Friday, January 25, 2013

Surveyor Guide Notes for Sailing Yachts Survey.

A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning “hunt”. It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries. After its selection by Charles II of England as the vessel to Britain from Holland for his restoration, it came to be used to mean a vessel used to convey important persons.
In modern use the term designates two rather different classes of watercraft, sailing and power boats. Yachts are different from working ships mainly by their leisure purpose, and it was not until the rise of the steamboat and other types of powerboat that sailing vessels in general came to be perceived as luxury, or recreational vessels. Later the term came to encompass motor boats for primarily private pleasure purposes as well.
Yacht lengths generally range from 10 meters (33 ft) up to dozens of meters (hundreds of feet). A luxury craft smaller than 12 meters (39 ft) is more commonly called a cabin cruiser or simply a cruiser. A mega yacht generally refers to any yacht (sail or power) above 30 m (98 ft) and a super yacht generally refers to any yacht over 50 meters (164 ft). This size is small in relation to typical cruise liners and oil tankers.
Sailing yachts can range in overall length (Length Over All—LOA) from about 6 meters (20 ft) to well over 30 meters (98 ft), where the distinction between a yacht and a ship becomes blurred. Most privately owned yachts fall in the range of about 7 meters (23 ft)-14 meters (46 ft); the cost of building and keeping a yacht rises quickly as length increases. In the United States, sailors tend to refer to smaller yachts as sailboats, while referring to the general sport of sailing as yachting. Within the limited context of sailboat racing, a yacht is any sailing vessel taking part in a race, regardless of size.
Modern yachts have efficient sail-plans, most notably the Bermuda rig, that allows them to sail towards the wind. This capability is the result of a sail-plan and hull design.

The following items are to be examined and placed in satisfactory condition:
The yacht is to be placed in dry-dock or on a slipway and the keel, stem, stern frame, rudder and outside of side and bottom are to be cleaned as necessary, examined and placed in satisfactory condition, together with rudder pointless, gudgeons and their securing arrangements. For those yachts constructed of aluminum, underwater plating in close proximity to dissimilar metal is to be examined both internally and externally as far as practicable. Rudder bearing clearances are to be ascertained and reported upon.
The yacht is to be generally examined externally and internally so far as can be seen and placed in satisfactory condition.
All openings to the sea, including sanitary and other overboard discharges, together with the valves connected therewith, are to be examined internally and externally while the vessel is in dry-dock; and the fastenings to the shell plating are to be renewed when considered necessary by the Surveyor. For those vessels constructed of aluminum, insulating material in joints of shell connections between dissimilar metals is to be examined and renewed, if necessary.
The following items are to be examined, together with their closing appliances, placed in satisfactory condition and reported upon:
• Superstructures
• Hatches
• Companionways
• Ventilator and air pipe coamings
• Skylights
• Flush deck scuttles
• All openings in yacht sides, including freeing ports
 All accessible parts of the steering gear, including associated equipment and control systems, are to be examined and placed in satisfactory condition. Steering gear is to be operationally tested while the yacht is not under way.
Anchoring equipment is to be examined and placed in satisfactory condition.
Hull inspection is to be given to the following requirements:
Yachts is to be placed in dry-dock
Yachts of steel or aluminum are to be gauged in accordance with the regulations
The rudder is to be examined; the condition of the carrier and steadiment bearing and the effectiveness of the stuffing boxes are to be ascertained.
All decks, casings and superstructures are to be examined. Particular attention is to be paid to the corners of openings and other discontinuities in way of decks and topsides.
The interior of the yacht is to be opened out by the removal of lining, ceiling, portable tanks and ballast, as may be required by the Surveyor to satisfy himself as to the condition of all parts of the structure. Integral tanks and other spaces, including chain lockers, are to be cleaned for examination. When examining tanks internally, the Surveyor is to see that a striking plate or other additional reinforcement is fitted below each sounding pipe.
All integral tanks are to be tested with a head of liquid to the highest point that liquid will rise under service conditions.
Anchor windlass and hawse pipes are to be examined. Anchors and cables are to be ranged and examined.
Exposed hatch covers not fitted with tarpaulins are to be hose-tested or otherwise proven weathertight.
All fastenings, including those through the ballast keel, are to be hammer-tested to ascertain their soundness and drawn for examination, as considered necessary by the attending Surveyor.
Wood decks or sheathing are to be examined and the caulking is to be tested and re-caulked, as necessary. If decay or rot is found or the wood is excessively worn, the wood is to be renewed. Attention is to be given to the condition of the structure under wood decks and to fabric deck coverings. If it is found that such coverings are damaged or are not adhering closely to the deck, sections are to be removed, as necessary, to ascertain the condition of the deck under.
In any part of the yacht where wastage is evident or suspect, the Surveyor may require thickness gauging and repair of the affected parts.
In addition, the following requirements apply to those yachts constructed of reinforced plastic:
(a) The framing and holds, hull laminate of the tween deck, deep tanks, peaks, bilges and drain wells, and machinery spaces are to be cleaned and examined. Linings, ceiling, tanks and portable ballast are to be removed, as considered necessary by the attending Surveyor.
(b) Where there is evidence of cracking, distortion, wetness or delamination, destructive or nondestructive testing and removal and repair of the defect are to be carried out to the satisfaction of the attending Surveyor.
(c) Engine foundations and their attachment to the hull are to be examined.
(d) The hull, fastenings and backing reinforcements in way of hull fittings and attachments are to be examined. Fastenings are to be withdrawn, as considered necessary by the attending Surveyor.
In addition, the following requirements apply to those yachts constructed of wood:
 (a) Where the planking is sheathed with metal, such portions are to be removed, as the Surveyor may direct. If sheathed with reinforced plastics or similar material, the sheathing is to be examined to ensure it is adhering satisfactorily and that there is no possibility of water seepage occurring along plank edges.
(b) The caulking of the outside and deck planking is to be tested and re-caulked as necessary.
Plating in way of portlights is to be examined. In this and any other part of the structure where wastage is evident or suspect, the Surveyor may require thickness gauging in order to obtain the actual thickness of material.
The anchor cables are to be ranged and examined, together with anchors, chain locker and holdfasts. Chain cables are to be renewed in cases where it is found that the links have been so far worn that their mean diameter is 12% below the original required nominal size.(Refer to class Society requirements)
On all yachts fitted with a ballast keel, fastenings are to be drawn for examination, as may be required by the Surveyor.
If a wood yacht is sheathed with metal, such sheathing as will at least permit an examination of the wood keel, garboards, plank ends, stem and stern post is to be removed, as requested by the Surveyor.
In wood yachts, fastenings, as may be required by the Surveyor, are to be drawn for examination.

