John Koon – Appeal to Ethical & Professional Responsibility

John Koon’s reports and input were critical to ProSight’s denial. Every professional involved after his report, identified numerous errors and inaccurate assertions. After significant debate and counsel from others, we decided to offer John an opportunity to make it right and sent him the email similar to the one sent to Larry Montgomery on Dec 31, 2017.



January 6, John Koon responded

“I am open to reevaluating original findings. Please send me the reports from Bill & Jay to confirm details of alternative conclusions. I have great respect for both of them! 
That said, I would have arrived at my same initial conclusions based on the general condition of the vessel under any circumstance of request to conduct survey, by you, or Larry Montgomery. 
Again, send more information & I will remain open to reevaluation.

Next Steps

We provided him the information on January 18, 2018. John responded on January 26th “have started looking it over & giving it much thought.” We thanked him for his consideration. Now we wait again….



Larry Montgomery – Appeal to NAMS Ethical Responsibility

We decided to appeal to Larry Montgomery’s ethical responsibility to communicate what he witnessed in January, 2017. Below is the letter we sent on December 31, 2017. As expected responded “Thank you for this status report. I have forwarded a copy to the Underwriter’s representatives for their review and onward distribution.


Letter to Larry


 We wanted to update you regarding the status of our dismasting claim May 1, 2016 and appeal to your NAMS ethical obligations and good sense to make this right.

Our insurance claims were denied as a result of leveraging the July 11, 2016 damage report written by John Koon with you in attendance. ProSight, the Lloyd’s underwriting syndicate, acquired the “advice” of Hill Dickinson, a large law firm in London. Even though there were “No immediate conclusions …. as to the probable cause of the dismasting” in the report Hill Dickinson cherry picked false assertions from the report and combined them with outlandish judgments by unqualified Underwriters. The result was labeling Dragonfly as unseaworthy and a breach of warranty. The breach of warranty “invalidated” the policy resulting in the denial of the dismasting claim, $15,000 damage and $20,000 theft that occurred at the Ala Wai dock while we waited for a settlement.

You stated during our conversations in May 2016, that the insurance company was there to make us “whole.” During numerous conversations you reassured us that a settlement was coming. We did not expect that you would be the one who would help them keep from doing that by withholding your findings during the inspection on January 17, 2017.

The purpose of the John Koon June 2016 survey you described to us was to “constitute an acceptable “best practice” repair, insuring a proper replacement” We were shocked to discover the real objective when reading the actual report. The report contained no mention of this objective or specific recommendations. We would never have authorized a survey with the actual intent without our presence if we had been properly informed. Misrepresenting this reeks of an ethics violation.

We understand that Dragonfly’s appearance at that time of your initial visit and during the John Koon survey could imply a lack of maintenance. However, it should have been obvious that the appearance was the result of the situation and not typical as Bill Trenkle and you observed later and many previous guests and crew attest to.

The areas in the report identified as potentially relevant to the dismasting were the rigging and “platform / main beam / compression path-post”. We have proof that all the rigging ages were within the NVIC 2-16 guidelines. A main beam load test that was performed completely eliminates the possibility of a main beam compression path-post or yielding structural deficiency.

The John Koon report dated July 11 was quite negative and full of proven false assertions. However, the word “unseaworthy” was never used. Based on the new evidence isn’t it appropriate to state that the term “unseaworthy” is obviously not applicable as Bill Trenkle stated?

Were you aware that the ProSight Syndicate 1110, who paid for your services are no longer in business? They went into run-off in June 2017. It’s time to meet your NAMS ethical obligations.

We are now beginning a Stage 2 review. The Society of Lloyd’s is reviewing the claim. We have provided a significant amount of evidence that contradict or disprove the assertions in the John Koon report, and the Underwriter assertions. You witnessed the majority of them, but have yet to report your observations. It’s time for you to do so.

