Click for Lurssen Click for Nordhavn Click for Westport Click for YFYS Privacy Matters

VIDEO - Sunk Bertram Discussion

Discussion in 'Bertram Yacht' started by YachtForums, Jan 15, 2010.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,124
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale

    One time I did a trip on a motoryacht with a galley down in a 3-5 beam seas......the owners son forgot to latch the door on the 25 cubic foot fridge that had cases and cases of water and gatorade in it and I had to pick up 200 miscellaneous bottles rolling around on the floor while running at sea......what a nightmare!
  2. super termoli

    super termoli New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    France
    NYCAP123, misunderstanding then. I thought you were questioning my ethics... you'd probably be right but i still don't like when people do it :D

    Anyway, Henning's post brings memories back... My parents have a 60 SS and bits and pieces used to fall off all the time in the interior. The most annoying thing is the headliner which is secured with scratch tape!!! On one occasion one of the doors locked itself because of the shocks during a passage and it was impossible to open it, I kid you not. We had to inflict serious damage to the door to get our stuff out and ended up having to replace the door!!! So I personally would call it a Med boat, but as I said previously that's not necessarily a negative thing because this boat does what it says on the box and my family is very happy with it. As long as you know what you're buying and make an informed decision based on that it's fine. For a certain category of yachtsmen anything with more strength and engineering built into it is a waste, like driving a big 4x4 or a track car exclusively around town.

    However, when you're buying a Bertram you're probably thinking serious fishing and wave crushing machine. That's what the name stands for. And then if you discover that it's actually a "Med" boat no stronger than your average SS Predator, then there is a problem.

    Regarding Arno Leopards, my experience is that the old 21.50 and 23 (shaft-driven ones) are strong. Other larger models less so... but that's just my impression.
  3. Bertram 45

    Bertram 45 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Maryland
    Me to :( Carl, I sure hope as the investigations continue, you will keep everyone posted. Thanks again, great site.
  4. curtarmy

    curtarmy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Grand Haven, MI

    Please, not all the old salt veterans firing the cannons at once at this poor rookie making a first post. Have mercy..........

    That being said, I have a couple of opinions after reading most, if not all of the posts in the three or so threads on this subject.

    Firstly, I think Tommymonza, geriksen, and The hedgehog nailed most of issues with their postings back at #99 to #106 or so.

    The busness with the transom and the massive damage from stem to stern leave a few unanswered questions. I do not see the transom coming off as a result of the boat landing on the seabed, if the boat was subsequentially "dragged by the currents". Its weight on the seabed had to be in the area of hundreds or maybe a thousand pounds for it to be light enough to be dragged by the currents. Hundreds of pounds of pressure would barely scratch the surface let alone rip the transom off.

    In the opposing view, if the underwater weight of the boat was closer to its dry weight (say 100,000 lbs.) or even 20, 40, or 50,000 lbs., it could possibly smash the transom but not be dragged by the currents.

    I see a different picture. The breaks at the corners (look at the angle of the break) look like the pressure came from inside the boat. The break at the cockpit floor looks like either the floor was pushed up causing a clean break, or the transom was pushed out.

    This along with the massive damage ie hardtop missing, console dislodged, hatches not open but blown off, on and on. Leads me to see a picture of a boat being driven wide open speed on autopilot with a following sea that may have been 3-5', but built slightly, maybe changed direction a bit, and the autopilot drove these young pilots way past any imaginable scenario, and into a rogue wave or rogue sequence to the point where the autopilot could not compensate and the boat maybe went into at least the broach position, but in any case, went bow first into the wave sending water over the helm and the lowest side and blew the tramsom right off the boat along with the hardtop and forward deck.

    The water simultaneously blew through the gally, stairway, under the floor, and through the salon blowing out the door and windows.

    I cannot imagine any experienced careful boater coming any where near to doing the damage seen in this video. Granted, the only fiberglass I saw that looked "normal" was on the bottom side of the boat below the waterline. But even a compromised boat ............ sunk maybe but not destroyed.

