December 17, 2009

Buoy vs Bertram?

Update 2. Friday 22nd January 2010
Bertram has sent a new letter to its friends saying the following that the caption accompanying underwater photographs posted on one website (Yachtforum) claims that the images were taken from a video of the boat shot on November 11, just a few days after the sinking. These photos depicting dramatic damage to the sunken boat have been used to cast doubt on the possibility the sinking was caused by a collision and to support a number of negative theories about the quality of Bertram.  The fact is the sunken boat was not even located until two weeks later on November 24 by a crew contracted by the owners.  It was found 1.5 miles from the point of its sinking.  Between the date of the incident and when the images were captured after November 24 there was a significant tropical storm in the area with very strong winds and violent currents with the strength to toss such a wreck about and move it some distance from where it sank.  Bertram also added damage to the yacht depicted in the underwater photographs taken after 24th November is totally inconsistent with the detailed description of the sinking boat provided by the captain during an interview after the incident of 6th November. The plaintiff also stated its first public statements on 14th January confirming that the Sportfish Yacht was pre-purchase surveyed, that they where the first retail owners, that MarineMax arranged for the yacht delivery from New York to West Palm Beach, that the Captain denies hitting an object, that before the sinking speed was at 25 knots with three to four foot following seas, that upon entering a wave the bow of the vessel folded back in catastrophic failure making an abrupt halt, that the boat sank in twelve minutes with the crew making four mayday calls before they abandoned ship, and that unlike the video or photos the Captain reports the transom was intact before the sinking.  The plaintiff marine surveyors and naval architects indicate that the post casualty photographs show manufacturing defects which caused or contributed to the loss of the vessel.  The plaintiffs also offered to avoid litigation and offered Bertram to give a comparable replacement vessel.  Bertram did not give any replacement and offered to sell a demonstrator 630 with 800 engine hours for 1.8 million US$.
Update 1. Friday 18th December 2009
On Yachtforums they posted exclusive images of the wreckage taken from the owners legal defence video.  It is very interesting, and seeing this the 630 looks to have considerable damage.  Still this video was taken with the Sportfish Yacht about a month in the water, and apart the damage which is considerable, my point of view is that with this alone is very difficult to say if the boat was hit or had a hull failure.  Bertram President Michael M. Myers also posted some new pictures of the buoy, more recent to the accident date, and stated QUOTE Examination of the buoy showed matching paint, some damage from impact, and an apparent propeller cut END QUOTE.  To be correct we posted the new picture from the boat builder.  The Bertram President also said the following about some court rumours QUOTE We also would like to point out that the on-line suggestion that the owner’s attorney had to get a court order to keep us from salvaging the boat is entirely false END QUOTE.  Another rumour circulating is about the buoy and here we have the technical data of same as posted on The Hull Truth forums: FIGURE 1, SCDNR, 200# with REFLECTOR height: 161.0” diameter: 24.0” visibility: 125.0” weight: 200 lbs. Features:• Durable ABS plastic outer shell• Closed cell Polyurethane Foam filled• Internal and external radar reflector• color: yellow.
This above is the Bill Perry Reef buoy in South Carolina, and subject to verification might have put down a 2006 built Bertram 630 the past November 6.  The crew of two managed to survive without any harm, but the persistent rumour on the US boating forums discussing this, is that this 630 which was a stock demo from MarineMax who just found its first owner had structural damage in the bow sections which sank the twenty metre Sportfish Yacht in just ten minutes, stopping its delivery trip to Florida for shipping.  Still Bertram President Michael W. Myers also declared that this buoy seems to have been hit by something, and the starboard side propellers and rudders on the wreckage which lies eighty feet at sea bottom show a damage.  The above photo was taken some time after the sinking by the owners investigation team, and if this is the buoy being hit, looks to be small to damage and sink a blue water forty ton twenty meter Sportfish Yacht.  At this point in time we can't say any more but lets stay tuned on more developments, and honestly for such a great legendary brand name as Bertram which built its fortunes on sea capabilities and strong construction, I hope this is not a repeat with worse tragic consequences then the 2008 delaminated model.  If this was the case more bad news would be that the US builder Italian managed company also promised a big recheck to all its boats when that delamination happened to that 2008 model.  Something which apparently had not been done on all Bertram's.

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