Rego neglect sinks sailor's claim

20 March 2012

Boat owners are reminded that all vessels with a motor must be registered in South Australia and operators must be licensed.
It doesn't matter if the motor isn't used, the laws stipulate that a vessel with any type of engine must be registered before it can go on the water and an operator licensed, or in the presence of someone who is licensed.
Ignoring these regulations not only risks a fine but also potentially invalidates insurance as most policies require the vessel operator to comply with all local, state and national regulations.
The failure to comply with similar regulations cost the owner of a 29-foot sailing vessel in a well publicised case - Arnold v New Zealand Insurance Company (1987).
The owner of the gaff-rigged cutter put in a claim with his insurance company after the vessel sank during a storm.
The insurance company refused to pay as the vessel had an inboard motor but wasn't registered and the operator wasn't licensed. The owner used the auxiliary motor to get in and out of port.
The court upheld the refusal as the operator didn't comply with the South Australian licensing and registration regulations.
For more information on registering your boat go to the registration page on