Cracked hull caused by haul out - SailNet Community

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Old 02-27-2010
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Cracked hull caused by haul out

Had my Gibsea 414 hauled for the second time since purchase yesterday and the lifting went fine but the aft port carriage support arm was not placed well and after the bow had been seated and they were lowering the aft section there was a heart-rending cracking sound. The yard quickly terminated and repositioned a little further aft but the damage had been done. On the exterior hull, the paint (and possibly epoxy) has cracked but on the interior in between the two bulkheads there is a definite 5" crack just aft of the bulkhead placed beneath the aft cabin door. The crack on the interior is not just a flat stress crack as it appears the exterior may be but there is a raised bit of glass on one side. I can't tell yet if the crack goes all the way through or if it is just the surface layer on the interior and exterior that have flexed and cracked.

The yard is a good place and has promised to make it right and to add a few layers of extra glass on each of the boat on the interior where this happened.

My questions are:

- How common is this? I had the naive idea that I could trust a reputable yard to haul my boat without issue. Once again, however, it seems that assumptions are dangerous.
- How serious is this and what should I be making sure happens when they are doing the repair?
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Old 02-27-2010
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Contact your insurance carrier immediately! You may have a very serious problem on your hands that adding some extra glass will not correct.

I would expect then to hire someone to do a hull inspection. If they don't show much interest, I'd hire my own surveyor.

Depending upon the seriousness of the damage, you may be looking at some legal litigation.
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Old 02-27-2010
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You have big problems here. I am composites engineer, and this sounds like through thickness laminate damage. Depending on the hull construction (solid laminate or sandwich), any effective repair may have to be completed from both sides. A couple of scabbed on plies of GRP (probably with no surface prep) will do nothing but result in your boat becoming an artificial reef. Full thickness repairs will be required, but frankly, you will never recover the strength fully. Add to this that you will now have a built in flaw and stress concentration, along a major portion of you hull, I know that I would have a hard time being comfortable in rough weather ever again.

As Alan recommended, contact your insurance agent, seek counsel and a surveyor. And take lots of photographs before anything is touched!

Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2010
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You don't describe that the vessel was dropped and the bow was already supported. Shouldn't the vessel be strong enough to stand on it's own when resting on any three points?
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Old 02-27-2010
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Unfortunately, the sling position varies from boat to boat, and you really need to supervise it personally. Placement of the boat stands and supports can be critical too, depending on the model boat.

I'd second what AlanBrown said. This is a very serious problem and the damage is more severe than just broken laminate. The tabbing of the interior fittings and bulkheads may be compromised. A very complete survey needs to be done to see what the real issues with the boat are.
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Old 02-27-2010
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No, most boats don't have the strength to be supported by only three points, unless the points are specifically supported internally by bulkheads or other internal reinforcements.
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Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
You don't describe that the vessel was dropped and the bow was already supported. Shouldn't the vessel be strong enough to stand on it's own when resting on any three points?
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Old 02-27-2010
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This is why boatyards also carry insurance; bad things can happen even with competent staff and good equipment, and it sure sounds like this might be one of those cases. I agree you need to move immediately to protect your interests here. In addition to what others have said, also write down every detail you can remember of what happened with dates, times, names, locations, sequence of steps / events, etc.. If anyone else was there that witnessed it, also ask them to do the same. Hopefully the yard will act in good faith and be fair and honest about what happened, and let their insurance company handle the problem. Good luck.
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Thanks all for your replies. A little bit on the doom and gloom side but it's not a fun situation in any case.

I've worked with the yard for some years and they will take care of the problem and either bear the expense or claim pursuant to their own insurance. My crew and I saw the whole event so there's not going to be any question of fault and who bears the expense.

As to the significance of the damage, I realize it's a significant issue and a repair may need to be made from both sides. But the no sailing in rough weather comments I don't fully understand. Why should a properly repaired impact hole compromise the rest of the boat?
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Old 02-27-2010
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It sounds like you will need to do an expensive repair, but there is no reason that the hull can't be stronger than it was when it broke. Careful where they position those slings next time!
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Old 02-27-2010
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I don't agree with the "It will never be the same" comments...

Here is a picture of Roy Disney's Pyewacket's bow that was completely cut off and a 20' longer one glassed in its place.

No it will never be " Exactly the same" but form the sounds of it you don't want it to be...In other words it can and most surly will be made stronger then it originally was...and IMHO more worthy of heavy weather sailing.

Good advice on contacting your insurance ..they will send out a Surveyor on there dime who will be out for your interest as well...And the advice of not just letting them put a patch on the inside is very good as well...I had a 18" gouge in my hull they ground out a 3' diameter section of my hull to repair it...its called feathering and there are formulas as to how far like 6 to 1 or 12 to 1 etc.
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