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S&S Swan General - Swan 57 Structural Problems.
09 September 2015 - 16:13
#1
Join Date: 31 August 2015
Posts: 1

Swan 57 Structural Problems.
I have re read the forums concerning structural issues about Swan 57s and I would like to tell my story for future reference so others do not have to go through my ordeal.

My story, I am from Chile and I always wanted to own a Swan. I sail around the world when I was 27 years old in my fathers yacht during a 3 year voyage that took me across the Pacific, the Indian ocean, the Red Sea, the Med, the Atlantic and around Cape Horn in a 40 feet Collin Archer type double ender, a Saltram/Saga 40. After my arrival I married and we had a son. My wife wanted to sail with me and the baby but in something more confortable, hot water, heater and private aft cabin. I wanted a yacht that would sail to weather and take us to distant destinations in confort.

After reading all forums about Swans I was keen on a Swan 57 called Growler that was in Chicago, even though the structural issue was a concern I was under the spell of the gorgeous lines of the S&S Swan 57 sloop. 

We meet with the broker: Keith Yeoman and the owner Phil Groben at Larsen Marine in Chicago on May 17 th 2013. I was presented with a survey of March 2012 before I flew to Chicago which stated that “the vessel was structurally sound and in very good condition for its age and service, with evidence of above normal upkeep” as it had been in fresh water for the last 20 years. And true the yacht was in very good condition. We agree on a price and I sign the yacht purchase and sale agreement. I had a month to sign the Conditional Acceptance of the Yacht. The yacht was in the water so a new survey meant taking it out again, Phil had launch it only that morning. A new survey meant, paying the surveyor, travel lift cost, about $ 5000 US. Also it was the begging of the season and the travel lift was fully booked at Larsen Marine.

Keen to go to South Georgia were I had an agreement to take an expedition of climbers I signed the Conditional Acceptance of the Yacht as it was.

We took insurance with Pantaenius America Ltd. as suggested by the Broker. They accepted the same survey form March 2012 as proof of the condition of the yacht and the estimated value.

Two weeks later we flew to Chicago with my wife and Larry age 6 months and we settled in to our new home. Phil and Sandy were very nice and left us cups, plates, pots and pans, linen etc. 

We spend two weeks at Larsen Marine and we sailed the yacht to Newport R.I via the great lakes and the New York canal system, we had to unstep the mast at Oswego on lake Ontario and truck it to JBY, Jamestown, Rhode Island.

It was a 2 month journey with a few adventures along the way but we made it. Equinoccio the new name of the yacht was in the open ocean again.

Equinoccio spent 8 months at JBY and they service every single system on the yacht. Plus new sails, new standing and running rigging, we also had a new heater installed etc.

We sail away with Larry now one year and a half and young crew of 3, Pepe, Marci and Tita they were in their 20’s.

We made it to Bermuda with a few problems with the new autopilot. Then we continued sailing to Antigua down to the Grenadines and we left Union island bound for Brazil in June 2014. We had to Stop at Ile Royal in French Guiana as Pepe had a swollen elbow and we continued. Next day we continue beating against the trade winds and the Guiana Current. I was awoken by Pepe at 4 AM. We are taking in water and the bilge pump is working non stop. After a short inspection we could see some cracks on the floors and the hull, and water coming in through the keel bolts.

Game over I said to the crew and we bare away and gibe back to Trinidad, which was 560 nautical miles downwind.

We arrived at Trinidad 3 days later, we took the yacht out of the water and a crowd gather to see the damage.

A patch had fallen and it was plain to see that a previous repair had failed.

A very nice independent surveyor came from Granada sent by Pantaenius.
He told us we had been very lucky and I had done the right thing by returning to a safe port and not continued. We would probably have lasted only a couple of days more before the keel failed.
In his job his sees many tragedies he said and this could have been another one.
We learned from him of the tragedy of Cheeki Rafiki who’s crew we had met at the Antigua Sailing Week.

We returned home defeated but I was happy that we were all safe.

I started making a few calls once I got home.
First to Phil Groben the previous owner. Had you by any chance repair the yacht previouslly to selling it? I was very surprise at his reply, yes! It was fixed at Larsen Marine and it was only ready that morning when I arrived in Chicago, and they had launch it that morning! Had the broker Keith Yeoman know about this? I call Keith, he claim he had lime disease and did not remember anything from that period!

