Maintain the trees on your property. An annual inspection from a certified arborist can reduce the risk of damage caused by fallen trees and branches
Develop a plan. Have a plan in place to keep your family safe and connected during severe storms and to move valuable, sentimental items out of harm’s way.
Move your vehicles to higher ground. If possible, plan to move your vehicles to higher ground ahead of severe storms, especially if your neighborhood is prone to flooding.
Move your watercraft to safety. If you own a watercraft, have a plan in place to move it out of the path of severe storms. PURE’s Watercraft policy offers coverage for reasonable expenses to move your vessel to safety ahead of named storms.
Invest in a permanently installed, whole-house generator. A generator can keep your family safe and home systems running during power outages. With recent increases in severe weather, you may experience delays but you can still get the process started now.
Review your policies. Have a conversation with your broker before the start of hurricane season to ensure you have adequate coverage in place.
In preparation for the freezing temperatures that are expected in parts of Central and Northern Texas today through the end of the week, we sent the below advice.
|A Conversation Between Chubb’s Maggie Reynolds, Senior Fine Art & Collections Specialist and Rosa Lowinger, Principal of RLA Conservation|
Step 1: Schedule Ongoing Maintenance
To preserve the beauty and integrity of the works, caring for outdoor sculptures needs to be an ongoing process. Protective measures should include seasonal upkeep for changing weather and inspections by a conservator to see if the works require cleaning, waxing, or other maintenance. Rosa sees sculpture as a growing part of residential value with bespoke gardens showcasing works by artists like Plensa, Lalanne and Koons, along with traditional pool and fountain installations. Her view on maintenance is simple – it is a part of owning the piece.
You have a Maserati parked in the driveway and it gets washed and detailed once a week, but then you have a $1M sculpture that gets looked at maybe once a year. Car maintenance, house maintenance, and pool maintenance may be priorities, but outdoor sculptures should have scheduled maintenance with a specialist as well. Delicate finishes, patina, and paint can be damaged by a lack of care, and incorrect repair and corrosion can mean a loss in value. Also, location affects how many times a year you should have a sculpture looked at. Stainless steel pieces with salty coastal exposures in places like Malibu or Amagansett would do best with quarterly conservation at a minimum. And household staff can be trained for simple upkeep and awareness in between professional visits. My firm, in fact, often trains staff for clients.
Step 2: Be Aware of Water
Chlorine and fertilizer run-off from landscaping are not your friends! We tell our clients that works should be properly elevated to prevent water from pooling at the base, which can lead to corrosion of metal and paints, fissures in the stone or damage to electrical components. And, you’ll need to be aware of irrigation systems and spray spatters, as well as water from pools and fountains located near a sculpture.
You are usually better off having a piece on some kind of foundation, like a concrete pad, that is professionally installed. You should also pay close attention to where the sprinkler heads are located. I recommend situating them near the outdoor art, with the spray pointing away from the piece.
Step 3: Don’t Mix Art and Weed Whackers
Landscapers and irrigation specialists should be aware of the need to hand trim vegetation and redirect sprinklers to avoid damage to outdoor sculpture. They should also be instructed to advise the art collector immediately if there are any problems such as faulty water sprinklers or encroaching plants. A bed of mulch or other barrier around sculpture can be used to keep the sculpture clear of machinery as it is easy to damage a sculpture with debris which can kick up from a lawnmower.
Yes, this is what I refer to as a little bit of landscape adjustment – and a respectful conversation between conservator and a landscape company is often helpful. I recommend not landscaping right up next to a sculpture and being careful about other materials close to the artwork. You don’t want mulch near steel, as it holds moisture, and avoid gravel in hurricane-prone areas, which can cause damage to the surface of the pieces if kicked up in high winds.
Step 4: Keep an Eye on Trees
Give your art some breathing room. We recommend our clients consult a licensed arborist to ensure that nearby trees are healthy and to clear any overhanging branches which could potentially fall on outdoor sculpture. Fewer branches overhead also means fewer bird droppings, which should be cleaned off sculpture regularly to prevent damage.
Expanding further on this idea, if the sculpture is on grass, you do want to keep the tree branches from overhanging the sculpture, but having some trees located near the sculpture gives birds a place to perch, potentially protecting the work from nest building and bird droppings. You must be mindful of the droppings which can etch metal and staining stone over time.
Step 5: Secure the Sculpture
Give your sculpture the best home by choosing a level location with proper grading on your property, taking into consideration the size, weight, material and movement of the particular piece. Structural surveys and base or support construction should be provided for proper drainage. Professional installers who are versed in weight distribution and seismic installation understand the vulnerabilities of sculpture and have the equipment needed to move and secure large and heavy outdoor objects.
It is also key to remember that with certain artists, like Alexander Calder or Robert Indiana, you have to work with their foundations for installation and conservation permissions.
Step 6: Consider the Weather
Carefully consider the climate and conditions for your outdoor collection. Clients should consult with a conservator to confirm whether a sculpture can withstand the elements where they want it to be installed. If your sculpture is located in an area with exposure to hurricane force winds, you could consider installing a prefabricated impact-rated solution or use a non-abrasive protective wrapping. If extreme weather is possible, consider making plans for a professional shipper to move your sculpture to a secure location.
