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YachtForums Exclusive: Underwater Pictures of Sunk Bertram 630

Discussion in 'Bertram Yacht' started by YachtForums, Dec 17, 2009.

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  1. YachtForums

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    YachtForums Exclusive!
    Pictures of the Sunk Bertram 630: "Absolutely"


    The following images have been supplied exclusively to YachtForums by
    representatives of the plaintiff in the sinking of the Bertram 630 "Absolutely". Much speculation
    has taken place as to HOW and WHY this boat sunk. Bertram claims the boat hit a buoy.

    The images appear to tell a different story.​


    To follow an extensive discussion that has taken place since this story broke, visit this link...

    Bottom Seeking Bertram

    The Video went live on Monday, January 18th. You will need to be a YachtForums member to see the video...

    Video Discussion


    The images have been extracted from a video taken on November 29th, 2009 off the coast of South Carolina. These shots are in sequence as divers made their way down and around the vessel. Captions are provided for narration to better help our readers understand exactly what section of the boat they are viewing.

    The first image is taken from down low on the floor bottom, looking up at the forward port quarter of the vessel. The superstructure of the boat is seen in the upper right corner of the image. For reference, we have inset an image of the Bertram 630 in question...

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  2. YachtForums

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    Taken from the same vantage point on the sea bottom, the camera panned slightly to the left, toward the bow... or what had previously been the bow! For reference, the salon/galley window can be seen silhouetting the image on the far right side.

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  3. YachtForums

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    As the divers swam up from the sea floor, they hovered over the top deck of the Bertram, showing where the entire front deck broke off at the upsweep of the superstructure. You can see the port side, deckhouse window in the far right side of this picture.

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    From the same position as the last shot, the camera panned slightly left to show the remainder of the break section from beam to beam...

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    Swimming forward, to the bow, this is what remains. The entire forward deck, including the hull halfway down to the boot stripe is missing...

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  6. YachtForums

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    Zooming in on this section, this was the anchor locker. The PVC pipe sticking up was part of the chain guide...

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    Positioned directly in front of the bow, looking aft along the starboard side of the vessel, this is what remains of the hull, again sheered about halfway between the rubrail and the boot stripe, all the way back to the beginning of the superstructure.

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    Dropping down from the position above, this is the port bow section. Study this picture closely. The cracks in the upper right corner of this image are located about halfway between the boot stripe and rubrail. They are a few feet long, but they are not completed separated. These are likely to be stress fractures from the hull folding inward if the deck came off when plunging into a wave.

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    This next shot is a close up of the beak of the bow and what appears to be a large impact area and stress fracture. If the boat hit a buoy, this was likely the point of impact, however it is extremely doubtful the buoy in question (shown in the image below) would have been capable of inflicting this kind of damage.

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  10. YachtForums

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    This is the alleged buoy that the Bertram "Absolutely" hit. It is located near the 'Bill Perry Reef' at approx. 100deg. & 25NM off Murrells Inlet - slightly south of Myrtle Beach. Depth is approx. 65 to 80 feet in this area. It weighs approx. 200 lbs. with the majority of this weight underwater. It stands about 5-6 feet tall, made of plastic and the radar reflector is metal.

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    Here's another angle on the bow, this time the camera is on the starboard side. Notice how the sheering is similar to the port side of the hull, indicating the port side may not have been subject to an impact by a hard object, but rather when the deck came off, it sheered in this pattern...

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    Looking a little lower, beneath the boot stripe at the bow, there is no evidence of impact anywhere, either port of starboard...

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    Moving aft, along the starboard side, about halfway between the bow and midship, you can the hull bottom has remained intact, but most of the hull above the boot stripe is missing...

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    Returning to the top of the hull side, this image is the port side of the hull, looking aft toward the stern. This is the location of the stress fracture mentioned earlier. The following sequence of shots will zoom in on the details...

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    This close-up shows, what appears to be, scratches possibly created by an impact with something, however the hull was not breached here. It has lost structural integrity, but the skin is still intact...

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    Moving slightly aft about a foot or so, yet another crack that is identical to the previous. What appear to be scratches could be a 'spidering' of the gelcoat.

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    Switching back to the starboard side, divers began swimming toward the stern. Notice the wires hanging over the rubrail. This is the point where the deck broke off just beneath the deckhouse. The hull looks good here...

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    But if you look up, it's a different story! This WAS the skin on the inside of the cored hull. It's all that remains of the forward, starboard hull all the way to midship.

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    Starboard side of hull bottom, showing strakes undamaged. This continues all the way to the rear of the hull.

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    Arriving at the business end, it looks like something has gouged the leading edge of the shaft strut, but YF members noted it's simply ablative bottom paint coming off. Some have speculated the buoy chain got wrapped around and tore up the edge, but the drive shaft would have prevented a chain from coming up into this area. It's a closed-loop, sorta speak...

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