According to the Conditional Acceptance of the Yacht sign in the state of Rhode Island I had no chance in court against Phil Groben, I had accepted the yacht as it was. In Europe or California I might have a case but not in Rhode Island.

My only chance was my insurance company Pantaenius America Ltd. from which I got the following letter two months latter.

Dear Mr. Westcott:

Per Mr. Goodchid’s initial report, the cause of damage was determined to be poor quality hull repairs that failed while your vessel was in normal service. Defective repairs were determined to have been carried out some time earlier in the vessel’s life, and Mr. Goodchild opined that initially repairs were completed following damage that was likely due to a heavy grounding.

In accordance with Section B1 of your Pantaenius America Yacht Policy, defects in workmanship are not covered. In order to determine if any of the damages to your vessel qualify for coverage under Section B1 of the policy or otherwise, we requested an opportunity to have Mr. Goodchild further inspect the vessel upon removal of certain parts and equipment. A survey was scheduled for July 4, 2014, and Mr. Goodchild’s requested the following removal works to be carried out prior to his inspection:

1. Removal of tanks, pumps, hoses etc. from the bilge area.
2. Removal of external paintwork from the hull in all damaged areas as far back as is
necessary to reach undamaged original laminate.
Our understanding is that these removals were substantially carried out, and Mr. Goodchild inspected the vessel on July 4, 2014. The first part of Mr. Goodchild’s inspection was the examination of the vessel’s external hull structure. 
The external paint, antifouling, and barrier coats were removed around the forward, port side and aft end of the moulded keel stub.

Mr. Goodchild states:
Sanding away the barrier coat on the lower leading edge of the lead
ballast keel shows repairs to the lead ballast keel from an impact;
with at least two different types of fillers used to fill the damaged
area. This is damage that has been caused by a significant impact,
such as would occur with the yacht colliding with a rock or reef while
underway at speed. The extent of the damage to the lead keel,
investigated with soundings, indicates at least on significant impact
during the life of the yacht. The timing of this impact or impacts
cannot be determined.

Further removal of the antifouling and barrier coats of the external areas of the hull and keel revealed supplementary evidence of previous damage and repairs which were carried out at some point in the vessel’s lifetime.

Mr. Goodchild states:
Generally speaking there is evidence of old damage, probably dating
back many years and more recent patching, likely done on more than
one occasions, evidenced by glass material laid over unrepaired
structural damage, attempts to bond glass material over filler
material and more filler over the glass work. Poor work practices.
The second and final portion of Mr. Goodchild’s survey was the inspection of the internal structural grid of the vessel. This required the tanks inside the saloon bilge to allow greater access for Mr. Goodchild to inspect the structure.

Mr. Goodchild states:

Several areas of the repairs had failed, with cracks through the glass
material lay-up, these were recent and associated with the failure in
June that lead to this claim. There were also older failures; tabbing
coming away from the hull, dis-bonding, that pre-date this most
recent incident, by months or years.

Mr. Goodchild then removed a thru-hull on the port side about 2ft from the forward edge of the keel. Mr. Goodchild noted delamination about 1/4 in from the inner surface of the hull laminate. Mr. Goodchild states that, “this is associated with the failure of the internal tabbing, where the hull is bonded to the structural framework”.

At page 10 of his report, Mr. Goodchild concluded :
The failure of the repairs causing the ingress of water and structural
failure of the hull to keel stub area, in what has been described as
strong but not excessive conditions, is due to the failures of poor
quality and inadequate repairs.

The area of damage now seen is contained within previously repaired
areas that have failed. Water flooding did not reach the saloon cabin
sole and no damage was done by this water entry. There are no
indications of any significant consequential damage.

In summary, Pantaenius can conclude that no sudden or unexpected accident or event, i.e., “occurrence”, caused the loss that is the subject of your claim giving rise to accident coverage within the meaning of the policy. Based on our investigation, we can further conclude that the proximate cause of loss is the failure during normal service of prior hull repairs that were of poor quality and inadequate.

