Flying Pig Damage Assessment and update

Discussion in 'Cruising' started by Skip Gundlach, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. I have to laugh that Geoff beat me to the internet with the pictures.
    I've crossposted this to rbb as well, as there may be those there who
    have some construction suggestions.

    Today I'll take copious pictures of the real damage - inside, where
    we'll have to take the boat apart.

    I also want to add a non-damage discussion point WRT all the marvelous
    offers of help which have been arriving, including overwhelming the
    phone lines at KBW (we arrived after hours on Friday, so have no
    knowledge of what happened other than a yardie commented about the
    office phone ringing off the hook; they're out until Tuesday, at which
    point I'll learn more). We have put our interior back together, and
    if you didn't know where to look, you'd not know anything had
    occurred. So, until the insurance company takes it from us, we have a
    place to live - one less hurdle to address.

    We're also creeping up on possibilities of transportation. We have
    two offers, both from people far away, of loans of a vehicle, both of
    which require TLC from a mechanic to be functional, so we don't yet
    have a resolution on that. Practically speaking, given the realities,
    if Flying Pig is to be saved, it will be because we take over the
    refit work. That will involve all the sorts of things we did in our
    initial work, including hauling lots of stuff. We did that in the van
    we gave away the day we left, so have nothing to use for that
    purpose. So, a truck, van or SUV, the more beat-up (representing
    little risk of compromise) but mechanically reliable, the better. One
    of those offered is 1000 miles away, so making this happen is
    challenging at very best; a local benefactor would be much more

    Physically, we're still exhausted, because, despite having "nothing
    to do" we're not getting nearly enough sleep in regular terms, let
    alone trying to catch up with the shortfall. Otherwise, we're sound
    of body ...

    .... Of mind, we're oscillating between optimism and despair. The
    despair part will be more clear below; the optimism is my usual mode,
    including the troubleshooting (focus on the solution, not the problem,
    but identify the problem before charging off in all directions) of our
    situation. I'm happiest when solving problems, so I should have
    plenty to keep me entertained for a while.

    On to the damage report:

    The exterior of the boat I could easily (if time-consumingly) do
    myself, having just done much more than the equivalent in blister
    repair. For that matter, so could Lydia, as she's done a great deal
    of the repair which photos will show survived the abuse. I'll save a
    detailed discussion until I have the pix up.

    The other fiberglass work is very straightforward, too. However...

    Virtually all the starboard bulkheads from the galley bulkhead aft are
    detabbed now. Only a little of what I can see came loose from the
    hull, but the bulkheads moved substantially (but remained intact; we
    lost only one tile on the head/ER bulkhead over the tub, e.g.). It's
    a simple process to cut away the old, grind the hull to make a bonding
    point, and do it over again.

    What's not so easy is the removal of the settee to get to the sole,
    removing that to get to the forward, Vee shaped with "frog legs"
    extensions, water tank which butts up against the bulkhead between the
    galley sink and settees. I presume the water tank has also
    delaminated from the hull; it goes across the entire salon, requiring
    removal of the other settee, and all the sole, as well. It's intact,
    more testimony to how stout this boat is. Of course, it's far bigger
    than any of the exits, so will have to be propped up somewhere while
    we work. And, in any event, it would have to be removed in order to
    access the bulkhead at the hull behind where it was placed.

    Under/aft of the salon water tank, is the mast well. The crotch of
    the "frog legs" is the majority of the mast well. Support for the
    mast step has been compromised. Perhaps it's sound - and could be
    addressed with the mast in place. However, when you pull the tank,
    you pull most of the mast well (only the back of it, the bulkhead,
    remains). Oops. Gotta redo the entire step assembly, probably, and
    certainly at a minimum, pull the mast. Rigger Fee Ouchies, followed
    by the electrical realities of the fact that it appears this mast
    hasn't been removed since it left the factory, as a great number of
    the wires up the mast are solid and will have to be cut and then
    remade on restoration of the mast

    But wait - there's more. On the galley side, much the same exists.
    It took us nearly a year of work to build that galley; much of it will
    have to be redone after we saw it out. The reefer is integral to the
    engine room bulkhead, and aside from the cooling part, won't be
    salvageable. It will have to be custom built, all over again, a *very*
    fiddly piece of work. To get to the engine room tabbing, and the other
    side of the settee mentioned above, the entire galley and starboard
    water tank will have to come out.

