Catching marlin from personal watercraft as well as tuna, mackerel and countless reef species – fishing from PWC is a burgeoning sport in Queensland.
As an example, in May this year a large, high-speed armada of fully kitted-out PWCs headed more than 40km offshore from the Bray Park boat ramp to the Rock Cod Shoals while taking part in the annual Boyne Tannum Hookup fishing tournament.
PWC fishing was a new category for the event this year (along with ‘human powered watercraft’ targeting owners of kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards). Anyone who knows those waters would recognise the Rock Cod Shoals as a very serious trip on a PWC.
And every weekend, offshore fisherfolk in traditional boats see more and more of these very customised PWC rigs turning up on Queensland’s reef systems.
Some companies specialise in crafting stainless steel frames for PWCs to securely hold iceboxes as well as incorporating rocket launchers for fishing rods, live bait tanks, racks for extra fuel storage, cutting boards, transducer and sounder brackets, navigation lights and camping gear.
As a specialist marine insurer, Nautilus Marine understands what these additions to a PWC actually are and how much they can increase the value of these specialist fishing platforms. Accordingly, Nautilus also provides insurance cover for them. When making an application for insurance for a PWC, it is important to list all the accessories fitted and evidence of their value – that way an appropriate level of cover can be provided in the policy.
A typical PWC policy from Nautilus includes coverage for up to $10,000 of fishing gear with a maximum of $1500 payable for any one item. Equipment such as sounders come under the ‘hull and equipment’ provisions of the policy, rather than fishing gear. And recognising how PWCs are used these days, the policies also typically include coverage for water skiers.
Trying to secure similar coverage from a company that perhaps specialises in residential home or automotive insurance is fraught with traps for the unwary – many of them stemming from a lack of specific knowledge of what these PWCs are and how their owners use them. As a specialist marine insurer, Nautilus recognises that coverage for offshore locations is a critical consideration.
But one of the key points here is that just like a boat, the vessel must be ‘fit for purpose’ for the area and conditions in which it is operating. There are a couple of other factors to understand as well. For example, if the owner has held a PWC licence for less than two years, there ordinarily is a $500 excess, and if the owner is under 24 years of age, there also is a $500 excess.
Given that PWCs are stolen far too frequently, there is also an excess if it is stolen from a shared parking facility. That’s one reason why it makes sense to have a high-quality lock mechanism securing your PWC trailer to the towbar – not just a padlock, but a device that locks the towbar and PWC together. Special conditions and excesses should always be explained clearly in your insurance policy’s product disclose document.
So always check your product disclosure document and if you have a query, ask for clarification. If you need further information, you can contact Nautilus Marine Insurance on 1300 780 533 for any boat insurance requirements.
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