So we compiled the reports from Bill Trenkle, the Load Test, and maintenance information (money spent and specific rigging purchases) and a picture of Al on the mast 10 days prior to the dismasting inspecting the diamond rigging.
We followed up with him a few times. His politely responded that there was a lot to consider and would talk with us soon. We didn’t think he was aware that the boat was left in the condition he saw in was because of Jill’s recent breast cancer diagnosis, which took them quickly away from the boat. He acknowledged and “empathized” the information.
We scheduled a couple phone calls, but he put us off. However, on Feb 7, he sent us the following email.
“Hello Al, Bill Trenkle is cced.
I have reviewed the reports you sent in detail.
You will note that I have attached my response to your rebuttal points on the original survey. I wonder if this was shared with Bill Trenkle in addition to the survey? This, in many ways, is more important reading than the original survey report.
Reason being; No where in my report or response to rebuttal have I mentioned “un-seaworthy”
It should also be noted that every theory I proposed was presented as just that, (theory).
Also note, I was careful not to draw any specific conclusions as to the cause of your dismasting. I relied on terms as such, indications are, possibilities, probability, likely-hood, etc.
Nowhere in the report do I propose that I disagree with your description of the physical cause of the dismasting. Nowhere in the report do I state “actual cause” of the dismasting. I was careful to list, with explanations, the number of anomalies noted at the time Larry and I surveyed the vessel in Kona. Any of which could have contributed to the cause of the dismasting. Important note; it was stated in one of the documents that “Larry indicated that I did not access the anchor lockers” (incorrect) I crawled through the entire vessel.
My impressions at the time of the survey were partially based on the apparent general condition of the vessel and the odd collection of hardware found on board.
You have made a sincere effort Al, in explaining the “condition” we found the vessel in and I empathize with the situation you were in upon arrival in Hawaii.
My quote in the survey, that “it was like conducting an autopsy with the body at the bottom of the ocean 900 miles away” was meant to clarify the reality of the impossibility of inconclusively determining the actual cause of the dismasting.
It is noted on page 2 of Mr. Trenkle’s excellent report that “John Koon badly mischaracterized the condition of the vessel” In fairness, he attended the vessel 8 months after the dismasting ?!
I adhere to the “observations and presumptions” made at the time of my survey. And repeat, in no case was the term unseaworthy used in my report or the document attached to this email.
I did carefully limit stating any opinion of the actual cause of the dismasting to listing the anomalies noted at the time of the survey and noted how anyone of them “may have” contributed to the actual cause!
My observations of general condition were not “baseless” and were shared by Larry Montgomery and Gary Hoover (Kona based professional rigger) at the time of the survey.
In defense of the insured, I will say that (providing the “Main Beam Load Test” in December of 2017 was accurately conducted and documented as stated in the un-authored report), I would be compelled to state that my “observations and theorized potential” of the main beam failing the rig could rightfully be proven incorrect. We could not conduct any such testing (which I am very familiar with) in May of 2016 in Kona.
Other potential causes of dismasting proposed in my report can be empirically proven or dis-proven either way!
Unfortunately, I do feel that a number of my observations and comments were taken out of context and in some cases I was misquoted in the defense of the insured’s case. More disheartening are some of the comments made challenging my integrity and professional experience in this realm. I don’t take this personally (part of the game I suppose) but feel it is fair to note in this context.
We couldn’t believe it! John Koon was acquiescing to Bill Trenkle. He emphasized that he did not identify Dragonfly as unseaworthy, everything in his report were just theories and he did not disagree with Al’s description of the cause of the dismasting.
It was clearly obvious that a third party to “resolve the differences between the two experts” was not needed. They had no differences.
How could the claim be denied if both experts agree with Al’s description of the fortuitous event and that the vessel was seaworthy?