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Old 13-04-2016, 09:11   #1
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Ran aground during sea trial..

Hi everyone, looking for other perspectives in this issue. So after finally getting to the last stage in the purchase of our first boot, we went out (the seller, a surveyor and myself) on a sea trial. We were just motoring happily out of the harbour and the boat hit something or the ground itself while the seller was at the helm (lucky for me it wasn't me driving!) the boat lurched violently forward and came to a stop (I assume the seller immediately pulled the engine into neutral).. It was violent enough for us to lose our balance on the deck.

So after that the surveyor looked in the bilge etc and nothing seems to be broken.. He tried to assuede my fears pointing out that these things happen and it is not the end of the world.. The boat (a contessa 32) is of a solid construction where the keel is one with the hull, etc etc.. Yes there might be some scratches down there but this is not a reason to run away scared looking for cover..

That might all be the case but still .. As a non expert and new sailor buying his first boat, the idea of running aground is of something one doesn't take lightly. The surveyor said the only way to know is of course to pull the boat again out of the water (that part was already done :-( ) .. This would be of course a pain in ze arsch and he seems to think if it was him he'd just check it out the next time in a few months when the boat comes off the water and if need be patch up what might have gotten scratched and move on with his life..

What do you folks think? Would it be unreasonable to pull off of the deal cause of this event unless the seller did something to make sure al is kosher down there? Everything else has already been settled and the seller is on the ball so I am not looking to take advantage of the situation but to be fair while at the same time protecting my interests. So I am thinking the options are:

1. Run away fast looking for cover. The boat ran aground.. Game over

2. Demand that the seller pays for pulling the boat out of the water once more and that he makes any repairs that might be necessary. If he refuses, walk away.

3. Offer the seller to still buy the boat but knock off something off the price to account for a possible future fix..

4 Meh.. It really is not the end of the world kid. Don't be a pussy. If this would have happened yesterday when you were not around, you would be nonethewiser. Next time you pull it off, clean it up, let it dry, patch it up and done.

5. Something else?

Opine away! Thx!


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Old 13-04-2016, 09:13   #2
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

It is worrying you, so I would recommend you pay to pull it and take a look. Since it is a Contessa 32, I bet you can't see any damage whatsomever. Then you will have peace of mind, and a sweet sailboat.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:19   #3
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

Hire a local diver to inspect, cheaper than a haul out. or stick a go pro camera on a pole and take a look for yourself.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:23   #4
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

This happened in the Netherlands, right? Where were you sailing?
Chances are pretty good all you hit was sand ...

It really doesn't have to be a big deal - boats do run aground, and sailors who say they never did either never leave the marina or they're telling tales

I doubt there's any more damage then what the surveyor said (did you hire Olav Cox?) and it's nothing the boat shouldn't be able to handle without issue.

You said the surveyor had already checked below the waterline when she was on the hard, so you know there were no issues prior - hence, nothing the boat can't handle.

If you're really concerned, you could do a quick haul and check (boat can just stay in the crane) but personally, I wouldn't worry about it. Especially not if it was indeed Olav who was with you.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:27   #5
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

This is where it pays to have a wetsuit or even better, a drysuit! I take it you don't have that though so yeah, I agree with the waterproof camera on a pole. And if you do that duct tape that sucker up and tie a couple of lines to it cause GoPro uses cheapp brittle plastic and it LOVES to break and leave your camera as a conversation piece for the local fish.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:42   #6
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

Have the boat re-hauled again (at the seller's expense) just to check. Sure, it might be nothing - but what if he's hit something solid and caused a crack? You don't want that on your dime...

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Old 13-04-2016, 09:45   #7
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

A few comments:

1. It's a legal question, so you'd need a qualified lawyer for a definitive answer, but it would be a very unusual situation (contract? legislation?) if you did not have the legal right to walk away if you suspect the boat may be damaged. And a moral right -- definitely.

