SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, here's an note I hoped I'd never post. Last Friday, my boat (1998 Catalina 36) sank. It was launched on Friday and the yard didn't check the strainer. I got the call on Saturday morning. The yard is accepting responsibility. They've contacted their insurance agent and will be making a claim.

During the sinking, the boat was tied in a slip. When I got to the marina, the boat had already been pumped out and the leak was stopped. As far as I could ascertain, the boat was listing to bow and starboard before she was pumped. The deck in front of the mast was submerged. The cockpit was dry.

Down below, the water reached the top of the hanging lockers and cabinets in the main cabin. All electrical componants were submerged. I think the water covered most of the engine but there was no fuel or oil leak. The yard had the engine running and was tending to it throughout the day.

I've hired a surveyor to do a damage assessment and yard's insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to do the same. Although my surveyor hasn't examined the boat, he suspects the boat should be totaled. I'm concered the yard's insurance company will elect to fix the boat.

I'm sure, unfortunately, that this has happened to others and I was hoping to get some advice about what to look out for, especailly any experience any has with dealing with insurance companies during instances like this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,828 Posts
It's a shame about your boat. Good thing is the yard is accdepting responsibility. I am always present for the launch. For the very reason you mention..........i2f
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,856 Posts
Greg, I am sorry to hear of this.

I have been through some what simular as my boat was invoked in a collision (Not my fault). So far you are doing everything you can. Depending on the state you are located, the marina insurance may want to get things done fast as they can be on the hook for interest. I would advise that you do not let anyone start taking about FINIAL Settlement amounts until the boat is on the hard and the cabins and everything is opened up. In my case, the other guys company kept coming with a different figure each week. But every time we disassemble a cabinet or looked behind something more damage was found.


Do NOT Trust the repair estimates that a surveyor (his or yours) may tell you. In my case they offer me $6,000 and told me I should be happy with it. When thing were all said and done there were $45,000 of repairs made. You need to find a repair yard to come out also and give you an estimate. It is those guys that have a better understanding of man hours and materials.

If I can be of help to you, please let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
Yikes!!

I assume she sank in salt water given your location?

How long was she down?

Issues that I would look out for is wiring, fuel, residual salt water on block, all cushions and fabric replaced, electronics, windlass (if you have one).

THe bulkhead on your baot is a marine grade plywood with teak veneer. My uneducated guess it that, depending on how long she was down, you may be allright there. The veneer might peel though. We have had that issue on a couple of Catalinas. You can replace the bulkhead in that boat - but it is a moderatle expensive ordeal. As I recall, we had one replaced for about $15k.

Depending on how long she was down, the damage may not be as bad as you might think. I know your boat pretty well. The cabinetry is a minimum veneered teak, the faces and front of doors are solid teak, there is a fair amount of fiberglass, the hull is solid glass and decks cored, but I doubt she was down long enough for intrusion into the coring, the flooring on that model is a varnished/coated mg plywood with thick veneer. If it was necessary (which I doubt), all that can be replaced new from Catalina.

Like I said, just knowing the boat and making the assumption she was not sitting on the bottom too long, I would think she was salvageable. I would ballpark value that boat in the 70-80'k's. I believe a friend of mine sold is 2003ish for right at 100k, so this is a wild guess depending on what you had on it. I figure they can have that boat up and running for well less than value.

My only concern about repairing the boat is disclosure should you wish to sell her in the future. I would think you would have to disclose that she sank which might make selling her in the future difficult and likely under value for the boat. That will be something you will need to discuss with the yard, surveyor, and adjuster. I would think they would need to compensate you considerably in some way for that.

I do remember talk of a boat that sank here not long ago of a lot of wrangling about the value and how it would be handled. Seems I remember the insurance company kept coming in way low. They also went back to them several times as I recall as other items came up. I am not blaming the insurance company. THey are simply looking at numbers and value to repair versus total value of vessel. But you need to have your act together and be ready to discuss all these things before they arrive. A solid check list and walk through the boat would help. Hopefully I have given you some ideas.

- CD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
Greg, I am sorry to hear of this.

I have been through some what simular as my boat was invoked in a collision (Not my fault). So far you are doing everything you can. Depending on the state you are located, the marina insurance may want to get things done fast as they can be on the hook for interest. I would advise that you do not let anyone start taking about FINIAL Settlement amounts until the boat is on the hard and the cabins and everything is opened up. In my case, the other guys company kept coming with a different figure each week. But every time we disassemble a cabinet or looked behind something more damage was found.


Do NOT Trust the repair estimates that a surveyor (his or yours) may tell you. In my case they offer me $6,000 and told me I should be happy with it. When thing were all said and done there were $45,000 of repairs made. You need to find a repair yard to come out also and give you an estimate. It is those guys that have a better understanding of man hours and materials.

If I can be of help to you, please let me know.
There you go.... someone that has been there. You might also take a look at Mike's (Bubb2's) location in the country - nudge, nudge. Mike is a great guy.

- CD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
You should think about having an attorney on this job just to make sure your rights are all covered. It's not that you need one to try to screw the yard or the insurance company, but just to make sure that you aren't getting screwed.
Mike
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
993 Posts
Just curious, what yard was it???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you....

for the kind words of sympathy and advice. To answer a few questions, the boat was under salt water for approximately 12 - 18 hours.

