Not to minimize the loss, but the damage honestly doesn't look that bad. The hole is actually the easy part, just a grinder some glass and epoxy
. The think that really scares me is the crack in the gell coat running long the hull-deck seam. If there was damage there, which seems likely, this candidate can spread along the seam. If this happens it could result in a totaled boat. The hole is a few grand, that crack could be much worse.
When dealing wi the yards, I would be sure to ask for a "not to exceed" quote. Or have one of the insurance companies agree to accept whatever bill they agree to with the yard, and leave you out of it. It is done all the time with cars, and boats, but many boat owners don't know the process.
Please call your attorney friend. He well may be willing to simply pass on messages by phone. I have done this for clients in the past. Typically I would only charge a flat couple of hundred bucks. But just having an attorneys letter head can be worth a lot. And if they start making noise like they are tring to weasel out, or make a really one sided offer, he should pick up on it pretty quick. At this point you can retain him for actual legal work.