Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia - SailNet Community
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Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Hi guys.

This is my first post here but I'm a bit desperate for advice. Apologies if this is the wrong forum.

I've been a skipper for chartered tours for 4 years now, never ran aground until yesterday.

Am sailing a 2017 Dufour 412.

I thought I was done navigating the shallow passage between Maddalena and Caprera, full of rocks, was going slow and had people on watch. A few seconds of distraction and overconfidence and just as I was reaching deeper waters on my way out, I hit the only rock surrounded by 10m depth... Bad luck but also stupid of me, was a clearly charted rock, I was just looking at the green buoy ahead.

Anyways, I can't change that now. Thankfully, the damage doesn't seem too bad. The keel bolts/hull all intact from the inside, no visible cracks, the bilge is completely dry. The keel isn't dented, only surface scratched.

But it's still undeniably damage which is my fault, and the damage deposit is €3500.

My question is: based on the pictures of the keel damage, is it reasonable for a charter company to insist on having the boat pulled out of the water for repairs? What should I reasonably expect to pay for this -- the whole damage deposit?

Thanks for your hopefully reassuring, but otherwise useful in any case, advice.

Cheers.
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post #2 of 48 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Well done getting good photos.

I don't know, but the experts on this forum will help.

Remember that many charter boats are not actually owned by the charter company but owned by normal people that put into charter on an agreement with the charter company. So if you owned the boat and you let someone else use it and they hit a rock, would you require a haul out for an in-depth (great pun! ) inspection?

As you can probably feel, like renting a car etc, they have ways of extracting max dollars from you. You are going to have to be very careful and fight hard not to kiss that Eur 3,500 away!!

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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Sorry to hear the predicament. Unfortunately, I can't see why they wouldn't haul the boat, unless they literally can't.

You may want to hire a local attorney to review your contract, for that kind of money on the line.
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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Unfortunately a haul out is a wise move. Often the damage is at the junction of the keel/keel stub to the canoe body and not visible without close inspection. This is most common at the aft end. Damage may even occur without the surface of the structures being disturbed but structural integrity lost. The involved areas may flex and return to nearly their pregrounding formation but strength lost. Frames and stringers maybe damaged internally. Even in the absence of much noticeable damage to an untrained eye a surveyor may find extensive damage at the haul.
They say itís not if you ever had a grounding but when. So well designed boats are built with this in mind. Unfortunately I know of boats that were considered totaled with no appreciable damage I could discern looking at them from 10í away while they were on jack stands. Cost of repair not considered justified by value of the boat.
Best you could do is be present at the survey or at least read it. Depending on outcome get an independent survey. If in agreement youíre unfortunately out of luck.
Iím much more stressed by coastal sailing. This possibility is one of the reasons why.

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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Assuming you paid for the charter on a credit card, have a look at the insurance coverages offered by your credit card. Often overlooked but very handy, you'd be surprised how much they will cover.
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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Also, it's important to look on the bright side: if you have caused some big damage to the boat you are capped at €3,500, you don't have to manage the repairs, nor ever have to worry if the fix is good.

Boat ownership can be devastating sometimes but you are insulated from it. In this occasion Chartering may have the best outcome.

Good luck.
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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Maybe stay in communication with the charter company to keep tabs on the choices they are making. There may be a choice of where it is hauled. They may haul for longer than needed (to get other stuff done that had nothing to do with the grounding), etc.

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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

I agree with others. They will want to and it will need to be hauled.

However over here in the Med (where was the boat chartered out of? especially in Sicily you could haul and providing damage is just superficial as indicated you should get away with it for less than your 3500.

My whole haulout bill in Malta (dearer than most yards in Sicily) was less than 3500 and it included topside and stainless polishing, anodes a whole month on the hard and a bunch of other things.

I'm sorry you have had this misfortune. Best of luck with the charter company.

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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

Amorous dolphin...?
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Re: Hit a rock with chartered boat in Sardinia

How do you know you did the damage? Maybe it was there before you chartered the boat. Are there pictures of the keel taken before you got on board? I wouldn't volunteer information. Good luck. Yea you bumped into something and you think it was a rock but did you actually see the keel make contact?

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