Regarding value, I see that similarly equiped boats are on the market for between 80 - 110. The lower range appear to be boats with many more hours on them, and the more expensive boats are a little newer. My boat was well equiped (Tall Rig, AC, Radar/Chart Plotter (new in '08), wind, depth, speed, canvas package, windlass, low hours, winter cover, etc.). What I don't know is what the spread is on asking price of these boats vs what they actually sell for. If I had my boat on the market, pre sinking, I would guess we'd list her for around 100k, and hope to get 90k.

I think the best for me, and what get's me back on the water as quickly as possible, is for the boat to be totaled and I go buy another. The other option, which I'm afraid of, is that the insurance company says the boat can be fixed. I have to wait X weeks for the repairs to be completed, with the possibility of missing the sailing season altogether. In addition, I'd have to worry about future problems and resale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,856 Posts
I am going to assume that you own insurance co. is involved also. If not give them a call. As far as the total goes! In my boat policy, I had to be with in 80% of value in order to have my boat totaled. In your case that would be $80,000. That my friend, can pay for lots of repairs. Especially that you don't have structural problems.

In my case I had a buyer that made a offer on my boat "as is" and then I could have taken the Insurance money and bought a different boat. However, most of my damage was cosmetic and lots of man hours. I would have not broke even.


Decreased sale value is something I don't think the insurance co. will talk to you about (they would not talk to me about it) as they feel it once the boat is fixed it is as good as new and how do you put a figure on it. Are you selling next year or 10 years from now and it would depend on the buyer also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
No great advice, but condolences -- I am sure you were looking forward to the season, and there is an attachment to a boat that can't be expressed in monetary terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Strainer?

Sorry to hear about your difficulties, can you tolorate a newbie question, what is a strainer? I had my launch done around the same time, I had closed the seacocks for my head intake and engine intake. While I didn't have any problems, I was not aware of a "strainer" that I should have closed?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
Greg,

I read and responded to your post on the C36IA list. Really sorry you are going through this but I agree the best thing that could happen would be for you to get a check and the insurance company take your boat. If they don't total it, I think you can pretty well write off this season. In this market your money may go a good deal further than when when you bought your current boat. Since your boat sounds like she was in good shape prior to the sinking and she wasn't submerged for long she could be a good project for someone, but hopefully it will be someone that takes the project on knowingly and not you having it handed to you by an incompetent yard worker.

As I mentioned in my response to you on the C36 list, I was very nearly in the exact same situation despite several discussions with my boat yard requesting they carefully check my through hulls since I had done some work on one over the winter. The one I worked on didn't leak, but the yard didn't check the the AC through hull, and it was fortunately left closed. When I opened it, the boat started flooding through the unsecured strainer. Its just pure luck the through hull they overlooked was closed otherwise my boat could have gone to the bottom as well.

Perhaps the instruction here is delay your launch until you can be on the boat, even if it means loosing a week or two on the water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,303 Posts
Sorry to hear about your difficulties, can you tolorate a newbie question, what is a strainer? I had my launch done around the same time, I had closed the seacocks for my head intake and engine intake. While I didn't have any problems, I was not aware of a "strainer" that I should have closed?

Thanks
A strainer is an inline device to catch any debris that enters through a through hull. They don't open or close like a through hull, but do have an opening, so you can clean the screen periodically. With the through hull closed, you can open the strainer and clean it with no leak. Open the strainer with the through hull open and its just like taking the hose off the through hull.

I don't know what other systems they might be installed on, but its common to have them on the AC system, so you don't get jellyfish or what not in the AC system.
 

·
ASA and PSIA Instructor
Joined
·
4,299 Posts
I would concur with the advice to get out of the boat as a total loss and move on. With any luck you could have a new boat and be sailing by June, otherwise it's maybe next year and the sunk boat will never, ever be right again.

I also say to get a lawyer on this job, who can help you press for a total loss and for establishing full value of the boat...realize that an insurance company calling the boat a total loss, then moves onto the question of compensation...here, the yard, their insurance company and your own insurance company, depending on what end's up in whose lap, will all push to pay minimum dollar. I believe the bottom number with your own company would be the "insured value", depending on when you put the insurance in place you may or may not like that number. If you have receipts for recent work, new sails, etc., you may be able to get them grossed up into the value...this is where I'd look for th lawyer to earn his/her keep, is not in fault-finding but in how to work the system to get the most money into your pocket, which is sadly the only care you now have regarding your lovely boat.

PS - when i had my first boat many years ago, I waited impatiently for the yard to launch her...they had some bad weather..people out sick...they promised to call me when she went in. Anyway on the day of the third postponement I decided to take a friend down to the yard to see my little dream, a diamond I had crafted via 20-30 days of labor from a tattered hulk. Anyway, when we got to the yard at 8pm, my cradle was empty, the boat was down at the end of the pier, everyone was gone, and I could see she was floating a foot below the waterline. When I got onboard I found water pouring in through a split under a bend in the head overboard hose. If I had not happened to make that trip, I would have ended up with the same call as you. Many boatyards are owned and staffed by people with the IQ of monkeys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I would second the opinion of having a lawyer involved. Yes, the sharks get a bad rap, but sadly insurance companies only sit up and take notice when they are dealing with an attorney. If your boat is totaled and you get a decently negotiated settlement, there's a chance you can make an offer to purchase it back for salvage value and then perform the repairs on your own dime.
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top