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Crossing an ocean on 315 - insurance and law POV

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Category: Hints & Tips
Forum Name: 311 / 312 / 315
Forum Description: 311 / 312 / 315 Hints and Tips
Printed Date: 20 April 2024 at 20:32
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Topic: Crossing an ocean on 315 - insurance and law POV
Posted By: klekipetra
Subject: Crossing an ocean on 315 - insurance and law POV
Date Posted: 12 February 2024 at 11:55
Hi, I am new to sailing. I am considering buying Hanse 315 and use it mostly in the Med.

However, I would like to perhaps visit Canary Islands and even the Caribbean. Of course, not the first year but perhaps in 2 or 3 years after getting used to the boat.

I have 4 questions for solo sailing and 1 for bringing 1 or 2 additional people aboard :

1. Given I would have finished my sailing course/s, sail as much as possible beforehand, carefully plan the voyage on my terms, so, leaving Canary Islands in December based purely on the weather and not other factors, making sure things on the boat work, etc., ... would it be safe to cross the Atlantic with 315 or I need at least 348 or something bigger?

2. Hanse 315 has CE certificate only B and not A. How would that fly with a insurance? Especially if something happens. I guess, never insured a boat, but I would assume you will have to sign some paper and there will be something about that they won't pay you anything if you will sail an ocean, right? 

3. Will you be even allowed to a marina in, e.g. Puerto Rico if your sailboat is registered in Poland and it's evident you have crossed the Atlantic despite not having a boat for a A category?

4. Can you be fined by the issurance company or even police or some other authority if you cross ocean with only a B class boat and not with a A class boat?

5. This last question is a bit weird, but I guess the most important. Let's say I will not solo sail, but will bring somebody on board. And things went wrong and the ship capsize or something. Will the B class is not suitable for ocean crossing be something that will put me in jail? Assuming everybody will survive and they won't be suing me for damages and whatnot. Of course, if somebody would die, I would accept going to jail or perhaps even kill myself to make it easier for everybody, but given everybody is OK and only the ship is gone, would it have some repercussions from the insurance company or state etc? If 315 would be a legal issue, would 348 - which has an A class CE certificate solved this legal issue when it comes to insurance?

Posted By: perry
Date Posted: 12 February 2024 at 19:53
My Hanse 315 [2007 build year] has 'A' CE Certification. The later 315 may be 'B' CE
I suggest, if you complete 2 years intensive sailing experience,  including some  off shore passages,  you will still be a inexperienced sailer. But at that stage in your life I would hope you will be in a positon to answer your questions, and to know whether you are ready to sail off-shore in 'Le Grande Large' [meaningful french term] into an ocean single handed or crewed.
You will find the full spectrum of advice on what you should do in this or any any sailing forum, Most of it you should ignor?

However when things go wrong in the big ocean, and they usually do to some extent, as the captain of your ship it will be in your hands to save the situation; thats when you will  find out if your are a real sailer. The bit of paper the insurance is printed on will be of no help, more likely to block your bilge pump as you sink.
Good luck, my friend,
enjoy learning to sail, 
enjoy sailing, and cross oceans when You are ready.
Welcome to sailing life.
Isle of Wight

Current Yacht Hanse 315 2007
Last Yacht Hanse 301 Round GB in 2017

Posted By: Ratbasher
Date Posted: 13 February 2024 at 05:36
To build on Perry's excellent comments, you need relevant experience.  A good way of getting this is to sign on with a yacht delivery agency where you'll have the chance to sail in many and varied waters in many and varied types of boats.  Do harder ones as you progress; a west-east Atlantic passage can be quite demanding. You'll quickly learn a lot from experienced skippers and other crew and this will put you in a much better position for choosing and sailing your own vessel - and for learning what type of sailing you actually enjoy.  You'll get answers you can trust to all the questions that you asked - and to all those questions that you don't yet know you need to ask.

H400 (2008) 'Wight Leopard', Gosport UK

Posted By: Dogscout
Date Posted: 13 February 2024 at 11:51
Wow that's a whole lot of question and speculation for a post and will be very tough to answer.  

Do what has been said so far and get some real experience before asking those kinds of questions, I'm certain the experience will change your questions.

And please keep that kill yourself stuff quiet.

Adventure awaits

Posted By: klekipetra
Date Posted: 13 February 2024 at 17:22
Yeah, I know they are weirdly specific.

I am mostly interested about arriving in another country in Americas/Caribbean, let's say I go from Canary Islands to Antigua with a B class boat and what would the coast guard or  say to me if I need class A to cross the ocean from Europe to the Caribbean?

