Preparing Dragonfly to Sail Away from Hawaii

We knew that it was important that Dragonfly could sail on the trip back to California. Al anticipated a 14-18 day trip and didn’t want to motor the entire way, it wasn’t a safe proposition. Al found a temporary mast in Hawaii. He made the necessary modifications and put it in place with new rigging. He found some used sails and with the help of the crew, they prepared and raised them. Al fixed the engines and addressed a variety of other typical things that need to be done before a passage.



Al recruited a familiar crew which consisted of :

Crew - Emerson.jpg

Emerson is our nephew who was on watch when Dragonfly was dismasted. He has been sailing with us many times and is familiar with it’s systems. He enjoys hand steering and trimming the sails. Unfortunately this sail and rigging configuration wasn’t ideal. However, it still responded to his changes. We were very happy to see Emerson get back out sailing after the dismasting experience. It demonstrated his confidence in Al and Dragonfly.

Crew - Jim.jpg

Jim (Emerson’s father and Sheri’s husband). Jim is a professional photograher and professor of fine arts in Indiana. Jim and Sheri (Jill’s sister) have also sailed on Dragonfly multiple times, including a passage from Florida to Belize in 2013. Jim also has a background in engineering and love for cars, so his mechanical skills are always good to have around. He was assigned the job of being the communicator for the trip, using our new tool described below:

Crew - Joe.jpg

Joe a long-time cruising friend of ours. We met Joe in 1996 when Al was building Dragonfly. Joe was also building a Kurt Hughes catamaran and had been in the marine industry for many years. His insights and experience were always a great help! When we went sailing on our own boats, we spent many many days together enjoying the cruising life with Joe and Helen his wife. Joe wanting the Pacific experience, was happy to come along.


Ready for the trip:

Sails on Dragonfly for use to to CAAfter everyone arrived, they modified the sails and did some sea trials. Unfortunately the first main sail blew out, but they were able to get another sail locally. It was small, so it would be like they were double reefed all the time, but it was far better than nothing.

Delorme Inreach


This time they had a Delorme InReach on board, which would allow us to exchange text messages and automatically provide their position regularly so that everyone could watch their progress online. We were also signed up for Predict Wind, so Jill was able to provide them the forecasts and recommended headings via the text messages.

Jill’s mom’s health had been failing steadily and was now on 24 hour watch in home hospice.


Dragonfly Leaving Hawaii


Dragonfly left Hawaii on July 24th, 2017 on their 2400 mile trip. They hoped it would take 14 days, but knew that they may have to pass thru the doldrums.


Jill's Mom's last birthday (91) 1 month before she passed.

Three days later, Jill & Sheri’s mom died quietly at home.


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Complaint Response from ProSight

On May 24, 2017 we received an acknowledgement of our complaint from Satvinder K Ajimal (Satty) a Conduct & Compliance Manager for ProSight Specialty Managing Agency – Syndicate 1110. Satty apologized that we felt the need to file a complaint. She assured us that it would be dealt with promptly and we would receiving a response soon.

Follow-up regarding response

July 14 was eight weeks from the date we submitted our complaint to ProSight and our understanding of their deadline. We did not want to irritate them by following up sooner than we should expect a response. On July 11, we sent a follow-up email to Satty to see if they would have a response to us by the deadline. We received the following from Satty on July 12th.

“ProSight provided a response to your complaint on 6th June 2017., which was sent by post addressed to Mr A Wigginton c/o Crew’s Mess Limited.  I have attached a copy of the complaint response, as it would appear that this was not passed on to you by Crew’s Mess.”



Why didn’t Satty send us an email as promised!


Rubber Stamped Response

The letter stated the “on the basis of the reports provided by the surveyors, yacht was deemed unseaworthy at the time of the initial incident in May 2016 and that this would have equally been the case on 1 April 2016, when your insurance policy incepted. Hill Dickinson further advised that the unseaworthiness of the vessel at the inception represented a breach of warranty and the contract of insurance was consequently and properly treated void ad initio (and that the premium paid would be returned to you). Accordingly both claims have been rejected for the reason that there is no insurance policy in force against which a claim may be made.

Having reviewd this matter, I note that no new evidence or other information has been provided to counter the position set out by our lawyers. Accordingly, I do not consider there to be any grounds to change our position and can confirm that this represents our final decision on this matter.

Should you wish to pursue the matter further, you may refer the matter to the Indiana Deparment of Insurance. 

Paul Longville, Head of Compliance, ProSight Managing Specialty Managing Agency Ltd

Our complaint was clearly not reviewed

WHAT!!?? We spent thousands of dollars more and taken two months to compile and reply to every allegation, innuendo and false statement that Hill Dickenson had in their claim denial. How can the letter say there is “no new evidence or other information“? However, Satty had stated that they would review it promptly, not thoroughly or fairly.

We also thought that sending it to Crew’s Mess was a clear indicator of their lack of concern. They sent it to a company we had never heard of. Satty told us that she would respond to us.

Why are they referring us to the Indiana Department of Insurance? This is policy was written by a UK-based insurance company

Response to their response

angry typing.jpgWe responded on July 14th lambasting them for sending a letter to a company we don’t even know. It also outlined all the new evidence provided:

  • Documentation demonstrating that the rigging age was within the USCG standards
  • Statement from the location that Dragonfly was hauled and mast unstepped annually
  • Statements by the British Stainless Steel regarding the lack of fatigue on unstressed stainless as the rigging would have been due to the annual hauling.
  • Report and photographic evidence by Bill Trenkle addressing the seaworthiness of Dragonfly
  • Report from an international rigger regarding the condition of the remaining rigging
  • Financial records of the significant annual maintenance records
  • Photographic proof of John Koon’s false statement regarding the stripping of the gennaker turnbuckle
  • The statements made by Larry Montgomery (their agent) refuting John Koon’s report.
  • Email logs with the USCG
  • Passage logs for the trip as requested.

July 21, 2016 we received an acknowledgement from Satty of our July 14th email stating that she would “review your comments and respond as soon as possible.”