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Pleasure craft insurance bye-laws

Tynwald will this month be asked to support a proposal to require the owners of pleasure craft to have appropriate insurance in place.

The intention is to ensure that private boat owners are insured for any damage caused to other vessels or property within the Island’s harbours.

The Department of Infrastructure will seek approval for the Harbour (Pleasure Craft Insurance) Bye-laws 2017 at the February sitting of Tynwald.

The proposed new measures will require the owners of pleasure craft to have in place third party insurance cover. This will apply to vessels berthed in the Island’s marinas and outer harbours, as well as those launched from slipways or visiting from outside the Island.

Failure to comply with the bye-laws could result in a fine of up to £5,000 in addition to the pleasure craft being detained.

The Department wrote to a number of registered boat owners last year and has displayed information in its harbour offices to provide advance notice of its intentions.

Tim Baker MHK, DOI Member with responsibility for Ports, said:

‘Many owners of pleasure craft already have insurance in place and view these bye-laws as a positive step. The aim is to help protect people’s assets, as well as our harbour infrastructure, from damage caused by incidents such as accidental collisions or vessels breaking away from their moorings during adverse weather. There are millions of pounds worth of pleasure craft berthed in our marinas and harbours and it makes sense to ensure they are adequately covered.’

Subject to Tynwald approval, the new bye-laws would come into effect on 1 March for pleasure craft berthed in marinas and on 1 April for all other vessels.