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Old 12-24-2015, 09:48 AM   #141
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I glad you're better with boat surveying than your are with story facts.

Jury award was for $2.86 million which was reduced by the trial judge to $640,000, which was then further reduced to a non disclosed amount prior to an appeal decision.

From Wikipedia Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants.

Liebeck (the burn victim) was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered third-degree burns on six percent of her skin and lesser burns over sixteen percent. She remained in the hospital for eight days while she underwent skin grafting. During this period, Liebeck lost 20 pounds (9 kg, nearly 20% of her body weight), reducing her to 83 pounds (38 kg). After the hospital stay, Liebeck needed care for 3 weeks, provided by her daughter. Liebeck suffered permanent disfigurement after the incident and was partially disabled for two years.

Ted
But she should have known that coffee is normally served hot. If she had burned herself with her own home made coffee she would have had nobody to blame. The accident was her fault not McDonalds.

If McDonalds or any other restaurant sold someone a hamburger and they took too big a bite and choked on it and died, should the restaurant be held responsible?

Life comes with risks and responsibilities. Not everything bad that happens to you is someone else's fault.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:51 AM   #142
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The Value of ABYC Compliance

The "manual on-off at the back of the stove" lacks, dare I say, ABYC compliance.

This is worthy and important discussion, one that most assuredly benefits the Forum.

To clarify, some ABYC Standards actually do have the force of law, albeit indirectly, where gasoline powered vessels are concerned. Standards that address electrical and fuel systems on these vessels are, for the most part, parallels of the CFR laws. The ABYC electrical standard (there are several electrical related chapters), E-11, is analogous to the National Electric Code, whose merit and legitimacy are undeniable. Why should a boat's electrical system be exempt? Some would argue there's more reason for it to comply, if your home catches fire, tragic though it would be, you can run outside and immediately be safe. I once asked a Coast Guard Marine Safety Officer why diesel powered vessels were exempt, he said, "Because statistically they don't blow up like gasoline powered vessels do, which gives people time to get off in the event of a fire, which in turn lowers the injury and death rate and that's what we look at". Draw your own conclusions, however, where existing vessels are concerned it would be foolish to overlook potential causes for fire, explosion, electrocution, flooding etc just because the standards are voluntary or because they weren’t in effect when the boat was built (in most cases they were, the builder simply was unaware of them or chose not to comply).

Also, contrary to popular belief, ABYC Standards are established, for the most part, only when a clear statistical need for a particular standard can be demonstrated, and there's definitely push back from boat builders, more standards means more cost, and they are involved in the process. In some cases members clamor for a new standard only to be told by ABYC, "the statistics do not support the need for a standard regarding... fiberglass scantlings" for instance. Having been part of the standards writing process, while it's not perfect, I can say standards are created and modified almost with reluctance.

With the potential for explosion so very great, and with deaths and injury having resulted from them, clearly there was a need to create and maintain this LPG standard, just as there was a need for the electrical, carbon monoxide detector, lightning, firefighting equipment, navigation lights, reboarding means, steering systems and many other ABYC standards.

While I have my differences with the organization, I've been in this business for nearly 30 years and no other single entity has represented more of a force for good, and positive change in the marine industry, than the ABYC. Before ABYC's widespread adoption what was "right" was open to interpretation and speculation. I rely on these standards nearly every day to reinforce my experience-derived observations and recommendations (by the way, knee-jerk compliance is, in my opinion, undesirable). And before ABYC there was little or no measure for a technician's competence, now there are training classes and certifications in half a dozen different disciplines, each of which requires the recipient to pass a rigorous 200 question exam (some of which I've helped write, trust me they are difficult to pass). With that, a boat owner or yard can have much greater confidence in a craftsman's or woman's skills.

Insurers rely heavily on actuarials to determine insurance worthiness, and actuarials are based on facts and statistics. While, again, the system isn't perfect, there is little or no agenda where ABYC is concerned beyond ensuring boats are seaworthy, reliable and safe (there's one exception, in spite of a demonstrable need for it they have yet to produce a smoke detector standard, the reasons remain unclear. In spite of that I believe no vessel with an enclosed cabin should leave the dock without one or more).

While it is voluntary, many new boat builders have realized the value in building to ABYC standards. Through a program administered by the National Marine Manufacturer's Association (NMMA), vessels can be certified compliant, you can review a (long) list of them here https://www.nmma.org/certification/b...-manufacturers These builders wouldn't go through the trouble, and expense to comply if there wasn't a clear value and return on the investment.

Those who roundly condemn the ABYC Standards as flawed and agenda or insurer/surveyor-driven, are setting back what may very well be the most worthy cause in the world of boat building and repair in the last half century. Think of this one standard alone, the one that calls for GFCI receptacles to be used in galley, head, engineering and on deck areas. I'm convinced this voluntary guideline has saved countless lives, including my own. It's the law of the land in every home and business building standard, without complying with it you are unable to obtain approval from a building inspector. Yet no one would suggest it's the result of collusion between building inspectors, the NEC and GFCI manufacturers. Why, again, should a boat be any different? In fact, if ever there was a need for a GFCI it's aboard a vehicle floating in a conductive medium, yet, only ABYC Standards compliance calls for it.

