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Old 12-02-2018, 11:46 PM   #261
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Sheesh, tough to keep up with the demanding schedule here.... Sorry I wasnt sitting around all weekend waiting to answer your questions. I had things to do! Further, I am not affiliated with Cutwater in any way other than being a customer. I am an engineer and have worked for a Major Telco for 21 years.




First, I mis-spoke about the regular 30' being a displacement hull. Most of the other Cutwaters are far slower than the 302 and it was a bad descriptor. My Point was true, that the regular 30' and the 302 come from completely different molds.




I'll repeat that the sponson in this boat is used to mount the engine package and swim platform. True some of it sits below the water line, but that's simply because of its size and how its mounted to the hull. That doesn't mean it has a role in providing buoyancy.


The dealer also installed a Panoptix Garmin transducer, and I spoke to Port boat house about their installs while I was researching the best transducer install point for my boat while commissioning. I know they prefer to put these transducers on fisherman's boats and I wonder if they accessed the sponson during the install for some reason, breaking his factory white access hatches. I cant even get my sponson hatches off by hand, so maybe they broke them trying.


Regardless, I maintain the hatch issue doesnt have any bearing on why or how this boat sunk...its not germane to the conversation. This guy clearly had other issues going on with his boat and my readers digest summary is that he had no battery power left &dead bilge pumps due to neglect, and the boat had some water in it already when the weather event occurred. The boat took on water through the back door over a period of time, eventually flooding the hull.


Thats my theory. Shoot torpeedos at it if you want to.
No torpedoes intended, and thanks for responding.

The vessel was moored in front of the person's home as near as I can tell, and we don't know how long someone wasnt there to see it each morning, so assuming it was neglected is an assumption. Further, if the bilge pumps were working and did run the battery down, the boat was taking on rather a lot of water over some period of time.

Finally, the only difference in the hulls as advertised is that the 302 has an extra step. A different mold, yes, but the same displacement, same length, so weight distribution consequences of removing 775# inboard of the transom and adding 1200# or so 30" outboard of the transom means some additional flotation in the stern is going to be required. The sponson provides that, so it's watertight integrity is pretty important.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:57 PM   #262
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Just because a boat has a sponson, doesnt mean it is required to compensate for the engine weight redistribution to the back . Isn't it true this could be accomplished in other ways within the boat? A lot of boats with dual outboards don't have a sponson or offshore bracket adding buoyancy to the tail end, and that because the hull and weight distribution have been calculated out during design.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:02 AM   #263
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I have a feeling that the end analysis is going to be a great example of SCM (Swiss Cheese Model) incident causation. Might make for some relevant learning. Too bad we’ll probably never know.

Wonder if there is any money to be made in RCA of events like these? Might be a good retirement gig. Kepner -Tregoe, Taproot, fishbone diagrams! Think of all of the fun one could have.

Hmmmmm...
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:29 AM   #264
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Sky-guy, maybe you can answer some questions about the sponson bilge pump.


- Which battery is it powered from?


- Is there an On override switch for it, or is it totally automatic? And is there an indicator light to show when it's running?



- The outlet hose runs from the pump back through one of the holes to the main hull bilge, and then to one of the hull outlets. The survey thinks it goes to the port side outlet, just forward of the swim platform. Is that correct?


- What is the routing of that bilge pump hose inside the main hull? Is there, for example, an anti siphon loop & valve?


- I see that all the bilge pumps are Rule 27SA. Those are notoriously failure prone. I have personally had more than one get stuck on and drain a battery.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:48 AM   #265
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I'll repeat that the sponson in this boat is used to mount the engine package and swim platform. True some of it sits below the water line, but that's simply because of its size and how its mounted to the hull. That doesn't mean it has a role in providing buoyancy.

Perhaps what you are saying is that the vessels stability and vulnerability to taking on water is not dependent on the added buoyancy of the sponson, and further that it wouldn't be degraded by the additional weight of a fully flooded sponson? Because that's the only wiggle room you have here. The flotation provided by the sponson is equal to the weight of the engines. So removing the sponson flotation would be equivalent to hanging TWO MORE engines off the back of the boat. And fully flooding the sponson would be equivalent to hanging FOUR MORE engines off the back of the boat. That's going to change the waterline on the boat - it's physics and there is simply no doubt about it. The second surveyor even calculated how much the waterline would change, and as I recall it was about 170cm, or 6-7". And that's just flooding to the waterline in the sponson, so only removing the added flotation (equivalent to adding two more engines).


