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Been watching this thread for a while, and thought that perhaps it was time to add my 2 cents worth. Security deposits are a touchy subject. It all revolves around what can be consturd as damage or normal wear and tear.
No one is comfortable with letting a sizeable amount of money out of there hands, only to be told you can have it back if you can get around the sailing course without breaking any thing !! In my mind that is just plain stupid. However you effectively do that every time you pay a security deposit.
So is insurance a better option ? More importantly is the MG Yacht policy legal or illegal ? To understand a little better what is going on here in Greece one has to look at what brokers and owners are doing to each other.
MG Yachts owns a few yachts but mostly uses other peoples yachts or privately run charter yachts. The terms of the contract require a security deposit against damage, which in fact is the insurance policy deductable of the yachts insurance policy, plus a few extra hundred for emergencys.
In most cases brokers will refund the full amount unless you banged the keel, dropped the rig, or some other disastorus event.
What the broker has though is some unaccountable expenses that he has to cover, for example the diver to check the keel and prop, possible transfer costs, and of course the extra promises made to the client to smooth things along, these can be simple things like a trip to a grocery store, or having extra towels or giving a free out board or such like. To recover these costs the security deposit is the scape goat. So small insignicant damages can be use to recover lost revenue.
In some ways MG Yachts policy makes sense, keep a portion of the security money to pay for these added expenses. I guess the probelm then goes on to the owners and broker relationship. After extra costs have been paid for should the balance of the with held secuirty deposit go to the owner or should the broker keep it all ?
ALL VERY COMPLICATED......................... So why not just buy a short term insurance policy from an insurance company to cover the cost of the trip much like 'Travel insurance' and avoid paying anything to these brokers. Let the insurance company deal with them !
Alternatively you could take a Captained yacht charter on a private yacht and avoid all insurance or security costs. Beware of taking a charter company rent a captian as they are still at risk, and believe me when they park the yacht on the rocks, you will still pay. In most cases Greek company rent a captains hardly ever have there own insurance.
It seems to me that MG Yachts policy, while questionable, is a convienent way to get around an increasing sticky problem here in Greece. Perhaps better legislation is required, certainly better policing......