Pre-purchase condition survey
A standard Pre-Purchase Survey consists of ascertaining the full condition of the vessel and includes the following:

  • Full and detailed inspection of the vessel both in and out of the water
    including electronic moisture detection or spot ultrasonic thickness
    gauging depending on the vessel build (GRP, metal, wood, etc).
  • Detailed non-invasive inspection of engines and all onboard systems.
  • Rigging inspection of sailing vessels (up to 1.80 m above deck).
  • Complete sea trials (motor & sail).
  • Detailed written report with photographic record
A fully comprehensive ultrasonic thickness gauging and complete visual rigging inspections can be carried out at extra cost.

Although, our recomendation cannot possibly itemize every single item that will be inspected, as these vary from vessel to vessel, the Pre-Purchase Survey includes visual inspection & performance testing of each & every piece of equipment fitted aboard from stem to stern.

In order to ease surveying procedures and obtain the best results, I strongly recommend that the vessel is hauled-out the bottom pressure washed with freshwater at least 24 hrs prior to the begining of the survey.

This is particularly important to obtain reliable moisture readings of a GRP vessel but greatly facilitates the bottom inspection of vessel built in any construction media. Haulage and bottom cleaning expenses of the haul out is normally arranged directly by the purchaser and/or his broker.

Our standard "Survey Terms & Conditions" which may help to better define the scope of our work are available upon request.

Valuation Surveys (a.k.a. Condition & Valuation Surveys) are normally requested either for finance, taxation, or insurance purposes. The Valuation Survey covers the same scope as a Pre-Purchase Survey with the addition of a "Fair Market Price" Valuation of the vessel.

An Insurance Survey is some how similar to the Full Condition Survey with special attention being paid to ascertain the structural integrity and safety aspects of the vessel. This helps the insurance company assess the insurable risk of the vessel. Insurance companies normally require this type of Survey for first entry and at 5 to 10 year intervals (depending upon type of vessel and construction media) for the renewal of the insurance policy.

Insurance Companies or Finance Houses are sometimes satisfied with a less-then-a-full survey (eg: In-water Survey only, or Bottom Survey only); hence in order to fulfil their requirements without incurring in unnecessary costs and delays, we recommend to obtain full information about the scope of the Survey they require. prior to contracting our services.

One particular aspect of Insurance Surveys is represented by the Full Risk Assessment of Mega Yachts to limit Underwriters exposure to large losses. A Full Risk Assessment takes into account not only the condition of the vessel per se but takes into account the way in which the vessel is operated, safety management, human factors, etc

Damage Assessments are normally requested by Underwriters, Insurance Companies and or large Insurance brokers to assess the cause and extent of marine incidents of various natures. Our services are retained by the above principals to assist their insured with local knowledge and provide independent, impartial and factual assessment of damage and supervision of the repair.


Incident investigations and Machinery / Component Failure analysis are performed to identify the cause of a marine loss. Forensic examination of a failed component or system can yield the root cause of the failure. With the technical assistance of some of the world best testing laboratories of each field (metallurgists, polymer and composites, etc) we can assist in determining weather a loss is covered by the insurance policy or not.

Corrosion Surveys are special inspections aimed to assess the state of health of the cathodic protection of a vessel to troubleshoot or prevent possible corrosion issues. They normally involve the assessment of both onboard installations (with the vessel afloat & ashore) as well as dock installations where the vessel is normally docked.

Fisher 37 Marine Survey
Fiber glass boat survey on a yacht that need Osmosis Treatment.
Boat & yacht surveying & ultrasound (UTM) the steel on a boat or yacht.

Fiberglass Boat Repair & Maintenance