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Outdoor adventure activities such as kayaking could be threatened by issues with Ireland’s insurance industry, as The Times reports.

Killary Adventure Company is one of a number of activity providers that have spoken out over a growing trend of insurers refusing to approve expansions to their offerings, or hiking their premiums year on year.

“It’s very limiting. In Ireland, there is no such thing as an accident — someone is always to blame,” general manager Shane Young said.

Eamonn Flynn of Zipit Forest Adventures, which operates in Dublin, Cork and Roscommon, blamed “a lack of underwriters” for the rising costs of insuring outdoor activities in Ireland.

He added: “In the next three years we could be in big trouble.”

The Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under

#Shipping - Britain’s potential loss of access to the EU single market has already seen two of the world’s top shipping insurers choose Ireland as a new base of operations, as The Irish Times reports.

Standard Club and North P&I Club are two of the specialist ‘protection and indemnity clubs’ that announced in the last week their intention to set up EU subsidiaries in Dublin during 2018.

The move is a contingency plan amid continued uncertainty over the exit from the European Union of the UK, which is the market leader in the global marine insurance industry.

Ireland is among a number of locations such as Cyprus and Luxembourg being considered by London-based insurers seeking to preserve their access to a market that accounts for a sizeable percentage of their business.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

Boating has always been a part of the business for Yachtsman Euromarine, says managing director Matthew McGrory, going back to when the company began as MJ O'Neill Insurances Limited in 1974.

Started by his grandfather Matthew James O'Neill and father William McGrory, the then Clondalkin-based brokerage at first dealt with insurance across the board, marine coverage being just one facet of a portfolio that also included cars, homes and businesses.

But from this foundation, Yachtsman has grown over the decades into Ireland's leading boat insurance specialist, protecting boaters' lifestyles while sharing their passion for all things marine.

Of course, the broker's expertise in the marine business is bolstered by its consummate experience in the general insurance market.

William McGrory took the helm after his father-in-law's death in 1976, and with his son Matthew coming on board, the business was steered towards a huge leap forward in 1984.

This was thanks to a partnership with various syndicates at Lloyd's of London, which saw the company appointed as Lloyd's coverholder for the British insurance giant to underwrite household insurance in Ireland.

In the years that followed, Matthew's passion for boating saw the already established marine side of the business grow to such an extent that, by 1995, it was decided that developing a specialist market for marine insurance was the way forward. Thus the Yachtsman brand was born in May 1997.

"We obtained a second underwriting agency from Lloyd's for pleasure craft insurance," says Matthew, "and we haven't looked back since."

First-hand experience

Launching with a staff of just three, the Yachtsman brand brought to the Irish market a brand new product offering wider marine cover with a competitive edge to premiums.

But more than that, there was the firm’s small but dedicated staff - who were themselves involved in boating as a pastime, and as such had a complete understanding of clients’ requirements - which soon became recognised as a key benefit of signing up for a policy with Yachtsman.

yachtsman_founder.jpg

Company founder – Yachtsman Euromarine was started by Matt McGrory's grandfather Matthew James O’Neill

The next five years was a period of significant growth for the Yachtsman brand that saw the business move from its office in Clondalkin to new, larger premises in Clane, Co Kildare.

It was also in this period that the McGrorys focused their efforts on the developing maritime brokerage and sold off the general insurance business to specialise fully in pleasure craft.

The market was expanding fast as the economy boomed, and Yachtsman was there from the very beginning to offer value-for-money policies backed up with priceless first-hand experience.

mjoneill_insurance.jpg

The Clondalkin, County Dublin premises of founders, MJ O’Neill Insurances Limited in 1974.

 New decade, new name, new markets

The next big step for the company came in February 2005, when MJ O’Neill Insurances Limited - now trading solely as Yachtsman - bought out competitor Euromarine, growing its staff to seven and re–launching the following month as the combined brand Yachtsman Euromarine at that year’s Dublin Boat Show in the RDS.