Inspections which contradicts John Koon’s assertions by Bill Trenkle, Jay Butler and yourself; a dismasting analysis by Bill Trenkle and Bill Leneman and maintenance invoices demonstrate the following:

  • Proof that the saddle brackets for the forward beam did not move.
  • Proof that platform / main beam / compression path-post or yielding failure did not occur. This was based on
  1. 12-ton main beam load test with a deflection of 1/16th of inch, meeting the design specs of Kurt Hughes and providing absolute proof that a “failure of the main beam in way of mast compression” was not possible.
  2. Percussion testing
  3. Absence of cracks in any of the primary main beam seams not inspected by John Koon.
  4. No physical evidence of compression once the mast step was removed.
  5. Proof that the turnbuckles had threads left, proving tightening was possible
  6. Proof that the turnbuckles were turned to the position because of a rigging change, not because of mast compression.
  7. Proof that the gennaker turnbuckle did not strip or self-release as you suggested based on
  8. A picture of it still in place when Dragonfly arrived in Honokohau.
  9. Physical inspection by experts reporting that it was in good condition and operational.
  • Proof that all remaining rigging was in good condition and operational except for damage as a result of the dismasting based on
  1. Evidence from British Stainless Steel Association that the wire strength is not degraded when not under stress. Dragonfly’s rigging was removed and unstressed for an average of 5-6 months each year and in a fresh water environment, when we were hauled in Florida.
  2. Invoice evidence that rigging was replaced 2008-2014 therefore well within the guidelines you were involved in creating for the USCG. Especially considering that 5-6 months per year it was unstressed and in a fresh water environment.
  3. Physical inspection by experts reporting that all were in good condition and operational.
  • Proof that the diamonds suspected of causing the dismasting were removed and inspected less than 2 weeks prior to the dismasting, demonstrating an awareness and small likelihood that they were to blame for the dismasting.
  • Proof that the original mast-section was well suited and designed by Kurt Hughes. It is the same as the replacement as recommended by Art Nelson.
  • Proof that the “hardware/anchoring points“ / chain-plates were “suited for sustained offshore use” when able to support 120,000 lbs., which is three times the strength of the stainless wire and ten times the expected maximum load.
  • Proof that the Norseman fitting identified in “disrepair” is a swageless fitting. Replacing the wire and cone is a standard practice.
  • Proof that the only explanation for the dismasting considering the physical evidence, experience and eyewitness descriptions by the crew was a rogue wave violently pushing the vessel to windward buckling the mast below the boom first. John K agreed with this in the report when stating “An opposing wave impact in the conditions, described by Mr. Wigginton, would also impose an additional thrust on the mast tube, at the height of the diamond shrouds inserts/penetrations on both sides of the mast, in a lateral direction to port.”
  • Proof that a failure of the diamonds was not the cause of the dismasting based on graphical analysis of physical evidence and eyewitness descriptions.
  • Proof that Dragonfly is seaworthy based on expert opinions and by safely sailing her to CA in July 2017 with a temporary mast.


This has been a 20+ month financial and emotional nightmare for us, and a significant amount of time for a 77-year old man.

You have opportunity to make this right and demonstrate that your actions were without malice. Provide an email, letter or document stating that after reviewing the input provided by others and based on your own observations, John Koon’s report and assertions were incorrect. This would eliminate the basis for their denial.

We feel that you have an ethical and professional obligation to set the record straight. Reporting what you witnessed would seem like the prudent action. We expect the review to begin by January 8thth.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon and can be available anytime to discuss this.

Alan & Jill Wigginton


Stage 2 Review Dilemma

Dec 6th, 2017 we were told that we would be going thru a Lloyd’s Stage 2 review.  The Society of Lloyd’s complaint department will review the complaint and determine if they agree or disagree with the denial. We were told that Lloyd’s would contact us with a case handlers name.

Dec 13 we hadn’t heard from Lloyd’s complaint department, so we called. We were immediately passed off to the international complaints team. Pierre told us that we were to go to our local governmental agency. (Groan…. not again!) We explained that we had been thru that process and the local agency had no jurisdiction. He put us on hold. When he returned he said that his colleague, two desks away had been assigned the case and he would contact us “straight away”.


Decision Reversed

Dec 15 we still hadn’t received an email or call. So we called again and were transferred to Pierre again. He told us that it had been decided that a Stage 2 would NOT be done and our complaint would go directly to the FOS for their review. We asked him who decided this and when. He said that David Northcott an adjudicator at the FOS had been involved.  We were clearly being passed around like a hot potato that no one wanted.

