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whichwaysup

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Everything posted by whichwaysup

  1. THIS is a sunrise

    Man, gotta love it when the sky puts on a show in the morning!
  2. Hey all - I wanted to put this post out there because, from time to time, topics come up here that get debated hypothetically, but we really don't walk away with any specific answers. One of those topics came back to haunt me, so I wanted to share a real experience with you all in the hopes that you all can benefit from it. For you "cliff notes" kind of guys, you can scroll right to the bottom and get the punch line. For those who like drama and morbid entertainment, keep reading: Disclaimer: Please, guys, I have purity of intent here. This isn't a sour grapes, trash-people-for-making-me-a-victim kind of post. I bought a used boat, I skipped some steps, and it came back to bite me, and it's going to cost me a lot of money. And I am at peace with that. When you buy what today would be a 60K boat new 17 years after it's new, and you get it for a "good deal" you take risks, you know those risks, and you better be prepared to accept the consequences. So, no sour grapes. Only sharing this to help others reduce those risks in ways I didn't. So, quick history before we get to the lessons learned: I had a beautiful 1987 Maverick Master Angler for about 4 years and fell in love with the hull. At 30 years old (and a tough 30 years from the looks of things when I bought her), it was still tough as nails and structurally sound, and the ride, oh the RIDE! For a flats boat, it was a Cadillac. I decided that, for the way I fished, it was the only boat I'd own, and I still feel that way. A year ago (almost exactly) a beautiful 2000 MA came up for sale. It was in near mint condition, had a great engine, bottom of the hull hardly had a scratch on it, everything about the boat screamed "I've been babied!" And the price was right, especially after a little negotiation. Time for an upgrade to a newer model! Folks, this isn't my first rodeo buying a used boat. I thought I was pretty good at knowing what to do, what to look for, how to protect myself. Ironically, about that time, there was a discussion on the forum about whether to get a survey when buying a used boat. We ended up with a hung jury, with half of the folks saying "you should do it (but most admitting they didn't), and the other half saying "you idiots, it's not a fricken' yacht, it's a toy!" I was in the first camp when advising others, and I was a hypocrite - Always recommended others do it, but I didn't do it when I bought this boat. After all $500 is a lot to spend on a boat that you pay less than 20K for . . . And besides, this boat was clean as a whistle. Lesson 1: GET A DARNED SURVEY. It is not guaranteed to save you from my situation, but it will do one of two things: a) Catch damage you can't see, and/or b) establish an unbiased, documented baseline of the structural and mechanical condition of the boat at time of purchase. That would have helped me . . . a lot. To be clear, I did take what I thought were appropriate measures to ensure the boat was in the condition it appeared to be. I made the seller complete a questionaire - in writing - about the condition of the boat (no damage, no repairs, no known issues, etc, etc.). I had two guys from the forum do a visual inspection on the outside of the boat to see if I was missing anything, and even take pictures of every issue they saw. It made me feel very good about my decision, but in the end, that's all it did. In hindsight, it was extra effort for no benefit, at least in my case. Lesson 2: When buying a boat, take pictures of EVERY part of the boat, not just the issues. That way, if an issue shows up later, you have a record that proves that the issue WASN'T there before. It may or may not help you with an insurance claim, but it will at least eliminate any doubt in your mind about whether maybe you missed something when you bought the boat. Heck, do it annually, you will be glad you did. So, fast forward to last Friday. I've been doing a lot of work on the boat - had some wiring breakages, pumps not working, switches, etc. Little stuff, but I address little stuff. Having knocked out my entire list, one item remained. I had a small leak that was bugging me. It had been there when I bought the boat, and it was small enough to chalk it up to a through-hull fitting coming unsealed. It seemed to be getting worse, but it was still pretty minor. Fish for a few hours, end up with a gallon or two, but some of that was happening during wash down. . . . Lesson 3: Take leaks seriously. Got a leak? Fill the hull up with water, plug in, wait and then check EVERY AREA of the boat. Don't think you know what it is. So, since I finally had a few minutes and the boat was completely dry, I put the plug in, turned on the hose, and filled the hull up with water. Nothing. Fill it up more. Nothing. Fill it up more. NOTHING. I am kind of beaming with pride, what a great boat! Gotta be the livewell plumbing. Fill it up more . . Ohhh, what's this? A little drippage from the bolts for the engine. Okay, gotta address that, maybe when I install that jack plate! Fill it up more, to see if it will impact the upper bolts too . . . no, looking good . . . . Check the rest of the hull . .. . Uh oh . . . . What's this? Why are there drips there on that chine?? There's no through-hull there, no fitting . . . OH . . HOLY @#$%^, that's a fricken' CRACK in my HULL! 11 inches long, and there's another crack running perpendicular . . . . HOLY @#$%^& Now, the axis of my world is being shifted by a cataclysmic mental earthquake. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? HOW???? Okay, breathe, breathe, think think think think . . . A million little possibilities come to mind: I hit a pothole HARD the other day while trailering, bottomed out the trailer . . . did that do it? Every wake I've ever hit hard comes to mind, or . . . could this have been there when I bought the boat? Did I miss it? I go back and retrace what I did when I bought it. No, no way I missed it. It's plain as day. Three different guys looking at it three different times would not have missed it. They caught stuff WAY smaller than an 11" crack in the chine next to a 5" crack along the transom. I did too. It wasn't there . . . but I can't prove it. I call Nagjuice, and run it by him. He immediately reminds me of our last trip, when I about knocked out his teeth on a big wake in the ICW that I misjudged. I remembered it, it was recent, and it was a hell of a hit. But, it's a good boat, good manufacturer, certainly this boat is designed to handle that, right? Now, I've got a decision to make. Sell my soul and tell the insurance company that "I hit a wake hard and now I have a crack in my hull" implying that I know that it is the cause, which I don't, or be perfectly honest with them and let the chips fall where they may. Easy decision. It may take me a few years to earn the money to fix this if they decline me, but it's an eternity in hell if I lie. I'll take door number 1, thanks. Let's see where the chips fall, with my soul fully in tact, even if that means the checkbook won't be. Lesson 4: (no, this isn't "Lie like hell next time," LOL): Keep a log somewhere for any incident that happens on the boat. Major impact on a wake? Document it. Pothole under the trailer? Document it. May not win your claim, but at least you don't sound like you are making stuff up when you tell them. Also, WHEN that stuff happens, do a visual inspection. Seriously. It takes 30 seconds. Had I done that after the wake impact, I would have been able to say "I hit a wake hard and now I have a crack in my hull . . . that wasn't there when it was surveyed when I bought it . . . or last year in this picture I took of this same portion of the boat." I called Progressive up and told them exactly what you see above, as you see it. No BS, no shady implications. Poor way to get a claim approved? Yeah, probably, but that wasn't my goal. I know what I know about what's happened, and I also know what I don't know. I give them both. Unfortunately, it sure sounds like I am either: A) An absolute idiot (yeah, I didn't do a survey when I bought it, yeah, I didn't take pics of that spot, yeah, I didn't check the hull after the impact) - funny how all your foolish decisions become evident at once. B) A guy trying to make a (very weak) case for them to pay for something they shouldn't. I doubt that they deal with many "C" people - "C" being "A guy who is just trying to be honest and hoping somehow this thing is covered, cause it's gonna cost more than I can afford to fix." But that's fine, I'm the one that has to sleep with me tonight. The insurance guy is a nice enough guy, but doesn't know a stringer from a transverse. He didn't do much to convince me that he understood much about boat construction, or had an expertise in damage causation. I directed him to the chine where the damage was, shared my facts again, then showed him the damage again, because he didn't seem to know what a chine is, because he was looking at an area nowhere near the chine. The livewell made it impossible to see the damage from inside the hull, and he made a few minor attempts, but didn't have the equipment to snake a camera in there. I could tell that he was going through the motions, waiting to figure out how to tell me that it wouldn't be covered. He seemed to know that before he looked at the boat. Ten minutes later, he breaks the news to me. This is wear and tear, he says, excluded by the policy. Not covered, you're on your own. Not the official answer, he says, but that's what it's probably going to be. Folks, this is my second MA. This is a premium brand boat. My last boat was 30 years old and didn't have cracks in the chine. I am not sure how MBG would feel about someone stating that their boats have a 15 year or less shelf life. I would tell you that there may be a lot of reasons that there is a crack in the bottom of my hull, but "normal wear and tear" is not one of them. I suspect that most of you would agree. But I don't have a leg to stand on, because: I can't prove the condition of the boat when I bought it a year ago, I can't definitively give them a SPECIFIC cause, because I didn't document it. I have no doubt that Progressive would still have tried to deny the claim. These "lessons" I'm sharing with you are not bullet proof, but I'd be in a hell of a lot better position, but from a moral sense (being absolutely confident that I KNOW the facts) and a legal sense to fight for a better result. Here's the funny part - and I share this because it only highlights how much the burden of proof will rest on you, should something like this happen. I pushed very very very hard on Progressive on the reason for the denial. I even had someone from MBG put in writing that this was not "normal wear and tear" for a 17 year old boat - it had to have a specific cause. I wasn't fighting for the claim to be approved, I was fighting for them to give me a reason that made sense and wasn't directly contradicted by the manufacturer. The adjuster had told me that "his boss and two other guys" had made this determination from the pictures (remember, only from the exterior of the hull), but none of them were an expert in the field. Eventually, I got him to agree to send the pics over to a 3rd party surveyor that he mentioned that Progressive uses and trusts. He was clear that this was "above and beyond" what he was required to do, but he was confident that they would absolutely back up their position. I said fine, let's start there. An hour later, the adjuster called me and said, "Well, it turns out the surveyor says you can't determine the cause from these pictures. They would need to see the boat physically and actually see the damage (from the inside)." I of course challenged him with this - "Wait a minute, an expert in the field is telling you that a determination of cause cannot be made using the exact same photos you all are looking at to make a determination that this is normal wear and tear. Does that seem strange to you?" I pushed for them to hire an objective 3rd party to assess the damage before decisioning the claim. They absolutely refused. They told me I could hire a surveyor on my own, but they would strongly discourage it, since, even if the surveyor agreed that it was caused recently by an impact, they still might not cover it. Again, folks this isn't a sour grapes attempt to throw Progressive under the bus. I suspect the outcome would have been the same for a lot of insurers, as a lot of them use the same underwriters anyway. I simply want you to see how this situation played out - no hypotheticals, no BS, no excuses for my stupid decisions. Learn from my mistakes. I am not a rich man. I have 5 kids I have to put through college, and my wife's van is 11 years old and is going to need to be replaced. Those priorities are going to take precedence over getting this boat fixed, so I may be a less frequent contributor for awhile. Had I done things differently, things that you can do RIGHT NOW, I may have had a very different outcome. So, for those of you who don't want to read the novel above, here's your cliff notes version: 1) When buying a used boat, get a survey. Just do it. Do NOT rely on your own expertise to know what's going on in that hull. Even if their findings agree with your findings, their report is a hell of a lot more powerful should something happen in the future. DO IT. 2) Take pics of the hull, everything, in detail, not just the stuff that is "bad." It's the areas that AREN'T damaged that will become critical evidence should a future incident happen. I'd even recommend doing it annually. Again, may not help you, but it sure will put your mind at ease about when something did or didn't happen. 3) Take leaks seriously. Do NOT assume it's "just a fitting that needs to be resealed," or "the live well plumbing." Especially if they seem to be getting worse. 4) Keep a log of incidents that happen that are memorable. Big wake impact that rattled your teeth and scrambled your brains for a moment? Log it. Trailer get an opportunity to put it's springs to the test? Log it. AND THEN INSPECT THE BOAT AFTERWARDS. Good time to update those pics from item #2. BTW, for those who aren't buying a boat and already have one, it's not too late - if it's out of warranty, you can still do this . . . . ALTERNATIVE OPTION: If the 4 items outlined above are too time consuming, costly, or tedious, you can choose to do as I did and NOT do them. These are GREAT boats. They are really well built. I'm the only guy I've ever heard of with an 18.5 MA with a broken, cracked, or delaminated stringer (I think that's what it is, but at best it's a crack in the hull). You will undoubtedly save $500 in a survey that may or may not help you. But if you choose this option, make sure you CHOOSE it, not default into it like I did. So, right now, go out to your boat and look at it. Then pretend for a moment that you are me. You have a beautiful boat that you love, but that you will need to spend somewhere between $5 and $15K on it to be able to use, money that you don't have to put towards a toy you've already poured money into because, like me, you have kids to put in college, or vehicles to be replaced, or fun equipment you'd rather buy for the boat. If you are okay with that, then ignore this and if you DO end up in my situation, shoot me a PM and we'll get together over a beer and exchange war stories about our (failed) battles with insurance companies. I'll even pick up the tab. (BTW, this isn't a sob story either. I'm far from starving to death and I'm not asking for help on this. Just take a learning from my experience.)
  3. Boat parts

