ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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I expect that the boat has a "Stearns" system.
As to the insurance company, the insurance company is likely to only know what the surveyor puts in the survey - if the survey documents that you have a Stearns system and the surveyor recommends replacing it, the insurance company will probsbly jump on-board, as they will most likely do regarding any other recommendations made by the surveyor. Whether the insurance company would otherwise have objected to a Stearns may not matter.
In general, the only details our insurance company has regarding our boat are what''s in their copy of the purchase survey, as no one from the insurance company has ever looked at the boat, nor asked us any questions beside the basic listing info.
If in fact the insurance company has a flat rejection of a Stearns system, as a buyer I would expect the seller to eat the cost of a replacement, but items like this are subject to the give and take of negotiations, and I would be surprised (and concerned) if this item is the only issue needed negotiation. Unfortunately, in boat deals I think the buyer is typically too eager, the seller too cagey - the seller knows the boat itimately where as the buyer only knows what the surveyor has figured out, and IMHO only the exceptional surveyor (say one of of five in the business) is likely to get everything worth getting.
I''d guess that the issue with Stearns may be that the furler extrusion also funtions as the forestay (if I read Google correctly). With our Furlex system, the furler extrusion is installed over the forestay which continues to do business as usual.
In negotiating, you have to be willing to walk away, and in fact you prabably should do so at least once - you can usually come back tomorrow.
Good luck (remember the diesel survey...).
PS - should you continue and pursue a new system, be aware that a new system may involve different size luff tape and result in a different length luff hoist - should you need to recut a set of sails to fit a new system, you can easily spend again the cost of the furler system itself. (Hey - did the surveyor get that?)