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The 2013 season is underway but at the time of writing, the temperature is still struggling to correspond with what we expect at this time of year. However, we have enjoyed some good races in our Punt so far this year and not too many accidents, locally anyway!

It has recently come to my attention that yet more vessels could potentially be in trouble due to failure of through hull fittings and valves made of brass rather than bronze or DZR. Not all insurance policy wordings are very clear when it comes to this type of loss; those that are clear usually specifically decline such losses with wordings along the lines of “excluding gradual incursion of water”.

By the time you read this hopefully Spring will be on its way and we can all look forward to some warm sailing weather, but I would just caution against a Winter tendency that we have noticed.

I read an article recently where an owner had approached two insurers and was concerned that he couldn’t get a quote for his vessel from them; the vessel was some years old and based abroad. For me this highlighted the disadvantage of contacting insurers direct as opposed to contacting a specialist broker. In these same circumstances the broker may have access to perhaps 10 different underwriters and will know which of those might or might not quote for the particular risk.

Considering recent claims made, firstly it would be useful to mention that outboard motor thefts are on the increase at present – any additional precautions you can take would be appropriate now. Rumour has it that such engines are the targets of organised gangs and the goods leave the UK headed for East European countries.