Going sailing? Here are some fast facts to keep you anchored:
Keep reading to find out what travel insurance can help you with if you’re planning to go sailing this holiday.
If you find yourself in deep water, we might be able to help.
You won’t be covered for anything arising from your sailing if:
Is there any purer pastime than sailing? This is surely the ultimate harnessing of nature’s power for your own enjoyment, the chance to raise a sail and set a course and let the wind do the rest of the work.
Sailing is also, unfortunately, often seen as a sport that’s only for the rich, or at least for those prepared to plough the bulk of their money into one passion. However, the good news is that that doesn’t have to be the case. There are avenues available for those who just want to sail as a part-time passion, who don’t want to own their own yacht but still want to get out on the open ocean and enjoy the feeling of freedom that sailing engenders.
And those avenues are available in the Whitsundays, the group of islands off Australia’s north-eastern coastline. Here there are several companies that offer “bareboating”: the chance to hire a fully decked out yacht, complete with food and drinks onboard, for any period of time you like, with no crew, and no skipper. That’s your job. You and your crew (or family).
You’re taking the wheel here and manning the ropes and sailing this thing for yourself. You’re cruising through this beautiful island chain under the power of the wind, watching for dolphins and even whales playing in the turquoise waters. You’re fishing, snorkelling, sunbathing during the day. You’re anchoring up at night in sheltered bays and enjoying all of that food and drink on board while you sit under a blanket of stars.
The sea is usually calm in the Whitsundays, with plenty of protection. The wind tends to be variable but steady. The other boaties are friendly. The anchorages aren’t too crowded.
There are few sailing destinations on the globe like this, a place that opens up the world of yachting to anyone who wants to take part.
It might be obvious, but this is one activity that depends purely on the weather, so it’s advisable to check tides, swell and weather conditions before setting out. Generally beginner sailors don’t sail in exposed areas during rough or large seas.
Sailing can seem glamorous but it can put strain on your back and joints. There’s a lot of bending, tossing, climbing, stretching and lifting. So, if you’re afflicted with any little injuries, be sure to treat them as soon as possible.
The tried and true ‘slip, slop, slap,’ holds as true at sea as it does on dry land. The sun reflects off the water and can have even more of a burning effect. To off-set this, wear sunscreen, wear a hat, and use polarised sunglasses.
While out sailing, it is crucial that you’re aware of the moving parts of your boat. This includes spars and booms, as well as anything that is not tied or bolted down. A sailboat is a machine in a constant state of motion, and everything on it is, in some way, moving and shifting.
Many sources say that the probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. There are also studies that show that the effect of alcohol is increased by external factors such as sun and wind, so even if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is below the driving legal limit of 0.05, you might not be sober enough to skipper a boat.
You would have a provision to claim for unused travel arrangements if you have to cancel your trip, or your trip is shortened due to claimable events such as your injury or illness, and the fees cannot be recouped from the provider. We do not provide cover for simply forgetting to turn up or misreading times, etc.
Your claim will be invalid if you are intoxicated whilst sailing.
Under the standard Luggage and Personal effects benefit we provide cover for sporting equipment that you own up to $750, but we don't cover the equipment while it's in use. Note that we don't cover rental equipment. We also do not provide cover for the boat itself. See the PDS for more details.
As long as you don’t sail more than ten nautical miles off any land mass, you are within the parameters stated in the PDS, and you don’t have a Domestic or Frequent Traveller Domestic policy, then the benefit we offer is unlimited. Terms and conditions apply. Please note that we don't cover for Search and Rescue.
Ice sailing is only covered if you purchase a Winter Sports Pack.
In an emergency, get yourself to hospital. As soon as it is possible, we advise that you or a member of your travelling party call our medical assistance team who will be able to liaise with you or the hospital.
The Australian Goverment recommends travel insurance for anyone who is going overseas, and many people don't realise the number of activities they'll be covered for, including water sports.