Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake


Alexandre Uster von Baar
 

Good evening Pat,

Thanks for your sympathy.
Well if you have Pantaenius, then no problem, they cover 100% of the lightning damages!
I already contact them as my next insurer, they are quite more expensive, I found strange the way they start with 40% Bonus, etc. (another topic).
Also heard sometime they cancel policy quickly (for cruising in some areas).
So haven’t made my decision yet.
Please keep us inform of how the whole claim, repair, etc. is going.
Sincerely, Alexandre




--------------------------------------------

On Sat, 6/25/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike Chesapeake
To: amelyachtowners@...
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 11:09 AM


 










Alexandre, I remember your problem, sorry it
is still not resolved. I have Pantaenius and I think their
coverage is good , no deductible and items not depreciated ,
replaced with new.

 Thanks,

Pat







-----Original
Message-----

From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@...
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>

To: amelyachtowners
<amelyachtowners@...>

Sent: Sat, Jun 25, 2016 8:32 am

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike
Chesapeake










 













Good morning Pat,





Not going into detail, but I had an accident 2 years ago in
Nassau (not at fault since I was stationary in my slip at
the marina - someone lost control, panic and run into me).



The expert provided by “my” insurance was awful and I am
still fighting (conference call monday morning).





Don’t know who is your insurance, I read Pantaenius cover
100% for lighting strike, mine (Helvetia) will remove value
because the equipment is older, not sure what decrease of
value they would give a perfectly working radar which is 16
year old… probably closed to nothing…





I met 3 (non Amel) boat owners, I was shock by the total
cost $100.000… in their case everything was destroyed
(radio, radar, AIS, chargers, inverter, batteries, lights,
etc. even some electric wire), one guy had his carbon mast
getting on fire…





Personally, just having a bad experience with my insurance,
I would read all I can about damages created by lightning
and also hire another expert…





Good luck, keep up posted on the progress…





Alexandre





--------------------------------------------


On Sat, 6/25/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@...
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
wrote:





Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike
Chesapeake


To: amelyachtowners@...


Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 7:03 AM








 
































Alexandre, I have never dealt with an


insurance claim , auto ,home ,health or boat . I will
assume


my insurance co. will do right by me ,unless I see
evidence


to the contrary. They are going to send someone out to


assess things and then find someone to do the repairs.
That


is my main concern , finding someone that is qualified to
do


a proper and complete job. I will make sure the


mechanic's primary interest is in doing a complete
job


.





Thanks,





Pat









































-----Original


Message-----





From: Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@...


[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>





To: amelyachtowners


<amelyachtowners@...>





Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:43 pm





Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike


Chesapeake
































 









































Definitely sorry to read about this Pat,








This is always my fear… and yes definitely lots
things


affected can not be apparent, so make sure the expert
you


use is not related with your insurance. 2 years later, i
am


still fighting my insurance…

















Sincerely, Alexandre








SM2K #289 NIKIMAT








Club Nautico de San Juan, Puerto Rico

















--------------------------------------------








On Fri, 6/24/16, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@...


[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>


wrote:

















Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike


Chesapeake








To: amelyachtowners@...








Date: Friday, June 24, 2016, 2:24 PM


























 


































































































Kent, I will keep his contact info. I would








like to find someone close to home so I could be


available








to help assess situations and oversee work . Sorry to
say


,








but I little faith , thus like to have eyes on. There
are


so








many things that could have been affected , yet not


apparent








. I would complain about this being a hassle , but then








compared to what you have been through , its a mere


hiccup








.

















Thanks,

















Pat







































































-----Original








Message-----

















From: Kent Robertson karkauai@...


[amelyachtowners]








<amelyachtowners@...>

















To: amelyachtowners








<amelyachtowners@...>

















Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 9:51 am

















Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lightning Strike
Chesapeake


































































































 















































































































































Hi Pat, sorry to hear about your lightning strike.  I








have been very comfortable with the Deltaville Boat


Yard.








 Keith Ruse runs the yard and really likes Amels.
 His








electrician was the only one I could find in the East


coast








who understood the engine electrical isolation issue
and


did








a great job on it for me.  Call Keith 804-776-8900 and


talk








to him about your damage.  Maybe ask to speak with the








electrician to make sure he's familiar with your








equipment.  Things like the 24/12V autopilot (which I








don't fully understand yet) would let you know if








he's up to the job.  The one who did my engine








isolation was Neal.





















































Hope you get it sorted out without too much








hassle.

















Kent

















SM243

















Kristy

















Currently Curaçao 
On Jun 24, 2016, at 8:22 AM, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@...








[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>








wrote:




























































































































































































 











































































































James, I am








sorry to read about your problem. I have owned my boat


for








about ten years , and have felt fortunate that I have


not








had to deal with some of the problems others have had ,








until this past Tuesday. For the past 40 years of
owning








boats , I have had my fingers crossed every time an








electrical storm moved through my area , my luck ran
out








Tuesday. While I see know physical damage to the boat ,


most








of my electrical instruments have been damaged. James
if


you








or anyone have found someone well versed in the


electrical








side of the Amel in the northern end of the Chesapeake
Bay


I








would appreciate their name. James , best of luck to
you


and








I hope you only have smooth seas ahead , you deserve








it.


































































































Pat



































SM Shenanigans



































Sassafras River , Md.




















































































































-----Original








Message-----


























From: James Wendell ms42phantom54@...








