Survey Says…..

Saturday June 13, 2015

survey on Daze Off

Survey says this boat is going to need a lot of work.  But we already knew that.  And you probably did too.

No, all joking aside, we did not get a full survey done on the boat since everything besides the hull is going to be replaced….but that one area we still wanted to have looked at.  I probably mentioned in one of the first posts when we bought the boat that there were two known holes in the hull under the waterline and since we’ve been to see her in person we’ve found countless more.  Or at least more than we’d like to have.  And enough to have had us worried that the welding repairs on Daze Off might completely wreck our budget.  The going rate seems to be about $85/hr for a decent welder, plus materials, but we weren’t sure how many days or weeks it might take to fix this bad boy up.

Which is why we called on our good friend Dylan Bailey of DB Yacht Surveying.  Not only is Dylan a master at metal boats, his father building them for years and owning one himself, but he was also who took care of us in St. Augustine when we had our accident on the ‘Dip.  So we already knew we were in good hands with him.  Being one of the first people we got in contact with after purchasing this new boat, we knew that we’d want him to take a look at it no matter what.

Even though he’s based in St. Augustine he’ll sometimes make work related trips down to the Stuart area and we’ve made sure to catch him now a couple of times.  Once was when Daze Off was still in the storage yard and we were indecisive on if we wanted to keep her due to all the possible repairs necessary to the hull. He said she looked like a good and sturdy built boat, but would like to do an ultrasound of her at some point to fully assess the holes and overall thickness of the hull in different spots to see areas of possible corrosion.

Now that Daze Off is in the work yard and he was nearby, we called on Dylan once more to fully inspect the hull and keel, talk over the issues with the welder, and give us a good idea of what will need to be done to get her floating again.  Before we were able to show him the hulls that we knew about upon purchase, but this time we were able to show him the new ones we’d found including a perfectly round drilled hole that I’ll go on about more in another post.  Now though, it was nice to have him tell us about the areas we couldn’t see with our plain eyes.

We knew that the keel cavity encountered some damage during a hurricane. Salt water entered the cavity, and along with the lead ballast, created a battery which did lead to a bit of corrosion.  Talking to Dylan we found that areas that had lost less than 20% of their thickness should be ok, between 20-25% is cause for concern, and anything over 25% should be filled or replaced.

Moving his ultrasound all over our keel we taped out the areas that had too much loss and will need to be replaced by the welder. At the moment the keel looks a bit like a jigsaw puzzle with random bits of tape running all over it, sometimes stretching out lines to connect because in the end a bigger section might be easier to replace than a few smaller ones.

All in all we had just over 1,000 points checked with the ultrasound, so at least we are very sound that we know what kind of condition the hull and keel are in.

At the end of the survey the overall verdict is she actually is in better shape than we had originally hoped.  The sections to be replaced should be easy and not too time consuming which will be great on our wallet.  A few replaced panels, a few areas of pitting filled, and this boat can float again.  In the meantime while all the welding gets worked out though, time to get down and dirty inside.

survey of Daze Off

Survey of Daze Off

survey of Daze Off

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I Got 99 Problems But A Bilge Ain’t One

Tuesday December 4, 2012

Yes, I have been saving that title for quite awhile now.  (It’s in reference to a Jay-Z song) No, I did not want it to be used in a case like this.  In my head it was to be used for something along the lines of It’s raining today and we won’t be able to lay out on this tropical beach we just arrived to.  Not for I crashed my boat coming into an inlet and now this is going to cost us a lot of time and money.  Let me see if there are any other ones that need to be scratched out before they bring impending doom to us or our boat.  Hmmm.    Rock You Like A Hurricane. Gone.  Under The Sea.  Could have been used for snorkeling but now it’s too risky.  Sunny With A Chance of Rainbows.  Wait, no.  That one needs to stay.  Now don’t think I’m superstitious enough to believe that a pending blog title caused our little accident.  That’s silly.  No, it was the cat’s fault.  Notice how this happened just after we got her?  Pretty sure she’s bad luck.  (Just kidding Georgie, mommy and daddy love you)

Now where was I?  Ah yes, the ill-fated results of our haul out and survey.  Things were looking hopeful this morning.  We’d had four days to get over the initial shock of the accident happening and after being talked up by many many people we started to believe what they told us.  It’s going to be fine.  Boats are strong, people are usually the wink link.  I’ve done much worse to my boat and the damage wasn’t that bad.  It will probably just be a few small scratches.  You’ll be back in the water before you know it.  We wanted to believe all this.  We needed to believe.  So when we woke up first thing in the morning and there was not a cloud in the sky and it was already warm enough to ditch the jacket, our minds were in the ‘perfect day’ sort of frame.  Sea Tow was ready to bring us over to a large slip and then the lift would pull us out of the water, we’d be washed down, and then set on blocks to have a proper survey done.   Easy peasy.

