When Storm Doris struck in February 2017, the results right across the country were devastating, leading even the Duchess of Cornwall to take to Twitter to warn people about the weather! Winds of up to 94mph, flurries of snow and thunderous bouts of rain tore across the UK, causing power outages, injuries and untold damage to houses, cars, and especially boats.
Specialist boat insurers Insure4Boats had one customer who was particularly affected by the storm. David Ashmore had moored his 32-foot, Cruiser International 267 Vee Express Motor Cruiser at Conwy Marina – situated just on the northern tip of Wales, with a stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains.
Wales was the worst affected part of the UK by Storm Doris, with nearby Conwy Valley’s rail line even taken out of action, but it was still a shock for David to receive a call on the morning of February 23rd from Conwy Marina’s Berthing Master. The storm in the night had hit the marina hard, and the canopy of his motor cruiser had been caught by a gust of wind. It was buffeted about, fabric torn and twisted, and then blew down. As a result, the Berthing Master was forced to remove the canopy and store it to prevent further damage to the boat.
When David came to check his boat, he was surprised at quite how much damage a torn canopy could do. Not only was the canopy’s fabric ripped free of its metal rail almost entirely down one side, there were deep scores and dents in the boat’s hull where the torn canopy had thrashed about in the wind. There was no question that the boat would need the canopy repaired to be seaworthy again, as well as the numerous dents and dings taken care of. That’s where Insure4Boats came in.
Since David had Hull & Machinery cover with his Insure4Boats insurance policy, they were happy to cover his repair costs – which came to over £2000. As it turned out, the most expensive part of the repair work was not, in fact, fixing the canopy – but the labour required for mending it! However, for David, it couldn’t have been simpler as Insure4Boats took care of the bill. In less than a month, he was back out in his Motor Cruiser, under a fully-repaired canopy good as new.
Thankfully, the damage to David’s boat wasn’t as severe as it could have been – but the recent spate of storms across the UK have the potential to be much worse, and much more expensive. As we mentioned previously, Storm Doris did plenty of wide-reaching damage, with boats damaged or even sunk as far as Cornwall and Liverpool.
Before that, back in December, Storm Barbara prompted a full-scale warning from the UK Coastguard about the effect storms have on the tides. As Coastal Operations Area Commander Ross Greenhill put it: “At sea, changes in tidal streams can make conditions worse, particularly if the wind and tide are against each other. If you’re on the coastline, think twice about going out.”
With more storms expected before the end of 2017, Insure4Boats has put together a few crucial pointers for how boat enthusiasts can stay safe during a storm.
Boats during a storm