[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>


























To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>


























Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:49 am


























Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment








Explosion






































































































































 























































































































































































































I








hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment


venting








at the bottom that allows air to move up through the


battery








compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows


make-up








air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent


any








hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells


will








release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally,
AGM








batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined








internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any








gasses from leaking into the boat itself.


































































































The








54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the








vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the


build-up








of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not
explode


-








2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what
caused


the








gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of


the








explosion.


































































































I am








sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air


circulation








is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but


after








my experience, it would be far better to let a little
bit


of








it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus








contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb


when








the battery vents faster than the passive vent can


exhaust








it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat


if








the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2








S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.


































































































Just








for clarification, there was no essentially no charging








occurring here; while no one has definitively
identified


the








culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that


one








or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and








breached on their own - likely because they were
nearing


the








end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and


I








have no record of their service history. There was a


slight








solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the








morning and little sun would have been illuminating the








panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the
solar








charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT


controller.








While it certainly could have failed, it was operating


fine








just before the event.


































































































I








will report more if my insurance surveyor or the


electrical








experts here in the yard are able to offer additional








inputs.


































































































Just








as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see


that.








They are well built. However, I have noted some








less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more


the








result of EU regulations rather than Amel








philosophy.


































































































I








have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have








only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Imme








diately after that initial delivery the engine failed.
I


am








not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis








proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD,


saltwater








had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the


head








- not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a


week








after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the


engine








and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously








compromised the engine and the only good solution was a


new








engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the


cost








- not worth it as there was a fair amount of external








corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The








second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of


the








primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a
serious








issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would


have








overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to


melt








or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires


at








the battery. I changed all of that and now have an
array








of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the
batteries.


And








now the sealed battery compartment issue.


































































































Perhaps








I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will


persevere








and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the


quality








that goes into these yachts.


































































































Thanks








for the support - that is what this group is all








about.



































Jamie








Wendell





































































































































































































 



































s/v Phantom Amel 54








#044



















































































































































































On Friday, June








24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@...








[amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>








wrote:

































































































































































 





































































































































































































Hello James,
















































































Your AMEL








ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has


also








not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 
















































































I had a NICAD








battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take


a








different dimension. 
















































































Persevere, these








are good boats and you will be well rewarded








eventually
















































































GL
















































































Jean-Pierre








Germain



































Eleuthera, SM007 
On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and








Yvonne SIMMS simms@...








[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>








wrote:




























































































































































































 
























































































































































Hi








James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the








battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On
our


SM








299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom
of


the








battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54


not








have these vents.



































Regards



































Danny



































SM








299 Ocean Pearl
























































































































































From: "James








Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com
[amelyachtowners]"








<amelyachtowners@...>








To: "amelyachtowners@..."








<amelyachtowners@...>

















Sent: Friday, 24 June








2016 12:30 PM








Subject: [Amel Yacht








Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion











































































































 























































































































































































































I am








not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just


happened








to me, but I think it is important info for everyone
out








there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday








morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and
no


one








who has investigated the accident has ever seen this


occur.








I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my


new








engine installation completed - that was a subject of a








previous thread, and I will update everyone who
followed








that thread separately once I get my new engine








running.
















































































The








explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my


smoke








detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no








fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion


itself,








as it may have happened before the contractors started


to








come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the








passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it


between








the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav


station








closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time,


but








if someone had been in the passageway between the main








saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been
seriously








injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate


what








would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the








berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth








cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or


survived








depending on the material. It








was a scary situation.
















































































I am








working with my insurance company and they hired a
local








surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want
to








know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to


the








compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork,
here


are








the facts:






























































At








least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with


cracks








in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.








A few








of the batteries were b








ulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened








initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately


about








half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were
"bad."








My








shore power connections were off. The only charging


source








would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems


have








been working correctly for a long time, and early in
the








morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not


think








it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring








systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat,


plus








a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were
nominal








when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was


about








27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps
DC,








easily absorbed with the solar panels.








The








batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with


the








boat. I have never had a problem with them








, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28








volts.The








battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good








contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all
the








loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I
find


it








hard to believe that there was no primary battery
fusing


on








the boat at all, but that is still another topic for


review.








However, the explosion would not have been related to








current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one


way








or the other.I








have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area
with


a








12V starting battery.Testing








them after the accident revealed about half of them to


be








unserviceable (either electrically or physically).






























































It is clear to the investigators that the








explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the








battery compartment. The problem they observed is that








(while there is a vent at the forward part of the


battery








compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely).








Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will








escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any


makeup








air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM
batteries


do








not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally








released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in


an








AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which
are








supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too
high.








However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release








immediately, which is what happened here. What no one


knows








yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line


is








that the vent could not release the gas fast enough,
and


the








hydrogen gas exploded as it built up








in the sealed compartment.
















































































I am








going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation


to








the front of the battery compartment. I am also going
to








install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T








battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a








modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a








mess.................
















































































All I








can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.






























































<








div dir="ltr"









id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie








Wendell







































































 



































s/v Phantom Amel








54 #044



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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