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Old 25-04-2016, 07:26   #16
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

Lessons:

1: Automatic bilge pumps need to be sized to keep up with your most plausible failure. Water cooling pipe shear at the hull penetration would be one to worry about.
Even better is 2X the worst case pipe shear. THEN have aux "trash" (can handle junk going through the impeller) pumps of even higher capacity.

In the Navy we had air operated diaphragm emergency dewatering pumps that could "eat" a 55 gal drum of baseballs in seconds without slowing down. If it fit through the intake hose, it shot out the discharge.

2: Periodic checking of pumps and bilge cleaning is important to ensure they will work if needed.

3: If you are sinking... BEACH IT. It can't go down more if the keel is on the bottom.

4: Insurance companies are in business to take your money and avoid paying.

**************

First goal is helping prevent others from sinking. People can die from that. I'm mostly glad you aren't talking about loss of life.

Often the lessons are not learned without the example of why its important. Half of our training material in "casualty control" was descriptions of how things went wrong.

It doesn't feel good to be the example... But let some good come from it.
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Old 25-04-2016, 07:53   #17
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Older, badly designed vessels maybe. My boat's exhaust port is above the water line at rest, and the exhaust hose forms a syphon break too. I thought those were basic design principles, of a waterlift muffler system.
Yes I am a bit confused by the problem reported. The only boats I recall with exhaust below the waterline are boats with I/O sterndrives that exhaust through the prop hub. Even if the exhaust on the OP's boat was close to the waterline seems like a lot of water to slosh in and sink a boat that size in 30 minutes.
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Old 25-04-2016, 09:37   #18
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

i inspect my exhaust system regularly as i know it is a boat sinker.
always be aware that older boats have different issues than do newer ones. they look prettier and have different issues.
good luck.
oh yeah crash pumps or larger capacity bilge pumps...and a massive hand pump in cockpit to augment the bucket when scared man doesnt wanna swim.
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Old 25-04-2016, 19:59   #19
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

HI Guys

Thanks for all the responses.

The Insurer is Club Marine, whom I have found to be excellent in the past with not only their service but understanding of a problem I had in the past when my Bimini top blew off in a freak gust of wind -120KPH - whilst moored at Rottnest Island a couple of years ago.

I am a qualified motor mechanic, have worked as a diesel fitter in mining camps, have ended up being the general maintenance welder on an oil rig and at 23 years of age, was in charge of over 50 guys on a LPG site in Algeria as 'Chef de Transport'.

In over thirty years of boating I have resurrected a 28' wooden boat, built a 40' fibreglass kit boat and until just recently, was doing up the beautiful Lady Anne as a project which I knew would take me well into my dotage.

I would therefore say I am a 'competent person' when moving around a vessel.

I moved the bed in the master cabin over to the centre six months ago and when I dismantled the cupboards which were built over the exhaust, managed to get my rather thin arm down behind the muffler and felt underneath for any wear and tear. It was damp, which I thought was condensation, but there was no 'flaking' which is common with cast iron when it starts to deteriorate.

To look at the muffler from the top it looks like it was the day it was installed.

We now know that the muffler was resting on a scalloped cross beam with no padding under the muffler to stop the vibrations so created a weak spot right where it sat. The engines when started - blew out the muffler.

Via my broker, we are challenging the insurance company's ruling, but was hoping some other frustrated sailor out there had already gone down this rather debilitating road and would be able to give us a few tips.

After loosing all in my home in the Yarloop Fires at the beginning of the year - this has been an 'annus horribilus' for me.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Cheers

gbmacca
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Old 25-04-2016, 20:09   #20
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

We can discuss the why's and wherefore's of why the boat sank but bottom line, from the information here it sounds like the insurance company is trying to duck out on their responsibility.

Forget asking advice on the internet. There's too much at stake here. Get a local lawyer with experience in insurance and marine insurance if possible.

It does indeed sound like you had a very bad year. Hope the next one is a bit better. By the way, did insurance pay when you lost your house?
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Old 25-04-2016, 20:13   #21
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

Oh yeah,
The muffler was a 'sausage' type with the outlet half an inch above water level, but on closer inspection, the very bottom of the muffler would have been below water level.

I keep my bilge both clean and clear of debris as there is always a little paint flake and oil after a run as the Detroits are quite messy, But as they say -' if they're not leaking - then beware!'

My lowest bilge pump, on a still day, would go off every two hour for 10 seconds and expel a litre or two of water. Not bad for a wooden boat.

In over 30 years of boating I had never heard of exhausts failing - legs yes - but the 82 year old salvage guy said 60% of older boats which he raised, were sunk due to exhaust problems.

We are sure the insures would have known of this ------

Cheers

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Old 25-04-2016, 20:23   #22
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

Yes, I did get insurance back on the house but as it was originally a kit tin shed which I had built myself, then converted into a beautiful little home, with kitchen, lounge etc plus a long verandah looking down the valley to a constantly flowing bubbling brook, all the improvements I had made over a 15 year period were certainly not covered.

Plus a $15k 4x4 tractor which from the way i had always chained it up to avoid theft, was not insured.