Mr. Goodchild has confirmed to Pantaenius that in his opinion the poor quality of these repairs would have been readily discoverable through ordinary observation by an experienced marine surveyor and/or known methods of testing, such as hammer sounding of the hull, at any time prior to the loss and after the repairs were made. Furthermore, the poor quality hull repairs at issue are not physical defects in the material or construction existing at the time of the original build of the insured vessel or the manufacture or installation of any additional or replacement parts, components or systems.
Accordingly, Pantaenius can conclude that the loss is not is not the result of a “latent defect” within the meaning of your Pantaenius America Yacht Policy.

Mr. Goodchild has also reported that there are no indications of any consequential damage to other parts of the vessel as a result of the failures caused by poor workmanship. Unfortunately, there is therefore no coverage for your claim.

Very truly yours,
Thomas Mullady
Claims Advisor
Pantaenius America Ltd.

Dear Mr. Westcott:
We refer to and thank you for your emails of August 21, 2014 and August 23, 2014. Our responses to
your inquiries follow below:

EMAIL OF AUGUST 21, 2014.
You have inquired regarding the possibility of coverage based upon the following statement referenced in Mr. Goodchild’s report:

Several areas of the repairs had failed, with cracks through the glass
material lay-up, these were all recent and associated with the failure in June that lead to this claim.

Based on our discussions with surveyor Goodchild, the above-referenced statement is not a description of “physical damage or loss to other parts of the yacht” within the meaning of Section B1 of the policy. Rather, it is damage that is part of and within the boundries of the failed inadequate repairs. With regard to transportation of the yacht to Newport, your Pantaenius Swan Program Endorsement states:

It is hereby agreed that if the insured vessel suffers damage, and it is
the insured’s wish to do so, we will allow for the vessel to be
transported to the nearest Nautor authorized repair facility for
repairs. It is further agreed that the loss must meet the following
criteria:
1. It is a loss covered under the terms and conditions of the
insurance contract and
2. The loss involves any structural damage to the hull and/or
interior joiner work and
3. The estimated cost of repairs exceeds $50,000

As we indicated in our letter of August 21, 2014, we find that this loss is not covered under your Pantaenius America Yacht Policy. Based upon the Swan Program Endorsement, the cost to transport your vessel to the nearest Nautor authorized repair facility is therefore also not covered.

In addition, per section B3(i): ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES, coverage for additional living expenses is provided only when the loss is covered under your Pantaenius America Yacht Policy. Since the loss is not covered, the claim you submitted for hotel expenses must unfortunately be denied as well.

We do confirm that the dockage fees incurred during our investigation, haul out, and launching fees, are covered investigation costs, and will be reimbursed. Please note however that reimbursement of costs incurred due to our investigation is not intended to imply coverage or a guarantee of payment of any part of your claim, and it shall not be construed as such.

You also have to right to pursue arbitration if you continue to dispute our coverage
determination. We refer you to Section A11 of your PAYP Terms and Conditions in this regard.

EMAIL OF AUGUST 23, 2014 We have reviewed the information and documentation provided with your email of August 23, 2014, which included a quote that you state is from an email from a prior owner (“Jens”) of the vessel who sold it to Phil Groben and a copy of the report of survey on 21 March 2012. We have discussed the same with our appointed independent surveyor, Bob Goodchild, as well as with our principals, the insurers of your vessel. Unfortunately, the information submitted does not provide us with a basis to alter our coverage determination.

We summarize below our analysis of the additional documents and information submitted:

Per your email, Jens wrote to you the following:
I do not know of any grounding of the boat, which might have caused
damage to the keel and rudder. But I do know that Nautor had to do
a lot of reinforcing to the frames and floor beams after delivery,
because there were structural issues. I can’t remember on how many
boats, but I believe at least on the first 6-8 boats, they built. Some
boats were called back to the shipyard. For some others, already
located far away, like in the Pacific, teams of tradesman were sent
out with material to fix the problem.

We discussed the above statement with surveyor Goodchild to determine if the alleged structural issues could have in any way contributed to the damage that is the subject of your claim. Mr. Goodchild advised that the proximate cause is solely due to poor workmanship in the hull repairs of prior impact damage and are unrelated to any structural manufacturing issues. Even if the repairs that failed were related to the collision with the North Sea trawler in 1993/94 mentioned in your email, it would not change our coverage determination.