“The purchase of Euromarine opened up new markets to us in the marine trades and yacht club sections,” says Matthew, who adds that “with the combined turnover of both companies, we now had better buying power in the insurance market, and secured underwriting authorities with the two biggest marine syndicates at Lloyd’s.”

Another invaluable asset was Bill Cullen, who oversaw Yachtsman Euromarine's continued growth throughout the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years and even now, after retiring in 2010, still keeps a keen eye on progress.

A successful business must keep evolving and developing its skills to stay ahead, and the next stage for Yachtsman Euromarine would test this to the limit.  In 2010, the brokerage was appointed by the Lloyd’s syndicates to handle their marine claims in Ireland.

“The business model for this was based on a Canadian coverholder that has a similar-size turnover to Yachtsman,” explains Matthew. “After many meetings with our syndicates in Lloyd’s, we took on the task and employed two more staff, one with claims-handling experience from a local insurer and the second with a marine trade and repair background.”

As a new venture for the business, this shift into trades and repairs was not without its teething problems - no doubt exacerbated by the contraction of the boating market as the credit crunch persisted in putting the squeeze on wallets.

But the benefits would come with time, and Matthew is particularly proud that Yachtsman has the support of “a very comprehensive panel of repairers that can produce a quality repair and get the client back on the water quickly. At the end of the day, that's what's important."

The same time period would also see Yachtsman Euromarine become the title sponsor of the ISA RIB Challenge, promoting safe boating to younger budding sailors throughout the country.

But there’s only so far a business can grow in its home market, and Yachtsman would look abroad for its next leap forward.

Conquering Spain

“For a number of years we had been transacting business in Spain, primarily for the ex–pat market,” says Matthew, who adds that those new overseas contacts were put to good use in 2012 with the launch of Yachtsman Euromarine’s first Spanish-language policy to cover that local market.

Though beginning with only a small presence in Spain - a perennially popular destination for Irish retirees, holidaymakers and boating enthusiasts - Matthew says that foothold was invaluable in helping Yachtsman to identify the “massive potential” in the local pleasure craft insurance market.

The next step would be exploring how to export Yachtsman’s range of services into Spain.

yachtsman_spain.jpg

The opening of Yachtsman’s first international office in Denia, Spain in a prime position on the Costa Blanca

“To put it in context, one small geographical area in Spain has the same pleasure craft market size as the whole of Ireland,” he says. “So we began a research project into how it might be possible to take on, and manage from our office in Clane, large volumes of cover, while managing the risk-loss potential in multiple locations.”

Thanks to the support of Enterprise Ireland, Yachtsman developed what Matthew describes as an “innovative system” that allows for the underwriting of risks to take in more parameters in setting rates. "This has completely changed how premiums are calculated, and we are better able to reward policies with no claims but also pinpoint hotspots where frequent claims are becoming a concern." 

Forty years at the front

Fast-forward to March of this year, and the opening of Yachtsman’s first international office in Denia, a prime position on the Costa Blanca at the midway point between Alicante and Valencia, and the main link to the Balearic Islands. 

This opening also saw the hiring of the brokerage’s first Spanish staff, allowing the business to move forward in developing its products for the local market.

After the lean recession years, business is on the up again across the marine markets - and none more so than for Yachtsman Euromarine, which is celebrating a remarkable 40 years in business this month.

For Matthew McGrory, it’s a time to look back with pride at the reputation Yachtsman has earned within the industry as an authority in boat insurance, not to mention for its superior customer service and the expert advice and innovative solutions the company delivers for the marine sector. 

As Yachtsman’s website simply states, they know about boats.

As for where Yachtsman goes from here? “Well, building our business in Spain will keep us busy and growing for the next few years,” says Matthew, “but then who knows? I’ve plenty of ideas!”