You don't seem to understand this, so I don't think you are a good judge of it's impact. I think the two marine surveyors, both of whom concluded it would have an impact, are more reliable judges.



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The dealer also installed a Panoptix Garmin transducer, and I spoke to Port boat house about their installs while I was researching the best transducer install point for my boat while commissioning. I know they prefer to put these transducers on fisherman's boats and I wonder if they accessed the sponson during the install for some reason, breaking his factory white access hatches. I cant even get my sponson hatches off by hand, so maybe they broke them trying.


Regardless, I maintain the hatch issue doesnt have any bearing on why or how this boat sunk...its not germane to the conversation.

Anything to do with the Panoptix transducer is a Red Herring. Both survey's inspected all the hull fittings and concluded all were in good shape.


It may be true that the hatches had nothing to do with the sinking, but I think they remain a candidate. We know the hatches were damaged at some point and replaced - it's called out in one of the work lists. That's no big deal and happened well before the sinking. The only question would be whether the replaced hatches were improperly installed, or of a different design than original that was inappropriate for the application. And the ultimate question.... if awash in water, do they leak?



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This guy clearly had other issues going on with his boat and my readers digest summary is that he had no battery power left &dead bilge pumps due to neglect, and the boat had some water in it already when the weather event occurred. The boat took on water through the back door over a period of time, eventually flooding the hull.


Thats my theory. Shoot torpeedos at it if you want to.

So far, there is absolutely nothing factual to back that theory up, so at this point, complete fiction.


Regarding the time the boat was at the dock, the boat owner said



"After such a long trip we got lots to catch up with and the boat only gets used occasionally here and there for a short cruise. Never mind, we still enjoy a drink every day on board at the dock and see the blue beauty through the living room window......"


So the boat wasn't abandoned and neglected. To the contrary, he was on it daily, and had eyes on it daily. If it had been taking on water I have to believe it would have been noticed. Besides, isn't the cockpit self-draining without aid from the bilge pumps? If it had taken on some water over time, where was it coming from?



My similar sized Grady, for example, sits on a mooring in a much more exposed ocean location for a month or more at a time and the cockpit self-drains and bilge stays dry. And if a slug (or repeated slugs) of water come in through the transom door, they just wash across the cockpit deck and drain out the drains with no bilge pump operation.


Are you saying that in the Cutwater 302, water in the cockpit from rain or waves goes into the bilge and needs to be pumped out of the boat rather than just draining out?


What you are speculating only points further at a vulnerable drainage and pumping design.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:42 AM   #266
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Really? Not from BC, are you? The Spiller family is well known up and down the coast. I'd venture that none of the boats that he built sank at the dock due to a builders defect.

Edit: Not meant as a slight to boatpoker. But Mr. Spiller used to own Wahl (yes, THAT Wahl) Shipyards and Meadow Marine Surveyors. He has built and designed some wonderful boats in his long history. He is an accredited Canadian Steamship Inspector as well. His son is carrying on the tradition and owns Commodore’s Boats.
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Once I noted who the owner's surveyors and legal counsel were, I thought humm there is something serious afoot here. I will be spending a bit of time this week at a frosty marina in BC. A Cutwater is on my view list.

Sky Guy- be very aware, there are many on this forum who are possibly near the top of the list for boating experience. Not just throwing a hook in the water or going to rendevouz activities either. Guys that have written very serious marine operating manuals, trained master builders and Mariners, worked with the best yacht architects on construction issues, rebuilt and maintained sea going serious yachts and yes, measured vessels for stability and immersion purposes. The list is much longer as to the marine expertise on TF.

