Dockwalk - The Essential Site For Captains And Crew - DockTalk Untitled Page

Welcome to the Forum


In order to post a comment in one of the forum topics, you must log in or sign up. Your display name will appear next to your posts unless you check the Post Anonymously box. When writing a post, please follow our forum guidelines. If you come across a post that you would like us to review, use the Report Post button. Please note the opinions shared in the forums do not necessarily reflect the views of Dockwalk.

RSS Feed Print
Motor Yacht Sinks in Thailand
Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 4:07 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

According to, “[A] luxury yacht began to sink after its launch into the Tha Chin River in Samut Sakhon's Muang district on Friday. About 200 workers of a private yacht building company tried in vain to adjust cables which were fastened to the 1,000-ton yacht as it was being launched. Witnesses said the yacht tipped sideways and water gushed into its interior.The yacht was sinking while the workers erected buoys in the hope of keeping it afloat. However, the buoys could not support the vessel's weight.”


A boy stands on a bridge overlooking a partially submerged yacht. (Chanat Katanyu/Bangkok Post)

Other sources claim this was the 60-meter M/Y
 Fox, a British-flagged vessel.

Read the story on here.

Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 6:45 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

Below is a statement that will be issued by the owner’s representatives and Yacht Solutions

"Fox Launching Accident

Due to reasons as yet unknown the 60 metre Motor Yacht "Fox" sadly partially sank as she was launched from the slipway at a Bangkok shipyard where she had undergone a major refit.

Surveyors and insurance companies are now assessing the damage to see how best the vessel can be salvaged.

All parties concerned in the refit who have expended a huge amount of time and effort into the project are devastated and respectfully request that the incident is not discussed, or publicized in any way beyond this statement.

At this point in time there is little point in surmising, speculating or guessing what went wrong as a full investigation is still ongoing and a full report of the facts will be known upon conclusion of that investigation.

End Of Statement"

Nick Coombes
Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 10:04 PM
Joined: 06/05/2010
Posts: 9

I have lived and worked in South East Asia as a Superyacht Captain for the last 16 years, and would like to add that this is a very unusual occurance.
 I have personally overseen the launch of 20 yachts following refits, in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and have never encountered anything like this before.


Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:40 AM
Rubbish Nick. I guess you are the same Nick out of Langkawi, SE Asia Superyachts, your company is great, so this is not against you or your company. The work in Asia is crap and this 'sinking' is no surprise, any Captain that has experience in SE Asia would never take a 'super/mega yacht' there for a major refit, maybe a bottom scrub, thats it,and in a yard in Bangkok ? forget it. Its going to look great on paper for prices, but the finished product will be exactly what is paid, cheap, cheap. Better a sinking in a yard then out at sea with crew and guests. Love Asia but never rely on workmanship... cheers mate, argue about it over a beer at RLYC..
Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 6:42 AM
Joined: 05/06/2008
Posts: 12

There is nothing whatosever wrong with the skills and basic artisanship of the general workforce in S.E.A. There one finds skills, patience and, increasingly, education enough to do almost any job well and some considerably more so that European workforces. However, what is usually missing in S.E.A. construction yards is the true master shipwight or honestly experienced marine superintendent with, both, the considerable sea as well as actual training necessary to safe practical marine construction. Unfortunately, outside the main yards of Europe, this management position increasingly is filled by an inexperienced person, hired on the cheap to be in line with local costings, often an expat, unaware that he is out of his depth and, usualy, going unexposed as his pioneering employers are also unable to judge his ablities. No boss ... total loss.
Nick Coombes
Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:27 PM
Joined: 06/05/2010
Posts: 9

I do love this forum, as it allows anyone to speak his mind. Thank you David!!!
That being said, if you wish to post a reply aimed at one person in particular, you really should post your name.

 Yes i am Nick Coombes, from Asia Pacific Superyacht in Langkawi. I did not post my company name usually, as i do not believe this forum should be used for company advertising.

