Jack Martin & Associates Insurance Blog

Welcome to our blog! We'll be posting news, tips and information related to the maritime industry to help provide guidance for all of your seafaring adventures.

The Bond Between Boaters Makes a Full Circle

Ted McElhinny started sailing when he was 6 years old. He grew up in Pennsylvania with his parents, Wilson and Bobbie, and his brother, Ward. His family loved sailing and took advantage of every opportunity to be on the water. In 1982, Ted’s father purchased a new 38’ Shannon with the hope of one day retiring and cruising the Caribbean with Bobbie. He christened the boat, Garandara, a tribute to their Irish heritage and the family truly treasured all their trips aboard. Their first years’ adventures included a race from Marion, Massachusetts to Bermuda, returning to Oxford, Maryland, which became the boat’s home. Bobbie served as navigator on the race using only celestial navigation.

Ted was in his early 20’s and married to his wife, Stacey, when his father purchased Garandara. They enjoyed it so much that when the opportunity arose, they moved from Pennsylvania to Easton, Maryland to be closer to the water and the boat. Unfortunately, Ted’s mother became ill and Wilson decided to sell the Shannon in 1990. At that time, Ted was not in a position to purchase it so it was put on the market. Just before it was sold, Ted was able to take his oldest daughter, who was only 12 days old at the time, on her first cruise.

The new owners, Fred and Judy, owned the boat for 22 years. They lived in Philadelphia and later moved to Easton where Fred and Ted would often see each other. During this time, Ted owned a sailboat, but was looking to upgrade to a bigger and better boat and eventually sail to the islands, not unlike his father’s dream. He looked at lots of boats but never quite seemed to find the right one, always comparing each of them to his parents’ “perfect boat.” Over the years, Fred and Judy cruised around Maine and Nova Scotia and finally, after Fred’s passing, Judy sold the boat in 2012.

The new owner, Andrew, worked at a dock in Maine, where Fred and Judy had in the past, frequently visited. Soon after he purchased the boat, Andrew went to the manufacturer’s office to obtain the name of the original owner. There, he discovered that the hull was commissioned to Ted’s parents and he began to do more research. Andrew contacted Wilson, and the two ended up becoming good friends. Ted was also introduced to Andrew and they kept in touch regularly. The families became so close that Andrew and his fiancé ended up staying with Wilson, who had moved to Idaho, for four nights to attend a wedding nearby. During that trip, unbeknown to Ted, Wilson requested Andrew give Ted first right of refusal if he ever decided to sell the boat.

Andrew now works for Wooden Boat Magazine and recently decided to sell the 38’ Shannon after owning her for 4 years. He sent Ted an email asking him if there was any interest and informing him of his father’s request.  “This could change our life,” Ted said to his wife, Stacey. He immediately let Andrew know that he was interested, flew to Maine, and went for a sail.

Ted was beside himself with excitement. The boat was just as amazing as he had remembered.  Although Ted and Stacey were already sailboat owners, she was on board with buying his parent’s old boat. Ted asked Damon Hostetter, a long time friend, accomplished sailor and yacht executive at Jack Martin & Associates to accompany him. Ted also asked Damon because of his boating expertise. His background included both Transatlantic and Transpacific crossings and leading the U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen in sailing and racing events around the world when he served as Director of the Academy’s offshore sailing program.

Ted’s brother, Ward, joined them for the trip. Ward, another avid sailor, had previously made several passages from Boston to the Caribbean where he wintered on his own boat. Ted would often visit him and together they would sail around the islands.

Within 3 weeks, the boat had been surveyed, the trio traveled to Maine and prepared for the cruise home to Oxford, Maryland. It was a whirlwind of activity but Ted did remark, “Many thanks to Damon Hostetter who not only helped me sail the boat home, but also set me up with the proper coverage quickly, making this whole deal work out in a very short period of time.”

It was a rough sail back, but the boat did great, just like Ted knew it would and the three returned safely to Maryland.

