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    A story: Why you need insurance - 13 Nov, 2018


    2011 Tidewater Yamaha F250 625 hrs.  

    My twin brother came in the weekend of November 3rd to run the Lake Work triathlon. He is a greenhorn who has fished on a boat maybe once or twice in his life.  I was excited to put him on some snapper for dinner so we woke early Saturday morning and left Lake Worth Inlet about 7 am.  

    The seas were not too bad, calling for 2-3 north wind so the chop outside the inlet was there, but again, not too bad.  We hit a wave, and not a big wave, but one to put a little spray over rails.  My brother lost his balance and started to tumble backwards.  He never went down, no, he caught himself.  You guessed it.  He grabbed the throttle to stabilize himself and we went from 3500 RPMs to hard reverse in a split second.  Immediately the boat went dead.  "Oh no!!!!" was all I could think.  It got started after a dozen tries but the loud clanging stalled after a minute or two and we were dead in the water.  I called my insurance who works with Sea Tow in my policy,  and 20 minutes later we were towed back to Phil Foster.  By the time I got home to wash the boat, I was seeing water, gas and oil slowly dripping off the lower unit, leaving a rainbow in the wet driveway.  

    My brother, at this point, really feels like crap for what happened.  After me letting him know it's like an accident in the car, you didn't do it intentionally, the ribbing stated soon after.  So with brotherly love, as he said "I am going to take a shower," of course I said "please don't pull the shower handle out of the wall" in a sarcastic tone.  

    He did pretty good in the race and left early Monday morning back to Atlanta.  I called my mechanic who I have been going to for 15 years and took it in Tuesday morning.   When I dropped it my mechanic asks"you have insurance, cause this is usually terminal"? Yes I said.  On Thursday morning I heard back from the shop; broke a crankshaft and it put a fist-size hole in the head.  Catastrophic damage.  

    I called my insurance and filed a claim.  The adjuster came out yesterday to take a look after I signed an "authorization to disassemble" so he could look at the damage.  He calls me and introduces himself as the adjuster. His first question is "Where did you buy that boat and when?" (in my head I'm wondering, why is he asking that?)  I tell him. He laughs and says "I was at the helm of that boat for about half the 400 hours before the owner sold it."  Come to find out, he was the best friend of the only previous owner of the boat before me.  He even sent a pic of him with a 40lbs cobia on my boat back in 2012.  Crazy small world.  

    He informs me that because I have been a loyal "diamond member" with them for more than 15 years, through 3 boats, and without ever having a claim, the insurance company is going to cut my shop a 14k check within 24 hrs.  The shop will put in a new engine, with all Yamaha parts so I will get a full Yamaha warranty.  I will need to do the "break-in" period cause it's all brand new.  No rebuild, no aftermarket parts.  

    And here it comes.....NO DEDUCTIBLE, no charge for the tow. No out of pocket expense and I should get the boat back with the new engine in about 10 days.  WAHOOOOOOO!  It pays to have good insurance.  Loyal and honest history and a good mechanic.    

    At the end of the day I called my brother and thanked him for a new engine. But the ribbing will go on for years.