Yes, luck has never seemed to go my way. As my lovely dear departed mother once said to me 'Graeme you are that unlucky - if it was raining film stars ----- you would get Lassie!'

Cheers

That was my fault!
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Old 25-04-2016, 21:04   #23
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbmacca View Post
HI Guys

Thanks for all the responses.

The Insurer is Club Marine, whom I have found to be excellent in the past with not only their service but understanding of a problem I had in the past when my Bimini top blew off in a freak gust of wind -120KPH - whilst moored at Rottnest Island a couple of years ago.


Any advice greatly appreciated.

Cheers

gbmacca

Oh how did I know it would be that insurer ?
I am going through a similar problem with them right now, another vessel broke it's mooring and damaged my vessel, they believe that it's not their problem ! GRRRR
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Old 26-04-2016, 00:58   #24
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

I don't know if it still exists but there used to be an insurance ombudsman one could appeal to before going the lawyer route.


Due diligence is an aspect of many insurance policies but from your description the part where the hole blew through is not visually or otherwise "inspectable" and if there are no other signs of corrosion the problem would not be apparent to a normal visual inspection, get a marine surveyor to have a look at it and if it is the case give you a report including a statement to this effect.


Insurance companies rely upon the reports of assessors or loss adjusters, if you can get a report which rejects the assessors or loss adjusters opinion you may be able to get the underwriter to change their minds. If you used a broker to place the policy and can get the broker on side they may also be of assistance.


Demand from them, which particular clause of the policy they are using to reject your claim, post it here and let us take a look at it. Also a photo would not hurt.


As when dealing with a snark, "do all that you know and try all that you don't, not a chance must be wasted today."
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Old 26-04-2016, 01:32   #25
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Oh how did I know it would be that insurer ?
I am going through a similar problem with them right now, another vessel broke it's mooring and damaged my vessel, they believe that it's not their problem ! GRRRR
Are they your carrier or the carrier for the moored vessel that broke loose?

Also curious as to whether the carrier required any inspection at all before binding coverage on this wood hull vessel in the original post.

As has been said due diligence on the carriers part would require that some certification or inspection be obtained, otherwise it would seem that they would have no intention to pay claims anyway. Of course then the onus of competency would then be shifted to the vessel owner in obtaining this inspection or report unless a list of approved vendors was supplied by the insurance broker.

Good Luck and hope things look up.
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Old 26-04-2016, 21:19   #26
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Re: Fair wear and tear

An interesting read (who reads the fine print) on my insurance policy with regard to the blown exhaust which caused my boat to sink.

It is an Insurance Company's duty to make disclosure if they know of previous damage similar to what has caused yours - "that we know, or in the ordinary course of business as an insurer, ought to know".

Would this imply that over a 30 odd year period of supplying marine insurance here in Australia, if they know of a potential problem a vessel may have due to design or age, that they have a lawful right to inform you of this and so indemnify themselves if you do not comply with their request to specifically repair/modify/inspect on a regular basis the possible latent design or wear area?

Has anyone out there had a similar claim?

Cheers

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Old 26-04-2016, 21:29   #27
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

Hi Bob,

Yes a survey was required before insurance was extended and although I had an extensive one - 6 odd hours - done in Seattle, they needed one done again here in Australia.

Sadly, as the exhausts had been built over by cupboards in the master suite and even when removed were extremely hard - read impossible - to inspect their bottoms. so the surveyors were unable to get into that part of the exhaust to inspect properly.

I would suggest that the insurance company would ahve had several similar claims over the years and failed - as was their duty - to ensure that a specific inspection was made to that part of the vessel before extending insurance to me.

Cheers

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Old 26-04-2016, 22:46   #28
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

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Originally Posted by undercutter View Post
Are they your carrier or the carrier for the moored vessel that broke loose?

Also curious as to whether the carrier required any inspection at all before binding coverage on this wood hull vessel in the original post.

As has been said due diligence on the carriers part would require that some certification or inspection be obtained, otherwise it would seem that they would have no intention to pay claims anyway. Of course then the onus of competency would then be shifted to the vessel owner in obtaining this inspection or report unless a list of approved vendors was supplied by the insurance broker.

Good Luck and hope things look up.
They are the carrier for the other party.
After past experience with Allianz I would not spend a cent with them !
Funny isn't it how decisions made years ago are often reaffirmed.
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Old 26-04-2016, 22:46   #29
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

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Older, badly designed vessels maybe. My boat's exhaust port is above the water line at rest, and the exhaust hose forms a syphon break too. I thought those were basic design principles, of a waterlift muffler system.
This is a large power boat. No waterlift muffler.
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Old 26-04-2016, 22:47   #30
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Re: Older Vessels Beware!

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Pantaenius is the Insurance company. Underwritten by Lloyd's of course.

They were not the cheapest but they have a very good reputation. Also, they agree on a hull value when binding the policy (comprehensive) and apparently do not quibble after the fact about writing the cheque if there is a whole loss of the vessel.

Of course they also required a satisfactory survey and upon renewal they required us to obtain a rig report so they do cover their arse.
Probably wouldn't touch a 1960s boat based on past experience with them.
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