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  1. #1

    Scarab Excel 31 sank at the dock


    I need your help. My Scarab sank at the dock July 16 on the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay NY. I am still fighting with the insurance company over the cause of the boat sinking. They sent a forensic investigator to determine "cause and origin" of the boat sinking. This guy was a fire and arson investigator, he claims that because the boat was tied to a floating dock it will move with wind and waves. He went on to speculate that this wave action caused the port side of the boat to dip low into the waves. At the lowest point my boat is 21 inches above the waterline. That means the dock and boat would have to move more than 21 inches. This dock is 8ft wide X 40 ft long, it has two 24 inch air tanks running along the 40 ft length that provide the floatation. It is held in place with 6 inch steel pipes driven into the river bottom on each corner of the dock. The dock has 10 inch diameter collars that allow the dock to slide on the pipes. How would I convince the insurance company that they don't know what they are talking about?

  2. #2
    Charter Member #1055/Moderator Charter Member GO4BROKE's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Sonic 386
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    I  Voted
    Call your lawyer and sue them. I can't believe they can legally deny a claim on speculation.

  3. #3
    Registered Rippem's Avatar
    My Boats:
    353 FasTech
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    1000 Islands
    I am here in Watertown..keep my boat in the River @ the Bay. Another question is where is your dock? Is it in a protected bay or cove? On the leeward side of an island? It seldom gets rough enough in such areas to have the ins companies theory "hold water". Pretty common for muskrats to eat bellows up here, especially if you leave your drives up at all at the dock. An "Excel" is what...10 years old? Had you ever replaced the bellows? They dry rot with the 6+ month lay-up in this part of the country. Does the investigator have any idea what the hell he's talking about? A floating dock such as yours is ideal, and probably the least likely to contribute to your boat going down!

  4. #4

    I had the port engine coupler replaced by French Creek Marina in Clayton NY. As you may know the engine needs to be removed to complete this repair. When the boat was recovered the marina checked all of the bellows and found nothing wrong. They decided to put the boat back in the water to find the leak. Once the boat was in the water we (marina owner, Service manager and myself) observed water entering the bilge area through the lower exhaust hose (connects the silent choice to the bullhorn). This hose was the port side of the port engine (same engine that was removed 13 days earlier by the marina). I had the boat surveyed, the surveyor measured this hose to be 1.25 inches above the waterline. The insurance company says this hose didn't make the boat sink because it is above the waterline. I explained that the side of the boat is even farther above the waterline than the hose (that didn't make the boat sink). Have you ever heard of an exhaust hose above the waterline sinking a boat?

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Platinum Member buckknekkid's Avatar
    My Boats:
    311 SR1, and a bunch of engines and parts
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    OAKVILLE, Ontario

    3 words

    Sink the adjuster
    Too Soon

  6. #6
    Registered Mark D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Seattle, Washington


    Why would it matter what the hell happened to your boat other than it sank.
    On that theory your insurance company should pay the damages if your policy was in good standing.
    What is it with these insurance companies these days? I got a life policy the other day & was thinking that if I walked off a curb & got hit by a bus the insurance company would screw my wife out of the 1 mil for some technicality.
    Chevy57, who is your insurance carrier? We want to know...
    They need to pay up whether your boat was ripped off, blew up, or sank.......

  7. #7
    Registered robyw1's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1998 Wellcraft 22' Scarab
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Spring, TX
    I heard a very similar situation on the Tom Martino troubleshooter Radio show. Was this you Chevy57?


  8. #8
    Platinum Member Platinum Member mcollinstn's Avatar
    My Boats:
    1991 F311SR1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Yeah, I'm having trouble understanding why it is an issue as to which accidental happening was the cause for the sinking.

    I sank my 43' houseboat by accident. I left an exhaust manifold sitting on top of the fuel tank (still connected to the transom thruhulls @ 4" above the waterline)when I pulled the heads off one motor. Wave action rocked the boat and I did not have the manifold secured up there and it apparently fell down into the bottom of the bilge. Continued wave action would slap the ass of the boat and spurt big vomits of water into the hull. Pumps kept up for a while (also had the crappy Rey Jefferson battery charger out for repairs). Batteries died. Pumps stopped. When the boat was 4" down, it began to self siphon. I got a call when it was already on the bottom.

    All my fault. Pure accident.

    Boat was insured for replacement value of $115k (in 1983). Proposal to take the boat to a custom builder and gut it and refit it was $67k. Insurance company wrote me a check for $66k. No hassle. Allstate.
    I see London, I see France...

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