only sail along coast in Baltic sea, its lower insurance costs while you have to pay higher anually sums using it for worldwide cruising crossing risky oceans.

The flag aspect is more about the technical safety aspect. E.g. ships under Dutch flag have the image, to be safe. Why ? Because they are checked regularly under security issues following strict Dutch law of Sea safetyness. Netherlands is a seafarer nation, same as U.K. - So boats under Dutch flag don't have the problem to get a permit to enter into countries as there such boats are mostly seen as "safe vessels". it might be a problem if you come along with a Panama or bahamas Flagged boat.

As soon you use such kind of boats commercially you underlie very strict controls. E.g. I was working as helmsman on commercially used Tall ships under Dutch flag. They must be proofen annually with a fully security check. That means the ships must be slipped out of the water, the hulls are checked because of corrossion, e.g. minimum thickness of steel plates. Every details are controlled on such boats (or better say "ships"), which is very costly to maintain. But Captains from Netherlands have a very different business model, it works for them to make profit with such bigger sailing yachts.

The prizes of all insurances who deliver a policy for Trimarans and "living aboard" are very similarly. E.g. a boat in the range of 40 foot, value of 80,000 Euros and age around 20 years is something around 900-1200 Euros per year... depending on your own share of self participation (e.g. up to 500 Euros self payment (for smaller damages) its ~1,200-1,300 Euros, up to 1,000 Euros self payment (for small damages) is ~900 Euros.) - Here we talk about "fully comprehensive insurance" inclusive a damage size of 5-10 million caused by the boat within an accident. Some insurances offer different ranges, e.g. 2 million damage or 5-10 million damage. I'd prefer the higher rate. Imagine your own boat tears off the mooring buoy in a bay, and drifts into a million expensive 100 ft sailing yacht. Or you have a leakage in your diesel tank and you spoil the harbour of a marina... quickly the damages can be very, very huge.

Basic liability insurances aren't too expensive at around 180-200 Euros per year. But having this basic coverage I would not feel well with. Maybe something good for people who stay all long year in the parking box and visit their boat just for coffee and cake on Sunday afternoon without going offshore.

Extra insurance for consulting services by lawyer = legal protection is at ~100 Euros per year. I think its worth to invest in this extra service. E.g. you got a damage in a foreign marina and need a lawyer to pledge the marina management for payment... without a lawyer in foreign countries its not possible get recompensation for such kind of damages.

Personally I'd calculate a total amount for insurance fees in the size of 1,500-1,600 Euros annually, for a boat in the range of 40-50 ft, around 20 years old at the total value of 80-120,000 Euros.

I got such kind of prize offers by two insurance companies for now, specifically for Trimarans:

- Helvetia ( )
- ES - European Insurance Services ( Bootsversicherungen, Yachtversicherungen, Skipper&Crew-Versicherungen: EIS GmbH )

The biggest European insurance company specialized for yachts is Eerdmans in Lemmer/Netherlands - Eerdmans

Yet I have not proofen their services. As "living on boats" is very typically in Netherlands I suppose they have some services.

If you need more informations about "dutch flag" let me know. I have some good contacts to multihull owners in Netherlands.

Hope it helps... have a good day... and a chilly 3rd Advent Sunday !

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Old 13-12-2015, 18:19   #3
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Re: Trimaran Insurance

[QUOTE=indodream;1983875) ------
Does anyone of you have your trimaran insured?
I would prefer fully insured but at least Third Party Liability...I like to sleep at night!
Hope somebody can help me with that!

I have liability only on my 40' tri with Markel American Insurance, purchased through Rob Willis at Gallagher Charter Lakes in Grand Rapids, Mi. They also offered comprehensive but it wasn't in my budget.
No connection other than being a satisfied customer.
Sail Fast Live Slow
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Old 13-12-2015, 18:33   #4
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Re: Trimaran Insurance

BoatUS. Don't know if they insure in the Caribbean , but my full coverage is very reasonable.
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Old 26-12-2015, 12:38   #5
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Re: Trimaran Insurance

Thanks to all for your help !Hope you had a. Merry Christmas and good time in this period of the year.

Unfortunately I am not going to buy this trimaran...

Skip, as you know i was about to buy a newick native during the summer and the owner withdrew from sale at the end.

As I gave up looking for a Tri (as i spent way too much time following this dream) i was contacted by a famous multihull builder from the states, telling me that a native 38 was for sale in florida .
Native 38 is my dream trimaran,perfect for my needs also!
After nearly 3 weeeks of emails and phone calls with the owner we agreed on a price and i insisted that i needed a survey before committing to buy her, but in florida nobody hauls a boat without at least a third party insurance(which he said he didn't have).
I spent lot of time and finally found a place that would haul out the tri without requiring an insurance 20 miles from where he was moored, so i arranged for a survey and was about to fly to inspect the boat the next week.
From that point the owner stopped answering my phone calls, emails or messages despite being online on skype....
I contacted the builder who put me in touch with him but the only said that he was depressed as he realized the boat is not for him and he was wrong to buy her last year.
To me it does not make much sense, i would expect him to be rather happy as he found a buyer so quickly....
So at this point I suppose the boat to be a sponge-maran rather than a trimaran..But still i cannot understand what happened.
Frustration and delusion to deal with this kind of behaviour are enough to send me to live at SUVAROV!
Human beings really sucks sometimes, this is why i like to be at sea.....not to have to deal with the unpredictable attitude of many of us.
Destiny is that i am not going to buy a trimaran at this point, i give up on my search and wish you all the best in your search SkipJay!
I hooe that you will have more luck than me!
(and beware any spongemarans around!)
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Old 27-12-2015, 22:29   #6
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Re: Trimaran Insurance

I have a very big trimaran and do not keep it insured. Instead, I spend money on crew, and am conservative. Not hitting a reef, sailing into a typhoon, and having the engine in perfect working conditon are key.

I use kellets to help relieve strain on the anchor chain and keep it well galvanized.

I also am down closer to the equator where typhoons are rare.

Getting out of the South China Sea where there are logs floating has also reduced worry.

They are illegal in US or Europe, however I use blue blinking lights in addition to running lights so boat is visible to local fisherman. My aluminum mast is wide and I was told by a big ship they could see it for miles.
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