For others reading this thread, three things I suggest. First, a thorough reading of the both surveyors' reports. Second, forget about the lines unattached red herring, the pictures say it all. Third, look at a Grady White, Osprey, Trophy, Kingfisher or CDory for a very good outboard motor to hull design - there are many others.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:14 AM   #267
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Very poor design clearly mfg design defects. Cable and electrical penetrations at or near WL good thing to avoid in any boat... We have owned outright several boats from 25 to 45 and would never go uninsured.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:31 AM   #268
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Just because a boat has a sponson, doesnt mean it is required to compensate for the engine weight redistribution to the back . Isn't it true this could be accomplished in other ways within the boat? A lot of boats with dual outboards don't have a sponson or offshore bracket adding buoyancy to the tail end, and that because the hull and weight distribution have been calculated out during design.
True, the builder could put compensating weight well forward reacher than having a sponson. And how do you think that would work out, performance wise? But this builder didn't rather than build a boat that would never get up on plane. This builder used a hollow sponson that provides buoyancy where it's needed. If the buoyancy wasn't needed, why go to the trouble/expense of building it in the first place with a bilge pump, wiring, etc? Remove that sponson, but add brackets to support the weight of the engines, and the stern of that vessel would very likely be underwater. That means that the cheesy bilge pumps, inspection ports and attachments stand between you and your boat sinking, as this one clearly did.

Were I you, I'd be first in line to have Cutwater install a raceway for the engine controls and fill the sponson with foam, as the surveyor suggested, rather than arguing that Cutwater found a way to nullify simple physics.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:50 AM   #269
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Sky Guy- be very aware, there are many on this forum who are possibly near the top of the list for boating experience. Not just throwing a hook in the water or going to rendevouz activities either. Guys that have written very serious marine operating manuals, trained master builders and Mariners, worked with the best yacht architects on construction issues, rebuilt and maintained sea going serious yachts and yes, measured vessels for stability and immersion purposes. The list is much longer as to the marine expertise on TF.

This is absolutely true and one of the reasons that I check in on this forum with the frequency that I do, as there is a lot to learn.



That said, there are times when some folks post on this forum in a less than welcoming manner.



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Old 12-03-2018, 12:18 PM   #270
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Sad story, no happy ending in sight.
I bought a brand new boat only once, 2.5 years ago, and made sure I had it surveyed in the dealers yard a few days before delivery.
Sure enough, a laundry list of 20-25 items needing corrective action:

(2016 Glacier Bay 2770, twin Yamaha 150s)

Some of the stuff was fixed before delivery, the rest before the 1 year bumper to bumper warranty ran out.

Always have a boat surveyed, new or used, good investment.

As for the boat in this thread: Seems like sloppy engineering, sloppy build quality, and perhaps a dose of owner inexperience.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:12 PM   #271
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This tread has made for very interesting reading. And I appreciate the energy that has gone into the comments shared about this very distressing experience. From a technical perspective I have nothing to add beyond what has already shared. My thoughts are about what Fluid Motion does with this situation. In a former business life we faced a similar sales and marketing “disaster”. And what I learned was the company’s next actions are generally a reflection of their corporate culture and values. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Appreciate boat building is a tough business and you can only take so many “hits” and survive.
Cheers,
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:51 AM   #272
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Since Sky appears to be the only owner of the same model that sank, who is on the Forum, he's a valuable resource. And, since he is convinced the sponson is not required for flotation, and pretty much the rest of the TF believes it is (I can't recall seeing a hollow, watertight outboard brackets, call it a sponson if you will, that didn't provide buoyancy, never the less, in the interest of pursuing the scientific method...), perhaps Sky would be willing to fill his sponson with water as a controlled test. If, during the filling, the waterline sinks below the float line, and the cockpit drains stop draining, that would be definitive. If this were the case, even an otherwise self-baling cockpit could be overwhelmed as they are designed to remain above the WL.

Another consideration, and if it's been mentioned my apologies for missing it, the vessel in question sank on a fresh water lake. A vessel's buoyancy in fresh water is reduced, which would have caused it to float lower in the water, which in turn may have affected drainage or allowed water to find an ingress point that would otherwise be higher and not vulnerable. It would be interesting to know if the builder took this into consideration during the design and testing of the model. This may be why the issue has not reared its head on other similar models that are used primarily in saltwater.

I still don't believe all the facts are in evidence, however, we are fortunate to have a participant who has the same model in the discussion, let's keep him engaged. And, there can be a happy ending, at least for TF participants, if a sinking like this one is avoided, or if the buyer of a new boat, after reading this thread, decides to have it surveyed before closing the deal.