We immediately sent an email off to David Northcott, explaining what we had been told and asked for an explanation. He replied that he would need to consult the Society of Lloyd’s and would respond to us when he had additional information.

Dec 19 we received an email from David Northcott in which it included the following excerpt from the Lloyd’s complaint department’s response to his inquiry:

“As the case has no doubt already been converted by yourselves, Lloyd’s would not be undertaking a full review and upon receipt of the file, we will be passing this directly to yourself for review”.

What does that mean?

Dec 20 we decided that our best course of action was to call and talk with the individual at Lloyd’s who has been conversing with David. The people on the phone within the Lloyd’s complaint department are so courteous and appearing to want to help. We were finally able to determine that Joseph Dobbins was the person and they put us thru to him.

Finally – An Answer

Joseph was very informative and helpful. He explained that the phrase referred to a technical part of their process and was not relevant to us. He said that they would review the complaint. However, we had the right to bypass their review if we desired. It’s interesting that he referred to us bypassing it rather than not being allowed to go thru it, which is the perception we have gotten from the website and others we talked with.

We explained our concern regarding the settlement limit powers of the FOS, which he acknowledged. But he made it perfectly clear that The Society of Lloyd’s could not force ProSight to pay anything if their findings were different. They could explain their reasons and try to influence them. But it was still up to ProSight to actually change their position and make the payment. We asked how often do they not pay the claim as advised by the SOL. He didn’t have a specific number, but he said it is not infrequent.

We asked how long this would take. He said it is supposed to take less than 8 weeks, but could take months depending on the complexity. He acknowledged that it had already taken longer than 8 weeks and it was thought that we might prefer to move on to the FOS. We told him that we would make a decision and let him know but probably wanted to have the Stage 2 review. We suggested that we could come to London. However, he did not think that a face-to-face meeting would be needed and the case handler could acquire answers over the phone.


So do we go thru the Stage 2 Review process with a decision that can’t be enforced? Yes. Because if they do disagree with ProSight’s denial. Then perhaps influence ProSight to pay so that it does not go to the FOS and become a public record. If they agree with ProSight then it is another set of eyes to review the data and identify weak areas in our complaint that need to be addressed prior to presenting it to the FOS.

But will they be motivated to pay now that they are going thru a run-off? Now there is a new twist!


Facts Outweigh Opinions

Main Beam Load Test

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:Bowview2.jpg
The purpose of the test was to demonstrate that the hull platform was sound and could support the loads it was designed for. The demonstration of this would eliminate any question of the hull platform’s integrity and hence seaworthiness.

John Koon’s report stated that Dragonfly was a “marginally maintained hull platform.” He questioned the integrity of the hull platform when stating “the mast could have been over-active, moving excessively out of column, as a result of the platform/main beam yielding to compression.” States that “the condition of the platform /main beam / compression path-post could have caused the failure as described by Mr. Wigginton.” These outrageous assertions with no foundational evidence explicitly imply that the vessel was unseaworthy. However, to a individual unfamiliar with construction or structural loading of a catamaran and looking for a reason to deny the claim, Mr. Koon’s observations was easily accepted.

John Koon asserted that the beam yielded to compression even though there was zero evidence of any stress cracks along the beam. Bill Trenkle a SAMS surveyor and Larry Montgomery, the Lloyd’s agent and NAMS surveyor, attested to this fact. In fact, Bill Trenkle noted that the cracks John Koon identified were in non-structural areas. Larry Montgomery also revealed that John Koon did not go into the anchor lockers or other appropriate areas to actually inspect the main beam for cracks.

Fortunately we don’t have to rely on opinions when we can test that the structure is in fact sound. We knew we could conclusively prove John Koon’s beam yielding assertion incorrect by testing the deflection. Tightening the rigging places a measurable load on the beam. The deflection (the degree to which a structural element flexes) as a result of the compression is measured. This would demonstrate whether the deflections met the specifications of the vessel designer, Kurt Hughes

However, without a mast, it was difficult and quite expensive to accurately simulate the load on the beam. However, once we installed a temporary mast used to return to California, it was now possible to conduct a repeatable and industry standard load test.