    The only good news in that is the new sole will be done right, instead
    of just the extra layer of (very beautiful) teak and holly laid over a
    rot stabilization from the prior icebox drain leaking, done in some
    prior owner's repairs/maintenance. That tank, too, is intact. We'll
    have to saw out the reefer which was custom built from the ground up
    (see postings from a couple of years ago) to get to the ER tabbing.

    It gets better. The starboard motor mount stringers were heaving in
    the pounding, too, as was the battery box, in the location commonly
    where the genset would be. That area was the only one where I saw
    hull-bulkhead detabbing, as one of the stringers we'd rebuilt, aft,
    had pulled off the hull. However, the ER sole will have to come out
    in order to get to the tabbing on the galley bulkhead, and it will
    take further examination, but I see the distinct possibility for
    having to pull the engine (not out, just up, through the hole provided
    in the sole of the cockpit) in order to address the likely detabbing
    of the mounts stringers.

    Aft, the tub will have to come out - an interesting project, I'm sure,
    and perhaps destroying the expensive tiling job that was done just
    before we left, as well as the custom molding into which the
    plexiglass custom dividers are set (though, perhaps, given that it's
    only a couple of weeks old, the caulk might release the plastic - but
    the plastic, too, might be destroyed in the attempt), and at least
    part of the sole (installed under the tub in the original building
    process) will have to be cut out, and later, custom shimming done to
    support it and the tub structure as it's replaced.

    So, it's all very straightforward - but intensely expensive to have
    done, and nearly inconceivable that the insurance company won't total
    it. I have no doubt that at quality contract rates, even if I do the
    contracting myself (thus saving some money over the yard being general
    contractor), our remaining 100K (after paying for the salvage and
    midnight emergency haul first) won't begin to cover it.

    Yet, it can't not be done, if the boat is to sail again, as it's
    integral to the strength of the hull. In fact, in talking with my
    surveyor, now a friend (whose brother's M462 I found an owner for
    after the insurance company totaled it following a galley fire), who
    was the QC and Service Manager at Morgan during the entire production
    run of our boat, he suggests that due to the flexing the hull's had,
    more rather than less bulkhead strength is advised. Once it's apart,
    that will be pretty easy to accomplish, so I'm not concerned, but it's
    very good information to have. He also told me exactly what materials
    were used in the tabbing, so, I'm sure it can be done properly.

    I've done nearly all of what's needed for access other than pulling
    out the tanks, already, in the course of our refit. I have no
    illusions of simplicity or ease. I have no doubt that with as many
    people as could fit into all the spaces, working simultaneously
    (which, of course, can't happen in realistic terms), it would take
    many hundreds of manhours to accomplish, but still would take not less
    than a month, more likely two, of multiple crews treating each area
    (saloon, galley, engine room, aft head) as a separate project. At
    typical yard rates, that would instantly kill our insurance policy.

    Of course, in addition to all the fiberglass, paint, epoxy, bottom
    paint and the like outside, there's the replacement of the rudder, a
    significant cost in itself. Even in that, I have a clear idea of
    what's needed, as I was able to visit a sistership, the single 463
    built, in which the rudder and support at the bottom was removed
    during his refit. All very straightforward, all very expensive...