Finally, Australia, NZ, the EU and Canada have all codified into law standards that are very similar and in many cases more stringent than ABYC. When my boat building colleagues in these countries find out that our standards are voluntary they are aghast.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:04 AM   #143
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:35 AM   #144
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Really off subject, but I recall "trying" to drink mikky'd coffee back in the day. That stuff was dangerous. And they were sued multiple times and ordered to lower the temp. They did not comply. They are now in compliance. As to marine surveyors, my opinion (from personall experience, first hand, $$$ outa my pocket) is that they are incompitent, all of them that I know anyway, and apparently most other knowledgeable boat owners feel the same way. I understand the insurers desire to know what they are assuring, it only makes good business sense. EXCEPT that they have this army of (add descriptive expletive) trying to tell them if the boat in ? is a good risk. Knowing this, and the fact that I'm paying, suggests to me that I get what I want. I have been "written up" a time or 2 for minor things that ended up being major expenses to satisfy the insurer. Now I just tell my guy what I want, over the phone during the initial contact. I suppose if he doesnt want to do it my way he can opt out. They never do. And, I normally have to tell them what they are looking at, what it does, etc. Then, I want to see the finished survey befor I approve it. They always have mistakes, usually from plain ignorance or lack of knowledge. The last fellow called my planing hull sportfisher a "full displacement hull" in his report. After fixing that his survey was submitted, and he recieved favorable remarks from the insurer. He was happy, I was happy, insurer was happy. I like that pattern.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:52 AM   #145
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Really off subject, but I recall "trying" to drink mikky'd coffee back in the day. That stuff was dangerous. And they were sued multiple times and ordered to lower the temp. They did not comply. They are now in compliance. As to marine surveyors, my opinion (from personall experience, first hand, $$$ outa my pocket) is that they are incompitent, all of them that I know anyway, and apparently most other knowledgeable boat owners feel the same way. I understand the insurers desire to know what they are assuring, it only makes good business sense. EXCEPT that they have this army of (add descriptive expletive) trying to tell them if the boat in ? is a good risk. Knowing this, and the fact that I'm paying, suggests to me that I get what I want. I have been "written up" a time or 2 for minor things that ended up being major expenses to satisfy the insurer. Now I just tell my guy what I want, over the phone during the initial contact. I suppose if he doesnt want to do it my way he can opt out. They never do. And, I normally have to tell them what they are looking at, what it does, etc. Then, I want to see the finished survey befor I approve it. They always have mistakes, usually from plain ignorance or lack of knowledge. The last fellow called my planing hull sportfisher a "full displacement hull" in his report. After fixing that his survey was submitted, and he recieved favorable remarks from the insurer. He was happy, I was happy, insurer was happy. I like that pattern.
If you're smarter than all the marine surveyors, why are you hiring them?
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:57 AM   #146
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But she should have known that coffee is normally served hot. If she had burned herself with her own home made coffee she would have had nobody to blame. The accident was her fault not McDonalds.

If McDonalds or any other restaurant sold someone a hamburger and they took too big a bite and choked on it and died, should the restaurant be held responsible?

Life comes with risks and responsibilities. Not everything bad that happens to you is someone else's fault.
Simply, you're permitted to burn yourself on your own coffee because you screwed up. When a business sells you a product, there is an assumption that the product will be safe for the intended purpose at time of delivery unless otherwise stated. The hamburger analogy falls flat as most could eat the the burger as served without incident. Nobody could have consumed the coffee in that situation without burning themselves.

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Old 12-24-2015, 11:59 AM   #147
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What you're forgetting is that the ones who were blown up or gassed aren't around to tell about it.

It's similar to the seatbelt situation mentioned earlier. I drove for years before seatbelts were commonly installed in cars. I was never killed or injured in an accident so based on my personal experience, seat belts are a waste of money and time, right?

I never drive or ride in a car without wearing my seat belt. Common sense tells me I'm safer if I do.

The same common sense tells me to make whatever changes I can to my boat systems to keep me as safe as possible.
But do you wear a 5 point harness for that one in a million accident?

No.....simplify the obvious and that is exactly where we are....safety is a moving target and for every side...there is some other extreme argument.

Thus the birth of risk management where brains are allowed to overcome blind rules.

The extreme would be mandatory life rafts for all vessels, kayaks and canoes included if they wind up a certain distance offshore....who determines the distance? The size of the vessel? The water temp?

Lots of deaths statistically? Why aren't they mandatory?

Professionals ARE supposed to have little lattitude...otherwise.....why have professionals?

No....overregulation is no better than underregulation. Police state versus anarchy....and for right now....the system seems a little broke to me. Not a lot...but a little.
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Old 12-24-2015, 12:06 PM   #148
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But do you wear a 5 point harness for that one in a million accident?

