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A Marine Investigation Text Book
by A Marine Surveyor with 40 Years Experience

Contents

Marine Investigations


Road to A Marine Investigator

Contents in Summary
Details Below

 

Introduction v
Contents ix
Chapter 1 The Marine Investigator 1
Chapter 2 The Nature of Investigations 23
Chapter 3 The Nature of Evidence 53
Chapter 4 Marine Insurance and Issues of Law 75
Chapter 5 Bilge Pumps & Batteries 119
Chapter 6 Finding the Leak 155
Chapter 7 Sinking Due To Rain 185
Chapter 8 Fire Investigations 221
Chapter 9 Machinery failure Analysis 287
Chapter 10 Fraud Investigations 339
Chapter 11 Interrogation Techniques 381
Chapter 12 Reports 419
Chapter 13 Deposition & Court Testimony 445
Appendix A 503
Index 505
Copyright © 2004 David H. Pascoe


Contents in Details

Introduction v
Contents iv

1. The Marine Investigator 1

What is a Vessel? 2
What Is An Investigation? 3
Types of Casualties 4
Qualifications 5
Forensics 6

Establishing a Business 7

Licensing 8
Advertising 9

Serving Clients 10

Obligations to the Client 10
Maintaining Objectivity 11
Win-Win, Not Win-Lose 12

Clientele 13

Insurance Companies 13
Lawyers 14
Boat Owners 15
Other Clients 16

The Insurance Investigator 16

Knowledge of Insurance Contracts 17
Subrogation 18

The Expert Witness 19
Defense Versus Plaintiff Cases 20

2. The Nature of Investigations 23

Tools Needed 28

Communication with Insured and Insurer 30

Relations with the Insured and Insurer 30
Investigator as Adversary 32
Sidestepping Questions 34
Taking Statements 34
The Art of Listening 35
First Notice from Client 36
First Contacts with Insured 36

Getting Started 38

Keeping Logs 39
Frequent File Review 40
The Investigation Book 40

Travel Jobs 41

Preparation for Travel 42
Fees 44
Business Arrangements 45

Joint Investigations 47

Evidence 48
Avoiding the Circus 48
When Evidence is Perishable 49
Joint Procedure 49

Legal Implications 51

3. The Nature of Evidence 53

Improbable Possibilities 55
The Marine Corollary 56
Taking Physical Evidence 57
Physical Handling 58
Degrees of Proof 59
Closing Loopholes of Doubt 60
Inclusionary/Exclusionary Evidence 60
Selective Evidence 62
What is a Fact? 62
Facts, Opinion and Hearsay 64
Raw and Refined 66
Paper Trails 67
File Records 69
Receipts 69
Documenting Evidence 69
Evidence Handling For Labs 70
Evidence Handling and Storage 71
What Is Not Evidence 72
Boat Owner Discovers Cause 72
Working the Defense Side 73
Other Investigation Reports 73

4. Marine Insurance and Issues of Law 75

The Role of the Marine Expert 76
Unfair Claims Practices Laws 78
Independent Adjuster 81
Obtaining an Adjuster's License 83
Advice to the Client 83
Reasonable Doubt 84

Insurance Policies and Concepts 85

Principles of Insurance 85
All Risk Yacht Policy 86
Agreed Valuation 87
ACV Policies 88
Seaworthiness Warranty 88
Perils of the Sea 90
Weather 92
Negligence -vs- Gross Negligence 93
Sue and Labor Clause 95
Subrogation 95
Estoppel 95
The Prudent Uninsured 96
The Non Waiver Agreement 98
Cooperation 98
The Insured's Rights, Insurer's Rights 99
The Time Element 99

Latent Defects 100

Historical Perspectives 101
Error in Design 101
Faulty Material 101
Premature Failure 102
What is Damage? 103
Machinery 105
Limitations on Claims 106

Admiralty Law 106

Salvage 108

Refusal of Salvage Assistance 109
Abandonment 110
Salvage Fees -vs- Salvage Awards 111
Towing versus Salvage 112
Example 112
Hazards to Navigation 114
Recommending Salvors 114
Types of Salvage Contracts 115
Incompetent Salvors _ Surveyor as Salvage Master 116
Salvage Bidding 118

