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Old 24-05-2015, 11:25   #31
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

You need to secure a maritime attorney now. Do not delay as timely action is imparitive. You have been sold a vessel which apparently is not suited for the purpose advertised and intended and one which may compromise your safety. That attorney will probably file an action against the manafacturer under the law relating to specific performance, and secure a certified marine surveyor on your behalf.
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Old 24-05-2015, 11:37   #32
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Vibrations should be addressed first. I Would not accept any explanation that referred to structure settling. That just doesn't pass the smell test.

I did observe a new brand name forty something sail boat that had numerous cracks on the deck just after delivery. The local dealer cut out the whole nonskid on several areas of the deck. The factory molded replacement parts on the production molds and sent a factory tech to supervise the replacement. I'm Not a real fiberglass guy but it looked good to me and the owner seemed happy.
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Old 24-05-2015, 12:02   #33

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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Teak decks, 50 footer and mainstream? That eliminates Hunter and Catalina.

Next clue?
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Old 24-05-2015, 12:16   #34
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Why not reveal the name of the builder, You don't them owe anything they owe you a new boat in a new boat condition,
The builder may like the positive publicity from correcting the defects.
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Old 24-05-2015, 13:17   #35
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Went through this with a boat many years ago. One side of the hull was laid up improperly, only 1/8" thick in some places, structural bulkheads printed through, tremendous flex in hull. Tried not to get an attorney involved and went direct to factory. They agreed to fix the boat, shipped it back to the factory and did a half assed repair job mainly glassing in balsa core stiffeners in a few places. Didn't even attempt to fair out the lumps in the hull from the bulkheads. I was in the Navy at the time and couldn't take the time to inspect boat before they shipped it back. When I contacted them about the improperly done 'repairs', factory claimed boat was totally safe and fit for sea. Finally bit the bullet and hired an attorney. The civil trial dragged on for years. Finally, in the workup of proof on the shoddy build of the boat, hauled it in the biggest yard in the area. Yard was the home of several competing boat manufacturer dealers. We hole sawed maybe ten holes through out that side of the boat and left it sitting in the yard. From here say, reported that companies sales went from tops in the area to virtually zero overnight as all the other boat dealers scared people away from them with the evidence of my boat. Finally, after 2 years, got an offer to pay me 1/2 the cost of the boat, keep the boat and pay my attornies fees. Lawyer advised taking the deal as the cost of a trial, even with 100% victory, would have eaten into any win in court. Took the money, put the boat up for sale for a 50% discount with full disclosure and sold the boat almost immediately. The buyer owned the same model boat but had no equipment on it. He bought the boat for the equipment. Don't know what he did with the hull. Lost the interest I'd paid on the loan to buy the boat but got the initial investment and attornies fees

After that, would never accept repairs from the manufacturer. Get an Attorney immediately and sue to get your money back. Assume the letter of the law would be they have the right to make a repair. If you make it painful enough for them, like hauling the boat in a popular yard and putting a sign on it about their crappy construction, you should get satisfaction.
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
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Old 24-05-2015, 13:23   #36

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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Why not haul the boat out here on CF for all to see complete with pictures. That should make the manufacturer take notice and remedy the situation.
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Old 24-05-2015, 14:21   #37
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Don't be tempted to 'trial' this issue on CF. Not this early in the issue. You will get lots of opinion on CF and advice, which is great, but no one on CF stands to loose anything if they make your case worse for you out of curiosity.

Any sail boat manafacturuer would be following the moment you do and could be looking at the very first excuse they could find to dispute your claim and make slandering them their own claim. So do it properly. It's a warranty claim and whilst they are not disputing that then your problem is being addressed as it should be. It's unfortunate that it's ruining your plans and keeping you hold up whilst it's sorted out, but that's always a risk when buying something new.

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Old 24-05-2015, 14:23   #38
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

As usual some good advice already given.

There are two possibilities: the cracking was related to the vibration, or it wasn't. IMHO if it was related then the vibration may have been from a badly tuned rig, which can pump like crazy. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if the dealer delivered the boat without doing a complete tune. Of course the deck should withstand the mast pumping. Even with a bad gel coat it takes flexing to cause the cracking, which itself is a concern - the deck should be reinforced in way of the traveler and shouldn't be flexing in the mild conditions reported.

If it wasn't related to the vibration then again the deck is not reinforced enough at the traveler, whether or not the gel coat was bad (or too thick). Given the conditions this construction isn't even remotely seaworthy. BTW in this case the vibration may well be from a mis-aligned engine: even if aligned perfectly at the factory, once in the water the boat will change shape slightly and will need to be realigned after a short period of adaptation. The dealer should have aligned the engine after launch, and the owner again a month or two later, or sooner if noticeable vibration.

Gel coat cracking can occur but should never happen this early with such modest loads. As is the fashion, she must be very lightly built, and that would trouble me.

My opinion: push to return the boat for a full refund, getting a lawyer involved if needed. Document all contact with the dealer and manufacturer, including getting signatures for receipt of letters.

There are modern boats built to be seaworthy, but they do cost substantially more than the mainline boats that are built to a price in order to compete in the volume market (largely for bareboat charters). Be aware that price is not any assurance of quality - spending more may not get you that seaworthy boat. You should be talking to a good surveyor for advice.