    Fire away!!! Duck incoming............
  5. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    566
    Location:
    Malta
    Good theory Curtarmy but below is a part from the owners letter which says the transom was intact

  6. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    940
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    That is because you are confusing "weight" which is the reaction of gravity on mass with inertia which is the kinetic energy of motion applied to mass. They are two different issues. While bouyancy will effect the weight of the vessel underwater and its drag on the bottom which will effect the speed the vessel can drift at. However, it has no effect on the mass or inertia od the vessel in motion, there for the same 100,000 pounds worth of mass in the air will have the same kinetic energy it has on impact for a given speed that it would in the air as it bounces along the bottom. Think of two space capsules transiting space. They effectively have no weight because we have taken away gravity. However, if they contact each other in space with a 10mph closing speed, the damage will be the same as if they contact each other at a 10mph closing speed on Earth where they will weigh hundreds of pounds because the kinetic energy is the same as are the materials absorbing the impact.
  7. curtarmy

    curtarmy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Grand Haven, MI
    I know that someone hooking onto the transom could also explain what appears to be the drag marks in the sand. Which makes way more sense than being pushed by the current.

    It would be appealing to a number of people to try to recover this boat. I was more focused on on two things..... It did not look to me like the transom was "pushed" inward, and secondly, the damage throughout looks so extensive that I can only imagine a situation where an autopilot drove this boat past the point the a captain driving manually would/should/could have. I think this is particularly true with regards to putting a boach into the broach position. The autopilot should have been far more skillfull until catostrophic failure.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,198
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Given the captain's statement the transom breaking off has zero to do with this sinking. Beyond the structural failure what happened to it is irrelevant.
    Autopilots can't predict. They only react. Extremely unlikely it could put a boat like this into a broach in those seas even without anyone keeping watch. I've watched a 43 Ocean in 14' following seas with one on and one guy puking off the stern. One moment I looked at their transom, the next their bow rail. I finally had to radio him to steer manually.
  9. GFC

    GFC Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Tri Cities, WA
    Why the discussion about how an autopilot would have been involved in this?

    Wasn't it the skipper's statement that he was running without using the autopilot?
  10. jspiezio

    jspiezio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Changes
    I don't know why. it seems that there a acouple of folks just throwing stuff out there to muddy the waters or make themselves feel smart. I haven't quite decided yet. Either way, this thread probably does not have much life left before it goes south.

    IBTL
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,138
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    One theory which keeps coming back, not sure in which of thexmultiple threads, is the possibility of prior docking damage.

    I just can't buy that one... Not just be because we re talinkg about a never sold 60 footer not a used bayseacargalton but because the damage would have been visible.

    The most brittle part of a hull is the gel coat whether or not it's a cores hull or a solid glass hull. Gelcoat is very brittle and the most fragile layer, it doesn't take much to get stress cracks. Any impact capable of damaging the laminate would have left tell tale stress cracks in the area.

    So unless someone has evidence that MM had gelcoat repairs down prior to the sale and survey, I just don't buy it...
  12. tommymonza

    tommymonza Guest

    Well I know everybody is sick of me so i will keep it short.

    I just viewed the video 5 more times and about 10 seconds into the part where they are at the transom you can clearly see a 6 by 12 inch square hole missing about a foot in from the starboard side on the transom where the cleat would have been mounted on the transom liner.

    I take back my assumption that it was being towed on the surface.Somebody hooked on it after it sunk and dragged it stern 1st. That is why the hardtop is ripped off from the stern up attitude it probably took once tension was put on the towline and the current flowed under the top and pulled it off.

    That would also explain the instrument console being pulled forward and ripped out of its mounts ,This happening as the current from the tow forcing it open beyond its range till it gave. I originally thought it could have been forced beyond its range by the captain and crew bracing theirselves against it when the boat rapidly decelerated but i think this is what most likely happened.Who knows.

    Also there are various comments stated by the divers that the boat appeared to have been dragged across the bottom and another statement i read on another site that stated the divers put an anchor on it because they felt it was floating and moving.

    Henning your a smart guy and seem to be really into the books and mathematical figures can't you give us an idea how much this thing would weigh at this depth ?

