Shipbuilder’s claim

Shipbuilder’s claim

A naval architect designed a series of fast pilot boats. They completed the designs and submitted them to a classification society who advised that the forward stringers should be strengthened.

Typically, such advice would be given as comments inside speech bubbles on the relevant plans, but in this instance, the classification society failed to do this, and the advice was missed by the naval architect. As a result, the stringers were not strengthened on the final plan. The classification society approved the final plans, but did not spot that their initial advice had not been acted on.

Ten boats were built in total. After three years in service, cracking appeared on all but one.

The boats that were showing cracking were lifted out of the water and the forward stringers were strengthened. This cost US$50,000 per boat for the nine affected. The total cost was US$450,000.

The shipbuilder made a claim against the naval architect for this sum. There was clear evidence both that the naval architect had missed the advice from the classification society and that the classification
society did not notice on the final plans that the stringers had not been strengthened and had approved the design.

The classification society made a settlement contribution which was covered by ITIC.

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