Risk Assessments and Inspections on behalf of Underwriters

It may be a surprise to learn that a superyacht is not defined as such by its cost; instead, it is any yacht over 24 meters that requires a professional crew. Typically, the value of these boats is around $1m per metre of length, and that was in 2018. Some superyachts are positively large, with crewing between 12 and 70 persons.

These large boats may be the height of decadence, but life on a superyacht is not always luxury and glamour. In 2016, a crew member aboard the 140-metre Ocean Victory suffered severe leg injuries caused by the boat’s anchor chain. He was transported to a hospital but later died. In 2015, a crew member of the 82-metre Kibo was injured and suffered brain damage from a fall while cleaning the hull.

Accidents, injuries and deaths are commonplace, with union leaders believing working on superyachts to be more dangerous than life on oil rigs. Crews work long hours, and when the opportunity arises to go ashore, they play hard. Drinking can reach excess before returning to their vessel, and the captain expects them to get back to work.

Considering the risks to which a superyacht’s crew and passengers are exposed, a superyacht has a risk profile all of its own. Superyachts have on board ‘toys’ – helicopters, mini-submarines, jet skis, motorboats. Great fun for the passengers (and crew) but inherently risky. Adding a check on YouTube can bring up any number of yacht collisions and sinkings.

Although most superyachts are registered under flags of convenience such as Malta, Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, they must still comply with international regulations and carry appropriate certification, just like any ocean-going vessel.

From an insurer’s point of view, the risk profile of a superyacht is high, so it is not surprising that they want to ensure the yacht is being managed and operated competently and efficiently.

Risk assessment surveys are quite possibly the best way of achieving this.

Sure & Steadfast can undertake risk assessment surveys on behalf of the underwriters and provide a comprehensive report.