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Bertram 630 Sportfish Sinks?

Discussion in 'Bertram Yacht' started by YachtForums, Nov 12, 2009.

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  1. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    Far too seldom.

    You're doing an exceptional job of proving my point. Today there isn't as pressing a need for Ralph Nader because the manufacturers of product can't so easily manipulate the spread of information (or disinformation, or rumors) with the threat of pulling ad dollars. The rich guys and poor guys have equal access to information via the internet so the savvy _____ builder uses whatever delivery method possible to stay ahead of the rumors and disinformation by putting forth truthful information that paints themself in the best light possible.

    I've noticed you never shy away from a good class warfare opportunity, but self warfare? Does the problem affect less than a handful of rich guys, or does the problem affect investors, plant workers, and anybody trying to sell a used Bertram? The rumors are a byproduct of the problem, not the cause of the problem. You don't have these specific rumors when there is not some underlying issue going unaddressed. Public relations exists specifically to address handling and dissemination of news and information - good, bad, or indifferent.

    Virtually nobody here seems to be relishing in tearing down the reputation of a storied boat builder. The fallout of another business loss extends well beyond that yard, to the manufacturers of systems, to the manufacturers of components for those systems, to lumberyards, to foundries, to textile workers, etc. ad nauseum. It does not appear to me that anyone is cheerleading that effort, and posting speculation about one or more boats isn't brand bashing but questioning a series of what appear, increasingly, to be related issues symptomatic of a greater problem. Since when is calling for the truth, "bashing?" (Please do not turn this question into a political discussion.) It certainly isn't fair that a boatyard is judged by the work it puts out, nor that automakers are judged by the cars they build, nor that tv manufacturers are judged by the quality of their picture, nor that pitchers are judged by how many strikes they throw, nor that captains are judged by how well they dock, nor that golfers are judged by what they do in their private lives rather than on the course but that's the crazy world we live in. People and businesses are judged by how well they perform.

    How they are judged often has as much to do with how they conduct themselves and how they handle information and reactions to information leaks.

    Bertram needs a good PR department, and they need it yesterday.
  2. SHAZAM

    SHAZAM Senior Member

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    Sure it will, that's why I haven't posted.

    I was told that Ferretti is actively trying to sell the company as well as the real estate. I was sent a brochure on the property nearly 8 months ago from CB Richard Ellis and even went so far as to make an offer on part of the property but this news that I heard today about the company being sold today was a shocker.

    Forget my posts for a moment as a "builder" and consider my posts from the perspective of a Bertram owner, I have owned the following bertram products:

    1- 1981 42' Bertram
    2- 1984 46' Bertram
    3- 1983 54' Bertram
    4- 1985 54' Bertram
    5- 1992 60' Bertram
    6- 1996 30' Bertram

    As a former and current Bertram owner, I can speak to the current state of the company as well as the build quality of the vessels they build today.

    As far as my knowledge of lamination and coring materials, forget it. Disregard everything that I've said and ask Merritt Marine supply, Ashland, Fiberglass Coatings Inc, etc why they stopped carrying the coring material that bertram has used in the vessels that have fallen apart. Besides the fact that the subcontractor that laminated the boats had no experience in lamination, he had no idea whatsoever on how to use coring properly. I'll post up some photos in a moment, forgive me as I have them scattered through three different computers and two different cameras.
  3. SHAZAM

    SHAZAM Senior Member

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    Once again, disregard what I do for a living, assume I have no credibility whatsoever. Let's begin with this fairly innocuous void that was found in the laminate of this near new 450 Bertram...

    Attached Files:

  4. SHAZAM

    SHAZAM Senior Member

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    What's the big deal you say? What we're looking at is the molded in step at the stern of the vessel on the stbd side just below the transom door. After all, anyone whose done any lamination can tell you that a part like this may be difficult to laminate and that there may be a bubble or two in the laminate if its not rolled out properly. What this little void did though was trigger the owner of the vessel to hire a surveyor who sounded out the hull which revealed over 90 other voids in the hull below the water line. That's bad news.

    But here is a perfect example of the people laminating the parts for Bertram not knowing what the hell they're doing...

