Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Coming Together to Deal with a Difficult Situation

As a number of you now know, 6837 suffered severe damage to the salon in transit from Ta Shing to Seattle. Cargo secured in the Salon got free and played bumper cars with the cabinetry across the North Pacific and Bearing Sea.  Don Kohlmann (Nordhavn NW office), Brad Miller (Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle), and I were the offload and delivery crew.  Don was the first person to step into the salon, and he probably figured things out much faster than I did as the second person over the threshold.  I first noticed several lead ballast bars strewn across the floor and spotted a chunk out of the door threshold, and told Don it looked like we had some wood repairs to deal with.  We then started digging our way through the mess to clear a path to the lower level and to the pilot house.  The real focus was on readying the boat for offload, and the thankfully short passage from Everett to Seattle, but at one point I recall looking at one corner of the salon and realizing that the lower cabinets were caved in.  That was just the beginning.

Loose lead ballast bars were the first indication of damage

We got things inspected and ready, got offloaded, got the engines and thrusters running with a little bit of stumbling around, backed out of the slings, and were off.  Once we got clear of Everett, I took the helm while Don and Brad started sifting through the pile - and this was a pile the size of a mid-sized car.  Most of it was gear and parts for 6837, but also a few other parts destine for other boats.  This sort of loading, by the way, occurs with all boats, and although there are problems from time to time, this one took the cake. We have subsequently learned that other boats on the same ship also suffered damage, so it must have been quite the ride.


But the real story began on the run to Seattle, and remains in full bloom today.  I have never seen such a coming together of forces to figure out and solve a very difficult problem. From first look, the gears were turning in Brad’s head about how fix it, and I think before we hit the dock in Seattle he already had specialists lined up to come see what they could do.  The next day was Christmas eve, and before I even got on the boat, and before I could call him, Dan Streech called me.  We commiserated over the horror of it all, and agreed that this would be an all-hands-on-deck effort to repair the damage with minimal impact to commissioning.  Those of us in Seattle then spent the whole day picking through the contents, inventorying every box, checking it against the inventory provided by the yard, and noting what was damaged and what was OK.  And we started making lists of all the damage to the boat itself.  About 90% of the cabinetry in the salon below the windows was damaged.  And much of the cargo was damaged.  My 8’ radar antenna, for example, was literally ripped in half.  And the HVAC chilled water system had been breached.  Worst of all, 3 of the 4 cases of Mr Brown coffee were destroyed.

Caved in cabinetry on starboard side

Also caved in on port side

All-hands clean up of the mess
Radar antenna ripped in half
Cast iron stove grates and spare tile smashed to pieces

Doors smashed in and ripped off

Toe kick heavily damaged
The Monday after Christmas, even though everyone was on break that week, we had a call to come up with a plan, and everyone set about their business.  Wednesday, Dan came up for the day to see things first hand, to meet with and show the damage to the insurance company’s surveyor, and to discuss Emerald Harbor taking on the lead role for repairs, even though mentally and physically Brad was already off and running.  Ta Shing, who were also horrified by the damage, kicked into top gear as well.  We decided that materials needed to come from Ta Shing to ensure they matched, and that the repair work would be done locally.  Within two days Ta Shing had all the flooring material (the salon floor was destroyed and is about to come out in dust bags starting this week) pulled together and loaded on 6838 which was about to ship to Seattle.  Because of the length of the wood, surface freight was the only option.  With that taken care of, they hand-picked cherry paneling material to match, plus a variety of corner and trim moulding and other wood stock, and air shipped it all within a week.  The longest part of its journey to Seattle was getting through Customs.  We have since picked the exact pieced of paneling for each area, and lamination has begun to rebuild walls, doors, and drawers.

Hand picked cherry replacement paneling

New flooring material shipping on 6838

Test fit of new backing walls.  These get faced with the cherry paneling

There were also three pieces of loose furniture that were damaged - the salon dinette table, the pilot house table, and the pilot house table stand/bookcase - and we asked Ta Shing to rebuild those.  Just today I got pictures of them, ready for final finish.  They too will be shipped air freight.


Replacement dinette table nearly complete

Replacement pilot house table nearly complete

It has now been 1 month since the boat splashed in Everett, and every single day, 7 days a week, multiple people have been on the boat working on one thing or another,  And similar efforts are going on at Ta Shing, in Dana Point, in Nordhavn’s Seattle Office, at Emerald Harbor Marine’s office and work shop, and with countless other specialists.  It’s now clearer than ever that the Nordhavn eco-system, and the Nordhavn community run deep, and run far.  I couldn’t be more thankful for it than now.  THANK YOU!