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post #25 of Old 05-11-2011
SeaLife Sailing
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Insurance discounts

JC, I am not trying to defend the insurance company folks; they will always find a great way to make the most money possible. The reason they won't give you discounts for the commercial stuff, is because it doesn't reduce the likelihood of you putting your sailboat onto a lee shore. In other words, those tickets make you a much more competent mariner, but not in terms that meaningfully mitigate their risks of having to pay out a claim against your new sailboat. I have trained lifelong freighter captains and they were surprised how much new information they picked up in a few days, because the content is specifically relevant to cruising boats and the scenarios we find ourselves in, which are very different from the risks on large, powered commercial craft. In terms of personal risk, I've seen experienced sailors doing things around winches that could one day cost them some fingers, or worse yet, a thumb. On my boat, in 20 kts of wind, there's something like 4000 lbs of line force on my Genoa sheets. When the sail is flogging, the peak line force can be much more than that. The cost of a moment's inattention can be very different than in a dinghy. Just sayin'...

Originally Posted by jcwhite View Post
Thanks folks!

I am indeed in the PNW - I'll be mooring in Victoria (and yes, when I was last around the West side of the island it was aboard the Pacific Grace). I can't pretend I know the waters around Victoria like the back of my hand, but I do know how the currents form and where the rocks are likely to be (oceanographer ) so I'd be staying away from the rips and channels. I've been out on sailboats a fair bit - what will be new is the skippering, not the sailing.

That being said, I read through the syllabus Jack linked, and I was reasonably impressed. The chartwork, rules of the road and weather stuff I could quiz on now (I did so as I read it), but there's a lot in other sections that I didn't know (some of the power-oriented skills, rescuing a MOB under sail). I'll certainly put both of those courses fairly high up on my list. I'll also be fishing around for recommended instructors . . .

While I can't say that I'll take the course before I ever leave the dock, I will certainly take it, and reasonably soon. One thing re: insurance. I was talking to a Dolphin broker, and they were going to give me $15/yr off my insurance with a CYA course (not much, but a little). I was amazed, however, that she wasn't willing to give me anything for commercial/TC tickets (like an SVOP, MED A3, MED A1/2, etc), or for my previous offshore sea time (which is signed off by the skipper). Is that common?

Also, I have to ask: YeahJohn, did you mean you took a course in 'cruising', or was it actually 'cursing'? 'Cause I'd definitely take a course on how to curse like an old sailor . . .

Jeremy Gow
SeaLife Sailing (Sailing School Operator)
Vancouver, BC
Lancer 36
s/v 'Ma Provence'
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