You also state the following in your August 23, 2014 email:
Further information I have gather but that is not official is that Phil
Groben the previous owner grounded the yacht on lake Michigan
sometime during the summer of 2012 after the survey done by Mr
Kronich. The boat was repaired at Larsen Marine by a man called Ian
Gates. Larsen Marine is not willing to forward to me any details of this
repair without written consent from Phil Groben who is not willing to
forward any information. Phil admitted to this repair after a
grounding incident on a phone conversation I had with him in July but
now he is not willing to volunteer any information.

Basically he sold the boat to me after a repair and passing a previous survey done in March 2012 as a new survey without any further incidents. Thomas you have to understand that Pantaenius America accepted this survey in April 2014 by a man called Richard Goldsmith when considering the new value of the yacht for our current policy. 

Your Pantaenius America Yacht Policy generally insures you during the policy term against accidental risks of physical loss or damage to your vessel per Section B1 of the PAYP Terms and Conditions. The policy does not insure against losses related to the condition of the vessel at the time of purchase, except for latent defects as defined in Section B1 of the policy. No latent defect was found here. The policy does not insure the accuracy of surveys or other information that may have been provided by the seller to you and that you relied upon in buying the vessel. The insurers were obviously not a party to the purchase and sale agreement, and the policy does not insure you against breaches of that agreement.

Per Section B1, your policy does not insure you for the correction of poor repairs or defective workmanship. As we previously advised you, the policy does cover damage to “other parts of the yacht” resulting from defects in workmanship in accordance with Section B1 of the PAYP. However, after thorough investigation at the insurers’ expense, no such consequential damage was found to have occurred.

Should you have or obtain any other information or documentation that you believe would alter our coverage determination, please forward the same as soon as possible so that we may give it due consideration.

Very truly yours,
Thomas Mullady
Claims Advisor
Pantaenius America Ltd.

In the end Pantaenius America Ltd pay for Mr Goodchild’s inspection and $2,382 US marina cost associated with the investigation. 

Nautor Swan USA East Broker was no help at all, he answer me a year latter:

Martin,

The most important thing you must understand is I had no knowledge of any damage or the consequent repair made after 2012 and apparently immediately prior to you purchasing GROWLER. You note below Phil Groben did know but he certainly did not share this information with me at anytime.

The first I learned of this repair was after your unfortunate incident.

I recall we discussed, on the dock next to GROWLER, the merits of surveying the Yacht prior to you signing the Acceptance. Additionally, twice in the Yacht Purchase and Sales Agreement, once on page 1 and again hand written by me on page 2, in the Additional Provisions, you were given the opportunity to survey the Yacht. To my dismay you declined this opportunity to survey the Yacht. No doubt, if you had, the repair would have been identified.

I am very sorry you had such a bad experience but clearly this is not through any fault of mine. 

I trust we can place this very unfortunate occurrence behind us and move on.

Keith Yeoman.

Keith,

This is the first time I see in writing or otherwise you express “I am very sorry you had such a bad experience” Finally! It would have help me a lot you had express this a long time ago. Your second comment "clearly is not through any fault of mine" I think people will make their own judgement.
You seem to remember more things now, last time you did not because of lime disease. I am happy you are feeling better. Still I am not satisfied with "I had no knowledge of any damage or the consequent repair”.
"Naturally as there is no fault with respect to my actions" is a statement I must disagree. In my opinion it was your business to know if the yacht was being repaired or not. So you tell me that you were selling a yacht without knowing it’s present condition?

What happened to me and my family was very dangerous and in my opinion you should not be allowed to continue to earn commissions at the risk and expense of others, and I feel it is my moral responsibility to warn other buyers of your practise. I will complain to Nautor. Specially now that I know that you still think there was no fault with respect to your actions. You can only correct mistake you realize you have done. Maybe and it could be argued that not to any of your actions but I think that yes at least to your negligence. Like knowing the actual condition of the yacht you were selling. If you represent Nautor, for a person outside the USA you are a person that can be trusted to be knowledgeable on your expertise which is Nautor Swan yachts. If I was flying from Chile to see a yacht you should at least enquire to Phil or Larsen Marine about the current condition of the yacht. In my opinion in the worst case scenario you knew about the repair and you omitted that information to me for your benefit and in the best case scenario you just did not do your job properly. In my opinion you should be aware of the current condition of the yachts you are selling.