We loaded the beam with over 22000 lbs. by tightening the wires that hold the mast in place and determined that the deflection was less than 1/16” (0.066”), which was the deflection that Kurt Hughes had specified in his 1/29/17 report (Kurt Hughes – Beam Strength.pdf).

This conclusively proves that the integrity of the beam today is exactly the same as it was when launched in 1998 and could not be a cause of the dismasting.

John Koon, the damage surveyor for ProSight made several misleading and false statements in his report. These statements were proven false in other portions of our complaint. This test provides one more piece of evidence that puts into serious question the credibility of any opinions presented in John Koon’s report. The shear number of proven false assertions or assertions with no real supporting evidence, should completely discredit the report or anything offered by John Koon.

The remaining information of this document explain the specific details of the load test and pictorially demonstrate the process and results. The load test is a repeatable industry standard test. If requested we will conduct this test in the presence of a ProSight or Lloyds representative.

Concepts behind the testing

Mr. Wigginton graduated as a mechanical engineer from Imperial College London. Mr. Wigginton worked as an engineer in equipment design for heavy equipment and processing. This experience provided him the basis to analyze the structural forces at play on an ocean going vessel.

Kurt Hughes reviewed and validated the load testing technique. Kurt is the designer of many sailing vessels and masts including Dragonfly.

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:60tccatsail.jpg

Dragonfly’s rigging is called a “tripod”. It consists of two shrouds, (port and starboard) and a “headstay”. This picture shows the starboard shroud (the line from the mast to just above the 6) and the headstay (the line from the mast forward).

Our headstay is a roller furler with the headsail on it. It attaches to the cross beam on the front of the boat. The shrouds attach to the oversized chain plates. These three wires put a downward load on the beam thru the mast to hold it in place on the mast step.

This also shows where the mast is located on the boat.

This schema from Kurt Hughes shows that the mast sits directly on the main beam. We have drawn a line between the A and R to represent where the main beam is. The main beam goes from one side to the other and is approximately 5” thick.

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:9 - port turnbuckle after load.jpg The shrouds and headstay are held in place and tightened by turnbuckles (left).

Turnbuckle inner workingsA turnbuckle consists of two threaded eyebolts, one screwed into each end of a small metal frame, one with a left-hand thread and the other with a right-hand thread. The picture to the right shows the inner workings.

The tension can be adjusted by rotating the frame, which causes both eye bolts to be screwed in or out simultaneously

To determine the amount of load put on the beam by tightening the shrouds the “The Folding Rule Method” is used.  Per the specifications, a 2-meter portion of stainless steel 316L wire will stretch 1mm for each 5% of its strength. This is true regardless of the wire diameter. Therefore, it is possible to determine the load based on the stretch of the wire with a 2-meter pole attached to the wire.

Per the specifications the strength of the 9/16″ 316L stainless shroud wire is 37,000 lbs. The goal is to put over 20,000 lbs. of load on the mast to see the deflection of the beam. We will need to stretch the wire 4mm to achieve the load we desire. The reason for that load will be clearer later in the results.

Location of the mast surround in the salon We also need to be able to measure the deflection in the beam. The mast surround sits directly on the beam behind the mast and is available to us inside the salon. We can use a horizontal laser level beam to measure the deflection as we change the loads on it by tightening the shrouds.

In a nutshell we will use 2-meter PVC poles attached to the shrouds, tighten the wires with the turnbuckle, measure the stretch in the wire with a caliper to demonstrate the load. We will then utilize engineering and geometric equations to determine the approximate loads. Using a laser level beam recorded before and after the load is applied will identify the deflection.

The test process

  • Loosen the starboard and port shrouds at the turnbuckles to reduce the current load.
  • Horizontal lines are drawn 1/16th –inch apart on a piece of paper.
  • Tape the paper on the mast surround at the beam.
  • Focus the laser beam directly across from the paper.
  • Align the laser beam with the bottom line on the paper.
  • Clamp a 2-meter piece of PVC pole to both shrouds (316L stainless wire) so the bottom is at the top of the turnbuckle fitting.
  • Turn the turnbuckles to tighten the shrouds.
  • As the wire stretches the two-meter PVC pole moves up as the stainless stretches. The movement is measurable based on the distance between the bottom of the PVC pole and the top of the turnbuckle.
  • Continue to turn until there is a 4mm change by using a digital caliper (a very precise measuring tool) is used.
  • Record the change in the laser beam.