    where are you located?
  4. New MBG Plant Progress

    That's . . . huge. Congrats. That kind of investment doesn't happen without a lot of confidence and optimism - great to see it!
  5. New MBG Plant Progress

    So is phase 1 going to cover the entire area that was filmed, or just the cement pad that has been laid, or the cement pad + the area being prepared for cement?
  6. 2005 Maverick MA 21

    She's pretty, seems like she's in great condition, very surprised she hasn't found a new home yet. It's warming up . . .
  7. THIS is a sunrise

    Wow. Just WOW. Nicely done!
  8. Ulterra Users - Take Note-Discconnect ALL POWER

    Is this caused by the blue tooth capability? I.e., only an issue in the newer Ipilot and Ulterras, not the pre-puck Ipilots?
  9. Are the rod holders structural

    I think that would be good - I always noticed a little flexing between the aft rod holder and the rear deck where it didn't feel like it had enough support. You'd probably be making an improvement to remove the rod holders and then reinforce the gunnels in more locations.
  10. Learn from my mistakes - Insurance Learnings

    Hey Dino - Good points, and kind of my thinking right now. I do own the boat free and clear and frankly don't have the scratch to go drop 25K into a newer one that is still used and may end up with it's own set of issues. While the estimates will ultimately determine what I do, my lean now is to fix her and keep her for as long as she'll last, which, based on my last MA, should be a very very long time. As for Egret, yes, I did reach out to them but they weren't interested in doing work for other manufacturers.
  11. better check the stringers, if they are cutting corners on the wheel, sure would stink to find cracks in the hull!
  12. Learn from my mistakes - Insurance Learnings

    Bob, I hope I don't upset you by doing this, but I think it is worth calling this out. I've worked with a lot of business owners in my time and I can't think of many that I've been as impressed as I have been with you. Some strange guy calls you up out of the blue one day, who isn't even in the same state as your business, and asks to pick your brain about a boat issue. You could have, very understandably, told me to find someone local to talk to, but instead you spent over half an hour on the phone with me talking through this and sharing your expertise. As if that wasn't enough, you followed up with me well after closing time last night to ask more questions and share some additional thoughts. You asked for more pictures to continue to help me figure out what I'm dealing with. I'll admit that this issue has led to some sleepless nights, trying to figure out what to do, what I'm dealing with, and trying to ignore the little voice in my head that keeps saying, "you're an idiot, you're an idiot, you're an idiot for buying this boat." The last two days have been much easier because, for the first time, I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a better idea of what this issue is. It's a long way down to S. Florida from Wilmington, NC, but it's a drive I'm beginning to very seriously contemplate. Thanks for all you've done, I now know why your name comes up so frequently on this forum.
  13. Learn from my mistakes - Insurance Learnings

    I'll hit these questions one at a time: 1) Cap coming off - I was originally going down this path as well, the thought being, "If you are going to do major surgery, go big." However, every fiberglass guy I've talked to have strongly discouraged doing so, with several indicating that it can actually cause more stress cracks and more damage than it will fix. Since the tank and wiring are in good shape and the damage is concentrated in one area, it doesn't make sense in this case. 2) The other side - I did get pictures of the other side and there is absolutely no evidence of any issue on that side externally or internally. I spoke with a well respected repair shop last night and he confirmed that this was caused by a manufacturing defect, so it being concentrated in one area isn't unusual. It's not a design flaw, but an issue that occurred in manufacturing that happened with that particular stringer. I will be taking a closer look at the other side to be sure, but so far, there is no evidence of an issue. 3) The fix - Steve, I don't know yet what the fix will be, because it depends so much on the cause and extent of the damage. The consistent theme from those who've looked at it is that the fix will be done through the livewell, re-attaching the stringer and reinforcing the entire area. However, everyone has said at some point or another, that the fix will be determined after the full extent of the damage has been assessed. 4) Fixing vs. selling as is - Until I get a hard quote, I can't really make this decision. I like the boat, intend to use it for a long time, and it fits my fishing needs. If it's a break even between fixing or selling/replacing with something newer, I'll probably just fix it - the devil you know vs. the devil you don't, right? We'll see, stay tuned. Once I transition from "research" mode to "fix" mode, I'll start a new thread. Hopefully this thread is helpful or at least entertaining for everyone.
  14. 2008 pathfinder 2000