I have re check our correspondence and nowhere you suggest I should perform a survey and never did you express your dismay at me not doing so. Did it ever occur to you that if I must do a survey suggest to Phil to postpone the launching a few hours so I could perform the survey, next day if I was interested? Of course performing a survey had merits, Phil just made it really hard for me by launching the yacht that same morning I arrived in Chicago specially knowing that the travel lift was fully booked at that time of the year and that I had to run with all associated cost.

What would have you said if I had spent $ 5000 on a survey and found the yacht was just repaired and the floors cracked and delaminating. Sorry Martin I did not know it was deficiently repaired yesterday?  

Thank you for finally writing properly to me. You should have done so last year though. Thank you for being sorry and sympathetic.

M.


Part 2 The Repair.

It was found that not only had the hull separated from the keel floors and mast step but also that the hull laminate had sheered between layers in the keel sump and turn of the bilge. It was decided after consulting Lars Strom that the existing keel sump be condemned and cut out from the hull. A mold was made from the original hull and a new structure was designed according to new european standards.

Thanks to Lars Ström in Finland, Paul Amon (English of CCW Caribbean Carbon Works and Mark Farfan of Dynamite Marine in Trinidad we fixed the structural issues of Equinoccio in 8 months. Total Cost $ 180,000 US.


The repair was done with the best materials (epoxy resin), the best workforce in Trinidad and by the perfectionist eye of Paul Amon and Mark Farfan as Project manager and under the very helpful eye of the Professor Lars Ström. Any owners of a Swan 57 with similar issues I strongly recommend to take your boat to CCW at Peake Yacht Services in Trinidad.

Lessons learnd:

1 Always have a survey done before you sign the Conditional Acceptance of the Yacht.
2 In my opinion do not trust any broker in general. Brokers will keep away information from you in order to make the sell.
3 In my opinion do not trust any Insurance company. You will have a false sense of security as most probably they will go to great expense and effort not to pay you.
4 Do not spend money on lawyers they are expensive and will get little done against the big boys in Manhattan.
5 Trust your instinct and return to a safe harbour before is too late.
6 Chaguaramas Trinidad is a great place to repair a yacht, people are friendly, it is safe, out of the hurricane belt and there is no tax on imports.


The thing that boders me most is that the life of my wife and my dear son of one and a half years old and a young crew could have ended because I did not have a survey done and because the ex owner from Chicago sold a yacht without telling the buyer that he had run aground at 7 knots against a rock after the survey he presented as current and actual and the Broker in the best case scenario did not know the current condition of the yacht he was selling and in the worst case scenario in order to make a sale and earn his commison withheld vital information from the buyer.

Regarding Pantaenius America Ltd. I was very dissapointed. They might argue not to paid the full amount, but a fraction 20 %? plus the marina cost and hotel expenses would have been nice and they would have gain a loyal customer for ever but because my loss is not covered the famous Nautor Swan programme was worthless as there was no incident as such!

Anyway we are alive. And we will continue sailing our S&S Swan. See you out there.

Cracks we saw that night

difference in angle between rudder and keel

Working in Trinidad

09 September 2015 - 20:55
#2
Join Date: 16 February 2007
Posts: 199

Hi,
Thank you very much for this extraordinary very informative and thorough account of this unfortunate ordeal. A great lesson to us all in many respects.

Best//Philippe
(Farouche 47/050)

10 September 2015 - 09:09
#3
Join Date: 23 October 2011
Posts: 145

Dear Capitan, I am sorry for your bad experience.
There have been many rumours regarding the hulls of the 57. Many of them have had their hull reinforced from Nautor after the famous Fastnet.
Do you know the hull number of Growler?
Have a look on this link: http://www.jordanyachts.com/archives/1568
good luck,
Matteo, Grampus 47/016

11 September 2015 - 13:49
#4
Join Date: 28 July 2008
Posts: 79

Thank you very much for posting your story. Very glad to hear that everybody was safe; but very disappointed to hear about the damage to your bank account!

