Saturday, April 29, 2017

It didn’t happen

I spoke too soon.

Just after I put up the last post, we received an email that set in motion the possibility that the plans would change again.

UGHGHGHGHG!!! Ok… frustration released. Be zen. Deep Breathes. Go with the flow. Om and all that jazz.

The email we got was from Rosshaven Marine, the boatyard where we were due to haul out on Tuesday and it contained the work contract that we had to sign prior to them lifting all 12 tonnes of Batty out of the water. We have hauled out many times and each time had signed a contract so this was not abnormal. But this contract was different.

Haulout: Hervey Bay - September 2013

One perk of having a husband who used to do contracts in the real world, is that he reads them and reads them again and again before putting his name on it. Upon reading this one he saw that the contract said that the boatyard was not liable for any damages, including those caused by the boatyard’s own negligence.

I think this is INSANE and it’s kind of infuriating to think that they can do something like that. That’s basically like saying there was a fuel leak that we hadn’t gotten around to fixing yet and it accidentally leaked onto your boat and then someone was doing some welding nearby and a spark flew over and blew it up but it’s not our fault! Not cool! (The preceding was a hypothetical situation. It did not actually happen to us or anyone we know.)

According to our insurance company, there are only a few boatyards in Australia that have this clause. Normally (if the boat owner bothers to read the contract), the insurance company contacts the yard, asks them to remove the clause, they oblige and the work carries on. However in this instance, Rosshaven refused (for whatever reason) to remove the clause. Our options were either that we didn’t sign the contract and didn’t haul-out or we did sign the contract and waived our insurance and were unable to haul-out anyway (as a requirement of the yard is that all boats are insured). Lose-lose situation for us but at least we found out before we got there i guess.

So we are back at square-one. We still need to haul out so are looking at our options again. We are intending to head south, and there are yards in Airlie Beach, but because of Cyclone Debbie and the huge losses sustained by boats down there, the yards in Airlie Beach are unable to take non-cyclone damaged boats for at least a year. Our other option is to head north to Cardwell to haul out there. Coincidentally, the yards in Airlie Beach and Cardwell do NOT have negligence waivers in their contracts. We have already checked.

Please note that in all of our interactions with Rosshaven, they were very professional and everything was on track for our haul out on Tuesday. While we had heard reviews from all over the spectrum about this yard, we hadn’t experienced anything negative ourselves. I am not naming and shaming here. Truthfully, their hands may have been tied with their underwriters calling the shots, just as our insurers were. I get that. But all I’m saying is please do your due diligence, get the contract early and read the contract before you get to the yard and sign it. If in doubt, get your insurers involved so that there are no surprises down the track!


  1. Hi, I think you're wise to go somewhere else! Luv Dad/Tony

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  2. A very good article ... Too many of us blame the other when something goes wrong, instead of us knowing the fine print, and what it means to us.