Anyone confused by the levels of service available in South East Asia can contact the Captains of :- M.Y. Sunchaser,  M.Y. Lady Kenara, S.Y. Naos, S.Y. Vivid, S.Y. Queen Of Andaman, M.Y. Sinbad, S.Y. Obsession, M.Y. Karima, M.Y. Andiamo to name but a few, all of which have recently undergone successful refit work in South East Asia.
 As with any industry, you are unable to satisfy every client, but the region is making huge strides in its work force, as well as expanding its facilities, and should certainly be considered if you are cruising the region at the time.
 It is my hope, for Gareth's sake, that the problems with M.Y. Fox were stability related and not an engineering failure.

 I recall a few years ago in Cairns, Australia, there was a similar problem with M.Y. Lady Christine, while she was hauling out on the slipway. As soon as the bow started to clear the water, the vessel lost stability, and started to list heavily. Several attempts were made to lift her, including adding weight to the Swim Step, but nothing proved successful.
So, a very seaworthy vessel from a reputable yard could not be hauled, despite extensive stability documentation.

 It is possible, that the conversion of M.Y. Fox from a commercial vessel to a yacht, has effected her stability enough to cause her to fall over upon relaunch, before the bow reached her full displacement point, a situation that would have been very hard to predict.

 Lets just hope they can salvage her and begin the process of re-building again as soon as possible for the owners sake.

Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:38 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

"... respectfully request that the incident is not discussed, or publicized in any way beyond this statement."

That cat isn't going back in the bag. While I personally sympathize with those who have to face the yachting world they were trying to impress with this project, they have to accept the fact that multi-page reviews and fluffy PR pieces don't insulate them from the dark side.

Asking the press or others in the business to not discuss or publicize this incident is a bit disingenuous isn't it? I really doubt that they planned a stealth christening but now they are asking for silence. Sorry guys, it just doesn't work that way. To paraphrase an old gunnery officer, tracers are great, you can see where they are going but don't ever forget that everyone can see where they came from. Publicity works the same way.

Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:41 PM
Joined: 12/07/2010
Posts: 57

Wow, that's so unfortunate. But I suppose you get what you pay for. I wish I could hear the excuses from that superintendent. No excuse set condition Z when launching a vessel. If you don't know what that means you are not qualified. What a shame, If your reading send me a note I can help with recovery I'll discount my rate because I feel what was done to you was reprehensible. Unwanted growth in the industry (weeds) should be pulled out and thrown in the bin.
Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 2:45 PM
Captain Dave, you got to be kidding, Wavemaster as good as any yard in Europe? I bet you hire local labor at $10 a day, tell your owner how much money you have saved and leave him with a butchered boat, your so common in this industry...Asia yards as good as Europe, I'm still laughing...btw Nick you took Sinbad to Cairns...your to wise to undertake a major in Thai/Malay..
Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 5:28 PM
"Unwanted growth in the industry (weeds) should be pulled out and thrown in the bin." Are yacht facilities in Asia unwanted ??? Yes it is unfortunate that this has happened, but as previous posters have agreed, this happens elsewhere in the world. I'm not exactly sure how many yachts are built in Asia or under go major refits, but I am pretty confident that the ratio of accidents on re launch is no higher than other areas. I know that a lot of people will benefit from more yachts cruising in Asian waters. At present there are not so many facilities available but surely there is a need for them. The Med is crowded out, boring and expensive. How can this be "unwanted growth" !!!! Many people, some of my friends included, are working very hard in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, trying to open up these cruising grounds and make the possibility, a reality. So maybe we should be supporting them and not criticizing ??? Just a thought from someone who lives in Thailand but works in the Med.
Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:57 PM
Joined: 27/05/2010
Posts: 1

Proven again, planning and research makes for a successful refit. Know exactly what you need to do for your refit and then make sure the yard has the skill to do it. And sorry, but I dont see top name yachts in the list of being refitted in S.E.A. Cost effective in this economic climate. Yes and incidents like this happen every where, but you cant compare statistics with the amount of top class yachts being refitted in Europe, USA and western world. At the end of the day it is what the owner wants and can afford and we can just do our best to satisfy their need.
Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 12:56 AM
Seems like we are both blaming and defending a whole continent for 1 accident. Tell me which country has not had embarrassing accidents before? Maybe we should boycott all American products due the Space Shuttle Disaster and loose -o-ring seal???
Captain Dave
Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:33 AM
Joined: 15/12/2010
Posts: 1