Your story has a lot of parallels with our purchase of Tiderace II. Our experience cost us £20k, so not as much but still...!

Effectively we ended up with our keel box partially separating from the hull. This was eventually traced to over enthusiastic use of the grinder when doing an osmosis treatment, and taking too much material away from the keel box/hull join thus weakening this structure.

This was spotted several years after our purchase of her when we were taking her out of the water and some pealing of filler at the keel/hull joint was spotted. The first year we spotted this I was curious; but was lead to believe that a bit of movement was expected in this area and not to be concerned. The next year we had further pealing of filler; which I was not happy with. I asked a local surveyor to have a look and he just said it was normal movement. Not content with this; I contacted a well respect surveyor to have a look and he confirmed the separation and stated she was not safe to be refloated until repaired. A marked difference from two surveyors!!!

At the time of purchase survey there were a few minor cracks around the keel sump/egg box frame area internally and I didn't feel happy about; but the surveyor said it was fine and normal.

Key points:
- we purchased Tiderace II from Holland;
- employed a local surveyor;
- We reside in the UK;
- Since purchase we had changed insurance company; (so not surprisingly the one we were with when the damage was identified would not take the claim on.)

We looked at taking legal action personally against the original surveyor; but being Dutch I would have to go through their courts and this would not be cheap. Speaking with a UK marine solicitor the advise was, "unless its a six figure claim, don't bother as even if you do win; there is no guarantee you will be awarded full damages let alone full costs."

So we took it on the chin, paid the money for her to be repaired; and paid the "good" surveyor to oversee the repairs and sign them off with associated reports.

Aspects I learnt in our episode are:
- always employ a surveyor from the country you are resident in. Even if this seems like a large outlay; its worth it.
- A thermographic survey is an absolute must for the purchase of any vessel. We had one done at the repair yard to ascertain the extent of damage. These cheaply and accurately show the consistency in material across the area examined. I have one of the entire port side of Tiderace and can clearly see all the longitudinals and frames. It wont tell you what is wrong; but it does tell you were something is wrong. Contrary to a "tap test" which only tells you what is going on at the position you "tap". I've seen very interesting pics taken of boats that have osmosis, and it looks like chicken pox!
- oddly enough; be loyal to your insurance company; or if you are changing close to a purchase period; I'd see if they would take on those liabilities as well (not sure if they would or not)
- trust your instincts. I was concerned when we bought Tiderace II but was persuaded by the surveyor.

Fortunately this is all some years ago now, so the emotional pain has softened! Nobody was hurt and the bank balance have recovered.

We have had some great sails in Tiderace II since, with more planned!!

I trust you manage to enjoy your Swan as much as we are ours :)

Cheers
Adrian

Tiderace II

11 September 2015 - 13:55
#5
Join Date: 31 July 2007
Posts: 72

Dear Capitan Tormenta:
I am very sorry that, what should have been a pleasant thing, turned out to be a nightmare. You were screwed! Sellers are supposed to disclose known defects by law and if they don’t, they become liable; but realistically, had the seller disclosed, the sale would not have happened. And most people lie, especially when money is involved. Maybe Yanks more so. The way you can tell is by watching their lips: When they move, they lie. According to Alan Derschowitz, the justice system in Rhode Island, and maybe many other places too, is unusual. That is a nice word for it. In my humble opinion, you could be spending a lot of money on attorneys if you’d try to recover your damages. I am writing this to warn my fellow sailors about the sharks that swim on land: I am an old man and have seen them many times. I hope that you will enjoy your yacht now that she is properly repaired and let the bad memories fade away in your wake.
Pete CYGNUS 040/12

13 September 2015 - 01:06
#6
Join Date: 01 March 2007
Posts: 13

There is a thing called karma. I just read a large article in todays wall st. journal 9/12/ 15( magazine) about Nautor Swan and the value of the Swan brand. Am sure they would be interested in hearing about Mr. Yeoman's ( nautor east) part in your saga.
john mastory
007 - 43