    Attached Files:

  5. SHAZAM

    SHAZAM Senior Member

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    For the astute among you, do you recognize the core material? We've seen it before on this forum. Does anyone remember me saying something about the core used here "outgassing"? That's precisely what's happened here, after lamination the core continued to cure and "outgass" causing the voids throughout the hull to develop. Worse still the core should NEVER HAVE BEEN INSTALLED BELOW THE WATERLINE! IMO the proper core installation in a pleasure boat hull should start 6" above the waterline, the overlap of the laminate in the chine area from the hull sides and the bottom more than compensates for the lack of core from the chine to where the core SHOULD start above the waterline.

    Again, forget my credibility or what I may or may not do for a living, look at the photos and use common sense to decipher what's in the photos. Digest what I've posted and if you guys are still interested, tomorrow we'll look at a NEW 570 sitting on the production line.
  6. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    shazam---

    good thing you have not owned a 50 footer....you'd really be opinionated..
  7. jspiezio

    jspiezio Member

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    Shazam!

    Do you have any photos showing the boats that these problems are on? I mean showing the boat with the voids and coring below the water line? I would like to see those if possible. IIRC when Bertram started using coring they, like a lot of other builders, cored beneath the waterline, I am wondering what vintage this boat is and if that is a possible explanation.

    I am not doubting you, just want some clarification.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'm no coring expert, but truthfully I was expecting to see 20 boats with their bottoms pealing off. This stuff I've seen on hundreds of boats, and not just Bertram. Looking forward to the rest of the shots.
  9. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

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    As a current Bertram owner I don't want to see the name tarnished but what Shazam is saying makes more sense to me than any of the other theories I have seen posted here. I have been in the business for over 20 yrs and have owned my own boatyard for eleven years. We have fixed many boats with coring problems here (mostly Sea Rays). When i saw those pictures the first thing I noticed was how almost every section shown is nearly completely delaminated. Pretty hard to imagine how a 250lb buoy or a errant captain could cause that.

    It also seems to me that the best solution is for Bertram to have new owners that will make better decisions and rescue the brand. Donzi and Chris Craft have both been through this cycle and managed to survive with better owners. Hopefully it is not too late for Bertram.

    BTW, I am in the middle of re-fitting my own Bertram 46 (1987) and I have never ever seen a better built boat. The construction, equipment, and rigging are beyond superb. I will be watching this thread closely to see what happens like the rest of you. This can't be good for Ferretti's other boat lines either.

    Shazam, what was that about the glass work being subbed out to A/C people? Did I hear that correctly? You seem to be the guy who is closest to what was going on when these boats were built.

    If Ferretti admits they got bad material and takes care of these boat owners that would be the best thing, but so far they seem to be sticking with that laughable buoy claim. To me that is what hurts them the most. Also, I have seen the Ferrari comparison made here a couple times. I have another comparison for you "Azimut". ;-)

    I will go back to watching now.
  10. GUNNER

    GUNNER New Member

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    Wow! What an interesting and massive thread! Great subject!

    Shazam! seem to have the answers. Someone staying next door with essential information is the best source to get the truth out in the light.

    This isn't new stuff. When I was on a Hatteras in USVI in the early 90's our neighbour a Bertram sent a distress message to a boatyard after the aft separated from starboards side and deck way out on drop off.

    As long as he was moving he kept the boat floating, they managed to get it out of the water before it sunk.

    The boat had gone through a complete refit with new engines and interior some months before.

    You never hear about these things with the old wooden boats, I might change my mind and get myself a classic instead.
  11. capitano_65

    capitano_65 Member

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    BERTRAM NEEDS TO MAKE A STATEMENT NOW!!!!!

    I am flabbergasted, that for sale thing says a lot...

    One way or another Shazam (Thanks) has opened a can of worms. Recent purchasers, Potential buyers, current owner's must be freaking out. I know I would be.

    Will anyone in their right mind consider buying one now. It is not about investment now it has become an issue of safety.

    How can you possibly buy a boat that has the potential of falling apart on you at any time? Worse yet and here is a nightmare scenario...You and your family 100 plus miles offshore and your boat just falls apart. Who will risk their loved ones, friends, employees (crew) etc. I know I will not.

    There are to many questions that are unanswered and many many more are being brought up each day, and still Bertram prefers silence.

    Bertram needs to make a statement...
  12. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    Looking at this - http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/70891-post76.html - I wonder what had reinvigorated your thrust in Bertram over the last year?