    Get a survey.
  15. Learn from my mistakes - Insurance Learnings

    Actually, the good news is that it won't require the cockpit floor to be cut - should be fixable through the live well. But yeah, tough break. That's life, I suppose. You win some, you lose some, but you sure do learn a lot along the way!
  16. THIS is a sunrise

    What he said! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  17. Learn from my mistakes - Insurance Learnings

    LOL - yes, sorry, I overstated that. I meant, of all the fiberglass guys/surveyors/insurance guys that looked at it, he's the first one that actually said "clean it up so I can see what's really going on." I'm just amazed that nobody else felt the need to see it cleaned up to make a diagnosis. As for pulling the cap, Bob (and several others) were pretty adamant that doing so would be a last resort and could actually cause more damage than good. I was surprised, but it does mean that the work will have to be done by removing the port live well, which will be interesting to replace. As for dilly dallying, I hear you. This is driving me nuts. The first fiberglass guy who was going to do the work jacked the price up by 1200 from his original estimate, then went completely AWOL on me. I had another guy come out and look at it and, to his credit, say "I'm not fixing something until I know what caused it, because I don't want the issue to come back later." I've got two other guys looking at it now for estimates and opinions. I REALLY miss having my boat. It's killing me.
  18. Learn from my mistakes - Insurance Learnings

    Hey all - The saga continues . . . I am amazed by how many different opinions there are on what caused this and what can be done to fix it. It seems that the ONLY people who think it wasn't caused by any impact of some kind are the insurance company and the surveyor, but that's water under the bridge now. I reached out to (member) Bob at Inshore Marine Specialties to get his thoughts and I have to give him some serious props. Here's a guy down in S. Florida who is not only willing to take time out of his day to help a guy hundreds of miles away, he's also the ONLY guy that has given me advice that actually got me closer to a solution. His advice? Simple - clean the bilge area thoroughly and see if there is more to the story than you think there is. Brilliant - and not a single other person who's looked at the boat asked me to do that, and I (not the sharpest tool in the shed) didn't even think of it myself. But when I did it - Eureka, the problem gets clearer. Attached are some photos of the same area that you have seen earlier in this thread. Now that it is clean, we're not 100% sure that there is actually any cracking on the top of the stringer at all. What appeared to be cracks MAY just be a seam in the fiberglass . . .or it may be a crack. Even with my Go Pro in there, I can't tell for certain. Some angles it looks like a crack, in others, a seam. What IS new is that there is DEFINITE cracking along the base of the stringer all the way from the transom extending forward to the bilge pump. It seems to stop there and there isn't any other sign of damage visible forward of that. The crack shows much more separation near the transom than it does going forward. So, how about some opinions - any thoughts on cause and fix? Pic 1: Top of stringer, potential crack barely visible on left side. Pic 2: Looking at the stringer from a side view, looking 45 degrees forward and to the port side. Cracking very visible in the base of the stringer. Pic 3: Close up of Pic 2, cracking visible both along the base of the stringer and running from point to point of the outside edges. Pic 4: A close up of the area where the stringer meets the transom - port stern corner Pic 5: A view looking forward towards the first transverse (from the stern). Damage doesn't (visibly) extend past the bilge pump. All remaining pics - top of stringer. Is that a crack or not????
  19. Stuck in Choko mud

    PUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSHHHHHH! Lol, been there, done that!
  20. kevlar hull on 87 MA

    you know what, You may be onto something. I always said that boat was a lot lighter than my 2000. The console is definitely CF, but I never considered the hull being CF because of its age. Dang, I think we need to renegotiate the price I sold it to you for if it is a CF hull! Hope it is, I always knew she was special!
  21. The final boat accessory!

    Do they come with Salt Life stickers pre-attached or do you have to put them on yourself?
  22. crazy video!!!

    Dang, I kept thinking, "it will turn, it will turn. . . " dang
  23. Are the rod holders structural

    You are talking about the horizontal, under gunnel rod holders. I am not sure, but I do theink they support the gunnels.
  24. kevlar hull on 87 MA

    No, This was a scott deal/ maverick boat. no wood. I confirmed that when I bought it with Scott/Skip. I think Maverick started building these in 85, but not 100% on that. I dont think that boat is kevlar, I dont think they introduced that until much later. I could be wrong though.
  25. Batteries discharge overnight sorta

    I always had that same experience. Every ramp I went to, someone always asked about her. I remember my first trip with her after I bought her, some guy at the ramp offered me cash on the spot for her, and it was a lot more than I paid a week earlier. I politely declined and never looked back!
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