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  #1  
Old 03-16-2008
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Bent Stanchions/SEQUEL

Thanks to all who responded on my recent "bent stanchions / best fix?" post. The advice was to good that I want to give one more piece of info and get your opinions on how you would remedy.

I had the cover custom made by a local fabricator in the Fall of 2007 and they installed it.

What would you say is the extent of their responsibility? How would you proceed?
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Old 03-17-2008
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Ask them if they will cover the cost of the stanchion repair, maybe you will be lucky and they will, more likely they will say not our fault. Bending stanchions by that type of cover is not uncommon, unless there's some cross-bracing to support the stanchions. I had this problem on my CS three years ago, the yard that did the shrinkwrapping did pay the repair costs. I now use a deck tent style cover.

see my post in the thread Cover boat with mast up??
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Old 03-17-2008
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Did they recommend any internal bracing?
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Old 03-17-2008
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Did you not consider that snow would have weight? Why would they be responsible at all?
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Old 03-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Did you not consider that snow would have weight? Why would they be responsible at all?
I could somewhat see them having some liability, since they installed it. If, however, they told you this was a possibility and that attaching it under the stantions was another option that would preven that, then you're SOL.
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Old 03-17-2008
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I would at least talk to them regarding the cost of the repairs. Since they're a local company, they may want to help with the cost of repairs in the spirit of good customer relations. However, I do not think that they will have any legal liability, but may have some moral liability in this case.
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Old 03-17-2008
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I see it clearly now. Since they installed it they were responsible for the heavy snow fall that added so much weight it bent the stanchion Despite the apparent fact the cover didn't fail, the stanchion did they are responsible.

Talk to Catalina because the stanchion failed. Okay it was designed to meet a standard where the implied use was to stop a person from going overboard, but hey, they should have known that someone would expect it to hold several hundred pounds of snow at angles totally different from the designed purpose.
Yeah, that's what's wrong with the world today.
The reason you can't buy a small airplane is because of liability insurance coverage built into the price - too many people suing Cessna et al because the 1970 2 seater didn't have anti-stall wing tips (invented in the 90's) on it so Johnny stalled and killed himself.
You want that in boating?
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Old 03-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
Thanks to all who responded on my recent "bent stanchions / best fix?" post. The advice was to good that I want to give one more piece of info and get your opinions on how you would remedy.

I had the cover custom made by a local fabricator in the Fall of 2007 and they installed it.

What would you say is the extent of their responsibility? How would you proceed?
In Maine, where we get wet heavy snow, most boat yards, and some custom cover builders, use longitudinal stringers at the tops of the stanchions and cross ties to prevent this.

Fairclough's even collapse up here as my neighbors did and my buddy Tim's did just a few weeks ago.

Tim's cover was brand new in October and Fairclough's attitude was "tough ****", "here's your price on the new tubes, oh, and to prevent that we'll sell you an upgrade too". They never told him there was an "upgrade" or he would have purchased it to begin with. On a three month old cover they even charged him for the replacement frames that bent!!!

I chalk your "custom cover" up to lack of experience and forethought by the designer and builder. The sheer lack of simple physics and a mechanical aptitude comes to mind also.....

Installing cross ties and a longitudinal tie bar is SIMPLE and easy and should ALWAYS be done in areas of high snow load. Also the pitch of the tarp MUST be steep like 10/12 or 12/12 and MOST custom cover builders DO NOT do this....

I think your best to call your insurance company and let them fight it out with the cover maker..


P.S. Chuck, this cover was designed INCORRECTLY! Anyone building a cover that allows the full load of snow to transfer the weight to the stanchions is NOT a competent cover manufacturer!!!!!! I'm sure they have no legal liability but they should help him out because it's the right thing to do.

Hopefully they are smart guys and will learn from their past mistakes that proper pitch and stanchion support are 100% necessary in winter cover design!!

Proper pitch for for a high snow area:

Improper pitch for a high snow area:


P.S. Those picture were taken Jan 5th and we've since had another 80 inches of snow fall. I know of many covers that have failed this winter but mine has never even had the snow stick to it for more than a day (pitch)...

The snow banks around my boat are up to the water line and hopefully MELTING fast!!!
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-17-2008 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 03-17-2008
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Chucky- No, not in the least. However, if you design, build, and install a product that (can) cause damage to the vehicle it was installed on, then yes, I think you should at the very least advise the customer as to this potential. If you fail to warn your customer that your product may damage their property then you probably bear some of the liability. Either way, we aren't talking about big money for the repair. I'd be more worried about all the BS he is going to have to go thru every year just to put the new cover on and avoid future damage. Did you see the collection of monkey bars built under those covers above???
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Thanks for the additional input. I always like to look at a thing from both sides, but I like to pay a little additional attention to my own side.

I'm thinkin' they bear some responsibility cuz:

My request was for a cover to protect my boat...in Michigan...where it snows. My boat is only a couple miles from their facility where they've been for decades. Ought to know local conditions.

They offered no other design or option to better deal with local conditions. There was no discussion in this regard. This was simply what they offered as a solution to protect my boat.

Purpose of cover is to protect my boat from the elements. Halekai, in response to my original post, provided a picture of how a cover should be properly braced to account for local seasonal conditions. I gave the maker no additional instruction other than construct a cover. They designed, built and installed with no other input or hinderance from me.

It can be argued that the snow caused it, but the cover was supposed to protect the boat from snow. If the cover were absent, the stanchions would not be bent, regardless of snow load.

Another side for me to consider is: what if I stand in the shoes of the cover maker? New boat from reputable manufacturer, my cover design, my installation, and boat is damaged. Other boats in marina are not damaged. Unless I had knowledge that Catalina has defective stanchions, I'd be feeling a bit sheepish.
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