Mark, I fully appreciate the meaning of the term 'write-off', but having owned a steel boat I have some knowledge of not only the ease, but also of the cost of repairs
. The hull
is apparently still water-tight and consequently, the underbody damage is likely relatively insignificant. Ultimately, all that is required is to haul it and cut out the plates that are badly distorted, as well as the damaged sections of the stringers and frames. Weld in new metal, sandblast, prime and then fair in the repair as required. The boat looks as if it were originally painted by roller, so the cost of painting an entire side of the boat is insignificant. Remember also, there is no hull/deck joint that needs exacting repairs
(such as with frp), no toerail, no molded inner liner. Lets say $15,000.00 conservatively for the repairs to the hull
. If they can weld themselves or hire their own welder and do the grinding/painting themselves, WAY less.
As to the interior, remember that the interior in a steel boat is not structural. They can spend as much or little as they wish, depending upon the materials and quality of joinerwork requested. But if it means proceeding on their trip rather than losing the boat, I'm sure they could put up with painted plywood
in the small area of damage with perhaps some wood trim. Who knows, that could very well be the existing interior finish.
Finally, a new mast
and most new standing rigging
(and it seems they still have the lower shrouds, turnbuckles etc.), $10,000.00 - again conservatively. Way less if it is, as it appears, simply an aluminum
pole with an external sail track.
The point is that even if they have everything done professionally, I can't imagine total repair costs exceeding $30,000.00. As a result, I don't believe that the boat is a 'write-off'. This is particularly so since they had apparently equipped it for an extended offshore cruise
I guess they (and the owners of other steel boats) could also take some comfort from Bernard Moitessier, who's steel hulled Joshua was pounded against the shore off Cabo San Lucas by other yachts during a hurricane
. When the boat was pumped out and refloated, even though both sides were heavily damaged, the shrouds were merely shortened and portlights
repaired for the transatlantic crossing back to France
. Moitessier was quoted as saying that the boat probably sailed better to windward as the sheeting angles were now narrower!
Anyway, it they don't mind sailing a steel boat that looks a little battle weary, crude repairs could no doubt be effected by even inexperienced welders very cheaply. I truly hope that this is not the end of their dream.