    (btw that whole year-old thread is an interesting read on a subject)

    First off, you need to realize that what you are saying here is rumormongering and bashing that may adversely affect... etc etc, you've seen the whole line many times already:)

    And on the point, what do you realistically expect of Berthram?
  13. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    The same quality of vessel or better than the ones they were turning out in 1972...
  14. capitano_65

    capitano_65 Member

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    Amen....
  15. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    The problem I see in the industry across the board, not just with Bertram, is that issues of substance are being short changed for "fluff factor". Quality build isn't what sells a boat, it's the marble countertops and the "ooo...ahhh...pretty....". That has always been the Italian M.O., and it worked well for them, so everyone is adopting it.
  16. capitano_65

    capitano_65 Member

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    What I expect from Bertram is re-assurance, anything. Anything at all will do. The more the time passes the more all this rumours, speculation and bashing will continue.

    Some of the best times of my life I have spent onboard their boats. A 31 a 46 and a 54.
  17. capitano_65

    capitano_65 Member

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    Sad, as it is about to bring an icon down....
  18. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    Didnt I say "realistically"?:confused:

    To good and to ill, the world has changed alot since 70's. Your own explanation was quite to the point. The average consumer is not exactly a professional, and I would even venture as far as to say he is not to be expected to understand much of anything beyond the "eye candy" component. Similliar stuff is happening in many industries, not just boat building: businessmen find out that the combined cost of pushing a thing to customer via advertising, branding and fancy paint is noticeably less then the added expense on making it to the top quality standarts (which will be revealed in many years or in some disastrous event, and not apparent to the average public at the moment of purshase the way fancy paint and "brand image" are). My almost 15-years-old Motorola phone is still working, when the one I bought three years ago took a dump about a month after warranty period - now, how could I have known that when buying?
    And do not get us started on surveyors. There is very little they can do looking at a new boat to tell if it's hull laminate is properly done or utter pumpkins.

    This for one why I am so sadistically ironic about the whole "let's not talk about it lest we may do harm" business: only by agressively spreading knowlege of what a real quality and it's implications are - and therefore making savings on quality directly affect sales in the swiftest and harshest way possible - ideally within a reign of the same CEO who applied the practice - can this global thrend be fought.
    Errm... You already have one, more then half a thread ago, right from their letter. The boat hit the buoy. The quality is good.
    Still not happy?
  19. Jorge Lang

    Jorge Lang Senior Member

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    Carl,

    Maybe you can go south of the border into Miami-Dade County and visit Bertram. I'm sure you know someone there you can talk to.
  20. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    Toyota has had an issue with frame corrosion and catastrophic failure on their highest selling pickups, the Tacoma. They identified the failure point, at supplier level, and are doing everything in their power to make it known publicly that they are addressing the issue, without admitting any corporate liability for a subcontracted part. Toyota owners are thrilled that Toyota says they are working to make it right, even if the problem doesn't affect their vehicle or it otherwise has no bearing on them.

    Bertram is claiming a small buoy with light damage to one spot (of relatively soft plastic) on it blew apart a 63' boat. The lack of credibility in that claim is so over the top as to call much more about Bertram into question. It's a sad reality, but it's reality. I detect your sarcasm, but in your sarcastic statement is the root of what Bertram is hoping will suffice. It just doesn't pass the sniff test.

    I understand that an underfunded company will be loathe to undertake exhaustive measures to ensure that they aren't ''on the hook' for expensive repairs or recalls, but the cost of doing that will eventually be less than being 'found out' for having shoddy workmanship in their own or subcontracted parts. Even if the finding is that the sunken boat was in fact used hard and abused prior to sale to the first & last owner, or that the captain hit something larger than the buoy and limped it in to where it sank, the lack of response and the utter failure of Bertram to publicly acknowledge efforts are being made to ensure a high level of quality in construction, commensurate with their reputation, is being upheld, then it calls into question the company's willingness to stand behind their product. Yes, they seem to have replaced an entire boat in one instance, but again it was a hush-hush deal.

    As my grandfather told me years ago, "when you have nothing left, you've still got your reputation and your perversions. And if you live long enough you can't satisfy your perversions." Bertram has had an amazing and well earned reputation for years. They are, in their silence, squandering that. That's not a slam against the company, it's an honest observation. Many companies have done the same thing in the past when going into panic mode, and many in the future will do the same.

    If a million people did a stupid thing, does that make it less stupid?
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