After we suffered a catastrophic engine failure in Ft.
Lauderdale in 2009, the decision was made to change both engines as the old
model was no longer available.
We contracted Just Catamarans to supply and install the new
engines. However, they sub-contracted the installation work to Kemplon Marine Engineering
Kemplon initially impressed us with the efficiency in
removing the old engines and installing the new ones. What we did not
realise though was that they had failed to check the footprint of the new
engines, which differed from that of the old engines. This resulted in three
days of drilling, grinding and modifying with the engines already in the
engine rooms. We were assured by Kemplon and then by Just Catamarans that
the engines were secure.
However, on checking the mounting bolts after only 70 hours
of engine time, we found all bolts loose. On tightening the bolts we found
the thread was stripped in the engine beds in locations where the remaining
original bolts had still been used.
We checked the bolts daily after that discovery, and had to
tighten them daily as we made our way from Florida to the BVI.
When we arrived in BVI, the engine alignment had clearly
slipped as we could see the marks on the engine beds caused by the moving
We had the mounts checked by a Yanmar engineer in BVI. He
confirmed that the bolt holes that had been drilled out by the installers to
accommodate larger bolts. This was a mistake as in order for the bolts
to fit through the flanges on the mountings, the holes in the mountings had
been ground away to the point where the material was extremely thin,
compromising their strength. He recommended a complete rebuild of the engine
beds and new engine mountings to ensure their strength was re-established.
New holes had been drilled by Kemplon, so close to the old
holes that the stainless plates in the engine beds were also compromised.
In places where the requirement for a new hole to fit the
footprint of the new mounts conflicted too closely with an original hope,
Kemplon drilled an offset hole. This resulted in the mounts being skewed and
We then called in a surveyor in the BVI who wrote a damning
report about the installation and proposed that the best solution was to
remove the engines and fabricate and fit stainless steel saddles through
bolted onto the engine beds.
We sent Just Catamarans all of the documentation and
photographs to discuss with Kemplon. Eventually Kemplon's insurers sent out
a surveyor to inspect the boat in the USVI.
His final report to the insurers was not seen by us, but
verbally, he was also surprised at the poor quality of the installation. He
also advised that the best solution to re-establish structural integrity was
as recommended by our own surveyor, to install stainless steel saddles.
As of 5th July, Kemplon's insurers have refused the claim
based on statements by Kemplon that are just untrue.