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Old 06-02-2014, 05:37 PM   #21
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We moor next door to where Baden was launched, and information from folks who know is starting to come out. According to one contractor on the boat, the original design ballast was 60,000#. A fair amount of stone work was added up top, so the consensus was this ballast needed to be increased to 80,000 - 100,000#. The boat was launched with 30,000#. The same contractor confirmed that the vessel would not stay upright when the slings were loosed, hence she was towed in the slings for haul out.

If that much additional ballast was added, she would sit 6 - 9 inches further in the water, so it's hard to see how this vessel ever gets off the hard as is.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:30 PM   #22
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Steve Seaton is the original designer of this hull, Northern built all boats from the same mold, extending/damming/widening as required to build hulls from 58' to 85' and apparently 90'. The original design called for ballast from 25,000 to 40,000 pounds (lead shot in resin), the larger amount being for the 83 footer. The published weight study of Blood Baron/Baden states 20,000 pounds of ballast, then calls for an additional 38,000 pounds of ballast to bring her into compliance with USCG stability standards (CFR) which she doesn't need to meet as a pleasure vessel. The weight study states a total of 1829 pounds of stonework aboard, spread over 4 deck levels. That's less than 10 extra people (185 lbs per person), which certainly should not imperil the stability of such a vessel.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:52 PM   #23
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Steve Seaton is the original designer of this hull, Northern built all boats from the same mold, extending/damming/widening as required to build hulls from 58' to 85' and apparently 90'. The original design called for ballast from 25,000 to 40,000 pounds (lead shot in resin), the larger amount being for the 83 footer. The published weight study of Blood Baron/Baden states 20,000 pounds of ballast, then calls for an additional 38,000 pounds of ballast to bring her into compliance with USCG stability standards (CFR) which she doesn't need to meet as a pleasure vessel. The weight study states a total of 1829 pounds of stonework aboard, spread over 4 deck levels. That's less than 10 extra people (185 lbs per person), which certainly should not imperil the stability of such a vessel.
Any thoughts then on why she turns turtle when released from the slings?
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:02 PM   #24
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The published weight study of Blood Baron/Baden states 20,000 pounds of ballast, then calls for an additional 38,000 pounds of ballast to bring her into compliance with USCG stability standards (CFR) which she doesn't need to meet as a pleasure vessel.
So if the vessel was launched with only the 20,000 pounds of ballast on board with little or no other ballast on board do you think the vessel could/would behave the way it did?
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:27 PM   #25
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I have personal knowldege of a large yacht that had a hollow keel. A well known PNW NA said the vessel would be unstable if the keel was left hollow, so about 1200 gallons of water/AF mixture were added. When looking at the stability analysis it was revelating to me that a hollow keel could be such an "unsettling" issue, but it was.

The Blood Baron NM issues will be interesting to see spelled out - logically of course.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:43 PM   #26
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I have personal knowldege of a large yacht that had a hollow keel. A well known PNW NA said the vessel would be unstable if the keel was left hollow, so about 1200 gallons of water/AF mixture were added. When looking at the stability analysis it was revelating to me that a hollow keel could be such an "unsettling" issue, but it was.

The Blood Baron NM issues will be interesting to see spelled out - logically of course.
True dat. Whatever is published about what should have worked on this vessel, stability wise, or whatever experts say about its design coherence we have the physical fact that it turns turtle to port when left to its own devices. So clearly, reality trumps theory, and the reality is that this vessel should not have been launched without more ballast. If the port side hadn't hit the rocks, it would have been upside down in its presently most stable position.

I still find the whole thing mystifying, at least in terms of how something can get this effed up with so many presumably smart people involved.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:52 PM   #27
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Has anyone been in working on the mechanicals and flushing things out?
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:03 PM   #28
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Has anyone been in working on the mechanicals and flushing things out?
I sure hope so. So many times I have seen engines get wet in some sort of event, and the insurance co and others fiddle fart around for weeks, then decide to check out the machinery. Well, duh, its all rusted up.

