Insurers say claim numbers are 'alarming'

The numbers of yachtsmen claiming for damage caused by split or fractured pipes is ‘alarmingly high’ report insurers Navigators & General.

N&G fear it could be an indication of worse to come as owners start to return to inspect their boats after the thaw. Some boats will be damaged catastrophically others will have sunk.

Frost damage is not automatically covered by all insurance companies, and gradual incursion of water is a common exclusion.

If frost damage is covered insurance polices normally insist that “machinery is winterised according to manufacturers recommendations” If not available than the advice of a qualified engineer should be sought, but taking no precautions is just asking for trouble.

For heating systems and fresh water tanks these should be drained and where possible taps left in an open position to allow for expansion.

Just like cars any “closed loop” cooling system needs to have antifreeze added and replaced (per manufacturers guidelines) Not only will this minimise the risk of splits or fractures associated with freezing water, but it will also improve the cooling efficiency and minimise corrosion risk to the engine.

Where raw water (drawn from the river) cooling systems are in place these should be properly drained down by briefly running the engine when out of the water to ensure the system is empty.