5. Bilge Pumps & Batteries 119

Bilge Pumps 119

Key Components 120
Types and Brands 123
Testing 124
The Battery Switch and Wiring 125
Float Switches 131
Bilge Pump Capacity Ratings 131
Water Leakage Rates 132
Pump Placement 132
The Bilge Pump Discharge 133
Conditions to Be Alert To 136
Testing Bilge Pump Capacity 137

Batteries 138

Automotive Batteries 138
Storage or Deep Cycle Batteries 140
Marine 140
Deep-Cycle 141
Golf Cart 141
RV Batteries 141
Industrial Batteries 141
Gel Cells 142
AGM Batteries 142
Battery Ratings 143
Ampere-Hour Rating 143
Cold Cranking Amperage 144
Reserve Capacity Rating 144
"Maintenance Free" or Sealed Batteries 145
Dates and Codes 146
Battery Charging 146
Battery Banks 147
After Refloating 148
Critical Questions 148
Inspecting the Batteries 149
Battery Testing 149
Common DC System Faults 151
Battery Performance With Bilge Pumps 151
Rough Estimates 153
Natural Depletion Rates 153

6. Finding the Leak 155

Clean Up 156
Examine the Exterior Hull First 158

Essential Calculations 158

Calculating Internal Volume 160
The Short Method 161
Area of the Water Plane 162
The Long Method 163
The Block Coefficient 163
Pounds Per Inch Immersion 163
Summary 164
Water Flow Rates 165
Adjusting for Error 168
Empirical Testing Methods 168

Causes of Leaks 169

Gauging Shaft & Rudder Seal Leakage 169
Hidden Leaks 170
Alterations and Additions to Yachts 171
Improper Ventilator Design 171

Small Boats 172

Rear Engine Boats 173
Outboard Boats 173
The Motor Well Design 175
The No Well Design 175
Bolt-On Brackets 176
The Integral Platform Design 176
Stern Drive Boats 178

Sailboats 178

External Factors 179

The Effects of Tides 179
Wave Action 179
The Right Circumstances 180
Peculiar Circumstances 181

Sketches & Drawings 182

Reports 183

7. Sinking Due To Rain 185

Design Issues 185
Negligence 186

Levels of Causation 187

Proximate Cause 187
Primary Cause 188
Contributory Cause 188
Examples 188

Rain 191

Heavy Rain 191
Catastrophes 192
Timing 192
Parameters and Profiling 193

Calculations 195

Calculating Surface Areas 195
Calculating Amount of Rainfall 197
PPII 198
Threshold 198
Another Approach 199
Rainfall Rates 199

Small Boats 201

Cockpit Decks 201
Cockpit Integrity 204
Cockpit Openings 205
When Cockpits Are Very Low 206
Older Outboards with or without Motor Wells 208
Old Style Motor Brackets 208
Bad Platform Design 210

Mid Size Boats 211

Hatch Cross-Beams or Supports 211
Hatch Gutters 211
Drainage System Integral with Deck 212
Scuppers and Channels 213
Watersheds 214

Waterlines 216

Boat Load 216
Telltale Evidence 216
Old Versus New Water Lines 217

Detecting Prior Damage 218

Prior High Water Damage 218
Prior Incidents 219

8. Fire Investigations 221

Origin and Cause 223
Basic Considerations 224
What is Fire, Combustion? 225
Melting Point of Materials 225
Profiling a Fire 227
Boat Materials 228
Areas of Highest Probability 230
Initial Fuel Source 231
Reconstructing Suspect Electrical Equipment and Systems 232
Area Hot Spots 232
Site Preparation 233
Spoilation of Evidence 234
When the Vessel Has Sunk 234
Don't Do This 234

The Physics of Boat Fires 237

Flameover and Flashover 237
Drafting, Vents and Chimneys 237
Wind and Back-drafting 241
Automatic Fire Systems 241
Fuel Systems 242
Fuel Fed Fires 244
Convection 245
Burn-through Venting 246
Engine Room Fires 246
A Typical Scenario 248
Glass Windows 250
Layering 250
Excavating and Sifting Debris 251
Carpeting 252
Stored Solvents and Fuel 253