In truth, we see flaking paint from everyday exposure much more often than severe damage from a hurricane. And if a piece is already in place with environmental exposures, spot treatments and cleaning are a must. I have clients with sculptures by artists including Louise Nevelson and Mark di Suvero where they have had to do treatments twice a month due to an extremely volatile location.
Indoor/outdoor fabric like the line from Sunbrella can be used to safeguard your sculpture from flying debris, although you need to remember to remove it immediately after the storm.
Every sculpture is unique, and every location is unique. There are different exposures in the front of the house versus the back of the house, and each piece can require a separate solution. For example, say you have the same sculpture composed of shot-blasted stainless steel with a velvety mat finish in two slightly different locations. One sculpture is installed about 5 ft from the water’s edge exposed to spray from waves and boats. The other piece is about 30 feet from the water with a protective hedge. The one closer to the water may need monthly upkeep while the other will require work only twice a year.
There’s little doubt the pandemic created a massive boom for sports trading cards and memorabilia. In fact, 23 of the 24 most expensive sports card transactions of all time occurred over the past 15 months, according to Sports Illustrated.
Whether you’ve been collecting since childhood, are just getting started, or you recently found an old stash of baseball cards in your attic, we’ve got tips and suggestions to help you protect your collection.
|How can you keep your treasured collection protected for generations to come?|
|Frame it. Protect your memorabilia by placing them in quality display cases or frames. Acrylic cases are popular because they are cheaper than glass, less likely to break, and offer the added benefit of UV protection. If you are framing a piece, use a professional framer who specializes in sports collectibles and uses acid-free materials. |
Store it. Baseball cards should be stored in appropriate card savers, sleeves, or holders. Avoid using non-recessed screw-down holders that could flatten and damage the cards, and never, ever laminate your cards.
Protect it. Keep your items away from direct sunlight and fluorescent lighting so they don’t fade, and maintain constant temperature and humidity levels. Even baseballs should be kept away from light sources, as light can fade inked signatures and deteriorate leather. Also, avoid storing your valuables in basements and other areas of the home that may be prone to flooding.
Just like parking a car can cause stress for some, so can docking a boat, especially if you’re a new boater or purchased a new boat. But close quarters don’t have to mean scratches and scrapes on your boat. Take a look at these tips to help you keep your boat in good condition when you pull in and out of the dock.
1. Use your VHF ratio to get mooring directions from the dockmaster before you approach the dock.
2. Identify the wind and current directions and understand how they will affect your boat’s positioning as they can push you faster than you expected or help you dock slowly and easily.
3. Have a backup plan in the event your first approach needs to be aborted.
4. If possible, approach the dock against the current, which will give you more control over the boat’s motion.
5. Ensure thrusters and/or joystick piloting controls are on and ready for use. Try testing them prior to entering the marina.
6. Approach the dock with a plan, communicate it to those onboard, and clearly delegate any tasks you would like them to perform. Assign these tasks – like who will handle each line – and the order in which you want them done well in advance. Ensure your crew can hear you from where you will be giving commands.
7. Take it slow and steady. That way, if you accidently hit the dock, you’ll do so gently.
8. Make sure your passengers understand that arms and legs can get pinched between the boat and dock – so they should keep them inside the boat while docking. If your boat is coming in faster than planned, use the fenders – not your passenger’s hands – to protect your boat.
9. Keep all passengers in the boat until the docking is complete and the boat is secure. Jumping out of the boat before it’s secure can cause the boat to turn abruptly and you may miss your docking spot.
1. Use bow, stern, and spring lines to tie your boat to the dock and make sure they are protected from chafing. Using fenders will help keep your boat from getting scratched or damaged. If you have snubbers, make sure they are in place as well.
2. Allow the engine to cool down for at least five minutes.
3. Pump the holding tank and add tank treatment to keep it in good shape.
4. Make sure your automatic bilge pump, alarms, and clocks are on, and equipment such as running lights, VHF, and stereo are off. You won’t want to come back next time and find you have no battery left.
5. Connect the shore power cable, ensure it is clearly led above the water, and has enough slack to allow the boat to move in its slip. Protect it from chafing. Turn your battery charger on.
6. Confirm that your logbook has been filled out, signed, and dated.
7. Flush your outboard motors with freshwater.
8. Close any opened thru-hull seacocks or ball valves.
9. Take one final sweep to ensure everything is secure, hatches are closed, and sails/canvas are properly furled. For sailing vessels, ensure the jib/genoa is fully furled with at least two complete wraps of the sheet around the headstay.
Following these simple steps will help ensure you, your passengers, and your boat return to dock safely and unharmed after a great day out on the water. Operating a boat safely is a skill, so practicing docking will help to make your future trip’s end an enjoyable one.
When spending time with friends and family on your boat or yacht, everyone’s enjoyment and safety should be your top priorities. As the frequency of recreational marine fire-related accidents has increased, so have the injuries and deaths associated with them. To keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe while aboard your boat or yacht, it’s important to abide by safe boating practices, particularly fire safety, so you can enjoy your time on the water and make it back to the dock for your next adventure.
