Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma and Information on our Boat



We are trying to enjoy the fall activities, while still dealing with hurricane and insurance issues. Things are moving very slowly due to the massive amount of damage and the remote location.  We are being patient.

We know our fifth wheel is a total loss and are waiting for the insurance company to find a company capable of picking the pieces up and towing it away.

We are hoping to get more info on our boat today. It is stored on Venture Out property in a secured storage lot.  There are 100-150 boats in the lot, all in assigned spaces.  At least they were.  Now they are in a jumbled up mess. Some are some off their trailers, some on top of other boats and in all kinds of conditions.

It is a big mess and one boat can't be moved without the risk of damaging others.   It needed to be a coordinated well thought out operation.

With the extent of other damages, the boat lots were not the highest priority and we completely understood that.  There are still people without electricity to their lots.  Ours included since our Rv destroyed our power and water pedestals.  Many homes were destroyed or badly damaged.  I do not believe anyone escaped some sort of damage.

The other night, we got a message from the HOA president stating Sea Tow has been contracted to begin untangling the boats and that we would all be responsible to pay their fees.  Sea Tow is the company many of us use in case we breakdown offshore, they will tow you in. They were bringing in a crane and if your boat needed crane services, the cost would be $175 a FOOT!  Most boats would need some sort of crane service to right the boats or put them back on the trailers.  We weren't given any choices, or notice that this was being done and no further explanation was given.

Needless to say, we were extremely upset knowing this had all been decided for us without any input, or the opportunity to involve our insurance companies.  We were going to have  a $3000 bill to move our boat when we had insurance that would have taken care of it with no cost to us.

After a day of phone calls, and research, we found out that marine salvage was a whole new deal and could not be done by just anyone.  There was the possibility of spilled fuel and battery acid that needed to be considered.  Plus the liability of  possibility damaging another boat while trying to get your boat out.

We determined these charges were pretty much standard, and that most insurance companies would pay Sea Tow's outrageous fees. I think these charges are excessive but it was not my call and as long as Progressive pays the bill, we will not argue.  I'm sure it will be expensive picking up our trailer as well. I am sure there are boats with no insurance which would leave these ridiculous fees up to the boat owner.

We saw a post on Facebook the other day where a guy was looking for someone to pick up his car.  He had no insurance on it because he didn't use it during the summer and took the coverage off.  A lot of people do that but you always need to leave comprehensive coverage on it and this is a perfect example why.

I made a phone call to Progressive who insures both our boat and trailer and confirmed Sea Toy was one of their contractors and there should be no problem with them paying for their fees for our boat. I will feel better when I know that for sure.

I then contacted Sea Tow and Progressive and got an appraiser scheduled to inspect the boat today once it was moved away from the other boats.  They are not allowing anyone on the boat lots except employees of Sea Tow and Insurance adjusters.  We do not think our boat will be a total loss, but until the adjuster is able to inspect it, we won't know for sure.  We do not know what kind of water intrusion we got or if there was any damage to the motor.


This is an example of what Sea Tow has to deal with.





The small boat facing out in  the picture below is ours.  As it turns out, our boat had been shifted from our trailer a little bit, but our boat and trailer was on top of another trailer.  We will definitely need crane services.



 The Proline boat is ours. You can see how tight of a space it is in.  We were not able to view the motor at all.   You can see what was probably the waterline on our boat.




This is also part of our boat and the jumbled mess it is in.




This is a picture we took from above with our drone. Our boat is towards the left next to the white car with the yellow cushion and bait bucket in the front.


These were also  taken from our drone from above and a good example of what they have to deal with.


We knew it wasn't going to be an easy job to separate all these boats without damaging others.






I am also in the process of making a detailed list of every item that was in our trailer that we were not able to salvage. 

I am trying to document our Hurricane Irma adventures so I apologize for another boring disaster post.  We have been doing fun things and I have some pictures taken from our drone and of our adventures.   We are doing ok and dealing with this one step at a time.


11 comments:

  1. I am trying to be helpful but not but in too much. However my first experience with hurricane small boat damage was with Hurricane Carla in Galveston, Tx. Since then I have been through several more hurricanes. The thing I see most often that adjusters and owners miss on the fiberglas boats is internal strut damage inside the hull. The hull frequently looks decent from the outside and the boat will float in a harbor just fine. But when it is being used and pounding waves running across the bay, I have seen where internal strut failure has let the hull split open. That is known as catastrophic failure. Please make sure the adjuster knows about internal strut failures in boats that have been banged around. Good luck.

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    1. Good information Barney. Thank you so much. We were concerned about water damage inside the hull. The appraiser did not even take the canvas motor cover off, so I am sure he didn't look at it in any depth. Can you tell me how to go about inspecting for internal strut failure? It's an old boat, so it's been around awhile. Thank you so much!!!

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    2. I am not aware of any way to inspect for internal damage but by use of x-ray equipment. However I have not been following advances in that field for over 20 years now.

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  2. Wise words from a wise man. if you boat took any hard sideways hits the Hull has become compromised.
    A Blog is a diary that we can use for any number of reasons. Use it as you see fit and good luck at rebuilding your lives.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  3. Looks to be quite a mess, but you guys seem to be taking it one step at a time. As Rick so gracefully stated, good luck in rebuilding your lives and take care in doing so.

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  4. Hope that they can get you boat taken care of and glad that you have the insurance to cover it.
    In the meantime enjoy yourselves, in Georgia.

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  5. I think it's a good idea to document via the blog as well. At least in years to come you have pictures and words to remember everything. Sorry for all your loss. Hope it all gets straightened out soon.

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