    That doesn't address the mayhem topsides; nearly all of our running
    rigging is toast, flogged to a nice fuzz, or, stripping the outer
    coating leaving the core either exposed or compromised further, or
    knotted in a basketball-sized agglomeration, the KISS generator was
    ripped from its pole, leaving nothing but a blackened stump and a
    wire, the VHF antenna broke its mount, requiring unfishing and
    refishing of the antenna line to remount, bimini stitching failed in a
    couple of places, the propane system went south (maybe a connection?
    solenoid? kinked line?), the genoa is shredded in its furling (now I
    understand how it works in hurricanes with furled gennies), the main
    has a tear in the leech, the staysail cover is tattered, the toe rail
    is shattered where the salvor's line gave way and ripped both chocks
    out, the hailer is gone, blown away or shaken loose during the
    pounding, and probably other things I'll discover later when I go out
    in the cold light of the day.

    At the moment I wrote this before proofing, dealing with visitors,
    going outside to take pictures and discussing reality with Lydia, I
    was trying to regain consciousness with a cup of microwaved coffee (no
    stove, remember), before I headed into damage assessment and photos
    and uploads later today. The gallery with the current events is in the first subgallery,
    Flying_Pig_Is_Aloft_-_The_Adventure_Begins, at this moment empty, but
    if you see a picture rather than a file folder, pictures are inside.

    Not related directly, but I have to say, again, how overwhelmed and
    touched we are by the support groups which have and are springing up.
    The couple who took us to dinner a couple of nights ago in Key West
    just left after having driven an hour to check up on us. Last night a
    couple of sailors and their son, a co-worker of my son's who'd flown
    down to help them deliver their boat from Ft. Lauderdale to Marathon,
    brought us supper and regaled us with stories both about sailing,
    software authorship and flying. A local delivery captain just phoned
    to say he'd get up a list of competent, honest local contractors, so
    that I might better do the management of our restoration directly than
    have the management overhead of the - reiterated as the best in the
    area - yard; it just arrived as I was typing this. An Island Packet
    Sailnet list member made us a webpage (
    FlyingPig.asp ) as part of his Island Packet Photos site. It goes on
    and on. You meet the most caring people in the cruising world...


    Skip and Lydia, blessed, despite it all

    Morgan 461 #2 Disaster link:
    SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
    See our galleries at!
    Follow us at and/or

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
    didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
    away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
    Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
    Skip Gundlach, Feb 12, 2007
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  2. This seems to be the best thread in which to insert this...

    George Huffman, of "The Dinghy Dock" newsletter, made a post in
    Renegades, offering his help as soon as his own vehicular challenges
    are resolved...

    Hi, George, and onlookers,

    It keeps getting better...

    The transportation issue isn't yet resolved - but there's a distinct
    possibility in the area.

    I just got a mail from my surveyor, ex-QC and Service Manager for
    Morgan during the entire time of building our boats.

    The short story is that if the detabbing is at the bulkhead and the
    bulkhead hasn't been compromised with oil products (fuel, oil, etc.),
    just wedging it open, flowing in epoxy and then screwing it down will
    rebond and, as my wife, and England-raised lady, sez, "Bob's your

    I'm going to follow up to see if one *must* screw it back down (vs,
    e.g., wedging i.e. are the screws necessary for structural integrity,
    or just used to pull it tight?) to make it happen. If wedging will
    suffice, likely we won't have to pull the tanks, minimizing an already
    labor intensive project into something far more manageable.

    I'm already into project management mode, but Lydia's still in full
    depression, as the enormity of the elephant she has to eat is still
    too close to analyze. She doesn't do patience, or methodical long-
    term results. "Lord, give me patience - and I want it *right now!!!*
    - funny, but unfortunately true for her generally, let alone under
    these circumstances.

    Yet, all this will pass, and we'll have the most amazing stories to
    tell around the potlucks out in the Caribbean, or to the BoyScouts we
    might do charters for on their Extreme Adventure series "Sail the
    Keys" once this is all settled.

    Not quite Robinson Cruso, or the other which escapes me about the
    swiss family, but still entertaining, if you don't have to deal with
    the pain of the real possibility of losing your home and every one of
    your possessions.

