This section is for information only and is non-binding - please refer to the CUYC Regulations for the exact Damages Policy statement
On every trip that the club runs, CUYC pays a security deposit to the charterer. This deposit is generally chosen to cover the excess of the charterer's insurance. The sum involved might typically vary from £600 for a cruising trip on a robust boat to £2,500 for a racing trip on a less robust boat, but could be more or less. It is extremely rare that the full amount is charged. Most often, some small mishaps occur, for example a winch handle is dropped overboard (approx £50). However, the risk of the full amount being charged exists none the less. The damage deposit is finalised by the charter contract before the trip. The trip organiser will usually be able to say what it is for each trip.
If the security deposit is cashed, the boat's crew who were on the trip at the time of an incident occurring are responsible for any damage caused by that incident (in cases where several boats are on the trip and crews are rotated between boats, all crew participants may be required to contribute to the payment of damages). If one or more people being negligent caused the damage they should pay for it - it would be wrong to expect the rest of the crew or the membership as a whole to pay for this. However, where the damage is not caused by negligence, it is more reasonable for the crew to share the cost between them. Where there is doubt on a) the definition of negligence, or b) whether one or more people have been negligent, the committee will make the final decision as the elected representatives of the members. Skippers are given non-voting places on the committee to ensure that capable sailors inform discussion on this matter.
Bearing in mind the above, it is in the club's best interests to reduce the cost of its activities as much as possible, in order to encourage participation from the largest possible number of members. The club therefore does not want members to face large bills for damage and will try to cap members' shares of small damages at as little over £20 per person as possible. For larger damages (e.g. in which the entire security deposit is lost), the club will try to keep the figure below £150 per person. However, the club is not funded for this purpose at all and although unlikely, it is possible that general club funds will be unable to cover all claims made by charterers on damage deposits at a particular moment in time. Unfortunately therefore, any support that the club is able to provide inevitably depends on our bank balance and the necessity to meet the potential costs of future trips, as well as the details of the incident in question.
CUYC Damages Policy exists to give members an understanding of the process that the committee uses to ensure that the limited club funds are used as fairly as possible. The overriding aim is to ensure that members are treated fairly and can participate for the smallest possible cost, while ensuring that the club's financial position remains secure and that members who cause damage charges contribute to that cost in a fair way.
See Section C. for the Damages Policy.