I've already posted this on the SSCA site but for the sake of those that are not SSCA Members and may have an interest in the outcome, we finally collected HyLyte from Snead Island Boat Works on Saturday morning and had a nice, albeit short, trip back to our Club with a much more easily handled yacht thanks to a proper rudder and smooth bottom.
The portion of our bill concerning the rudder repairs
included $701.50 for labor and about $350.00 for materials--somewhat less than I had expected but still not inexpensive. (I suspect that SIBW did give me something of a break on the repair as the yard is not inexpensive but they are not likely to admit to that least they have to extend the courtesy to others.)
As to collecting anything from Foss Foam I am told that the head
of SIBW spoke with Foss at some length but was rebuffed. Foss's warranty is for 12 months which expired in May of '03. I discussed the matter with another member
of our Club, a legal
beagle that specializes in such affairs, and was advised that Florida
is a particularly difficult venue for recovery. Firstly, Florida's consumer protection laws specifically exclude yachts. Secondly, if I were to prevail in an action, I could only collect the actual amount paid to the vendor for his/her/its services as consequential damages--i.e. the cost of work performed by SIBW and shipping
charges--are specifically excluded from recovery. Thirdly, I would have to prove that the collapse of the foam was due to a manufacturing defect that was "known to; or reasonably knowable by" the vendor and undisclosed in the event and a propensity of the foam to shrink under certain conditions, which is warned against by the vendor, is not necessarily a manufacturing defect but simply a property of the material (like the shrinkage of new blue-jeans).
In light of the foregoing it seems we're stuck serving as a costly object lesson as to Foss Foam for others.
FWIW I did look into the cost of a replacement rudder built around our own rudder post and armature by Phils Foils, as suggested in another thread, and it seems that vendor has a similar disclaimer regarding the foam coring. However, another friend of ours does have one of their rudders of similar age to ours with no problems thus far.
And that's the end of the story...