Below, we’ve outlined the three “P’s” of marine fire safety every boater should follow.
Whether you’ve just purchased a boat or yacht or have had one for years, where you keep it when you’re not using it is almost as important as the vessel itself. That’s why it’s so essential to do your due diligence before choosing a marina, yacht club, or other facility. Below are a few things to consider.
1. Reputation. The boating community is very small and vocal. Ask other boaters or locals what they think about the facility you’re interested in and search online for reviews.
2. Location. Consider the location of the marina itself, as well as the location of your slip at the marina. Make sure your slip is protected from wind, waves, and vessel traffic. Wave action can do a lot of damage to moored vessels, as can other boats if they don’t have enough room to maneuver. How close is your slip to the open water? If the facility is in an exposed location, do they have wave attenuators installed to protect boats?
3. Slip length, space, location, and depth. The more room you have to maneuver, the better. For example, if your boat has a 10’ beam and the marina offers you an 11’ wide slip, it will be challenging to get the boat in and out without contact between the boat and the dock. If your vessel is difficult to maneuver in tight quarters, look for a slip toward the end of the pier. If your vessel has a deeper draft, ensure you can get in and out of the marina and your slip at low tide.
4. Availability of dock utilities and facilities. While some marinas may have a lower slip fee, they may not have the facilities to let you pump out your engine head, get gas, or haul out. Here are some features to look for:
5. Yard maintenance services. More sophisticated facilities will offer services, such as:
6. Maintenance of the facility. If the facility doesn’t take care of its buildings and area, how will they care for your boat? If there is trash on the ground, overflowing trash cans, or the docks are in disrepair, consider looking elsewhere. Also consider the safety, stability, and condition of the docks, cleats, and power pedestals when evaluating a marina—premium facilities often have lighted docks.
7. Storm preparation plans. Consider asking these questions:
8. Security. Unfortunately, it is fairly easy for small boats and the equipment inside them to be vulnerable to theft. When considering a marina, look for gates, security cameras, lighting, and security guards. The more security that the facility has, the better.
9. Availability of life-saving equipment. Make sure that the facility is equipped with items to help individuals should they be in any life-threatening danger, including CPR equipment, fire extinguishers, life jackets, and egress ladders.
10. Insurance. Evaluate the insurance of the facility and any insurance requirement that they might have for you.
11. Other available services and amenities. If you’re interested in additional features such as events, dining, clubhouse, or recreational areas, you’ll want to review those amenities when evaluating a marina or yacht club as well.
Consider all these factors when choosing your next marina or yacht/boat club, so you can maximize the time you enjoy being at the dock and out on the water.
Before you head out on the water for the first time this season, it’s important to make sure you and your boat are completely prepared. That’s why we’ve put together the following checklist for you to follow for a safe boating season, starting day one.
1. Take a safety course. Whether you’re a new boater or a seasoned boating veteran, it’s always a good idea to brush up on boating safety. Here are a few places to find courses:
2. Schedule a vessel safety check. Before you launch your boat this year, you can get a free vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron. A Vessel Examiner will inspect your vessel, make recommendations, and discuss certain safety issues to ensure you’re ready for a safe boating season. For more information, visit:
3. Check your vessel and equipment. Make sure your boat is safe and operating at peak efficiency before you get out on the water. You’ll want to:
4. Make sure you have enough life jackets for everyone aboard. Check your state laws to see what’s required, and replace them when they are no longer usable. For more guidance on the different types of life jackets and PFD’s, click here.
5. Check the boat’s ventilation. If you smell fuel before ventilating, run the blowers for several minutes and recheck before starting. If you still smell fuel, shut down the engine and look for the source of the leak. Make sure this is repaired before you head out on the water.
6. Check the weather report. Before you depart shore, make sure the weather will cooperate with your plans. Check the weather forecast for your navigation route and destination.
7. Share your float plans. It’s important that someone who’s not with you knows where you’re headed. So, share your plans with a family member, friend, or the U.S. Coast Guard.
8. Welcome friends and family aboard but insist they know the rules. Make sure all guests board and exit the boat when the engines are off, and stay away from the propellers when they’re on or idling. Give each guest a floatation device and familiarize them with the boat’s operations and safety equipment. Discourage them from swimming in the marina, as stray power in the water could be an electrical shock hazard.
9. Keep important papers on the boat. Make sure you have your vessel’s paperwork, radio and boating license, fishing permit, and any charts for the areas you intend to visit on board before you head out.
10. Carry everyday essentials. You’ll want to keep these items on board, every time you go out:
11. Take these steps before you start the engine:
12. Make sure cooling water is flowing once the engine has started. Check your oil pressure and water temperature and attach the kill-switch lanyard, if you have one.
13. Pay attention at all times. Always keep a lookout for what others on the water are doing and be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids.
14. Follow docking and anchoring procedures. Be sure to have at least one anchor with plenty of rode (at least 7:1 rode to depth ratio) set up and ready for use, and bring two or three extra dock lines. Once set up, visually inspect each line for chafe or wear and replace them if necessary. Use a minimum of two fenders when docking or towing.
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