Will there be an issue? Will they want to see my insurance and papers of the ship and they notice there is no A class only B class? Will I be send back, will my ship be stuck or even confiscated, or what can they do? How to prevent such problems?

Posted By: Pieterman
Date Posted: 22 February 2024 at 09:21
Hi Klekipetra
It's very OK to have a lot of questions in the beginning of your sailing career. As the others stated above, I also think you should gain much more relevant sailing experience first. It might be a good idea to follow some training courses in your neighbourhood and of course sail a lot.
As for the insurance questions: you can call your insurance agent and just as your specific questions. 
My Hanse 315 (2007) has a class A certification. Are you sure yours has a class B?

Posted By: Kox
Date Posted: 22 February 2024 at 21:03
Originally posted by Pieterman Pieterman wrote:

My Hanse 315 (2007) has a class A certification. Are you sure yours has a class B?

I think the new era 315 only has Class B.

Hanse 315, Ella, Hull# 640

Posted By: Captain Cook
Date Posted: 22 February 2024 at 22:09
Four men in a rowboat have crossed the Atlantic, and in the second attempt Thor Heyerdahl arrived at Barbados in the papyrus boat Ra II. (Ra I sank though).
My piece of advice is this: If a boat is Class B, it is not suitable for the Atlantic.
It seems that you have not yet bought a boat, so the easy solution is simply to buy a Class A boat, or forget about the dreams of The Canary Islands.
A question comes to mind: Is it fair to expose a friend or a wife to dangers the boat is not qualified for?
There is also a question of insurance.
No insurance company will cover a loss of a boat/crew which is not certified to the area it is sailing.
I have a friend in Gran Canaria, who had some friends sail a boat from Barcelona towards the Canary Islands. When it sank, the insurance company refused to cover the loss, because the crew did not have the qualifications (Yachtmaster) needed for the voyage.
Also, if you expand your personal information a little, it would be nice.
I give you here a few links to an Albin Ballad 30, and a Hallberg-Rassy 31 which have crossed the Atlantic. Small boats can also cross an ocean. (Use Google Translate)
:Kjeld" rel="nofollow -" rel="nofollow -

Freya H400 #27 (2006), 40HP 3JH4E, 2-cabin, 3-blade Flexofold, Aries LiftUp Windvane, Exturn 300, Jefa DD1,Simrad NX40,Icom M603(VHF)+M802(SSB)

Posted By: S&J
Date Posted: 22 February 2024 at 23:19
My first boat was a 25' MG Spring.  Excellent little boat and I felt like a king.  I was ready to cross the English Channel and even head further afield.
I arranged to deliver the boat from Plymouth back to Chichester over an Easter long weekend.  Although I had previously chartered a boat for a week and crewed a fair bit racing, I had never owned a boat before.
I was very nieve and totally overestimated my abilities.  Thank goodness I had invited my yachmater instructor and an experienced dinghy sailor along as crew.  We made it back to Chichester with a few adventures and a personal realisation that my experience levels and my boats capabilities were much lower than I had thought.  I barely left the enclosed waters of Chichester harbour for the rest of the season.  Although I did make it across the Channel a couple of years later, the boat really wasn't suitable for passages of this nature and I upgraded to a 10m Beneteau.  This second boat took me as far as Porto when once again the boat reached it's limits.  I had crewed on a Dehler from Porto to Canaries and realised that my own boat couldn't have coped with the conditions encountered in the open ocean.
My subsequent Hanse 385 was a revelation.  Finally I had a boat that sailed well and was capable of crossing oceans.  In the year I commissioned Ningaloo a young couple sailed from Greifswald to Sydney on their 385.
Then Brexit came along and I realised that my summer liveaboard life in the EU would be severely constrained by Schengen.  I now own a 458 and am actively planning to get to the Caribbean.

In short the current 315 is unsuitable for most of your plans.  You will realise this as soon as you try a Channel or Biscay crossing, or encounter 30kt winds. As Kjekd has suggested, there are older designs at the 10m size that might be more suitable than Hanse.  There are very few boats long term cruising in the Med below 12-14m length and most bosts there are more than 14m.

However there is little to stop you trying.  Even for larger boats, insurance is extremely difficult to obtain for solo sailing for more than 18 hours and almost impossible for an ocean crossing even with crew.  Many boats will just get 3rd party insurance so they can use marinas.  If you crossed the Atlantic without incident, I doubt that any authorities woul be interested in the safety category of your boat.  But if there were a serious incident and injury to your crew there would be an investigation and you might be held liable.

