I tend to relax just a bit once attached to a high quality mooring ball in a protected anchorage. Warderick Wells, in this case. During the day, boats coming and going from their moorings often pass quite close since the channel is so narrow. But once evening arrives, things settle down. We go to bed when the sun goes down, so were fast asleep at midnight when I heard the rumble of a diesel engine. This made no sense to me as it was pitch black outside and there was no way a boat could navigate the narrow channel at night. At least no way it could be done successfully.
I sat up in my bunk to look out the open port light and saw a wall of steel passing by a few inches from my face. Then came the collision and I was knocked back onto the bunk, waking up Lisa.
Once i shook the cobwebs out of my head and realized what happened I went up on deck to look around. The Royal Bahamian Defense Force boat that hit us was by then tied up to the dock at park HQ. I hopped in the dinghy and met up with the captain. The questionable maneuvering that caused the accident aside, from here on out the folks involved were great. No question of fault, no question that they were good for the repairs.
As the insurance issues played out, I first contacted our carrier, Falvey, and they took charge of everything. A few months later we stopped in Nassau and the RBDF sent out someone to evaluate the damage and prepare an estimate. At this point we knew that the apparent damage was not that serious, but the experts were concerned that there might be hidden damage to the hull itself. That turned out not to be the case.
The RBDF folks wanted me to get the work done in the Bahamas. Although I have seen some exceptional glass work done in the Bahamas I wanted to take the boat home to get the work done and everyone involved agreed.
When we got back to Stuart, FL, our insurance agent asked where we would like to get the work done. The assigned surveyor suggested Hinkley in Stuart. If I were paying the bill I would maybe have suggested a yard I considered less expensive, but I wasn’t paying this one so agreed to Hinkley.
So here is my plug for Hinkley in Stuart. They did a beautiful job on the repair. They met their schedule. And they came in on cost below the estimate we had received from the yard selected by the RBDF in Nassau.
Since we were living aboard at the time, I kept an eye on when the workers were actually on our boat. Knowing their hourly rates, they never charged a minute of time they were not actually on the boat. No admin time, no time for getting and putting away tools, etc. And they new that this was an insurance job. So if you find yourself in central Florida and need work done, I can whole heartedly recommend Hinkley.
And a note about Falvey Insurance. Excellent service. Instead of leaving this for us to deal with the RBDF on our own, they stepped in between us and took over. Falvey said they would cover the repairs and then deal with the RBDF for recovery. This made everything quite simple for us. I have no idea how Falvey made out recovering the costs from the RBDF. I hope they got every penny, thank you.
Meanwhile, while at anchor now, every engine noise at night means a boat about to run us down. PTSD of sorts.