No.....simplify the obvious and that is exactly where we are....safety is a moving target and for every side...there is some other extreme argument.

Thus the birth of risk management where brains are allowed to overcome blind rules.
I think we're trying to make the same point. The important thing is that we understand the risks and that's where the standards come in. ABYC has more experience than we do as individuals. We can look at their standards and compare them to our situations and make our decisions. Without their standards we have no place to start.
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Old 12-24-2015, 12:21 PM   #149
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I think we're trying to make the same point. The important thing is that we understand the risks and that's where the standards come in. ABYC has more experience than we do as individuals. We can look at their standards and compare them to our situations and make our decisions. Without their standards we have no place to start.
but that is how this discussion got going somewhat.....

When a rule that works for new construction fine but is hard to apply in its entirety to an older boat. It is when they are applied in full force by an insurance company through a survey because they believe that non compliance of 100 percent of the standard puts you in the same risk category as a boat that is in almost zero percent of the standard.

That is the rub and doesn't allow for real risk management. However to be clear...as I posted way earlier....some insurance companies will allow discussion. Thankfully.....
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:02 PM   #150
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Really off subject, but I recall "trying" to drink mikky'd coffee back in the day. That stuff was dangerous. And they were sued multiple times and ordered to lower the temp. They did not comply. They are now in compliance. As to marine surveyors, my opinion (from personall experience, first hand, $$$ outa my pocket) is that they are incompitent, all of them that I know anyway, and apparently most other knowledgeable boat owners feel the same way. I understand the insurers desire to know what they are assuring, it only makes good business sense. EXCEPT that they have this army of (add descriptive expletive) trying to tell them if the boat in ? is a good risk. Knowing this, and the fact that I'm paying, suggests to me that I get what I want. I have been "written up" a time or 2 for minor things that ended up being major expenses to satisfy the insurer. Now I just tell my guy what I want, over the phone during the initial contact. I suppose if he doesnt want to do it my way he can opt out. They never do. And, I normally have to tell them what they are looking at, what it does, etc. Then, I want to see the finished survey befor I approve it. They always have mistakes, usually from plain ignorance or lack of knowledge. The last fellow called my planing hull sportfisher a "full displacement hull" in his report. After fixing that his survey was submitted, and he recieved favorable remarks from the insurer. He was happy, I was happy, insurer was happy. I like that pattern.
A few times a year I do get requests for survey from people with an opinion similar to yours. My response has been consistent over the decades .....
"Sorry I'm booked for the forseeable future".
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:12 PM   #151
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Numbers aside, my point stands. order hot coffee (she didn't order cold coffee did she ? ), spill it on yourself and blame McDonald, collect money. Accept no responsibilty for your own actions. ..... omit due diligence, hire a lousy surveyor then rant.
There is even more to that story that most people never hear. They just do as you did, only spread the myth of the huge cash award.

McDonalds was not the totally innocent victim of money grubbing attorneys that most think they were.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:21 PM   #152
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To WesK: I assume that you are aware that insurance companies require a survey, after all thats kinda why we are discussing this. To BoatPoker: The simple fact that you are here and involved tells me that you are not the typical surveyor that I have hired. Maybe the reason you get requests like mine, a few times a year, is that most knowledgeable boat owners share my opinion of surveyors. In know way am I trying to say that you are in the same "boat" as the guys I have hired. As you have said, most of them are mediocre at best, some are dangerous and a few are actually good. Not a good track record.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:45 PM   #153
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To WesK: I assume that you are aware that insurance companies require a survey, after all thats kinda why we are discussing this. To BoatPoker: The simple fact that you are here and involved tells me that you are not the typical surveyor that I have hired. Maybe the reason you get requests like mine, a few times a year, is that most knowledgeable boat owners share my opinion of surveyors. In know way am I trying to say that you are in the same "boat" as the guys I have hired. As you have said, most of them are mediocre at best, some are dangerous and a few are actually good. Not a good track record.
No argument from me on your conclusion.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:28 PM   #154
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To WesK: I assume that you are aware that insurance companies require a survey, after all thats kinda why we are discussing this. ............. .
You are not quite correct. My insurance company (Nationwide) does not require periodic surveys (of my boat, vehicles or house) and I'm not entirely sure they required an initial survey (I don't remember). I had a survey for my own protection and peace of mind.

I would be surprised if this was the only company that does not require periodic insurance surveys. They did take away my "agreed value" clause after the boat was ten years old but it's still "actual value".


As for your blanket statement on surveyors, it sounds pretty arrogant to me. I have to wonder what you do or did for a living and if you were perfect or occasionally made a mistake.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:24 PM   #155
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A quick Google search reveals a number of marine insurers who do not require surveys.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:49 PM   #156
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Ok guys...polite reminder...the thread has veered way off course, and thanks in anticipation for returning to the thread subject, or just dropping it..?

Xmas cheers to all...
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