Outdoor activities have been touted as the best way to recreate during the pandemic, providing a safe environment along with mental health benefits. Boating is an activity that would seem to fall within those parameters, and, in many circumstances, it has. Several issues have arisen, however, for yacht owners. The propensity for longer trips and international travel and the need to hire crews create challenges and considerations for this particular category of boat owner that you don’t see as often with smaller crafts that are primarily used for daily excursions in local waters.
Restricted Travel Options
One of the biggest challenges facing yacht owners is the extensive travel restrictions in place across the globe. The coronavirus has hit every continent except Antarctica and nearly every country on the planet. One of the first lines of defense in combating increasing worldwide spread is to severely limit international travel. Most ports are either closed or restricted. Port restrictions include quarantine requirements for yacht passengers and crew that limit activities to the ship or approved lodgings for the duration of the quarantine.
In addition to port closures, many countries have also closed their territorial waters to foreign yachts. The few places that have not had any reported cases of COVID-19 are also off-limits, as the reason they have successfully fended off the virus is because they closed their borders early in the pandemic and left them closed. The World Health Organization provides useful information for international travelers.
Expanded Crew Considerations
Even without an international pandemic, health and safety considerations for yacht crews are numerous, including ensuring that you have procured sufficient CA yacht insurance to cover those who work aboard your vessel in the event there is an accident that leads to injuries. Additional concerns include:
- Difficulty finding personnel due to COVID-19 exposure or illness.
- Travel restrictions that make it impossible for some crew members to work.
- Members of the crew getting sick with the virus while on board.
Extensive Shipyard Closures
While it may seem that shipyards are an essential business, the truth is that a large number of them have shut their doors due to the pandemic. This is creating a number of significant issues for yacht owners. Many of them are finding it difficult to get their vessels in for scheduled maintenance, which could lead to an increased risk for damage and subsequent boat insurance claims.
Adjusted Itinerary Concerns
Another connection between the yacht industry and COVID is the disruption of scheduled itineraries. Changes can happen so quickly that it makes it necessary for yacht captains to make adjustments en route. This past hurricane season, swift moves to close borders in the Mediterranean left many vessels stranded off the eastern coast of the U.S. or in the Caribbean during hurricane season. Similarly, boat owners looking for places to store their vessels for the winter are often met with closures or facilities that are already at full capacity.
About Mariners Insurance
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (888) 402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.