Ted and Stacey have decided to name the boat, Full Circle, as the bond between its owners has connected these boating families and returned the boat to its original home. So many memories have been created and the family is looking forward to many more to come. 

Written by Abby Graves & Kathy Hostetter

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Kelly Sullivan Celebrates 25 Years with Jack Martin & Associates

Photo Caption:  Kelly Sullivan, Yacht Department Manager at Jack Martin & Associates

                Jack Martin & Associates, a member of the Shore Bancshares community of companies, is proud to recognize Kelly Sullivan for 25 years of dedicated service.  Mrs. Sullivan began her career with Jack Martin & Associates in 1991 as an office assistant.  After obtaining her property and casualty license, Mrs. Sullivan held various positions with increasing responsibility and currently serves as Office Manager.  In her current role, Mrs. Sullivan manages the administrative staff and supports the insurance agents behind the scenes to ensure customer policies are up-to-date and complete.  She runs a tight ship and is known for being organized.

                A recipient of Traveler Insurance’s “High Achiever Award,” Mrs. Sullivan enjoys her work at Jack Martin & Associates because every client, every boat and every situation is unique.  While no two days are the same, Kelly and her team work to make every client experience seamless and meet Jack Martin’s consistently high customer service standards. “Kelly plays an integral role at Jack Martin.  Her loyalty, knowledge and leadership skills are truly an asset to our agency,” said Jon Horton, AVP and Sales Manager, Jack Martin & Associates.

                A lifelong Maryland resident, Kelly was born in Annapolis and now resides in Shady Side.  Outside of the office Kelly is all about family and community.  She has been married to her husband, Mike for 26 years and is a mother of two.    Over the years Mrs. Sullivan has volunteered at local schools and various fundraising events.  She enjoys spending her free time with extended family, attending sporting events, reading and kayaking and just completed her first 5K. 

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American Insurance Coverage in Cuba

by Morgan Wells

Cuba is still an exclusion by all American insurance companies, but this status may change in the coming months.  Presently, American insurance companies cannot do business in or have bank accounts in Cuba. In addition, for yacht insurance providers, Cuba is a challenge due to a significant lack of modern infrastructure and claims resources such as communications, surveyors and marina repair facilities with proper services for yachts.  

I am having regular correspondence with American yacht underwriters but there is no rush to insure yachts in Cuba. A US  yacht underwriter recently wrote to me, “Conversations are ongoing, but we have not made any changes to our exclusion of Cuba at this time.  We recognize that boat owners are able to obtain the proper permits, however there are still the challenges of what would happen in the event of a claim.  There are limited facilities, the inability to trade in US dollars, etc.” Another US yacht underwriter writes, “Although the US is allowing trips to Cuba for certain reasons, the economic sanctions have not been lifted, so as an US company it is illegal for us  to pay any Cuban salvor, surveyor, repair yard, etc. for losses to the insured yacht.  For P&I (Protection & Indemnity / Legal Liability coverage), we would not be able to pay a Cuban attorney to defend the insured for liability claims within their jurisdiction (also I don’t believe a US attorney can legally represent us in Cuba), and we would not be able to pay any awards to Cuban nationals if the boat owner were found liable.”

There is still a lot that needs to be sorted out with regard to Cuba and US insurance regulations.

However, it is possible for us to obtain annual insurance policies that include the waters of Cuba from non-American companies such as various underwriters at Lloyds of London and other UK / London based insurance companies. London underwriters may request full details of the trip to Cuba, including anticipated dates. Also, if there are any US persons on board the vessel then OFAC approval will be required and some underwriters may require sight of this prior to the commencement of the trip.

For those of you insured by American insurance companies and who may be willing to be uninsured while in the waters of CUBA it is highly recommended that you notify your insurance agent / company of your plans. Do not assume that coverage is ONLY void while in the coastal waters of Cuba. And there may well be changes in the insurance market regarding CUBA in the near future!

It is important that when in Cuba you must plan to be very self-sufficient.  For a Soundings Trade Only article on visiting Cuba please see:             

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