Yacht Surveyor #2
I have found a well regarded yacht surveyor. David specialises in damage assessment and structural repairs of GRP yachts (plus boat construction in general). Given the extensive damage to the hull, the deck to hull joint, and the frames I decided to ask for exert help. This time I want a yacht survey done that focusses on the damage, with a recommendation and report for repairs.
The last post examined the condition of the shell and detailed the damage to the frames. Since then I have also taken a look at the deck around the area of impact. I noticed something else that didn’t look quite right; there seems to be a slight buckle in the deck where the toe rail has been pushed in. I am concerned that the deck may have buckled upwards due to the lateral forces from the impact. If this is the case, then my guess is the entire hull structure is completely compromised (other words came to mind there).
Removing the teak
I removed just over one metre of the teak to expose the deck underneath. The teak did not come up nicely; there was a lot of crazing and damage to the gel coat where the teak strips had been pried off. The good news is that the only damage done to the deck was due to the action of removing the teak. The deck appears to be sound and not buckled after all.
With the teak strips removed further inspection of the damaged toe rail is now possible. A split ran along the toe rail for a length of about 1.2 metres. This was obviously where a lot of the water ingress was coming from. I imagine there must be water in the core also. Fortunately the Hallberg-Rassy use a plastic type honeycomb structure for the core; hopefully this should withstand water damage better than balsa or hardwood coring.
Finally a detailed yacht survey and damage assessment can be done now that all compromised areas are exposed. I met David and Martin (the GRP repairs specialist) on site and we spent four hours going over things. David has a very sharp eye – he asked Martin to remove the antifouling in five places along the turn of the keel because he thought something did not look right. Patches of filler soon appeared where Martin scraped back layers of antifouling, Apparently these lines of filler coincided with where Wanda would make contact with ground, were she beached and lying on her side. The visible patches of filler along the water line also supported the theory that she had been beached at some stage.
Wanda clearly had not had a great life, she must have broken free of her moorings and beached herself at some stage. Then on a separate occasion she has been pummelled against a pontoon during a hurricane. I thought of the three occasions I had prepared my last yacht in Hong Kong for typhoons; you do everything you can to secure your yacht, but no matter how well you prepare, there is always the chance that a less-prepared neighbour’s yacht will come adrift and take yours out in the process. It seemed Wanda was more likely to have been one of those. My heart sank when David asked which insurance company would be paying for the repairs….
I left David to it and went off for some quiet reflection. I think David must have noticed my despondence; he was more upbeat after he completed the yacht survey. The feedback was that all of the structural and cosmetic damage could be repaired. David believed the damage to be relatively localised; overall everything could be restored to a good state. Most of the expense would be getting the cosmetics right; once new fibreglass had been laid up fairing it back to perfect shape takes up a lot of labour and money. All of the internal damaged frames could be repaired fairly easily, and the deck was relatively sound.
Unfortunately though David needs to see more of the shell. I will need to remove the fuel tank from the port side settee and also remove the holding tank in the heads. Currently he can not get to these areas of the shell, and he wants to make sure they are sound. I will need to come back to complete these tasks. Once that is complete David will be able to complete the yacht survey and damage assessment. He will then provide a report outlining how best to approach the GRP repairs.