Danish SV Capibara - Hit, but not down
Two days after our collision with a powerboat, which resulted in a hole in the hull, we had Capibara hauled out of the water and put on the dry. We rented a car, since you can’t go
anywhere or do anything in USA without one, and we also started looking for a place to stay. It turned out though that we are allowed to stay on the boat at the boat yard, which we've decided to do, until they start working on the boat. It’s a little cramp and a bit of a hassle, but it’s nice to be around our own things, and it gives us an opportunity to work on some of all the other problems we have. (A failed transmission and batteries that won’t charge).
We might need to look for a place to stay, when the fiberglass-guys start working on the boat, but we’ll solve that later. And luckily, we’re not alone on the yard. It’s one of the few do-it-yourself yards in the area, so there are a lot of people working on their boats around us.
Most of them have been here several months (instead of an intentional few weeks), but we really hope, we won’t end up being a part of that statistic!
On the same day we got the boat on the hard, we had a visit by a surveyor representing the owner of the powerboat’s insurance company. We were under sail, when we were hit, (our transmission had failed 30 minutes earlier), so we didn’t believe that we could be liable for the damages. However, the surveyor questioned this. The problem is that we didn't see the powerboat, before he hit us. Henrik had been looking out vigorously, since there were a lot of fishing boats on the water that day. When we had passed what he believed to be the last one, he went down to the salon to figure out, what to do with our failed transmission. He had just gone down and I was halfway standing up, when we were hit. The two men on the powerboat asked us, why we hadn't seen them. When Henrik asked the same question, they answered:
“We couldn’t. We’re fighting fish back here!” And as the surveyor said to us, they at least had an excuse - a poor one maybe, but at least an excuse.
This was enough to make us nervous! We’re insured in Denmark, and even though they are along way from Florida, they've responded fast and positive. We have a big deductible, though, so we’d rather not pay for the damages, since the rental car and accommodation in itself are going to blow our budget. Henrik told our insurance company that we were afraid that the other insurance company would weigh the fact that we hadn't seen the powerboat, so this week we've had a surveyor visiting from our insurance company. Luckily, he could confirm our views on the rules of the sea, but even though everybody around us assures us that we'll never be held responsible, we’re not completely calm before we know for certain.
Never count your chickens!
Signe Storr Freelance Journalist & friend of Boatshed