Calculating the Load

Using the folding rule test, the shrouds can be tensioned to 20% of yield strength by extending 4mm on the 2-meter length. Therefore 4mm is equivalent to 7400lbs of tension for each shroud

To calculate the total load on the main beam by the mast, the two shrouds and the headstay loads need to calculated and added together.

The downward force on the mast is calculated as follows.

Shroud Loads

Force vector mathmaticsLength of ST = 68.5
Length of SHF = 18
Length of SPF = 11
Length of SFx = 65

ST = (37,000 *.20) = 7,400
SFx = 7,400 * (65/68.5) * 2 (shrouds)
Sfx = 14044

SHF = 14044 * (18/68.5) = 3689
SPF = 3689 * (11/18)
SPF = 2254 lbs.


There are three wires (2 shrouds and headstay) pulling the mast to hold it in place. The forces of these three wires must be balanced. Therefore, the pulling forces from the mast to the shrouds and the mast to the headstay have to be equal.

Headstay load

We don’t know what the tension of the headstay is, but we can calculate it because we have the pulling force of the shrouds. So we can use simple geometric equations to determine the tension and thus the vertical force of the headstay.

HPF = SPF = 2254
Length HT = 70
Length HFx = 65
Length HPF = 18

HT = 2254 / (18/70)
HT = 8767

HFx = 8767 * (65/70)
HFx = 8140

Total Load on Beam by Mast

The total load would be to total of the force of the shrouds (Sfx) plus headstay force (Hfx)

14043 + 8140 = 22,183 lbs.

Conducting the Test

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:5 - Starboard - pvc pole (1).jpg Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:1 - pvc pole starboard - before.jpg

Starboard                    Port

Attached a 2-meter PVC pole to the starboard and port shroud wires.

Al shows that the pole is 2 meters with the tape measure. Al is 6’3.

Note that he is measuring from the clamp that holds the PVC pole to the shroud wire.

Below is the measurement at the turnbuckle fitting

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:6 - port pvc pole before load.jpg

Starboard                     Port

The PVC pole sits at the top of the turnbuckle fitting before the turnbuckles have been tightened.

Starboard                     Port

The starboard and port turnbuckles before they are tightened.

Note the number of threads visible.

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:11 - Sheet on Mast Surround before load (2).jpg The paper is taped to the mast surround so the laser beam is at the main beam.

This is the laser beam prior to the tightening of the turnbuckles.

The laser beam is parallel to the top of the main beam

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:Before the load - close up.jpg

Note that the bottom of the laser beam is on the bottom line.

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:8 - starboard turnbuckle after load.jpg Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:9 - port turnbuckle after load.jpg The turnbuckles are tightened.

Note the change in the threads visible from the earlier pictures.

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:15 - caliper starboard after load (2).jpg Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:14 - Caliper port shroud (2).jpg

Starboard                      Port

The digital caliper is used to show the distance between the bottom of the PVC pole and the top of the fitting on both sides

Starboard shows 4.10mm

Port shows 4.11mm

Per the load calculations this causes each wire to put an approximate of 7400 lbs. on main beam via the mast.

Macintosh HD:Users:jill 1:Desktop:Blog Pictures:13 - Deflection After Load (1).jpg

The laser beam after the tightening.

Note the bottom line has moved down below the laser beam less than 1/16”. This is consistent with Kurt Hughe’s original design specifications.


This load test utilized industry standard techniques and standard engineering equations to demonstrate thru pictures that John Koon’s assertion that the beam yielding to compression was ludicrous. Kurt Hughes, the vessel designer, states that under full main sail the load on the beam would be on the order of 25,000 lbs. and yield 1/16”.

