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Is Full Insurance Required For Yachts Visiting Chile?

By doina — last modified Jul 28, 2007 05:56 PM

Published: 2007-07-28 17:56:50
Countries: Chile

Noonsite received the following query: It is our understanding that the Chilean Armada now requires full insurance on any vessels entering the Chilean Channels, and that you will not be issued your zarpe unless you provide proof of insurance.

Noonsite received the following reply from Chile

The latest news is that under the Rules for Pilots, About the Pilots Services, article 31 states that it won't be necessary to have a pilot on board on the following cases or situations:

Point 4 Foreign-flagged vessels, up to 200 gross tonnage, dedicated to sport or tourism, non commercial, if the vessel has some type of insurance that covers all the expenses that the Maritime Authority may have, in case of an accident in which the vessel is involved.

Point 5 Pleasure or touristic sport vessels, foreign or domestic, non commercial, between 200 and 500 gross tonnage, except in the use of a Pilot by a documented resolution of the General Director (meaning Head of Chilean Coast guard), under the conditions stated, that at least considers

a) Approval of the sailing track or route

b) Have valid certificates of competence for the crew and safety equipment, and

c) Have a valid insurance in the terms stated in point 4

That's the important part for foreign yachts. But I would say for huge yachts.

Nevertheless, the naval authorities have received several complaints about this regulation and due to these complaints, it's being reviewed. So if you wish, you can send a letter to the naval authority complaining about it and explaining that you were planning to come to Chile for the second time but in view of this new law you will by pass it as well as most of foreign yachts are doing. And see what happens.

Kind regards,

Mauricio Vidal Naval Engineer

Tel: 56-63-203200, Fax: 56-63-203201

Camino a Niebla s/n km 8.5, Sector Estancilla, P.O. Box 114, Valdivia, Chile


If you need a copy of the document in full you can download it (in Spanish) from and the document is TM-008.

Noonsite received the following emails:

"I have spent the last four years in Chile and have logged in excess of 6000 miles in the canals. This has involved the issuing of a considerable number of Zarpes, quite a few of them out of Puerto Montt. Only once, when I departed P Montt bound south in April of this year, have I been asked for a policy number (yes I do have cover for these waters). I would suggest that the majority of transiting yachts are operating without insurance and are encountering no difficulties with the authorities. I have heard of no case where use of a pilot was suggested by the Armada."

"It has been our experience in a 30 ton vessel checking in and out of Puerto Williams, Chile (southernmost port of entry and near Ushuaia, Argentina) numerous times over the past six months never to have been asked for an insurance certificate. One thing we have learned is to make your zarpe as vague as possible and for the longest distance possible. Puerto Williams have three common zarpes: Cape Horn rounding and return to PW, "glacier loop" and return to PW, then PW to Ushuaia. If traveling north to Puerto Montt at the head of the Chilean Channels is where to ask for the long period and vague itinerary zarpe." July 2007