    Yet, I'm struck by how fortunate we are in comparison, for example, of
    some of the Rita/Katrina/Wilma/Ivan survivors. We're truly blessed,
    including by such as you all.

    Love to all of you kind souls, most of whom we don't even know exist,
    having never even corresponded, let alone met...



    Morgan 461 #2 Disaster link:
    SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
    See our galleries at!
    Follow us at and/or

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
    didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
    away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
    Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
    Skip Gundlach, Feb 12, 2007
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  3. Skip Gundlach

    KLC Lewis Guest


    Regarding the "pulling it apart and flowing-in epoxy" -- yes, that will work
    with certain caveats: How clean is the material on either face which will be
    epoxied together? Oil-free is good, of course, but if the two surfaces
    pulled cleanly away from each other, leaving little glass on the wood or
    wood on the glass, they weren't bonded strongly-enough to begin with. Trying
    to rebond them with epoxy won't be very strong, and eventually that joint
    will fail again. New epoxy won't form a primary bond with old polyester

    If, in pulling apart, plenty of glass was left in the wood or visa-versa,
    then the glue joint was as strong as it could have been. But in either case,
    rebonding without mechanical fasteners will be weaker than the original
    joint which failed. You might want to consider, rather than screws through
    the glass into the bulkheads, using through-bolted hardwood battens at least
    half an inch thick to help spread the load and reinforce that joint. If at
    all possible, I would want to laminate those battens into place, making a
    "wood-glass-wood-glass-wood" sandwich bolted and epoxied together.
    KLC Lewis, Feb 12, 2007
  4. Skip Gundlach

    Jim Conlin Guest

    If it were my boat and the joint were structurally important, i'd gain
    access to the loose tabbing, cut away the separated leaf of tabbing, grind
    both sides of the joint and lay up new tabbng with epoxy.
    Jim Conlin, Feb 13, 2007
  5. Skip Gundlach

    Bob Guest

    Hi Skip:

    If I were looking at my crunched boat I think I would walk away with a
    pocket full of insurance money and go find a nice 28' Cascade or
    something and go sailing the next day.

    After the 1000s of hours invested in Pig I'd think you would be ready
    for a vacation. Are you ready to spend the next 2 years in the
    yard............ again? Personally as hard as you have worked on her Id think
    some fun is in order.

    On a slightly related topic.... I read Lydia's comment she logged the
    night before the crash. I get the impression she does not like

    "...There are sailors, and then there are sailors. Some of us sail
    we're addicted to sailing - that catagory of people usually race
    And then there are the others, who sail to get from A to B in order
    enjoy what's at B. That's us. You're thrilled when you leave port
    for your
    new desination, and you're thrilled when you arrive. You endure the
    in between part...." Lydia

    Endure the in-between part? Isn't that called sailing?
    Bob, Feb 13, 2007
  6. Skip Gundlach

    Jere Lull Guest

    I suspect it's like doing glue & nail in woodworking: The nails are
    really there only to get a good bond; you could pull them after it's set
    up. But you want a really good bond....

    Agreement with KLC's assessment on the "cleanness" of the break. Rough
    is better, polyester probably your best bet, fortified with something
    strong that you can shoot in with, say, a caulk gun.

    It does keep sounding better and better.

    Just a thought that you might toss around: to get pressure on the
    joints, you might intentionally put jackstands at those areas,
    intentionally a bit too "tight"; the hull will probably flex outward
    afterwards, pulling the bulkheads back in place.
    Jere Lull, Feb 13, 2007
  7. Skip Gundlach

    Don White Guest

    Might be more enjoyable to fly to a destination (eg. BVI) and rent a
    sailboat for a couple of weeks.
    Don White, Feb 13, 2007

  8. Excellent thought. So far what iI can see (pictures, soon, I promise!)
    suggests it's already tight, as there's not a gap top/bottom of the
    line where it used to be attached.

