Rob de Vries owns the 12-meter Sturdy from 1987 with a 1989 Perkins diesel engine. The cabin yacht is due for a major overhaul and a number of repairs and jobs need to be carried out. De Vries turned to a yacht yard in Zeeland that specializes in the maintenance and repair of Perkins engines. In addition to an engine overhaul, De Vries asks for a coat of antifouling on the underwater hull, the sealing of the seams on the deck, the installation of a body, he wants a bow thruster installed, and an overhaul or reinstallation of the electrical system. After the repair, immediately upon sailing away, the gearbox rattles heavily and Rob de Vries therefore does not dare to sail any further than Port Zélande. He didn’t trust the situation and invited an ANWB expert. The experts’ conclusions are embarrassing: the gearbox turns out not to have been oiled and the oil has never been changed. Furthermore, the antifouling was applied improperly and the transducers were also painted. Then the transducers were cleaned with a sandpaper and no longer function. Also, the yard only treated the deck very moderately and in some places only one coat was applied. This would have caused water to get between the seams and water to get between the deck and ceiling. The requested hatch is unsoundly attached. The usual screws are much too small and the result is that water has run inside and also got between deck and ceiling. Furthermore, the bow thruster is in the wrong place and finally the electrical installation appears to be inadequate.
The bill presented by the shipyard is not cheap. Rob de Vries then replies to the shipyard that he will not pay the invoice, has lost confidence and will have all the repair work done by a third party. Not only was the work not done properly, but too many hours were charged. Furthermore, De Vries states that he has suffered damage because he has now had to perform some of the work himself. His counterclaim is almost as high as the invoice of the yard.
This is how De Vries came to see Mr. Hommersom. He explains once again De Vries’s objections to the invoice and the work carried out by the yard. Time is running out because he wants to sell the ship. A ship with so many defects is of course only worth a fraction of a ship that is in good condition, but if De Vries were to have the repairs done he would no longer have any proof.
Because the parties disagree, an expert is appointed who is acceptable to both parties and who will give a binding opinion. Suddenly, however, the shipyard seized the vessel and before the surveyor could issue his report, De Vries was summoned. In the court proceedings, however, the binding adviser’s conclusions subsequently reveal that the shipyard has indeed made a large number of mistakes and that almost half should be deducted from the bill.
The court concludes in July 20167 that the conditions in the law have been met and that the yard is integrally bound by the results of the binding opinion. In fact, the shipyard argued after receiving the report that it would (still) not be bound by the report. This means that the yard has delivered faulty work, the bill may be halved and the costs of the seizure and summons remain at the expense of the yard.
Tip: If you get into a dispute with a repairer about the quality of the work performed, make sure that an expert (appointed by both parties if possible) reviews the work performed. This will prevent you from being unable to prove that the repairer performed the work incorrectly in a later dispute about this work. Bear in mind that unless there are compelling arguments, you should always give the repairer the opportunity to rectify his errors before letting others do so. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to bear these costs yourself.
More information or download old articles: https://www.anwb.nl/kampioen/algemeen/digitaal-archief