A proper recovery of a wet engine can mean basically zero long term damage. Lots of electrical stuff is a different story, but even generator ends can be rinsed and dried and live a full life. Key is getting to it right away after unsinking. As in a day or two or three.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:09 PM   #29
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The rest of us just seem to have a passive morbid curiosity about the event.

or an active morbid curiosity. Just say'n
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:16 PM   #30
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Has anyone been in working on the mechanicals and flushing things out?
I drive by most days, and I have yet to see anyone on the vessel. That suggests to me that those in a position to know realize that there are aspects of this boat that are simply unsalvageable, otherwise the sensible thing would be to work frenetically to save equipment that was only submerged a short time. Anything on the starboard side is probably fine. My guess is that post lawsuits, she will be sold as a wreck, the waterline adjusted, port side cabinets and equipment replace, and ballasted so she doesn't roll over if a duck bumps up against the hull.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:35 AM   #31
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surprised that the salvage company that was brought in that they didn't at least pickle the engines so they would cover costs if the whole mess goes sour...unless an insurance company wrote a quick check which doesn't happen too often.

mabe it was just a hired crane/barge and paid for out of pocket...and that in itself is also unusual in my neck of the woods.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:51 AM   #32
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surprised that the salvage company that was brought in that they didn't at least pickle the engines so they would cover costs if the whole mess goes sour...unless an insurance company wrote a quick check which doesn't happen too often.

mabe it was just a hired crane/barge and paid for out of pocket...and that in itself is also unusual in my neck of the woods.
Oh there will definitely not be a quick check from the insurer unless someone willing to accept a small one. They seemed most interested in getting it out of the water and not incurring environmental damages and in investigating the boat and accident. Insurance company may well claim some policy exclusions. And I definitely don't expect them to total it. They'll claim the hull isn't damaged. To my knowledge that's true. Property insurer may try to push claim to business liability insurer, if not the same, and assuming there is one. Or claim still it's not a property claim but a business liability one due to negligence or design. I'm not claiming any of these things are justified, just how insurers often work in these situations. If they can't settle on the low side dollar wise, there is no incentive for the insurer to settle anytime soon.

I think the only salvage effort was simply to get it back on land and out of the way. I can imagine the biggest salvage issue was "who is going to pay the salvage company and for what." No major work going to be done while it was unstable and in a sling. Now, who even knows who owns it. Northern closed up shop before it was even salvaged. The buyer sure doesn't want it although might ultimately become his. He does have a lien on the equipment recorded in January 2013.

Right now I think you've got the boat nobody wants. Northern, insurer, buyer.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:02 PM   #33
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a salvage company would be foolish to not ensure easy payment from something...I hope if your info is correct on nothing happening...they have cotacted a fed magistrate and fed marshalls have posted it.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:40 PM   #34
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a salvage company would be foolish to not ensure easy payment from something...I hope if your info is correct on nothing happening...they have cotacted a fed magistrate and fed marshalls have posted it.
By saying not a quick check from insurer, I was referring to the overall claim, not the salvage portion if the insurer actually contracted for the salvage.

I don't know who contracted with the salvage company nor how they protected themselves for payment. Did they get at least partial payment up front? I have no idea. I suspect they did but from whom I don't know. If insurer contracted then salvage company will probably be paid promptly. They generally pay salvage they contract for with no problems. So if the insurance covered salvage likely no issue. Or did the Coast Guard bring in the salvage company? If so the Coast Guard will pay if NM doesn't and will then be collecting what they paid plus any possible fines.

I also have no idea what the salvage costs would be. It was a project for several days. I'd definitely think into six figures, but not into seven. I feel certain the salvage company protected themselves either with payment up front, contract with insurer, or contract with Coast Guard.

Just to add to it. Does the city charge for storage of the vessel now? Any fines for leaving it where it is? Would it at any point be deemed abandoned? Or is that land leased and if so to whom? Generally you can't just put a 90' boat somewhere and not expect to incur further charges and perhaps even fines there too.

Just a very complicated mess, which will likely take a long time to be fully sorted.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #35
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Any thoughts then on why she turns turtle when released from the slings?
I've read no direct evidence of this, though I have seen some "My brother in law talked to a guy who said someone....". Sorting true fact from peoples ideas of what went on is very difficult.

