Take care of your pride and joy!

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  • <B>A boat is swamped with water in Flatts Inlet when Hurricane Igor hit in 2010.</B>

    A boat is swamped with water in Flatts Inlet when Hurricane Igor hit in 2010.

You’ve spent a lot of money on your pride and joy your boat! So why not make sure everything is secure when a storm or hurricane hits Bermuda. You have insurance for yourself, your house, your car or bike but many times people forget to get insurance for their boat. And if they do have insurance they may let it lapse or may not be abiding by the conditions of the insurance.

BF&M marine specialist Ross Spurling said: “First off every insurance company is different so a boat owner must check with their own insurers. Also owners must make sure their premiums are paid and make sure they have their boat on the correct mooring which is written in their policy. One thing we find is that people will often change their moorings and will not tell us and that can cause problems. Technically if you do that we can refuse the claim although we often act in the spirit of the claim. But if you move your moorings and don’t tell us their is no legal obligation for us top pay the claim.”

Another point Mr Spurling wanted to get over to boat owners is for them to check their inspection frequency of their moorings.

He said: “Following Fabian most companies changed the requirement for inspections from every two years to every year. Make sure that yours is up to date. And if a person has a sailboat they should make sure to get their sails off (ahead of the storm). We also recommend extra mooring lines and anything loose should be tied down.

“Most of what we recommend is common sense. Years ago you could rely on a person’s common sense but now you have to spell it out a bit more.”

Some companies will also refuse to insure your boat.

“To be ridiculous, if you were moored off of the Bermuda College on South Shore we wouldn’t cover you,” he said.

The Bermuda Emergency Measures Organisation also has tips to securing your boat and trailers. They are:

n Take all trailers and small vessels out of the water.

n Remove boat plugs or add weight to smaller boats by filling the boat up to half-way with water. Filling it all the way could cause damage.

n Flatten the trailer tires.

n If radio equipment can be removed, take it out. Remove outboard motor and anything that could blow away.

n Store boats and trailers inside if possible.

n If boat must remain outdoors, lash both boat and trailer down with heavy rope or chains anchored to the ground and away from objects that could fall on them.

n Support the trailer axle and prevent the trailer from rolling by placing blocks against each wheel.

n If your boat must remain in the water, tie it together with other boats, at the bows and sterns separate by protective bumpers.

n Do not tie boats parallel to the shore as waves often capsize or beach vessels in this position.

n Under no circumstances should you go out in storm conditions to check your boat

n DO NOT venture out to sea as long as there is an advisory, or a hurricane watch or warning is in force.

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Published Jun 1, 2012 at 11:46 am (Updated Jun 1, 2012 at 11:46 am)

Take care of your pride and joy!

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