Another suggestion, keep the emotion and unfounded accusations out of the analysis, it only discourages those with a dissenting opinions from contributing.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:38 AM   #273
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Jeff Messmer, VP of Ranger Tugs and Cutwater has posted in response to this same thread on Tugnuts.

On Page 2 -

The TugNuts • View topic - Total nightmare!!
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:04 AM   #274
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Jeff Messmer, VP of Ranger Tugs and Cutwater has posted in response to this same thread on Tugnuts.

On Page 2 -

The TugNuts • View topic - Total nightmare!!
Interesting that the other owners seem to take for granted that the pod will get water in it, so making sure the bilge pumps are working becomes critical. I'm no expert on ABYC standards, but that sounds a bit sketchy.

Also confused how two surveyors, according to Cutwater, got the weight consequences of filling the pod wrong. Seems like pretty simple math to me to calculate the total buoyancy of the pod volume and come up with a number that was twice what Cutwater did.

Finally, the VP stated that there were lots of outboard boats where the motors are mounted off a swim step supported by a hollow sponson/pod. Again, I'm no expert, but I don't recall ever seeing that arrangement before. Can anyone point me to similarly designed sports boat like this?
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:05 AM   #275
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It is always interesting to try and figure out why things like this happen. At the same time, assumptions as to cause when a lot of factors can be involved is a risky business while typing from a keyboard.

Delfin, based on the most recent post by the builder, it appears some of your statements were not accurate. Did you want to retract anything at this point?
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:19 AM   #276
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.......Finally, the VP stated that there were lots of outboard boats where the motors are mounted off a swim step supported by a hollow sponson/pod. Again, I'm no expert, but I don't recall ever seeing that arrangement before. Can anyone point me to similarly designed sports boat like this?

I can't point to a boat with outboards on a pod but I've seen many and been aboard underway on one. Some are designed / built to have outboards on a pod. Some are modifications of existing boats that had inboards removed, pods and outboards installed.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:21 AM   #277
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It is always interesting to try and figure out why things like this happen. At the same time, assumptions as to cause when a lot of factors can be involved is a risky business while typing from a keyboard.

Delfin, based on the most recent post by the builder, it appears some of your statements were not accurate. Did you want to retract anything at this point?
What, in particular, do you find retractable?
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:28 AM   #278
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I can't point to a boat with outboards on a pod but I've seen many and been aboard underway on one. Some are designed / built to have outboards on a pod. Some are modifications of existing boats that had inboards removed, pods and outboards installed.
O.K. I can see adding a pod to an existing hull when converted from inboard to outboard due to changes in weight distribution, as in this boat's case, but if you can recall a boat manufactured from the git go in this configuration I'd be curious.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:41 AM   #279
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Finally, the VP stated that there were lots of outboard boats where the motors are mounted off a swim step supported by a hollow sponson/pod. Again, I'm no expert, but I don't recall ever seeing that arrangement before. Can anyone point me to similarly designed sports boat like this?
No, he does not state that. He states "many outboard boats have an aftermarket pod that is bolted to the transom." Now, I'm familiar with many outboards mounted on brackets and outboards where the transom extension is a separate piece not integral to the hull, but not aftermarket pods similar to the Cutwater. Perhaps others are.

Now as to swim steps just look at a Sea Ray SDX 250 OB and the motor is on a mounting bracket attached to the swim step but the swim step is a fiberglassed part of the extended hull. The Sundancer 320 OB has a similar set up but the mounting well is an integral part of the platform. Chaparral is similar.

The big difference I see other than not sinking is that the Cutwater is a separate piece. I don't find that as necessarily defeating it, were it attached appropriately.

Still sheds no light on what happened.
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:52 AM   #280
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I can't point to a boat with outboards on a pod but I've seen many and been aboard underway on one. Some are designed / built to have outboards on a pod. Some are modifications of existing boats that had inboards removed, pods and outboards installed.
PB, a quick Google check shows lots of manufacturers of outboard pods, so they are common as you say. Some are aftermarket, some built in. All seem to refer to the additional flotation they provide, and it is hard to see how many are designed such that water could infiltrate.
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