On June 10, 2017, The Amazing Marvin and his humans were headed out of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Their chartplotter wasn’t loading its Caribbean charts accurately after an update, so they decided to anchor out for a night near the town of Puerto Rico to troubleshoot the chartplotter when they were not underway. On the way there, disaster struck when Marvin hit an unlit, abandoned, radar-transparent, floating fish farm 2 nm away from where it was charted. This is remarkable, as they always used three charts!
Click here to read the story via our blog posts, starting from just before we hit. This will give you a taste of the uncertainty one feels as something like this evolves.
Here’s a video of the nightmare:
And another of the subsequent haulout:
Marvin sustained some damage:
Greg involved our boat insurance, Pantaenius, from the start. Our agent, Marco Sanchez, was knowledgeable and friendly. It did take a while to coordinate repairs. We obtained several quotes on the fiberglassing and eventually we and Pantaenius settled with Global Nautic Services, which repairs big boats and gave us an anticipated start date of Feb 8 and a timeframe of three weeks. Pantaenius required that the engines be inspected to see if they could repaired, which of course they could not be, and so we ordered new 57 hp Yanmars and a bunch of parts from the very start. Leopard was a bit slow in getting back to us, but they did supply us with VERY DETAILED schematics and information that would help greatly with the repairs.
Here is a partial list of the repairs (partial, as it was assembled by Mel, who was busy homeschooling the kids while Greg was on the frontlines…)
Both transoms re-fiberglassed, especially starboard one
Damage to port hull repaired with balsa core and fiberglass
Minor keel damage repaired
New bottom paint, double-coat, with three coats at water line
Fixed cracked gelcoat at base of aft starboard stanchions
Fixed part of anchor bridle that snapped during towing
Replaced guide for jib furling line that was ripped off at the helm
Replaced hand holds for swim ladder and on transoms that were bent by lines
Replaced both stern lights
New Yanmar 57 engines, alternators, wiring, saildrives, and MaxProps
New engines had updated controllers! Much better than old controllers! Score!
Replaced broken mainsail batten and one broken car
Forward port side window cracked spontaneously while we were not level on the hard: we duct-taped and sealed the crack temporarily, and ordered a new window for delivery to St. Lucia; it didn’t get there in time, so now it’s going to Florida to meet us there in July
Replaced 6 chafed/broken mooring lines
Replaced multiple bent shackles (bent from the mooring lines holding Marvin out of the trap)
Two bent cleats were not replaced as RigRITE could not get their shit together and send them to us despite having the order for two months. We replaced the bent bolts and re-attached them for now. Cleats were sent to St. Lucia for Greg to install.
We were unable to find suitable material locally to replace the rub-rails around the transoms after Global Nautic Services thought we had ordered it, but we thought they had ordered it…
Had autopilot checked; it was okay
Boat projects that had nothing to do with The Disaster but we were finally able to get around to doing:
Replaced chafed jibsheet and switched the other sheet end-to-end to help with chafe
Altered reefing system again; had an anchor point added to the leech of the mainsail so that we could tie down the leech by hand, the “old-fashioned” way
Re-upholstered front cockpit cushions with cloth bought in Morocco (via Alisios Sails) and replaced the one that blew away
Had the wooden supports in our saloon cushions replaced with larger ones by Alisios Sails so that the cushions sat better in their mounts and were stronger when you stood on them; THIS TURNED OUT FANTASTIC
Had some small tears in the saloon cushion upholstery repaired
Tried to get A/C flushed; A/C people were too busy; ended up doing this in St. Lucia; say goodbye to that cash, Spaniards!
Cleaned bilges and entire boat really, really well
We found that our second Rocna anchor was bent. This happened sometime during our cruise through the Med. It took us four attempts to anchor in Las Palmas in December, so we contacted Rocna and they recommended we upgrade from a 40 kg anchor to a 55 kg. That exchange was done; all expense covered by Rocna’s warranty. We now have a REALLY HUGE EFFING ANCHOR.
The ATN snuffer that came with our new Quantum A3 asymmetrical spinnaker was too short, and Greg once hurt his back dousing the spinnaker (lateral recess syndrome from hyperextension for those of us in the know). We ordered and received a longer snuffer, which was more cheaply constructed (from Bainbridge), but works.
Polished all metal to gleaming, including the liferaft mounts. The Atlantic crossing ruined that, BTW.
Learned seals around engine room hatches were deteriorating; did temporary fix with sealant and Vaseline
Replaced “lucky star” with The Great Blargh as good luck charm. THIS WAS VERY IMPORTANT.
Fixed pre-existing, small leak at top of starboard fuel tank
Replaced a broken latch on our Dometic fridge/freezer because they happened to have a Dometic dealer in Gran Canaria (Rolnautic)
Replaced corroded bike lock that was securing our scuba tanks
Replaced bumpers on dinghy davits
Replaced master head Jabsco/Xylem electric toilet motor, which was corroded. Pulled out all master head hoses and cleaned them out by whacking them on concrete, blowing them out with an air hose, and finishing up with muriatic acid soaks. It was gross. Mel is glad Greg did it.
De-corroded hardware and replaced screws securing footholds to topsides and bowseats.
Stuff still pending when we left Gran Canaria:
Fixing the window, which will happen in Florida
Flushing A/C (this happened in St. Lucia, and our pipes were clean!)
Replacing seals in engine room hatches (Meh. Minimal leakage. Pick your battles, people.)
Replacing rub rail around transoms (Bare transom fiberglass is so ugly! This will happen in Florida, as we can’t find a suitable match at any chandlery and so will order this through Leopard.)
Our final conclusion is that Pantaenius was worth it as they paid up, but there was a bit of a delay while they made their decision.