Anonymous wrote:
Captain Dave, you got to be kidding, Wavemaster as good as any yard in Europe? I bet you hire local labor at $10 a day, tell your owner how much money you have saved and leave him with a butchered boat, your so common in this industry...Asia yards as good as Europe, I'm still laughing...btw Nick you took Sinbad to Cairns...your to wise to undertake a major in Thai/Malay..

Anonymous, sounds like you have a childish beef with the yard and Nick of APS .....grow up !

Alvin Teh
Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010 4:25 AM
Joined: 17/12/2010
Posts: 1

This is truly a very sad incident where it is seldom seen in Asia shipbuilding and repair industries which has advance a lot since the past 10 year in terms of knowledge and skill level. I do not agree that workmanship in Asia is crap or no acceptable to international standard, as a lot of major yacht builder in Europe and North America continent are investing a lot of money in Asia producing more standard production yachts to be resold in their market. Although refit and new construction is totally different subject and expertise especially for a yacht / superyacht, but this is still inline with the comment objective and believe that Asia is ready to cater for the yacht market internationally.

I agree with Bear comments that the right professional person supervising, providing guidance and managing the work is the key to avoid any mistakes for the constant improving workforce in a yacht refit project in Asia, as myself have worked as an engineer onboard commercial fleet ship in Asia for some years and also involved with major Malaysian shipyard which supplies tough oil and gases industries work boats build under strict international classification to around the world.

I suppose Mr/Ms. Anonymous might not be leaving in Asia at all when he/she posted his/her comments as it sounds like the normal non-Asian which are always badly informed about how things run and operate in Asia or maybe Malaysia in specific.

My professional associate with Nick started recently and I have personally managed with success joinly with Nick 3 superyachts that had undergone minor refit and repainting at shipyard situated in Borneo (East Malaysia) where people still live on tree tops !!! without any untowards incidents with surprising results on finishing. Plus, we are looking into more of such yachts coming into this region to this shipyard in carrying out more major refit work and repair. Maybe I should employed Mr/Ms Anonymous with western standard wages and provide he/she with the same tools that I provide for my local workers which are the best in terms of Malaysian Standrad and see whether he/she can produce a far more superior quality work comparing it to a local skilled worker which the workmanship is crap !!!. I am very confident that the Malaysian skilled worker which will cost 50% less of Mr/Ms Anonymous will out performed him/her.

This incident served as an eye opener to all that constant strict monitoring and implementation of QC control measure plus anticipating the worse situation to happen must always be the first thoughts and practice if one would like to work with a shipyard in Asia which is constantly improving their capacity and workforce skill level. Not everyday we see such incident like the Fox project

Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 3:52 PM
Joined: 19/01/2010
Posts: 36

After working on a project in Malaysia, the complete build of a large sailing yacht, not a 'refit', the project manager being a former chief engineer of British heritage it is fair to say that the workmanship of some of the contractors was not up to scratch, but what can be expected when they are paid $9 a day? The project manager had to get work re done due to poor workmanship and the Asian 'electrical engineer' once asked me what size cabling was needed to route from a generator into the distribution board! The engineer seemed unable to work this out from the generators maximum rated output, another 'engineer' with merchant navy qualifications took it upon himself to put tap water into the coolant system of an expensive engine. It was clear that the SE Asian level of education, training and experience was not that of the US and Europe and anyone who tries to pretend otherwise is kidding you. Having said that the owner, who didn't seem to have a clue what he was doing was hiring the most affordable contractors to carry out the work so maybe I saw the worst of the SE Asian labour market.
Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2014 10:22 AM
Joined: 26/11/2014
Posts: 1

Nick, It's Scott Randall.

I hope you are well.

wont ramble on as don't know you will get this.

you can contact me on

have some news concerning a school mate of ours.

all the best


 Average 4.5 out of 5