2. To answer the question of whether the boat is damaged or not, you need a good surveyor who really understands GRP structures. The boat needs to be out of the water and needs to be inspected carelly. I would ask the seller to pay for this. This is the kind of thing good surveyors really earn their money. Get a written report and insist that the position is unambiguous -- not "it looks like maybe no damage" but "there IS no damage" (or there is damage, if there is any).

3. Contessas are built very strong, and it is very unlikely that running aground in sand or mud caused any damage. It's not a disaster in any case -- happens all the time. HOWEVER, a hard grounding is, well, a hard grounding, so you do really need to be sure, hence 2 above. Failure to inspect thoroughly after a hard grounding killed the crew of Cheeki Raffiki, and doubtless other boats as well.

4. Chips, scratches, gouges in GRP are no big deal. That is not what you're worried about. Concentrate on the structure. If I'm not mistaken, Contessas have encapsulated ballast, so it's really very unlikely that there's any problem.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:45   #8
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

Do you know how many times the seller had hit that bottom before? This was probably not his first time. If so, you had observed the bottom prior to sea trial so most likely not a big deal anyway. But I would just in case either hire a diver or do the GoPro look-see as others have recommended.

Sand/soft bottom groundings (if it is a sand/soft bottom) are highly overrated, especially for full keeled boats. Think of bilge keeled boats grounding twice a day for years/decades.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:51   #9
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Do you know how many times the seller had hit that bottom before? This was probably not his first time. If so, you had observed the bottom prior to sea trial so most likely not a big deal anyway. But I would just in case either hire a diver or do the GoPro look-see as others have recommended.

Sand/soft bottom groundings (if it is a sand/soft bottom) are highly overrated, especially for full keeled boats. Think of bilge keeled boats grounding twice a day for years/decades.
Contessa 32 is not full keel, but a sweet fin keel boat, extraordinary performer for the era. Very popular and surprisingly expensive even today. I think they're even being built again, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:00   #10
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

I suspect you'd be hard pressed to find a sailboat that is more than 10-years old that has not run aground several times. You just happened to be a witness this time.
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:05   #11
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

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Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
If you're really concerned, you could do a quick haul and check (boat can just stay in the crane) but personally, I wouldn't worry about it. Especially not if it was indeed Olav who was with you.

Yes :-) .. Olav is a great guy and as I said he shrugged it off pretty much like you just did.. It happens.. I wouldn't worry too much about it kind of thing. Still like he also said , the only way to know for sure if that is worrying me is to haul it off to see it again or go diving ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle stinkybob View Post
Hire a local diver to inspect, cheaper than a haul out. or stick a go pro camera on a pole and take a look for yourself.

We thought about that.. But the water is pea soup.. The boat is currently in an inland lake... And yes in the Netherlands so not particularly bath water temperature.

My wife is freaking out which is probably the normal thing to do when one is not an experienced sailor like us.. Bumping into things is just not something one would instinctively say "no biggie" to




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Old 13-04-2016, 10:06   #12
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Contessa 32 is not full keel, but a sweet fin keel boat, extraordinary performer for the era. Very popular and surprisingly expensive even today. I think they're even being built again, if I'm not mistaken.
Thank you, I stand corrected.

To OP:

What was the speed you were going at when you grounded?
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:07   #13
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

Gee everyone runs aground. Myself I sometimes do it on purpose just to clean the barnacles off the bottom.

Sand will stop you in a heart beat, but other then a light sanding to the bottom paint it's nothing to worry about. Rock would be a bigger issue. Mud is a non issue.
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:08   #14
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Re: Ran aground during sea trial..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Thank you, I stand corrected.



To OP:



What was the speed you were going at when you grounded?

Hmm .. Well max speed on that boat was 5.5kts as we tested the motor balls to the wall.. At the time we were just cruising .. 3kts I would guesstimate?


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Old 13-04-2016, 10:15   #15
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Ran aground during sea trial..

I should add the main question is, whether the consensus really is: "sheez boy.. Everyone runs aground.. Arrrrhh.. " With a pipe to one side of the mouth ??


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