Statistics show a year-on-year increase in the number of small craft casualties since 2011. The overwhelming contributory factor in these claims is operator error. In the second of our bite-sized risk management tips for small craft operators we look at passage planning:

  •  It is vital to plan your voyage before sailing; you should take into consideration the type of yacht, deepest draft, engine capabilities, expected weather and tides.
  • Operator error is the main contributory factors in small craft accidents so special consideration should be given to any limitations of the crew.
  • Navigational hazards along the planned route should be identified and contingency plans should be at hand in case of engine failure.
  • Charts should be of largest scale possible and up to date. If electronic charts are used ensure you have the latest updates installed.
  • If chartering the vessels to the general public ensure adequate instructions are given to the hirer on handover and they understand the basics and importance of passage planning. Limitations of the vessel in terms of no-go areas and weather restrictions should be clearly explained.

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 IRCM provides Insurance & Risk Management to operators of commercial and privately owned vessels. Telephone your marine specialist on 01902 796 793 or email