Firm successfully negotiates settlement for damage to boat's gearbox

Posted by Daniel Scognamiglio on
Blake Morgan successfully negotiated a settlement in the sum of £10,500 plus costs for damage to a boat's gearbox.

Our client purchased a demonstration boat from the defendant for £240,000 in 2007. The vessel had already sailed 50 hours by the time of purchase. Our client added a further 36 hours of sailing over four years when it began to encounter difficulties emanating from the portside gearbox. There was an independent report which investigated the problem. It concluded that torsional vibration was the route of the problem. From a liability aspect, the report was inconclusive. The defendant argued that torsional vibration did not necessarily mean that the vessel when sold was faulty. They suggested that it was general wear and tear that was the cause and therefore they were not liable.

Our client relied on the Sale of Goods Act. It was argued that there was an implied and/or express term of the contract that the boat would be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. Was it reasonable therefore for a vessel costing £240,000 to fail after just 36 hours of sailing? We were able to show that the vessel was regularly serviced and the defendant eventually agreed to settle.

About the Author

Daniel leads our travel insurance team. He is a specialist in multi-jurisdictional disputes, travel insurance litigation and tour operator liability and is qualified as a solicitor in England and Attorney at Law (non-practising) New York.

Daniel Scognamiglio
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