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Old 02-26-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

We do not have copies of the Boothbay yard contract in front of us so it is pure speculation on what they are liable for in a workmanship defect type suit. You need to read the SOW to understand who was responsible for what. Back in my salad days I crewed on a 50’ wooden schooner out of MYC. A lawyer owned the boat and even with his deep pockets, we couldn’t afford to contract out all the work. The yard did some, we did the rest, and things we couldn’t afford were deferred to future years. That schooner liked to crack ribs so depending upon the severity, they were either replaced, sistered, or deferred. Unlike the roofing illustration, I am doubtful that there was a “5 year no leaks” warranty. Expressed or implied. In fact, Walbridge’s “tight” comment would indicate that he accepted the work. Further complicating matters was how Walbridge was directing some of the critical parts of the work himself, namely having his (unskilled) crew doing the caulking and buying the latex caulk from home depot instead of the proper marine grade for underwater use. If this was a sample of how Walbridge supervised yard work, I am sure the work performed five years previously was no better. While I imagine that Boothbay will get sued (anyone with “deep pockets” is going to get served), I don’t think anyone is going to collect based on any workmanship defects. Poor maintenance over the previous five years probably had more to do with the rot than improper fitting or fastening the hull planks.
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