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63' Bertram Possibly stuffed off SC???

Old 01-12-2010, 05:49 PM
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I would concur that it may have hit a barge or the tow cable between a tug and a barge. From the damage, it appears that the front may have been cut in half by a barge tow cable. Pretty easy to hit a tow cable at night or during low visibility.

If it did hit a barge tow cable, the towed barge may have impacted the back from the side and tore the transom off.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:29 PM
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Very interesting!!!! I like the tow cable theory. It had to be something super strong to tear that Bertram apart. Not that Ritz cracker bouy.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:33 PM
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Ok, here's the latest, I just love this story and still don't see how the captain and mate were not hurt bad. I would have thought a stop like that would have launched them off the bridge!!! Anyway, from Bertram President:

"Dear Bertram Dealers, Employees, and Friends,
As I have stated previously, I am committed to providing you with solid, factual, up-to-date information on the Bertram 630 incident of November 6th.
And, as I have done on my previous five (5) communications to you on this matter, I will not offer idle speculation or unsupported opinions.
At the same time, I believe it is my responsibility to correct misinformation that is presented as fact. Some of the statements below bring into question the motivation of the parties making the statements.

For example:
•The caption accompanying underwater photographs posted on one website claims that the images were taken from a video of the boat shot on November 11, just a few days after the sinking. These photos - depicting dramatic damage to the sunken boat - have been used to cast doubt on the possibility the sinking was caused by a collision and to support a number of negative theories about the quality of Bertram yachts. The FACT is the sunken boat was not even located until two weeks later on November 24 by a crew contracted by the owners. It was found 1.5 miles from the point of its sinking. Between the date of the incident and when the images were captured after November 24 there was a significant tropical storm in the area with very strong winds and violent currents with the strength to toss such a wreck about and move it some distance from where it sank. We cannot know exactly what happened down there during those two and a half weeks, but it is very likely that much of the damage we see was inflicted AFTER the boat sank and had nothing to do with the sinking in the first place.
•Many of the statements made by one local poster to the website are entirely FALSE. We believe this poster is misrepresenting the facts because -- we also believe -- his family owns a Miami-based boat building company. Specifically his assertions concerning the source of the hull coring material and that Bertram subcontracts the lamination of its hulls are entirely FALSE as are numerous other statements he has made as “fact”. His statements must be viewed with great suspicion in light of our belief that he has not disclosed that he is in the Sportfish Yacht manufacturing business and is a minor competitor of Bertram.
•The damage to the yacht depicted in the underwater photographs (taken AFTER 11/24) is totally inconsistent with the detailed description of the sinking boat provided by the captain during an interview after the incident (which occurred 11/6).

As I had stated in my previous update – although there is overwhelming evidence that the boat did strike a buoy marking an artificial reef (through the laboratory match of the bottom paint on this boat and the paint on the buoy) we do not know what brought down this vessel so we will not speculate.

We will continue to carefully gather the facts and provide updates as the facts emerge. Bertram continues to remain totally confident in our product and stands behind all of the boats currently in owners’ hands and those under construction.

As always, if you have any questions on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Michael W. Myers
Bertram Yacht Inc.
(305) 633 - 8011"
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:49 AM
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I think we are missing the point which is why I posted this on OSO. The newer Bertrams are lighter and rely on sandwich construction techniques to get them that way. If you have seen some recent video of these HP series sportsfishermen one would have to agree that they are starting to resemble our offshore boats in the way that they leap over the water and thrust into incoming waves. It is not only feasible... it is probable that the boat tripped over a set and stuffed into an oncoming wave. At 40 knots, and with 60,000 lbs behind it, that would be enough to shatter the bow and fore-deck right off. Again, watch the "Heat is on" video.

The thrust of the water could have theoretically blown out the transom. One would be surprised to learn how weak and how light the larger transoms are. Keep in mind that these boats are not constructed like our "thrust-transom" boats... with wood and other cores. Most of the larger boats with "non-thrust-transoms" are only 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick... much less if they are built as a sandwich.

A collision with another vessel would have been reported as such. The 63 would have radioed to the other vessel for help. There is no other party noted. A collision with a container would have caused more damage to points below the waterline. A collision with a tow cable makes sense, but, again, no other party noted. It would have been sited in the official CG report.

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:33 AM
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There is no way that a 63 Bertram would have gone down as a result of impact with that buoy or one like it. I personally have seen a 73 Rybovitch hit a Large Chanel Marker (Nun) and sustain far less damage than this boat has. Also 32 Intrepid collided with a Large Can at 35 mph and finally went down after 2 hours, and sustained damage at the point of impact, but the entire boat didn't delaminate.

IMO the transom came off as a result of the water being forced through the hull, and traveling through the lower lazzarette and bilge area ripping the transom off with the force of the water. This is not an isolated incident with newer Bertrams, just the worst case so far, but I am sure there are more out there.

I have over 6000 hours at the helm of several large Sport Fish Boats, and the 63 Bertram that I ran for a customer shuddered and flexed in a big sea, where as the Vikings that I ran more frequently have a solid feel. There may have been several factors involved, but the construction of the boat and their layup deffinately failed.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:45 AM
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If all this really happened from stuffing, can you imagine what that would have felt and sounded like?! The tansum blowing out and all... it would have been like an IED.

Really hoping we get the whole story at some point.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:03 AM
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well it doesn't look good to me that bertram wants to say a 250lb buoy brought down a 63 sport fishing boat like that. doesn't matter if the a lot of that damage happened after it sank, it still sank because of a 250lb buoy. That is just stupid to think that.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MidOcean View Post
It is not only feasible... it is probable that the boat tripped over a set and stuffed into an oncoming wave. At 40 knots, and with 60,000 lbs behind it, that would be enough to shatter the bow and fore-deck right off.
A Bertram 630 weighs over 90,000 lbs. The boat was also supposed to be traveling around 25 knots, not 40. It is reported in that thread that seas were under 6 ft. I am no expert, but in my opinion a 63 foot sportfish should not be stuffing under those conditions.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:14 AM
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Im not buying the buoy theory as a lone cause.

Id say this, plus existing damage,plus a big wave hit - plus manufacturing defects.

Look at how the fibreglass pulls away from the core material indicating they were never fused together to begin with.

Core material should be bonded so thoroughly that it becomes one piece not a sandwich of layer loosely held together.

This is what resin infusion and vacuum bagging are employed in the mafgr process for - to insure the complete bond.

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Old 01-13-2010, 12:13 PM
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I didn't read everything on the other site, but I would think they had radar on and could have seen most anything in front of them.

Last edited by rush; 01-13-2010 at 03:06 PM.
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