Contact: Yachtsman Euromarine, College Road, Clane, Co.Kildare T: 045 982668

Published in Marine Trade

#boatinsurance - Visitors to the Craftinsure.ie website will notice a big difference following a major upgrade which went live on 1st.

Apart from looking more up to date, the site, says Craftinsure's Rod Daniel is even easier to navigate and use.

It also includes a number of new features such as a Third Party Only insurance option, which should prove particularly attractive to those needing just the basic level of protection and to comply with any waterways regulations, with annual premiums starting at €75 and no survey requirement.

Apart from immediate quotations online, claim progress can be tracked and as previously, there is a monthly payment option at no extra cost where the annual premium would be over €100.

The website now also includes a new insurance option specifically for canoes and kayaks within the Small Boats category.

Craftinsure's Rod Daniel comments "we frequently receive feedback from customers to say they found our website very quick and easy to use and hope the new version will prove even more popular, though some might miss the water noises!"

Published in Marine Trade
Tagged under

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) draws attention to EU regulations pertaining to the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents.

The new EU Regulation 392/2009 came into force last week on 31 December 2012, incorporating provisions of the 2002 protocol to the Athens Convention relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea, which introduced compulsory insurance to cover passengers on ships such as passenger ferries, and covers the liability of the carrier in respect of passengers, their luggage and vehicles.

Full details of the new regulations are available in Marine Notice No 2 of 2013 via the department website HERE.

Published in Ferry

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Anyone with boats afloat on Ireland's inland waterways have been advised to check with their insurers before mooring their vessels for the winter.

Stuart McNamara of Powerboat.ie comments on the website's forum regarding his own cautionary tale while searching for a winter mooring spot for his Freeman 27, which is normally used as a training boat by Hodson Bay Watersports Athlone.

"Luckily, I checked with my insurers before I moved across the lake," he writes. "It appears that they no longer insure winter moorings unless they are at supervised marinas or floating jetties at public harbours.

"The reasoning behind this was explained to me as being the greatly increased risk from unattended mooring lines in rising water levels. I have seen many boats sinking alongside Hodson Bay Pier in recent years because of this, so the insurer's position does make sense and is understandable."

He adds: "The lesson to be learnt is to check your marine insurance if just tied alongside somewhere unattended for the winter!"

Published in Inland Waterways
One of Ireland's online boat insurers, Craftinsure.ie, has reduced the criteria for its popular monthly premium option to annual premiums of just €100 with effect from 1st August 2011.

Previously reserved for much higher premiums, the monthly payment option is available to both new and existing customers for no additional charge thanks to the highly automated nature of Craftinsure's online facility, underwritten by the Zurich Insurance Group.

The move is intended to help more owners in spreading their boating costs over the course of the whole year, whilst still keeping premiums as low as possibl, says Craft insure's Rod Danie. For more details www.craftinsure.ie or call Freefone 1800 844 100.

Published in Marketplace
Tagged under
12th March 2011

Tall Order for Ireland

Sailing in Ireland could yet have a tall ship to replace the Asgard II and the Lord Rank. A meeting in Dublin in late March represents a major step forward in the process to put an Irish tall ship back on the high seas.

The open workshop, to be held on March 26th, will be facilitated by Dublin Port, and will include state interests, tourism interests, commercial port interests, youth organisations, maritime organisations and education groups, together with the former Lord Rank and Asgard II operators.

The catalyst for the initiative is a 'reference group' which represents a broad cross-section of interests, both North and South. Operating under the chairmanship of Lord Glentoran, and supported by Dr Gerard O'Hare, David Beattie and Enda O'Coineen, the group has also engaged a professional consulting firm to move the process along.

The initial focus is on the necessary organisation and rationale behind building a new vessel, while scientifically quantifying the benefits to build a plan and justification.

The view taken is that, while there may be no money available at this time, there is no excuse for not having a plan and the idea is to create ' joined-up' thinking. And while the government in the South placed the insurance money paid out on Asgard II back into general exchequer funds, the insurance payment on the Lord Rank was kept and ' ring-fenced' for this new initiative.

