Skip to content



“HALF a million? Are you mad?”

Reimbursement of interview expenses can be a surprisingly contentious subject. Of course, most employers and most jobseekers are perfectly sensible and most company policies apply simple common sense.


Generally it is unlikely that a company will reimburse expenses for applicants who live within a couple of hundred miles of the interview. Other than that, reasonable travel and hotel costs are usually reimbursed (although not always) and those senior or lucky enough may get a business class seat for long distance flights.


Always shocking to us at Spinnaker are those jobseekers who submit interview expenses including items such as a can of coke or a packet of crisps. Nothing is more likely to undo the good work done at the interview!


But just imagine how one recent interviewee felt when his interview expenses were overpaid to the tune of half a million Singapore dollars. That’s right – half a million!


He has promised to repay the money. Speaking from his yacht in the Caribbean he told us: “I very much enjoyed the interview and…”



SOME clever spark somewhere in the chartering community came up with this great charterparty clause recently: “Notwithstanding anything stipulated in this contract to the contrary, Owners are responsible for and shall keep Charterers free from all insured risks as covered by P&I.”


Oooh sir!  Hopefully it won’t surprise too many of our readers that this is one dodgy clause and should be avoided at all costs.  Not only are shipowners not charterers’ P&I insurers, they are likely to find themselves uninsured by their P&I clubs if they accept a blanket indemnity such as this.


Don’t touch it with a barge pole!



THIS is a real note written by one of Spinnaker’s consultants following an interview last week.


John speaks very slowly and said some interesting things. Seemed like a nice guy but not sure if he is right for the role with X which is why I was calling.  He said he has always dreamed of working in shipping insurance. The dream started when he watched Godzilla for the first time and he saw a ship torn apart.


Blimey, clearly this man is thinking of the worst case scenario. I don’t remember this particular scene from Godzilla but personally consider that Kraken Wakes offers more opportunity for the insurance industry as seaborne and land claims are equally covered. While on the topic of John Wyndham, and bearing in mind we have just passed Valentine’s Day, I’m reminded of the bit of graffiti that read “say it with flowers, send her a triffid”.


Needless to say, John shot to the top of the shortlist and is now firmly ensconced in the Chief Executive’s chair of a leading P&I club near you.



FFAs are something that we all think are clear as mud, so we read with appreciation Moore Stephens’ definition of classic or alternative accountancy terms, as found in its newsletter Bottom Line. The textbook definition of FFAs is that they “provide a means of hedging exposure to freight market risk through trading of specified time charter and voyage rates for forward positions”.


The alternative definition is that they are “a form of gambling, like insurance”. The idea that they provide owners and charterers with a measure of protection against the inherent volatility of freight rates is poppycock, according to the accountants.


We read that “In a typical FFA trade, the seller bets that the market rate on a given day will be lower than the contract rate, and the buyer bets that it won’t be. Whoever loses is obliged to pay the difference between the two rates multiplied by the number of days in Lent divided by the distance from the earth to the sun. (In the event of a tie, a game of conkers will decide.) The award to the loser under such a contract is called Sweet FA”.


We have to remind readers that games of conkers are now politically incorrect and could result in undue attention from insurers.


“FFAs are grouped under the generic heading of ‘derivatives’, which also includes swaps. Most of these, especially all of them, are derived from the practice of swapping cigarette cards featuring footballers. As a rule of thumb, one Jimmy Greaves is worth two Johnny Haynes” we are informed.


So now you know, and that does not include information on sleeving.



ALTHOUGH Wilbur Smith is generally known for his South African novels, he did write one on salvage with, naturally, a very good looking and charismatic salvage master who gets all the girls and salves every vessel going, earning huge salvage awards at Lloyd’s. Patch up a vessel drifting on a lee shore in the South Atlantic in impossible weather conditions? Deal with a potential spill of cadmium rich crude? Pah, a drop in the ocean for our hero, who only seems to operate on Lloyd’s Open Form so cleans up regularly at the Salvage Arbitration Branch. Need we say  more?

On a more serious note, the new LOF is due to hit the streets shortly and supporters of the form will be hoping that it boosts the number of LOFs signed, as opposed to commercial daily contracts.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.