Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Lost Keel, insurance,and extent of damage.

Richard Piller <richard03801@...>

Thanks for the detailed reply to Dan... It is an eye
opener for all of us when it comes to dealing with
insurance companies.
Richard SM 209

--- Anne & John Hollamby <>

Hello Dan,
Very sorry to read about your accident, which I
suspect will be the
beginning of a long and frustrating process
To answer your questions may I first point out that
you are not in a do it
yourself situation and so there is little point in
you hoping to reseal the
leaks. To look inside a water tank remove the toe
board at the base of the
fridge, two screws, lift the floorboard under the
door mat at the bottom of
the steps, 4 screws, and then reach under the blue
fibreglass floorboard to
find a black knob similar to the ones on the flap to
the gas locker. undo it
and remove the board to see the top of the access
plate for the middle water
tank. It is not very big and the Amel technicians
who repaired the leak on
my keel brought two specially made tools with them.
One was a cold chisel
welded onto the end of a stainless tube about four
or five feet long and the
other was a similar tool with a socket spanner head
to fit the nuts on the
keel bolts after the chisel had removed all the
special epoxy ? used to seal
them in.
No to see all the keel bolts you will also have to
remove the fridge under
the seat at the table. The tanks are part of the GRP
hull. The top of the
keel bolts are visible in the three fresh water
tanks and also in the grey
water tank. See the plans in your documentation.
There are fourteen bolts in
I am astonished that your keel was sheared off and I
would be amazed if this
happened without doing major damage to the remainder
of the keel/hull. If
the repairs are not done to the highest standard the
boat will be unsafe
and unseaworthy. and I suspect that if you then sold
it and there was
further trouble with the weakened structure that it
would be a fruitful
source for litigation.
I think you must expect to have a lot of aggravation
over the next couple of
years whilst it is all sorted out.
I had an Oyster 435 which was severely damaged by
Hurricane Bob when we were
in Newport Harbour, Rhode Island. I notified
insurers in the UK who
appointed a Boston loss adjuster who appointed a
Newport yacht surveyor. He
inspected the boat and drew up a spec which he sent
to a dozen boat yards
and got about ten quotes ranging from $55,000 to $
212,000 to I will not
quote unless I am paid upfront. I was unable to
find a surveyor to act for
me and produce a better spec and the matter dragged
on for months. Being
unable to cope or understand the US system I paid
for the wreck to be
shipped back to the UK where I appointed a well
recommended Surveror who
produced a spec which went to tender to three top
yards and produced three
prices ranging from 75,000 to 78,000 ($150,000 to
$166,000. We then had a
meeting with my insurance broker and the "good"
surveyor who said that he
could proceed no further acting for me in
negotiations with insurers etc as
his primary clients were the insurance companies.
For my money he was a
I then had the problem that we were cruising en
route for the South Pacific
in another Oyster that we had bought as it was clear
that the damage etc
would take a long time. My surveyor had deserted me
and I had noone else to
oversee the repairs. The result was that the works
were done without proper
supervision. The insurance company insisted that I
signed a form saying that
I accepted the settlement of 75,000 in full and
final settlement and I
stupidly agreed. When the works were being done they
found that the engine
was ruined and fitted a new one at my expense but in
such a way that the
watermaker had to be scrapped. This increased the
cost by about 9,000 which
I had to pay.
I assume that you are insured and so I strongly
advise that you find a top
surveyor to act on your behalf and that he consult
with Amel on how to deal
with the repair. I do not suppose that you are the
first and only
unfortunate to shear off a keel and they have all
the expertise. If it were
me I would fight tooth and nail to have my insurers
pay for the repair to be
done by Amel and if they will not agree to
compromise by paying for the
shipment back to Amel if indeed Amel are prepared to
help out.
Sorry to be pessimistic but after my experiences as
above I would hate you
to be robbed as well.

Good luck,

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