The weight study shows she was heavy on the port side, both generators are mounted 5' off centerline there. She rolled onto her port side and lay partially submerged for roughly 24 hours. Every loose item in the boat and a great deal of soakage added lots of weight up high on the port side, which was already heavy. The tanks on the low side which were empty on launch could have partly filled with seawater. I would not be a bit surprised if she then exhibited a tendency to roll that side down without major remedial work being done.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:27 PM   #36
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surprised that the salvage company that was brought in that they didn't at least pickle the engines so they would cover costs if the whole mess goes sour.
My uncle owned a West coast boat hauling company and his trucking company and shops were located in Washington state. He was always on the lookout for 40' and larger water damaged boats, usually on the Gulf coast, that he could pick up, he said "for .10c on the dollar." Whenever he had an empty truck returning they would haul it back to their shop. Usually not much had been done to them by the insurance company other than draining the engines and filling them full of diesel.

During the slow winter season his shop mechanics and crews would strip, flush and replace the interiors, wiring harness and work over the engines and running gear, then sell them. He didn't make much profit from the boats, but more importantly he didn't have to lay off his mechanics and crews during the winter months. When they were done they were like a new boat, minus the electronics. His favorite restorations were Tollycrafts, I suppose because the plant was located nearby and parts available.

Someone will end up rehabbing that boat and when properly loaded and ballasted it will be a wonderful boat.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #37
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True but usually a salvage company asks for something upfront or knows they can get something valuable out of the salvage.

When we do smaller vessels and the boat is crap but a working engine is worth several thousand...we pay for or do the pickling and will have it held under lien till payment is made.

Usually large vessels aren't an issue because they easily cover the salvage..but in this case there are plenty of hands out...
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:38 PM   #38
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So if the vessel was launched with only the 20,000 pounds of ballast on board with little or no other ballast on board do you think the vessel could/would behave the way it did?
Hard to say.....How did she behave? Exactly?

Would the boat be great with the extra 38,000 pounds and roll over without it? No, I certainly would not expect that.

I don't believe this is a simple occurrence that's due to one particular mistake. Most marine accidents that I've seen properly analyzed end up being caused by a train of mistakes, often going back years. This is why I pay attention to such things, they are another intriguing puzzle that will teach us something.

Roddan Engineering estimates a full load displacement of 291,000 pounds, and specifies 58,000 pounds of ballast, almost 20% of full load weight! This (IMO) is nuts from the get-go. Surely there is a more sensible way to cross an ocean?

The morning after this happened, before I had seen any pictures, video, or read any theories, I thought it must have been a trailer/ramp problem. The builder has subsequently come out and claimed the aft dolly dropped in a hole in the ramp....that could be.

But viewing the doctored video of the actual launch is dismaying to say the least. The stability report by Roddan Engineering claims that, with all (58000 pounds) ballast aboard she would have positive stability to over 60 degrees heel. In the video she exhibited no positive stability at all. Was this due to downflooding and free-surface through the engineroom door? Was it due to the dolly-in-the-hole theory? A mix of both coupled with her being heavy on the port side, perhaps massively heavy unknown to anyone. And was she truly completely afloat (and developing full stability) when she rolled? Or was she still "aground" with bow on the trailer?

One thing I do know is that this sort of accident is preventable. I also know that getting owner's and builder's to fund the study necessary to prevent this is, in some cases, impossible.
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:57 PM   #39
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I've read no direct evidence of this, though I have seen some "My brother in law talked to a guy who said someone....". Sorting true fact from peoples ideas of what went on is very difficult.

The weight study shows she was heavy on the port side, both generators are mounted 5' off centerline there. She rolled onto her port side and lay partially submerged for roughly 24 hours. Every loose item in the boat and a great deal of soakage added lots of weight up high on the port side, which was already heavy. The tanks on the low side which were empty on launch could have partly filled with seawater. I would not be a bit surprised if she then exhibited a tendency to roll that side down without major remedial work being done.
Makes sense.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:02 PM   #40
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True but usually a salvage company asks for something upfront or knows they can get something valuable out of the salvage.

When we do smaller vessels and the boat is crap but a working engine is worth several thousand...we pay for or do the pickling and will have it held under lien till payment is made.

Usually large vessels aren't an issue because they easily cover the salvage..but in this case there are plenty of hands out...
Definitely a lot of hands out. The thing is we don't know who engaged the salvage company, Coast Guard or Insurer or, possibly but unlikely, builder.
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