To date, there have been several meetings of the reference group. The planned workshop on the subject at Dublin Port March 26 is open and interested parties are invited to contribute. It will also bring together for the first time the leaders of Tallships in Dublin, Belfast, Waterford and Cork.
Ultimately Tall Ships is about youth training and development; without an active Tall Ship, it will be very difficult for Ireland to attract Tall Ship events. The new reference group will work to support the new Sail Training Ireland Association initiative, and link in with Sail Training International which runs Tall Ship events.

Following the Dublin workshop, Belfast Harbour Commissioners will host a working meeting of the group in early May to finalise a plan, present to stakeholders and create a roadmap forward.

"In addition to youth training, a working Tall Ship forms a brilliant ambassadorial role promoting tourism, enterprise and commercial interests," said Lord Glentoran. "It is something that we can all relate to and it has universal acceptance for youth training on an island of Ireland basis." Lord Glentoran has a long commitment to youth sail training and was Chairman of the organising committee that brought the Tall Ships to Belfast in 1991.

The reference group is seeking to engage with as many stakeholders as possible, and has pledged that the new vessel will be owned by the community in Ireland and the Irish Diaspora. The initial view is that the project clearly needs to be linked with the institutions of State - North and South - as are universities state agencies and ports, while at the same time having a strong private support network making for a mix of public and private funding, "We now have a brilliant opportunity to look around the world, establish best practice in the best kind of vessel, how to fund it and to quantify the benefits for each of the stakeholder group," said Enda O'Coineen, who has been instrumental in bringing the group together. In addition to being a former Coiste and Asgard Director, he is the founding Chairman of Let's Do It Global, which brought the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway and successfully raced the Green Dragon around the world.

O'Coineen added that a "world class solution" can be created and that its benefits can be financially quantified, which would allow supporters to make a compelling business case to divert and use existing funds in Tourism, Enterprise and Youth Training. "While there is no money available now to support the scale and professionalism needed, this is not an excuse not to have a plan and a vision," he added.

Since the loss of the Asgard II and Lord Rank, Ireland has been left with no sail training opportunities for young people and likewise for maritime development, enterprise and tourism. If nothing is done, future generations will suffer. The reference group believes that the solution is the construction of an Ireland - North and South - training vessel, fulfilling several roles with a common mission and resourced according to quantifiable benefits delivered to stakeholders. It is also open to the use of an existing vessel - a key component being suitability and the operations budget.

The proposed Tall Ship project will enhance skills and opportunities for young people across the island, regardless of background, class or education. It could be used to showcase Ireland as a brand at overseas events and it could also host international students who wish to come to the island of Ireland, as is the case with many of the International Tall Ships Programmes already running on a global scale which create a huge amount of tourism for their respective countries.

The reference group notes that the Tall Ships concept appeals to young and old alike as the romanticism behind the concept touches on history, social studies, legacy, family, travel, adventure and, most importantly, fun. Tall Ships allow people to dream. They do however have an underlying seriousness and the concept is grounded in methodology that has been tested and proven the world over.

An advertisement in March/April of Afloat magazine - out now - gives full detials of the 'Tall Ship for Ireland' Workshop

Should Ireland be represented at the Tall Ships Races at Waterford 2011 and Dublin 2012? We want your vote on our Facebook Poll HERE.

Looking for further reading on Tall Ships in Ireland? Click the links below:

Click this link to read all our Tall Ships Stories on one handy page


Previewing Ireland's Tall Ships 2011 Season


Published in Tall Ships

Afloat magazine profiles Noonan Boats, one of the country’s leading repair facilities

From collision damage, keel fairing right up to osmosis treatments and re-sprays, Noonan boatyard in Newcastle, Greystones Co. Wicklow offers such a comprehensive service on the East Coast there is little need for any boat to go abroad for repairs these days, regardless of the extent of damage.