You can have great fun with the 315, but I think you are at the stage where you don't even know what you don't know!  A bit like me with my first boat in 1997.  By the time you have more sailing experience you will be able to assess the boat you need for your plans.  

H458 #159 Primal Mediterranean cruising

Posted By: Captain Cook
Date Posted: 23 February 2024 at 10:14
In the post above I link to two very experienced sailors that not only crossed the Atlantic, but circumnavigated the globe alone in small boats. As Stuart mentions, solo sailing across oceans is a thing most insurance companies will be strictly opposed to. I am insured in a company, where your proficiency in sailing is a factor in the premium you pay.
Therefore maybe klekipetra should consider a Yachtmaster course?
For an ocean navigator there are combinations of letters which are very important. If you are unfamiliar with EPIRB, SART, PLB, DSC, VHF, SSB, SRC, LRC, SOLAS, NAVTEX, and AIS, the ocean crossing should be put on hold for a while.
Most sailors of my age remembers the 1979 Fastnet Race. Even close to a protected harbour Mother Nature can twist your boat around, but when the weather turns really bad, and the nearest harbour is many hours or days away, both skipper and boat needs to be able to cope with huge waves and whipping wind.
Three months ago 4 danish sailors chose to leave Peniche Harbour in Portugal in a forecast of 8 meter waves. The boat (Bavaria 37) and crew perished.
Weather forecasts and crystal balls have one thing in common. They are not always very reliable. Just like I have, many sailors have started a relatively long passage with no harbours in between, when suddenly the NAVTEX sends a warning of an impending gale or storm. Some years ago I crewed a Moody 42 south of Mallorca, (from Ibiza aiming for Italy), when the wind reached hurricane force (34m/s or 66knots). The liferaft was washed overboard, and we had to cut an unfolding Code 1 to pieces to get it down. This wasn´t even an ocean, but the peaceful Mediterranean!

Freya H400 #27 (2006), 40HP 3JH4E, 2-cabin, 3-blade Flexofold, Aries LiftUp Windvane, Exturn 300, Jefa DD1,Simrad NX40,Icom M603(VHF)+M802(SSB)

Posted By: Ratbasher
Date Posted: 23 February 2024 at 12:15
What people are basically saying in very nice ways is that you need to learn to walk before you can plan to run a marathon.  The questions you are focussing on are simply not appropriate at this stage; far better to concentrate on developing your sailing skills to the point where you are unlikely to present a burden to Search & Rescue organisations, never mind government agencies and insurance companies.  I'm sure that we all wish you the very best of fortune and will do all we can to help as you gain in experience. 

H400 (2008) 'Wight Leopard', Gosport UK

Posted By: Ta'I Miti 2
Date Posted: 18 April 2024 at 06:51
I have a 312 and still dreaming to cross the big blue 

One point is insurance 

Many boats can cross, a 70 years old never sailed lady went to Tahiti on a Muscadet
I saw a 7m swedish old boat in Tahiti. He had no electronic nor maps

If your boat is not legally foreseen to cross, in case of trouble the insurance will help 
But will send you the bill €€€€€€€€

Problem with a passenger 
You know your boat is not suitable, you assume it and all it's consequences 

Tip buy a "régulateur d'allure". Auto pilot not on 12V

Hope you realize this dream 


Not only those who wander are lost

I've learn that the best way to learn about people is to sail with them

Posted By: samuel
Date Posted: 19 April 2024 at 15:27
I may be mistaken but were the requirements for the catagories changed some years ago.
I think that my 2003 311 was cat A but if catagorized now the identical boat would be a B.
But the classification for A has to be studied as I think that it is split into a couple of grades. Someone may be able to find the descriptions.
The best is is something like -extended offshore ocean sailing unassisted 
The description for mine includes waves up to 4M, which is not very big. I think that now only qualifies as B

Daydream Believer- Hanse 311- No GBR9917T- Bradwell Essex

Posted By: Ta'I Miti 2
Date Posted: 19 April 2024 at 17:44
Insurances are by navigation zones
Cheap not far
Expensive round the world 

When you ask for an insurance, they ask you all ship documents 
Including category certification

Let's suppose you ask for a transatlantic insurance and you're B
They should refuse 

If they accept it should mean that they accept to cover your B boat for transat' 

Not only those who wander are lost

I've learn that the best way to learn about people is to sail with them

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