    Sorry did not keep it as short as I promised.Not trying to fight or argue just mearly trying to have constructive conversation and Henning I apoligize for any remarks I made to you earlier.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,198
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Actually, there was such a mention somewhere in the mess of posts, but it was 2nd hand info with no confirmation. With the layout of MM Lyndenhurst such a hit would in fact be near the rub rail as there are no floating docks there except at the service dock. Still, a hard hit would be unlikely as that is a cramped marina where carrying any speed would be extremely unlikely. I wouldn't expect anything beyond minor gelcoat damage happening there and their f/g guys are first rate. Bottom line though is that we just have to wait for the release of findings from the samples taken by the divers.
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    11,198
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Who in their right mind would try to drag a 100,000 lb. boat up from the 80' deep bottom (instead of floating it with bags) and what would they expect to do with it 20 miles out at sea. It makes no sense at all and doesn't matter anyway. The boat sank because of what happened at the bow. The stern is no more than a curiosity and a distraction from the actual issue. How about we wait for more actual news before turning this thread into 100 pages that say nothing.
  15. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    Well, I can tell you what happened to us once. We had a boat come in to our yard with a crack on the bow. We fixed the crack in the gelcoat and some minor cracking behind it. The customer picked the boat up and used it. It came back the next week with new cracks on the bow (not in the exact same place but nearby), we fixed those and sent him back out. Same thing happened again in another place. This time we sanded off a very large area of the gelcoat on the bow and found his problem. The boat had been wrecked and repaired before. There were cracks everywhere that had blue filler in them instead of glass. There was no strength. Every time he ran the boat those old repairs under the gelcoat would fail and crack through to the gelcoat. There was also a bulkhead in the bow that had been broken and not repaired. We had to cut a section of the floor out to find that. Once we fixed that and reglassed the bow section the boat stayed fixed.

    The point of telling this story is that you can have a damaged boat that has been repaired cosmetically but the structural damage behind it is not fixed. A repair like this can be undetectable by survey or visual inspection but will re-appear or fail at sea.

    I don't know that this happened on this 63 but it is certainly another possible scenario. I have seen this before, more than once.

    This boat is an 06? In four years a lot could have happened to it. Was it on display the whole time or did it vanish for a few months? If a pre-sale repair had been made there may be no way to know.

    Although, if you had the boat and all the pieces of it you could probably tell.
  16. tommymonza

    tommymonza Guest

    Well I find the transom missing and evidence of the vessel being dragged across the seabed very mysterious . I have no doubt what brought the boat to the bottom ,I just think that somebody was up to no good once it reached there.Curious to know in which direction the drag marks in the seabed are .My bet is the stern is pointed due EAST.
  17. geriksen

    geriksen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    San Juan Puerto Rico
    Would East be toward deep water?
  18. tommymonza

    tommymonza Guest

    East coast of the United States :D
  19. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    940
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    It's really hard to gauge without a materials list, but if I was going for the salvage, I'd take down 4-500lb lift bags to start. If they didn't lift it, they would at least give a very good indicator of where the CG is. I cant see needing more than another 2000lbs worth to get her up to slinging depth (although with a proper derrick barge, I'd probably just sling her close to the bottom). Now that the fuel has been removed though, we loose a good bit of bouyancy, but at 80ft it wouldn't be difficult to fill them with air.

    Shame it wasn't insured, because then it would very likely have been salvaged.

    Really, that is the point of this whole incident that really annoys me. Boats break, it happens. Good help is hard to find and this is just a small part of the aftermath of that. Then there is the "s-t happens" factor as well. We protect ourselves from these realities by having emergency safety gear to help protect our lives, and insurance to protect our financial well being. Unless the owner declined the insurance (which I highly doubt) and said "Just run it there", the boat being run uninsured is inexcusable and lies on the captain.
  20. tommymonza

    tommymonza Guest

    So from you experience Henning is it possible that the boat is light enough on the bottom to be bouncing along with a fair amount of current.

    What does a 500lb float bag translate to for us guys that do not know ?

    I know what they are but what is the meaning behind the figures and i assume those change at deeper depths.