Introducing: Superior budget power catamarans
in the British Virgin Islands.
800.416.1167 | www.footloosecharters.com
US_47614_FTL_0814_AD_BoatU.S._HALF PAGE.indd 1 6/12/14 5:01 PM 38 | BoatU.S. Magazine AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2014
strictly for administering the program and
the rest goes to the arbitrators. And unlike
Admiralty Court proceedings, which can drag
on for years, settlement awards are decided
no more than 12 weeks after the panel is
convened. Because both parties have already
agreed that the panel’s decisions are binding,
there is no lengthy appeal process to prolong
In the case above, the towing company agreed
to arbitration. A Salvage Arbitration panel
convened, carefully analyzed the facts of the
case, and decided that while the service was
considered salvage, it involved relatively low
risk to the salvor and lower peril to the vessel.
The panel, applying admiralty law standards
used in hundreds of other decisions, agreed
to give the towing company a salvage award
of $3,800. Even with the arbitration fees split
evenly between the parties, both sides saved
a significant amount of money and time over
taking the case to court.
Stress is often high when your boat is in
danger, and the last thing you may be think-
ing about is how much it will cost to save it.
Before you enter into any salvage contract,
we recommend that you call your insurance
company, if you are able, and have your
claims adjuster on the phone to negotiate the
claim with the salvor. If you’re uninsured, or
out of cell-phone range, you can safeguard
yourself by keeping a copy of the BoatU.S.
Open Form Salvage Agreement aboard and
presenting it to a salvor in lieu of their con-
tract. This form allows negotiating the price
after the salvage, when things can be calmly
discussed. The form provides three differ-
ent checkboxes for salvage billing
options. You can find a link to it
by reading this article online at
If you’re insured with BoatU.S.,
call the Claims hotline, if you
can safely do so, and speak to
a knowledgeable representative
who can guide you and work
directly with the salvor. If you’re
not able to speak to anyone, and
not sure which one to use, check the first
box: No Cure/No Pay.
Because the form provides for arbitration
if an agreement can’t be reached, towing and
salvage companies should be willing to use
it. Salvage can happen without a contract and
you don’t have to sign any salvor’s contract,
but using the BoatU.S. Agreement can save
a lot of hassle later. No one wants to find
themselves with a dispute over salvage, but
knowing the BoatU.S. Salvage Arbitration
Plan is an option can take the stress out of a
very stressful time.
towers have agreed to notify
boaters, when possible, if a tow
might be considered salvage.