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• August, 2009
LETTERS ignated the organization as official caretaker of the property until the transfer to the City of San Francisco is complete. "We hope that will happen within 12-15 months," Saez noted. In heavily populated areas, such as most of coastal California, we think it's necessary for anchorages to be managed by some kind of authority. Where that's not the case, the anchorages tend to be expropriated by the few — often a lawless few — at the expense of everyone else. Hopefully, Clipper Cove will be lightly managed by a small and efficient government agency or private company for the maximum enjoyment of all. ⇑⇓ANDERTON COULD STILL HAVE A CLAIM ⇑⇓ I hope you'll forward the following information to John Anderton, as it may help him recoup some of his loss as a result of his Cabo Rico 38 Sanderling's being rammed by an unlit steel motor vessel off Eleuthera. I'd like to see him continue cruising, and I hope to meet him in an anchorage some day. It seems that insurance companies — there are some exceptions — often assert reasons to deny a claim even if the grounds for the denial might not hold water legally. Anderton apparently assumed that his insurer would deny his claim because his boat was not being "properly crewed" due to the fact that he was singlehanding. However, he was awake and on deck, and he says he waved a flashlight at the oncoming 'destroyer' to alert its crew to his presence. Therefore, the lack of other people on board did not contribute to the cause of the collision. It appears that Anderton did a great job of controlling the damage. In jurisdictions with which I'm familiar, the lack of a connection between the exclusion or asserted reason for the denial and the cause of the loss often negates the application of the exclusion or asserted basis for the denial. If Anderton's insurer denies his claim, I hope he challenges the denial. The insurer, of course, just hopes that he'll get discouraged and forget it. If, in fact, the law is favorable to his claim and the insurer stonewalls him and refuses to listen to reason, then he may have a bad faith claim against the insurer. Bad faith claims are how we motivate insurers not to try to cheat us. Ed LaBarre Currently Tucson, soon to be Sausalito Ed — A lot would depend, of course, on where John's insurance company is based. There are lots of not-very-consumerfriendly insurance companies and countries in the Caribbean. Nonetheless, we think you offer excellent advice — if the cause of a loss has nothing to do with a particular exclusion, a boatowner should not simply assume that the claim can be denied. ⇑⇓ROCKIN' & ROLLIN' IN THE ESTUARY I have 30 years of sailing experience, but I'm new to the Oakland Estuary. I'd like to know something about allowable tug speeds and if the tugs are responsible for their wakes. At 3:45 p.m. on June 19, the tug Z3 came into the Estuary from the northwest. I estimate that it was travelling between 12 and 14 knots, which created a substantial wake for us and our Columbia 28 to deal with. The next morning we were sailing out the Estuary when I spotted a wall of white water that spanned the width of the Estuary inside of Buoy 8. The cause of it was the tug Z3, which I estimate to have been doing 15 to 19 knots. I started my Atomic 4 engine so we could take what I guessed to be a wave of six feet at a 45° angle, and braced for the E-ticket ride over it. Even though we were 20 yards from a docked container ship, I feared that the tug's wake would pin us against it. As
The August 2009 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.