Electrical Fires 253

The Chicken or the Egg? 255
Circuit Breakers 256
Engine Starting Circuits 259
Electric Bow Thrusters 259
Electrical Arcing 260
Shore Power Connections 264
Electric Motor Fires 265
Faulty Electrical Devices 265
Unapproved Electrical Devices Used on Boats 266
Multiple Outlet Extensions 267
Owner Installed Inverters 268
Flammable Plastic Conduit 268
Examining the Electrical System 268
The Only Cause 269
Melted Conductors: The Chicken or the Egg? 270
Service Outlets & Switches 271
High Resistance Heating 274

Explosions 275

Battery Explosions 276
L-P Gas Explosions 276

Machinery Fires 277

Exhaust Insulation 278
Deteriorated Exhaust Components 279
Oil or Fuel System Failures 279
Fire System Failures 279

Other Causes 281

Halogen Lamps 281
Enclosed Lighting Fixtures 281
Clothes Dryer Fires 282
Stove Fires 282
Hydraulic Stabilizer Fires 282
Lightning 283
Three Red Flags of Arson 283

9. Machinery Failure Analysis 287

Insurance Coverage Issues 289
Warranty Claims 292
Latent Defects 293

Investigation 294

First Things First 294
The Operating Environment 294
Investigation Procedure 295
Layout and Mark the Parts 295

Engine Failure Analysis Fundamentals 296

Failure to Determine Cause 300

Overheating 300

Overheating and Thermal Expansion 300
Improper Cooling System Maintenance 302

Causes of Failures 304

Coolant Related Failures 304
Exhaust System Faults 306
Low Fuel Lubricity 309
Lack of Use 310
Engine Overload on High Performance Diesels 310
Propeller Overload 312
Failure to Change Oil Filters 313
Manufacturing/Design Errors 313
Engine Damage Due to Sudden Stoppage 315
Useful Data on Electronic Diesels 316
On Chickens and Eggs 316

Components and System Failures 317

Cylinder Bore Distortion 317
Piston Scuffing 317
Engine Top End Overheating 317
Piston Crown Overheating 318
Quarter Point Scuffing 319
Piston Ring Groove Collapse 319
Center Point Scuffing 319
Other Piston Damage 319
Broken Piston Rings 319
Excessive Ring and Cylinder Wear 320
Worn, Leaking Injectors 321
Engine Carbonization & Detonation 321

Carbonization 322
Detonation 323
Detonation Damage 324

Outboard Engines Failures 325
Valve Failure 326
Excessive Wear Rates 327
The Cylinder Head Dome 328
Blown Head Gaskets 328
Piston Ring Blow-by 328
Diesel Soot 329
Viscosity Thinning Damage 330
Viscosity Increases 330
Bearing Damage 330
Transmission Failures 332

Laboratory Analysis 332

Oil Analysis Fundamentals 332
Oil Analysis 335
Examine the Oil Pan 335
Intercoolers and Flame Arrestors 336
Other Analytical Techniques 336
Knowing Who To Ask 336

10. Fraud Investigations 339

Role of the Marine Surveyor 341
The Risks 342
Surplus Lines Insurance 343
Red Flags for Common Insurance Fraud 343
When Overstatement Becomes Fraud 345
The Uses of Evidence 346
When the Insured Has a Lawyer 346

Investigative Tactics 347

Hostile Third Party Lawyers 347
Tactical Delay and Exposure 348
Attacking the Cover Story 350
Revealing/Hiding an Investigation 351
Paper Trails: The Case of the Scheming Lawyer 352

False Documents 353

Altered Documents 353
Faxes 353

Boat Repair Fraud and Collusion 354

Hidden Damages 354
Repairer Takes Up the Insured's Cause 356
String-Along Claims and Other Scam Tactics 357
Insured as Contractor 357
Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss 358
A Case of a Professional Fraudster 358
When Control is Lost 361
The Stop-Loss Technique 361
Bizarre Happenings 363

Vessel Theft Fraud 364

Indicators of Vessel Theft Fraud 364
Small Boats 366
Tracing Larger Boats 368
Ownership & Registration 369
Financing 371
Fictitious Boats 372
Develop a Profile 372
Federal Documentation 373
Witness Canvassing 374
Alteration of Official Documents 374

