5 Terrible Yacht Disasters That Made the Headlines in 2017


If you own a yacht, then you know that a lot of the time you are at Mother Nature’s mercy. Sure, you may be taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that your boat is safe from harm. But, sometimes, these may not be enough. It’s the story of these yachts that faced hardship and misfortune in 2017. One can only wonder if yacht restoration can undo the damage or if the boats are forever lost.

From natural phenomena like hurricanes to fatal malfunctioning of electrical systems, here’s a list of the five biggest yacht disasters of 2017.


  1. Hurricane Irma

It goes without saying that hurricane Irma was one of the most devastating natural phenomena to occur last year and the most powerful storm to hit the Caribbean in decades. Irma sunk many yachts and claimed many lives. The vicious hurricane demolished numerous communities in the region, with over one hundred fatalities reported.

Yachts and other sailing boats aside, the storm destroyed people’s houses and local infrastructure. It will take a lot of time and resources until the damage will be fully repaired.


  1. The Antibes Witness “If Only Yacht Catching Fire

On August 17, witnesses saw giant clouds of black smoke over the massive steel and aluminum structure of the yacht named “If Only.” Authorities have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the incident, but according to rumors, a break down of the electrical system in the engine room may have determined the disaster.

Fortunately, emergency services were quick to rescue all the people on the boat – four crew members and seven guests.


  1. Powerful Storm Sinks 112-foot Yacht Paradise in Mallorca

A Force 9 storm on the Beaufort scale hit Mallorcan marina of Port D’Andratx on March 3, sinking “Paradise” almost entirely, with only the flybridge visible above the water as reported by local witnesses.

Even if no one was injured, the boat undoubtedly was. The storm hit its mooring with such force that its GRP hull was visibly damaged, tragically enabling the vessel to take in water and get sunk almost entirely.


  1. Limitless Yacht Ablaze off the Coast of the British Virgin Islands

This luxury yacht was lost to fire despite local authorities’ efforts to save it. It was anchored near popular yachting destination of island Virgin Gorda when a short circuit in one or more of its electrical appliances quickly set it off in flames.

Thankfully, the captain and crew safely escaped without any serious injuries. However, it’s a pity that the damage was irreversible and not even a high-caliber yacht refinishing company was able to save it.


  1. Elsa Runs Aground on Saba Island Shore

The 49 meters long yacht Elsa was involved in not one, but two incidents within just a few weeks. First, on March 13, the small sailing yacht ran aground, but it was successfully refloated five days later. Then, the yacht was in a tricky situation again less than a week later, when it got stuck on the rocks near the coast, with large waves washing against her.

The worst part was that the boat was carrying a significant amount of fuel, endangering the habitat and marine life of the area where the incidents took place. Not to mention, it’s a bit unclear how the ship run ashore without a fire emerging, with all that fuel on board. Luckily, there was no spillage, and no one on the yacht was injured.

As many precautions, as you may be taking, the unexpected can still happen. Whether we’re talking about natural phenomena, electrical failure or human error, it’s possible you may need the help of a yacht restoration company to get your boat back in top conditions.


At Chi Yacht Refinishing, a highly skilled team of professional problem solvers is always ready to tackle even the biggest challenges. The quality of our yacht services and the dedication of our team make us the most powerful marine restoration solution. Get in touch with us if you want to learn more.