    As to KLC's comment about reinforcement, if I could get to them all
    the way, the discussion of shims/wedges wouldn't be necessary. And,
    if I could get to them all the way, I'm enough of a belt and
    suspenders man that I'd likely grind it off and put on new, building
    up in exactly the same form as original (Pete provided me with the
    type of cloth used). I can't see how adding wood over an existing tab,
    and then going over it with FG/resin would improve matters; you're
    relying on the existing part, and not connecting the new to the
    bulkhead (I may not have a picture of what was intended, I realize).

    Thanks for all the commentary and support, in whatever fashion. Today
    it looks like we'll have a beater Suburban for use in transport and
    hauling; I'll know for sure by the end of the day.



    Morgan 461 #2 Disaster link:
    SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
    See our galleries at!
    Follow us at and/or

    The Society for the Preservation of Tithesis commends your ebriated
    and scrutible use of delible and defatigable, which are gainly, sipid
    and couth. We are gruntled and consolate that you have the ertia and
    eptitude to choose such putably pensible tithesis, which we parage.
    Skip Gundlach, Feb 13, 2007
  9. promise!)

    Hi Skip,

    You'd better hurray or we will send Geoff out to beat you to the
    scoop -:)

, Feb 13, 2007
  10. Skip Gundlach

    KLC Lewis Guest


    My outline may have left out steps that I have clearly in mind, but didn't
    translate into dots on the screen. The way I see it, yes -- you could grind
    off all the old tabbing and install it new, but then you would have TWO
    secondary/mechanical bonds, rather than the one secondary (tabbing to
    bulkhead) and one primary (tabbing to hull, laid-up when the resin was still
    fresh and molecularly active.

    My method does rely upon glue (epoxy) between the bulkhead and old tabbing,
    clamped together with the bolts and battens, all laminated together into one
    thick tabbing. Unfortunately, if you don't have the access, you don't have
    the access. So now the question becomes, can you ever make it strong enough
    without that access?
    KLC Lewis, Feb 13, 2007
  11. Skip Gundlach

    Paul Guest

    How could you ever know how strong it was?

    You'll never reach 100% new as-built strength. But even if you did by some
    chance, you'll never be able to KNOW exactly how strong the repair is.
    You'll have to take her out in progressivly more stressful conditions and
    each time there will be that knot in your gut. Will it take 5' seas? 6'
    seas? 7' seas pounding for day after day? Even if it does, you'll not
    know if the next wave will be the one. You'll crawl around in the bildge
    after each short trip looking for problems that really can't be seen.
    This is not what the dream was about.

    No, it will never be a Morgan again. Not so that you can trust her just
    because there is a long history of Morgans that are built just like her
    that have proven themselves countless times. That was why you bought a
    Morgan in the first place. The confidence that she'll be able to handle
    anything the sea throws at her. That's gone for good now. There will
    always be a nagging doubt. You'll live in fear of every new set of
    conditions, only trusting her if conditions are just perfect, and they
    never are. Over time your love for her will turn to hate just from this
    nagging mistrust. You'll find more and more excuses to leave her at the
    dock. Afraid each and every time you leave a port.

    No, even a horse you dearly love should be put down when the time comes.
    Do it swiftly and without regrets.

    Good luck,
    Paul, Feb 13, 2007
  12. Sorry, but that's just plain ignorance talking. The boat could be repaired to be
    stronger than original. I rarely "repair" anything on a boat without making it
    better than it ever was.

    Charlie Morgan, Feb 13, 2007
  13. Skip Gundlach

    KLC Lewis Guest

    Yup, gotta agree with Charlie.
    KLC Lewis, Feb 14, 2007
  14. Skip Gundlach

    Paul Guest


    Ignorance I'll always admit to.

    But repairing a boat was not the issue.
    Restoring your confidence and trust in the boat after a repair like this
    was the point.