And news of the quality work has been spreading with boats from the four coasts Ireland coming to Wicklow for a range of work.

noonan_clip2

Graeme Noonan (left) has extensive big boat repair experience from his time in the marine industry in Sydney, Australia and is an active RS sailor. Founder Tony Noonan (centre) has spent a lifetime in the Irish Marine industry with Neil Watson Yachts, Wicklow Marine Services before setting up Noonan Boats in 1995. Brian Flahive is an active dinghy and keelboat sailor this year finished second in the Round Ireland double-handed class and won the Fireball National Championships.

Father and son team Tony and Graeme Noonan have over 30 years in the business and have recently expanded the premises to over 3,000 sq feet to cater for a growing range of repair work for boats up to 50 feet under cover.

They have a well-established reputation for the treatment of osmosis, to resolve hull blistering. This is a preventative and remedial process that requires specialist treatment.

The bulk of repair work comes from along the East Coast based boats and the nearby port of Dun Laoghaire but the company offers a national service to include transport to and from the Noonan boatyard if required.

“We have an established track record dealing with Insurance companies. No job is too difficult, too small or too big for us” says Tony Noonan.

Most work is carried out in in a purpose-built marine workshop containing two lifting bay facilities that includes keel and rudder repair pits but the firm also carries out on site repairs to suit too.

Repairs are carried out to original specifications and they carry out re-moulding repairs to up to date construction methods e.g. GRP foam core, Balsa core and carbon under vacuum bagging conditions.

A particular speciality is the repair of carbon repairs to dinghy masts, spinnaker poles and hulls. This has become more popular recently with the advent of carbon bowsprits on boats such as the J109s and SB3s.

Keel fairing, the process of improving the accuracy of the shape of a keel to improve boat speed is also high on the jobs list.

The company also has the specialist hot weld equipment to carry out the repair of polyethylene materials as used in the RS Feva and Laser Pico dinghies.

noonan_work

Colour Matching

Making a fibreglass repair to bring a boat back to original specification is one thing but matching gel coat to weathered or faded paintwork is quite another. Noonan Boatyard cosmetically match gels to present colour so the repair can appear practically invisible.

Polyethelene Repair

Plastic boats are durable but they can split and crack. Repairing them requires specialist heat gun welding equipment

Repair and re-spray

Weathered topsides, especially darker colours, always benefit from a re-spray, tired areas including decks and non-skid areas can also be re-sprayed

Floor matrix repair

After a keel grounding with rocks, for example, damage to a floor matrix may not be immediately visible but it is vital that inner frames are checked and repaired

Osmosis treatment, hot vac and copper coat

The yard uses the latest technology in the treatment of osmosis. Hulls are gel-planed to expose lay up prior to a HOT- VAC process and drying. This can be the stage where copper coat is an economical choice. It ends the need for the expensive and unpleasant annual chore of cleaning and repainting a boat’s hull. Simply hose down the hull at regular intervals, commonly once a year, to remove any build-up of sea-slime. We currently have two examples in our yard at present which show after one year and after ten years of immersion – and still working. Come and see for yourself!

Fully Repaired, Tried and Tested

Noonan Boats completed extensive repairs to Oystercatcher, a Gibsea 37, and when this work was completed the firm entered the boat in the gruelling 704-mile race round Ireland.

Local sailors Brian Flahive (Fireball National Champion) who works at the yard and Bryan Byrne manned what was Wicklow Sailing Club’s first ever yacht to entry into the doubled handed class of the Race. Dubbed the ‘Pride of Newcastle’ the entry finished an impressive winner of IRC III and Cruiser Class IV. The pair also finished second in the two handed class.

It was no easy journey but certainly the repairs stood up to the job, a case of repair work being tried, tested and proven!

The Boatyard, Sea Road, Newcastle, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
Tel/Fax: 01 281 9175  •  Mobile: 086 170 8875
Email: [email protected]

Published in Boat Maintenance

About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

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