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Insurance or Warranty?

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PaulPoshW View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 Jan 16 at 9:41am
Recently whilst sailing at event in her 5 month old boat my wife's mast snapped at deck level (carbon rotating mast) The wind conditions at the time of the breakage was roughly a force 3 and it happened while she was hardening up and sheeting in for the start of the first race.

On the boat builders recommendation we have claimed for it on our insurance and a replacement is on it's way to us - due today. So at least she can get back on the water having been unable to for the last 2 weekends.

The more I think about it the more I feel that this should have been a warranty job rather than us have to suffer the consequences of claiming on our insurance. The boat hasn't really been used a great deal and at less than 6 months old I wouldn't expect the mast to have broken in the first place, it doesn't seem fit for purpose.

Has anyone on here suffered a similar thing? Am I wrong to think that a 5 month old product should perhaps not break in this way? Any advice/thoughts welcome.
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 16 at 10:01am
I'd kinda expect the insurance Co to get after the builder if it looked like a manufacturing fault. Assuming of course they inspected it and not just paid out. It is possible to weaken a carbon mast with bad handling so it's not impossible that there wasn't a valid warranty claim.

Edited by JimC - 25 Jan 16 at 10:04am
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Roger View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 16 at 11:49am
Originally posted by PaulPoshW


On the boat builders recommendation we have claimed for it on our insurance and a replacement is on it's way to us - due today.


I think most "manufacturers" would love to be able to just tell the customer to claim on their insurance when something goes wrong, but in reality in most industries that doesn't and can't happen, sailing should be no different.

If you can hand on heart be sure there have been no accidents or mishandling of the mast during your ownership (assuming you had the kit from new) then this should certainly have been a warranty claim, as not fit for purpose, there is no way a mast should break under the circumstances you describe.

Like Jim, I'd be surprised if the insurance company didn't pursue the mast manufacturer, which as you don't mention the class may or may not be the same as the boat manufacturer, although under consumer law you should deal with the company that supplied the product, but to do this of course somebody would need to inspect the mast, has anybody asked to do so?




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PaulPoshW View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PaulPoshW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 16 at 12:21pm
There's been no miss-use/handling in our care. She's always been very careful as it's the first boat she's owned from new.

The mast hasn't been inspected by anyone. The claim has purely been down to photos. Although a staff member from the builders was sailing at the same event.

It's the second mast of a similar age to break in the same place within a matter of weeks. (First one wasn't ours)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 16 at 1:09pm
UK has strong consumer protection rights in the recently enacted Consumer Rights Act 2015.

You have rights to Repair, Replacement or Refund for faulty goods at your choice.

Don't expect your insurance company to pursue this.  They'll just pay out to you and charge you excess, and possibly up your premiums.

And if it was the boat builder that sold you the mast, then the boat builder is responsible.

Go to his page https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/
And look at the links for

Don't let the grass grow under your feet.



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PaulPoshW View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PaulPoshW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 16 at 1:37pm
I've spoken with the chap who process the claim and he has suggested I contact the builder (and supplier to us of the mast - as part of the complete boat). Needless to say he was quite interested, but as it stands we have a claim and excess payment against our name.

Interestingly the manufacturer of the mast has now changed, so the replacement is different to the original. Whether this is to do with quality concerns I shall hopefully find out.

Thanks all for the advice, I'll post on here when I have an outcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PaulPoshW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 16 at 2:56pm
Hi all, update as promised.

Wife has spoken with the builders who were very good and have agreed with the insurance company that it should be a warranty issue and have replaced the mast FOC. Thought there may have been a bit more back and forth but in the end they came to a quick decision, very pleased with the outcome. Pleased that the service returned to what I had expected it to be in the first place. Hopefully this new one will last a great deal longer!
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