Tighten the strings
A naval architect designed a series of fast pilot vessels. They completed the designs and submitted them to the classification society. The plans were returned and class advised that the forward stringers should be strengthened.
Any comments from class would usually be made on the plan within a speech bubble. In this instance, class did not do so and the comments were missed by the naval architect. Therefore, the stringers were not strengthened on the final plan. The class society approved the final plans, but did not spot that their initial comment had not been followed through on.
Ten vessels were built in total. After 3 years in service cracking appeared on all but one.
The vessels were designed to operate with a maximum 3.5m significant wave height. However, there were reports that some of the vessels had been operating in 5.5m heights. The builder of the vessels argued that the naval architect should have recommended a significantly higher wave height when advising on the specifications.
The vessels that were showing cracking were lifted out of the water and the forward stringers were strengthened. This cost $ 50,000 per vessel for the nine affected. The total cost was US$ 450,000. The builder made a claim against the naval architect for this sum. There was clear evidence that the naval architect had missed the advice from the classification society. However, ITIC managed to successfully reduce the settlement paid to the builder due to the fact that (a) the vessels had been operated outside of their design criteria and (b) class did not notice on the final plans that the stringers had not been strengthened and had approved the design. A total of US $300,000 was paid to the builder.