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Old 24-05-2015, 15:12   #39
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

At this point sir, u need three things on your side to balance the struggles.
Surveyor, insurance company, and good marine attorney. You have no chance of settling this thing correctly until the boat manufacturer understands u will not roll over and accept the scraps off their table. It is always about the money. This is going to get messy IMHO! If it were me I would be looking at every system an structure on this boat. This is really a sad story to hear. Wish u the best of luck. Please keep us in the loop as to your process and outcome.
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Old 24-05-2015, 15:31   #40
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Hi, That's terrible, you must be feeling sick. You NEED to find the vibration first.
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Old 24-05-2015, 15:46   #41
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Simply put you will be NUTS if you don't get a lawyer involved at the very front end of this dispute---that does not mean that the lawyer has to sue or even that he contact the manufacturer---he can stay in the background and advise and guide you which means that the manufacturer may not get alarmed and may be more co-operative---and if things don't work out with the manufacturer then you will at least have a solid factual basis established for your claim (letters, pictures, surveys etc).

You may even want to have your lawyer hire the surveyor (that way the survey results may be privileged as work product in anticipation of litigation)

The biggest problem is having the manufacturer do some repairs which turn out to be unsatisfactory or inadequate and then the manufacturer claims that he did 'fix it' and that you did agree to that 'fix'.

I know of one new boat owner who went through 3 years of trying to have the manufacturer do a succession of inadequate fixes and by the time he got fed up with it the factual trail was so muddied that the claim wasn't worth pursuing.

As for your now wanting to ditch the boat, I suggest you should now shut up and stop posting stuff that might put your 'good faith' claim in contention.

As for the suggestions from some of the others about how you can approach resolving this yourself ---well free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it --
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Old 24-05-2015, 17:12   #42
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

It is a great shame both for your dream and manufactures reputation, there could be a number of parties involved to a claim - meaning supplier of the fiber glass products could be at fault and as well as workmanship.

Bottom line, the manufacture should be insured. Return the boat asks for a replacement on major structural faults. First if possible I would go to the yacht designer and notify them of the faults. As they receive royalties for each boat build of their design they have a lot to lose if a faulty product has their name on it.

IN TURN THE Yacht designers will hold manufactures to a count as it is their reputation and name on the design (This places more presure on the manufacture for a quick solution) As the designer could cancel the manufactures build contract in most cases. I would consult with the designer and establish if the boat is a hazard to life or not on the open ocean in all weather sailing if it is the case then.....

Cheaper then and faster way for a positive solution then using lawyer.

Take the designer assessment to the manufacture and demand a new boat replacement if it is structural or repair if it is superficial gel coat issue and non structural fault.

Be prepared in case you hit a warrantee road block by first hiring a capable Public Relations person that writes boating articles for a living they are ex journalists. Pay them to write up a draft article ready to send to the media with both the boat designers and manufactures names included as well as your experience in dealing trying to hold the manufacture to rectify the problem.

Flag the draft article in front of the manufactures management faces. (Never leave a copy) limit them to 24 hrs to think of an agreeable solution for a problem not of your making.

At this point you should be offered a solution to the problem you’re experiencing on no account should you accept a rebuild if it is a structural problem as your surveyor seems to think. Only a new boat replacement will do.

Why? A repair of the manufactures bad workmanship could remove the warranty responsibility on the original build. The rebuild will change your claim. You could find yourself in for a very unhappy ring around the rosy time messy time of blames and no one responsible. Plus you will suffer a significant devaluation of your boats value because of a structural repair.

If it is a building materials are at fault, it is not your problem, the manufacture can claim recompense from the suppler not you..

If they will not honor their warrantee, remember to go hard no quarter should be given to the manufactures. Push the PR side for all you got on line social media like this is a great leaver to bend them for a resolution.

Build your case with care then you have a far better chance of getting the result you seek.

My hope is you don't have to resort to my suggestions. However my life experence tells me you need to know your options,as using lawyers should be the very last resort.

Best of luck,

Kryg S.V. Skoiern IV
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Old 24-05-2015, 18:01   #43
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

In my view the main issue is the vibrations that are exacerbating the issue.
Have you identified what is causing the vibrations - bent shaft, damaged prop, loose engine mount?
However if these vibrations alone are causing the gel coat to crack then the boat integrity is certainly in question and being a new boat the cost of some lawyer input might be a good investment.
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Old 24-05-2015, 18:36   #44
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Re: 10 hours at sea after handover major problems

I just went back and reviewed the thread. Agree with Colemj: bulkheads are structural and should never move. It could result in a lack of support for the deck (which in turn could result in the vibration), and hence the damage. I suppose a solution is to cut off the deck and fix the bulkhead before putting a new deck on, but you do not want to be part of that program. The result will be to lose at least the summer, and you will have a repaired boat. Stand your ground and demand either your money back or immediate delivery of a replacement boat (and let them take the hit trying to sell the repaired boat). Personally I wouldn't want anything but my money back; I'd demand it and if it wasn't forthcoming then immediately hire a lawyer.

Good lawyerly advice to not post anything else until you have resolved the issue - you never know what can be used against you. While our (free) advice might not affect matters, your comments could be detrimental to your interests. As they say in the TV cop shows: say nothing without your lawyer present.
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Old 24-05-2015, 19:43   #45
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10 hours at sea after handover major problems

Sounds bad mate, sorry for the hassles, it must be a hard time. Unfortunately the money back or replacement yacht doesn't nearly cover the costs of lost time, probably lost cruising time, changing plans. Maybe the OP took a years sabbatical and waiting another 6 months for a replacement, or even a full refund just won't work. So it may be tempting to have them fix er up and sailaway, but stress fractures after a days sailing!? Either it's an under designed prototype or dodgy materials used in the gel coat or layup. Either way patching won't fix it, you will just notice more and more cracks in every part of the deck as time goes by. The yacht will devalue more than a sister ship without the issues. I guess it's in France so taking legal action as a foreigner would be a nightmare and expecting much in the way of customer service is likely to be frustrating as well. There's usually a broker between the buyer and builder, so he is your best bet, the end of the day the builder is his bread and butter...
The only other player is your insurance company who may be worth contacting. At least they have the means for a legal battle, but getting them interested would be another story.
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