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Siamese 07-15-2009 12:06 AM

Marina boo boo?
My Catalina 309 is on its cradle in Michigan right now, because Catalina is sending it's fiberglass expert to do fix a bunch of gelcoat cracks in the deck. We're pretty pleased that Catalina'a taking care of this.

We also have a bunch of gelcoat cracks in the hull liner in the aft cabin. Catalina was going to fix this, too, until their expert discovered what caused those cracks. The boat's a 2007, and is sitting in its original steel cradle. When the marina hauled the boat last Fall and placed it on the cradle, instead of putting the weight of the boat on its keel (by shimming with boards), they put much of the weight of the boat on the pads.

The starboard rear pad is carrying enough weight that it has depressed that part of the hull...I would guess about .75 inches...maybe more. Enough that the hull pressed on the hull liner and caused gelcoat cracks in it. Is highly visible in the cabin. The fuel tank is now making contact with the hull and is pushed up against the stringers that support the aft berth. Squeezed tight.

The Catalina expert said when the pressure from the pad is relieved tomorrow, with luck that part of the hull will return to its proper shape. Otherwise he'll have to apply pressure from the inside and reinforce the inside with more glass to stabilize it, as well as do some glassing on the outside...I'm fuzzy on that aspect of it at this time...except that there is considerable crazing in the gelcoat at the pad area in addition to the liner crazing.

Not known at this time if there is other damage to interior structures like bulkhead, etc.

I'm going to photo document the situation and will be discussing it with the marina management tomorrow.

Could use a couple informed opinions here, as I anticipate the marina management will either:
a. claim full responsibility and make immediate and proper repairs.
b. give me the run around.

I want to be ready for b.

I see properly placing the boat on the cradle as being the marina's responsibility.

I see making the repairs or paying for them as being the marina's responsibility (I would hope that they'd use the Catalina expert, as he has a tremendous amount of experience. He used to run the production lines for many of the Morgan sailboats and now is semi-retired and does warranty glass for for Catalina.)

SEMIJim 07-15-2009 01:23 AM


Originally Posted by Siamese (Post 505443)
I see properly placing the boat on the cradle as being the marina's responsibility.

Well, yeah, but how is "properly placing the boat on her cradle" defined? The marina might argue that you provided a cradle that one might reasonably assume was built to fit the boat without blocking up the keel with additional materials. (Some of the cradles for some of the boats in our sail club need such shims, some do not.)

One assumes you signed some sort of paperwork with verbiage relating to their responsibilities and liabilities. Read it carefully before approaching them.

However, in the end: You're the skipper. It's your responsibility to see to the health and welfare of your boat. IMO you should have checked her immediately following haul-out.


AE28 07-15-2009 09:35 AM

Who built the original steel cradle?

SSBN506 07-15-2009 09:51 AM

I have a used boat that already had a wood block in it. I just assumed the previous owner had it fit properly and it did. If i bought a new boat i would hope whoever provides the cradle would tell me if it wonít be an exact fit because i would just assume it would be. Maybe it is common knowledge but if i had a new boat and cradle i would do what you did unless i was told you have to block it to fit. I am glad i found this post because that problem never crossed my mind.

canadianseamonkey 07-15-2009 09:55 AM

This will be a "he says she says" battle that will linger on. Pay for the repairs yourself and then battle. Otherwise, your boat will be on the hard for ever.

sailingdog 07-15-2009 08:24 PM

I'm with SemiJim. When it comes down to it, you are responsible for your boat and should have checked to see that the boat was sitting in the cradle properly.

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