    At what precise moment in time will you be able to declare that it is now
    "all fixed" and is "better than it ever was"?
    And right up until this magic point in time, how exactly will you feel
    about your life on the boat?
    Confident and secure, or cautious and worried?
    Which way do you want to feel when you sail?
    These things would be on my mind if my life was on the line.

    We're not talking about fixing a leaky head here. Nor was this the last
    good old boat left in the world.
    Go find another with a sound hull and get on with enjoying life.
    This whole "get back on the horse" bullshit don't cut it when the horse is
    stone cold dead.

    BTW, do you fix multiple popped bulkheads often ?
    I know, you guarantee all work done or my money & life back right. ;-)

    Sweet dreams,
    Paul, Feb 14, 2007
  15. Skip Gundlach

    KLC Lewis Guest

    Absolutely. I certainly hope that isn't the impression you got from my
    KLC Lewis, Feb 14, 2007
  16. Apparently some of us are more skilled at this type of work than others. :')

    When I say I tend to make things better than original, I wasn't making anything
    up. Those here who have some skills and experience in these things will know
    that it's not magic to make something better when you rebuild it. You observe
    why something failed, and you figure out how to make it better.

    Charlie Morgan, Feb 14, 2007
  17. Of little interest to most, I'm sure, but I, of the curious mind,

    What, indeed, were the winds out there that night? In the harsh light
    of day I see:

    The Davis wind indicator has lost one leg entirely, and the tab from
    the other.
    The hailer horn, newly installed, blew off.
    The KISS wind generator, also newly installed, left behind only a
    blackened stump and a length of wire.

    What sort of speed is required to cause those departures?

    Surely, based on experience of those in the know, not enough to blow
    us off course, but enough to do some damage, apparently.

    I'm sure glad the radar antenna didn't follow the horn mounted below
    it - apparently it was more aerodynamic and/or more stoutly

    Meanwhile, the yard has had its first look; it appears as though - if
    they care to bid on it at all - it will be strictly time and

    While they and the insurance company figure out what to do, the yard
    bill clicks along at $500 a week just to sit still on the stands.

    I'm beginning to consider a tow back to the yard where we were, as, if
    this is to be saved, it nearly certainly won't be by the yard here
    doing the work - I have little doubt the policy limits would be
    exceeded very quickly, and besides, I expect the insurance company
    will require firm quotes, which, to protect themselves, the yard will
    make astronomical.

    Where we were, we can be stored and worked on for less than 1/6 the
    yard cost here. If it turns out to be many months, that's many
    thousands difference in what will inevitably be out-of-pocket expenses
    - which we currently have no concept of how to find.

    And, at least up there, we have some "community" having worked on the
    boat for the last three years there.

    I'm going to make a concerted effort tomorrow, following conversations
    with a surveyor who is also a morgan owner, and has recommended
    various tradespeople to us, to get individual contractors' opinions
    about the method of attack, as well as the anticipated end cost. If it
    can possibly be done here, in the parameters of the insurance
    coverage, we'll go for it.

    If it's way over, but, say, less than double, likely we'll pull it
    back to St. Pete, as I am confident we can find competent tradespeople
    there at comparable or less cost, but save 5k every three months in
    yard bills, money sorely needed to make repairs...

    Wish us luck (I know, you already do - we're overwhelmed with support,
    for which we are without words, as they're simply inadequate,
    including, today, another morgan owner giving us his suburban he no
    longer needed, for us to haul the inevitable huge amount of supplies
    for our refit)...


    Skip and Lydia

    Morgan 461 #2 Disaster link:
    SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
    See our galleries at!
    Follow us at and

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
    didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
    away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
    Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
    Skip Gundlach, Feb 14, 2007
  18. Skip Gundlach

    Paul Guest

    Well hell Charlie, what's yer hourly rate?
    I'm bringing all my reef wrecks to you from now on ;)

    Paul, Feb 14, 2007
  19. Skip Gundlach

    Jere Lull Guest

    Agreement. I replaced our primary bulkhead a few seasons back. It's
    stronger, better protected, and prettier than the original, which gave
    out after only 30 years. Helps when you get advice from the people who
    built the boat.