09 October 2015 - 14:34
#7
Join Date: 02 March 2007
Posts: 78

I read this with interest as I had a long argument with an insurance company as a result of a collision with my Swan 41 in Brazil ( anchored in a tributary of the Para river) in 2012. The surveyor was Bob Goodchild, who came all the way to Belem from Grenada, a journey of 2 days. The repair was very complicated, involving a delivery to Grenada, an initial series of repairs in Grenada, and a final major refit back in Falmouth, UK.
Throughout the 15 month period, my insurers questioned every single action and expense, declining to pay many things that I thought might be covered. Among these was the delivery from Belem to Grenada. The insurers made no contribution to the expenses for this.
They made no contribution to my hotel costs in Belem, on the grounds that the yacht was still habitable.
The surveyor requested that the boat should be slipped and the mast lifted out in Grenada for inspection. The insurers paid for this. However when the boat had to go into a shed in Falmouth in order to replace the toe rails, the insurers refused to pay for the slipping and mast removal, on the grounds that this had been done in Grenada!. They claimed that all the repairs should have been carried out in Grenada, which I rejected due to the difficulty in shipping the toe rail kit to Grenada, and the difficulty of myself overseeing the complicated repair.
The question of new for old deduction came into almost every replacement. The insurers refused to believe that items were new within a period of 10 years, unless supported by invoices.
New for Old did not apply to the "Hull Structure", however the insurers excluded every single thing except the original GRP mouldings. These comprised toe rails, rudder, keel chain plates, etc, etc.
I will conclude by pasting in here my final email to the insurers:

Dear ***

I have now been through the the entire claim history, and have come up with some small additional items that I think should be part of the claim. These are detailed in the attached word document.

I hope we can now finally settle this. There are a number of aspects that I am unhappy with, mainly relating to lack of transparency in the policy document. Specifically, there is no definition of hull structure for different types of vessels. Your definition of hull structure for GRP construction ( not supported by previous documents) is that anything bolted or attached to the GRP mouldings are NOT part of the hull structure. This would include toerails, keels, rudders, chain plates, P brackets. I have consulted a number of surveyors and other people in the marine business as to this definition, and they all exhibit considerable surprise as to your definition. In fact I intend to put this definition in a wider public domain so other potential clients can see some of the undocumented hazards of marine insurance.
There is also a grey area regarding the repair of fabricated items that are custom to the vessel. The policy document refers to parts and materials used in the repair of damaged items, to which new for old is applied. However it quite clearly states that labour is not subject to new for old. If you will refer to the invoice from *** in Grenada, you will see that labour is listed separately to parts. I think one could argue that when a part is entirely fabricated from new, such as the pushpit, the labour is part of the cost of the part, and new for old would be applied to the entire cost. I think that this is reasonable, as if I had bought a new pushpit from Nautor, new for old would be applied to the entire cost. However the rest of the items in the invoice were repairs to items that were damaged, but could be salvaged. This certainly applied to the repair of stanchions and the repair of the antenna mast, where the majority of the items was salvaged. In the case of the awning frame (Bimini frame), some sections were salvaged and others remade.
You applied new for old to most of this invoice. You paid 5872.85 $EC, and I paid 2594 $EC. The invoice total was 8367.88 $EC. Thus you paid 70%
The labour content of the repaired items ( except the pushpit) is 2575 $EC. This should be taken off the total invoice before new for old is applied. This gives a new for old figure of 1/3 5792.88 $EC. This is 1930.96 $EC, which should have been my contribution. Thus I believe you underpaid on this invoice by 663 $EC. In fact , the awning frame was made only 6 months before the accident, however due to the fact that the complete awnings were supplied by a one person business, I am unable to obtain an invoice for this.

This leads onto my final point regarding your insistence on invoices to avoid the new for old deduction. Again I think most people would be surprised at the dogmatic and suspicious insistence on this, implying that all your customers are dishonest by definition. Again, I feel obliged to put this in the public domain, at least so people are advised to save every invoice. When selling your policies, I think you should make it clear that invoices will be required in the event of a claim.


If anything further should develop with the legal process in Brazil, I hope you will keep me informed

22 November 2020 - 13:37
#8
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 2

never grounding but same problem on 57 007...

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