Things were going along smoothly and we were still optimistic until the hull was completely out of the water and the keel was exposed.  All along the seam was a long crack and on the fin were scrapes and scratches.  I won’t pretend like I know all things boats or the make-up of them because I don’t, but even I could tell at this point that it wasn’t good.  And the fact that Matt was off to the side shaking his head repeating  “This isn’t good, this isn’t good” just confirmed it for me.  The bottom was given a quick wash and then we were brought over and set on some jack-stands set of to the side for us where a ladder was strapped on to get on and off the deck.

Taking a closer look at the outside we started to see other things wrong besides just the scrapes and cracks.  The rudder, although it still had it’s full range of motion, was cracked at the top, scraped on the bottom, and overall looked to be crooked.  The prop was not doing well either.  Besides the fact that it had our genoa line wrapped around it so tight that it now almost looked like a permanent part of the boat and needed to be cut off with a very sharp knife, the strut was twisted and chipping away from the faring compound that was holding it to the hull.    There were a few other things we could tell were wrong, but not knowing how to correctly put them in a paragraph I’ll just include them in a list in a minute instead.  (Just remember when I write this that I may get a few things wrong.  Luckily there is a person on this boat who actually and correctly does know all the issues, that person is just not me)

Getting to the inside of the boat with the surveyor we had emptied our garage (aft cabin) with all it’s contents out on the deck so all the parts of the engine and the stern would be accessible.  More accurately I’m told, things like the motor mount and stern tube.  Moving through the cabin we pulled out drawers to give access to the tabbing  (the part that connects the bulkheads with the hull) and where the bolts are that would remove the keel. Lastly the bilge, mast step, and remaining fiberglass tabbing was checked.  Throughout the survey we’d get sound effects like “Oh, that’s bad!”.   Or that sound where you suck in your breath because you just saw something you’d rather not have seen.  Then they were concluded with “Wow, you guys really took a pounding”.  Did we tell you about how spaghetti we had sitting under the floor boards burst out of it’s package because we hit so hard?  Yes, we really did take a pounding.  But there was also good news to come out of our surveyor’s mouth as well.  “Wow, the damage should be a lot worse than it is.  There are so many things on here that should be broken but look to be fine.  You have a well built and sturdy boat.  You’re very lucky.”

Lucky as we can be I guess.  Had we just decided to turn around and follow another boat into the inlet or continue down the coast and skip St. Augustine we wouldn’t be in this mess at all, but hindsight is 20/20.  So it looks like we will not in fact be out of here in a few hours or even a few days.  Serendipity is going to require a lot of work.  Enough, it looks like, to even get insurance involved because there is no way we can fix it with what’s in our pocket and still continue the trip.  We contacted them today and hopefully and adjuster will be sent out soon because until then there will be no check cut to the boat yard and work can not start.  And even if work does start right away we’re looking at a two to four week stay here.

  As promised, here is a list of things to be fixed, taken right from Matt’s text to his mom, so you know it’s correct:

To be fixed by the yard:

  • Transmission needs to be sent out and inspected
  • Rudder bushings are gone
  • Rudder shaft is bent
  • Drive shaft is bent
  • Strut is twisted
  • Motor mounts are shot
  • Lots of tabbing is broken
Other issues because of the grounding:
  • Anchor was lost and will need to be replaced
  • Dodger window was broken and will need to be replaced (and after all my hard work on it!)
  • Microwave took a nasty spill and will need to be replaced (yes, we are from the Hot Pocket generation, leave us alone)
  • Chalk on the starboard bow was broken
So there you have it.  We’ll know more once we have the report from the survey and I can give a breakdown of the actual work to be done to Serendipity.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but hey, at least the bilge is still working!

The line that’s causing all this trouble.

She’s up and out!

Starboard side hull and keel.

Port side hull and keel.

Chips on the rudder.

Cutting the genoa line off the prop.

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