    Some boats are designed and built to be handed down to the grandkids
    despite the wear and tear of decades of use and abuse.
    Jere Lull, Feb 14, 2007
  20. Skip Gundlach

    AMPowers Guest


    With all due respect, I must disagree with many aspects of your post.

    To the question of "ever make it strong enough", I believe you will find
    that many boat yards would be able to do so, and without any real doubt
    about the quality of the final product. The question would be at what
    cost, which may be high enough to abandon the project. But that is an
    economic, not emotional decision.

    In terms of technical abilities, if someone decided to "add" additional
    bulkheads to an existing hull, there would be no problem doing so - and
    most yards could handle this type of work and claim that the new
    bulkheads were bonded as well or better than the original. They might
    weigh significantly more, they might look worse, but technically it is
    feasible (if more difficult) to rebond to existing fiberglass.

    In this case, it may be necessary to do something quite like that.
    Whether the expense of doing so makes sense would be for the owner to
    determine, but from an engineering standpoint I don't believe there is
    anything we've heard that contradicts this approach.

    As to "never reach 100% new as-built strength", I don't quite understand
    what this means. Are you suggesting that the manufacturer's "as built"
    product is as strong as it could ever possibly be, and that any
    modification would necessarily detract from this idealized value?

    Boat builders, even Morgans, don't always build "as strong as it could
    possibly be" because there are other factors to consider, such as cost,
    design constraints, weight ratios, flex, etc. Some engineer or
    architect (more likely some manager or accountant) decided exactly how
    strong they could get away with making something and still sell it to
    their target market. It could always have been built better, but they
    didn't believe the customer would pay more for it. Again, this is an
    issue of cost. The practical limit on upper strength could always be
    improved in just about any vessel ever made.

    Testing the repair can be done in a number of ways, but it would not
    require the "knot in your gut" feelings you describe, nor the numerous
    sea trials of increasing magnitude. The owner can hire engineers to
    examine the work and bench test it, and delivery captains (the test
    pilots of the sea) to see how she performs under load. It would not be
    difficult to determine how well the joints held, or if there was any
    leakage. It is simply a matter of the cost of arranging it.

    Your statement that "this was not what the dream was about" is also
    highly suspect. Unless it was your dream (and my understanding was that
    it was Skip & his wife's, and they did not appoint you as their dream
    adviser) then who are you to presume to make this claim? Perhaps
    shouldering on after a difficult setback is exactly what their dream was
    about? Do you know this? Did you ask them?

    Furthermore, your prognosis that "your love for her will turn to hate
    just from this nagging mistrust" seems awfully well informed about the
    owner's psyche. How well do you know him? Have you had long
    conversations with him about his feelings around this situation? Are
    you basing this on some expert opinion on human dynamics? Where is the
    data or rational to support this claim? Personally, it sounds like your
    own fears and prejudices bleeding through here under the guise of a
    disinterested third party offering unsolicited technical advise.

    Perhaps knowing how well the boat stood up to a pounding in the first
    place really impressed the owner and gave him great respect for the
    innate quality of the construction. Perhaps knowing how well the boat
    was repaired and tested would give him even greater confidence and trust
    in his boat. Maybe this experience will make him an even better sailor
    and better able to avoid ever placing his newly repaired boat in harms
    way again.

    Or maybe he'll decide that it isn't cost effective to try again with
    this particular hull, because the price of repairing the damage makes it
    more feasible to start again with another vessel. In either case, I
    don't think "nagging doubt" should be the determining factor, but cost
    should. Spinning the emotional slant doesn't seem appropriate or
    justifiable here.

    AMPowers, Feb 14, 2007
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