SeaRay 290 Sinking – Sinking – Mercruiser Stern Drive Investigation.
This is important information for all Mercruiser Sterndrive installations / owners.
Being appointed by a well known Insurance Company to investigate this unfortunate incident, and without going into too much detail surrounding the circumstances of this incident we detail the causes and lessons to be learnt
Through a combination of high tides, highest rainfall recorded for the month, damaged rear cover, bilge pump failure and a strong current the twin petrol engine sterndrive 32′ offshore express cruiser sank.
There was no evidence of any hull impact damage or no skin fitting failure
We were aware that both Mercruiser Stern Drive units had been totally submerged
There was no visual evidence of the transom bellows having split being the usual problem in such circumstances.
However from a previous (similar) investigation we were aware that the Mercruiser stern drive alloy casing – enclosing the steering arm / head – BEHIND THE MERCRUISER BADGES is subject to electrical / galvanic / electrolysis activity
Consequently the alloy casing wall behind the Mercruiser Badges is destroyed with a resultant hole and the inevitable sinking
View of resultant damage & water ingress through hole (electrolysis) in outdrive casing
Due to the stick-on badges this damage (hole) cannot or may not be seen or realised by a conscienous owner
Lessons to be learnt ……….
1. Pre-requisite to have an operational / automatic bilge pump – failure may result in an insurance claim refusal
2. Protect exposed areas, cockpits etc with a serviceable cover
3. Investigate and monitor the alloy casing enclosing the steering head, remove the Mercruiser labels if necessary to inspect
This boat was an insurance write off
This is the second (similar cause) sinking incident / cause that we have investigated – You have been warned
For more information contact European Marine Services Ltd (inc European Marine Surveys) Tel : 01603 327 123 www.europeanmarinesurveys.com