This demonstrates that the deflection is consistent with Kurt Hugh’s design and would yield only a small fraction of an inch. In fact Kurt Hughe’s designed the main beam to handle 21 times the anticipated full load. Therefore, even a higher load would be only a fraction more. This amount of main beam yield compression could not possibly lead to the mast buckling as suggested by John Koon. This proves his assertion false and should put in question ALL other baseless assertions by him.


Terrible Customer Service

Hopeful Society of Lloyd'sWe were encouraged to hear that we would be going thru Stage 2 of the Society of Lloyd’s. Certainly, they have better customer service priorities. Surely the assigned case manager would want to make sure that the Lloyd’s name was not scarred by a lack of response or a bad faith denial.

On Tuesday Dec 5, David Northcott, the FOS adjudicator, told us that he would ask them to let us know who the “case handler” was. We wanted to provide new and updated information. We decided to go ahead and send an email to the general complaints email account at Lloyd’s. In the email, we referenced that the complaint process had started 5 months ago and that we had some new information we wanted to share with the case handler. On their website they state that a response should be received within 3 days.

Three days later

On Friday Dec 8, we hadn’t heard anything so we called the Lloyd’s Complaint’s customer service number. We were passed around to different people. One person said that she could see the email from us and it should have been answered by now. We finally talked with an individual who told us that the person assigned to our case. His desk was just two desks away and he would tell him about our call and have him get in touch with us.

Referred back to the FOS

Lloyd's Bad FaithHere we are 1 week later. No email or call. Not even an email stating that they can not work on the case right now but will be in contact by X date.

So we called Lloyd’s complaints department. The same individual says that it has been decided that the FOS will review our case next. We will not have a Stage 2 review! Lloyd’s complaint department has requested the complaint file from ProSight, which will be forwarded on to the FOS. ProSight’s deadline to provide the information is Tuesday. Unbelievable!

We ask “why?” He said he was looking at an email involving David Northcott of the FOS and this was the decision.

Bad Faith or Just Inept?

We are clearly being tossed around like a hot potato. It’s difficult to tell whether this is intentional or they just do not know what they are doing. One interesting note is that I returned to the “Lloyd’s policy holders outside the UK – How to Make a Complaint” page and the link to the US has been removed. Therefore they offer no direction to any US policyholder who wants to file a complaint.

One of the reasons that we were happy about the Stage 2 review is that there are no financial limitations on findings. The FOS is limited £150,000. Our claim is much higher. We asked how this would be addressed and he said that we had to go through our local system for any additional reparations. But there is no local system!! Not according to the IDOI. So did they send us back because of that limitation and exposure for their syndicate or do they just want to shuffle away the work?

It has been over 19 months since our loss and 6+ months since we started the complaint process. Is this normal for them? It’s clearly unacceptable.

The Society of Lloyd’s to Review the Complaints

checklist.jpegAlmost 1 month after the question of whether the FOS had the authority to investigate our claim was raised, we received a decision.  David Northcott an adjudicator at the FOS was able to influence the SOL. It was agreed that we can proceeding with Stage 2 of the process and Society of Lloyd’s will review  complaints.

Stage 2 Review Process

Close Review.jpegDuring the Stage 2 our complaints are completely and freshly reviewed by a case worker at The Society of Lloyds. At the conclusion of the case worker’s review a final response letter with its outcome findings is issued. It should include referral rights to the FOS should we remain dissatisfied with its outcome.

Under the Financial Conduct Authority’s (the industry regulator) complaint handling rules the Society of Lloyds have a period of eight weeks to issue its FRL. So our new target date for a fair settlement is January 31, 2018. However, they can inform us and take additional time.

More Information

Another Document.jpegAccording to the Lloyd’s – How to Make a Complaint – we can provide more information to support our position. Therefore we will provide the load testing information results. We were not able to conduct this test until we had a mast. But now we can conclusively prove that the beam did not flex as John Koon insisted that it did.

This should be one more mark against John Koon’s credibility and evidence supporting the statements of Bill Trenkle, John Leneman and Kurt Hughes.


On a personal note, we are heading back to Indianapolis for Christmas. We will spend January and February in Thailand with friends. Our understanding is that $1000 a month will cover all living and travel expenses. It will nice break from the cold weather and cheaper than living at home.