Lightning Strike Fraud 375

Injury Claims - Medical Bills 376

Resource 378

IAMI 378
State Insurance Departments 378

11. Interrogation Techniques 381

Getting Started 382
The Art of Listening 384
The Basis for Conducting Interviews 384
Types of Interviews 384
Informal Interviews 386
Statement Format 387
Conducting Interviews & Timing 388
Recording & Transcription 389
Court Reporters 390
Time and Place 390
Attitude 391
Background Information 391
Preparing Questions 392
Don't Be In a Hurry 392
The Pregnant Pause 393
Casual vs. Personal Witnesses 394
Reluctant Witnesses 396
Exposing the Lie 397
The Unobservant Witness - I Don't Remember 398
Testing Recall 398
Accepting the Lie 399
Mirroring Technique 400
Evasiveness 401
Testing for Truth 401
Trapping 402
The Turning Point 402
Big Lies, Little Lies 403
Out-of-Sequence Questions 405
Leading, Wordy and Clever Questions 406
Statements Under Oath 408
Order of Questioning 409
Golden Silence 410
Know the Answer before You Ask 411
No Response to Answers 412
New Information 412
Detecting Untruth 412
The Dumb Cop or Columbo Technique 414
Things We Never Say or Do 416

12. Reports 419

A Public Document 420
Personal Bias 421
Economy of Words 421

Composing Reports 422

Evidentiary Documentation 422
Logical Structure 423
Introduction or Preamble 423
Vessel and Component Identification 424
Background 424
Persons in Attendance 425
Attachments 425
Methodology 425
Presentation of Findings 425
The Conclusion 426

Dos and Don'ts 428

Investigation of Persons 428
False Theories and Misleading Evidence 429
Discussion of Conflicting Evidence 429
Unsupported Allegations 430
Opinions and Editorializing 430
Analysis of a Bad Example 431
Attacking an Opponent 433
Fraud 434

Writing 434

The Process of Writing 434
Relevancy 435
Hearsay 436
Style and Tone 437
Right Words, Wrong Words 438
Non Sequiturs 438
No Disclaimers 439
Editing 439
Hone Your Writing Skills 440

Additional Factors 441

Incomplete Investigations 441
Other Experts 443

13. Deposition & Court Testimony 445

Material Witness vs Expert Witness 446
Discovery 446
Differences between Depositions and Trials 447
Clarify Your Role 447
What to Bring to Deposition or Trial 447

Qualifications 448

Your Qualifications 448
Resumes or CV's 448
Challenges to Expertise 448
Attacks on Personal Credibility 451
Two Key Elements to success 451

The Importance of Impartiality 452

Opposing Attorneys 454

Opposing Lawyer Attitudes 454
A Trial Lawyer's Most Powerful Weapon 454
The Fear Factor 455

Deposition 456

Deposition Advice for First Timers 456
Depositions 458
Notice of Deposition (Subpoena) 459
Mistakes, New Evidence & Changed Opinions 460
Publishing History 462
Documents 462
Review and Signing Depositions 462

Court Testimony 463

First Time Court Testimony 463
Pretrial Conference 464
Preparation for Court Testimony 465
Maintaining Consistency 466
Court Trials 467
On The Stand 467
Look at Your Lawyer Occasionally 470
Humility vs. Self Confidence 470
Proper Attitude of Expert Witnesses 471
Juries 471
Hostile Examinations 472
Body Language 473
Recovering From Mistakes 474
Loose Lips Sink Ships 476

Dealing with Tricks and Traps 476

Opening Questions 476
Trick Questions 478
Wearing Down the Witness 481
Repetitious Questions 481
Silence Is Golden 481
Interrupts with Another Question 481
Testing Recall 482
"You're getting paid to testify" Question 482
No Zingers, Please 483
Two More Rules 483
Equivocal Answers 484
Just Answer the Question 484
Clarifying Answers and The Whole Truth 485
Compound Questions 486
Mischaracterizing Previous Testimony 487
The Set Up 487

Record Keeping 487

The Expert Witness 489

Conflicting Roles of Experts 489
Curriculum Vitae 490
Fees 491
Retention as Expert 493
Expert Witness Contract 493
The Non-Expert Witness 494
Case Review 495
Case Summaries 497
Deposition Review 498
Document Review 498
Expert Witness Testimony 500

Conclusion 501

Appendix A 503
Index 505

Copyright © 2004 David H. Pascoe



David Pascoe Power Boat Books Visit davidpascoe.com for his power boat books

David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

Biography - Long version



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Last updated October 18, 2015.