shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Boat Insurance

October 1, 2012

Recently a reader asked what we do about insurance in the Caribbean. When I realized that this was the third time we've been asked this question in the past year, I decided it was time to share our response.

The following is an excerpt from Simply Sailing.

Not our best insurance plan that day

We are often questioned about insurance: life, health, and boat. We do not have any official insurance; that is to say, we self-insure. Our health insurance is a well-stocked medical kit, several medical reference books, some bush remedies, and common sense. We handle boat insurance similarly. We invested a significant amount of money in our anchoring system, Dave has the tools, materials, and skills necessary to repair any damage Eurisko may suffer or inflict, and every year we add more money to what we refer to as our "Oh shit" fund. Though our first seven years have been surprisingly uneventful (touch wood), we are not ignorant to the fact that one day something major may happen to one of us or Eurisko. Our insurance against such an event is our ever-increasing savings account. When "Oh shit" happens, we hope to have the money to make it right.

Someone on the bow is a must in shallow water

[Those of you who have read Eurisko Sails West realize that "Oh shit" did indeed happen. We had the money to either survive the situation or eat while we recovered from it. So in this case our "Oh shit" fund was a bit short. But insurance would not have done us any good in the situation we were in. The exception is if we had gotten local medical insurance while we were in Panama. Possible, but not an easy feat and not something we considered until our "Oh shit." If we were to return to Panama for any length of time we would look into it further.]

Sitting in Bocas, Panama, ready to rock and roll

If you do decide to purchase boat insurance, scrutinize the policy. It may not be obvious when and where your boat is covered, especially during hurricane season when you need it most. Consider the cost of such insurance and determine whether that money in your bank account every year would serve you better. Without a doubt, being self-insured also makes you more cautious and aware of your surroundings, something most cruisers could benefit from. If you do not have sufficient confidence in your abilities and your boat's integrity, insurance may give you a false sense of security. A better option may be to purchase a sound boat and hone your skills while still preparing for an unforeseeable "Oh shit." As for life insurance, the boys will inherit Eurisko when we die, and she can bring them more happiness than money ever could.

In Isla Providencia

MONDAY we'll share our favorite place on the planet, besides St. Croix.

Flying to Mexico
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