What is a Marine Survey?
A Marine Survey is a comprehensive examination of a vessel. Examination of a vessel can be conducted by many different means including, visual examination, percussive sounding, measuring for moisture content, and ultrasonic thickness testing, to name a few. The non-destructive method of hull examination requires extensive training to provide a true indication of a hull’s structural condition. Comprehensive training in hull construction provides an examiner with a complete understanding of various materials that make up a boat hull’s construction. As a result, nondestructive testing conducted by such a trained individual, are much more accurately interpreted. Furthermore: Training in the different methods of hull construction allows the examiner to completely understand and interpret non-destructive testing results. Because Marine Surveying is not an exact science, choosing the most trained, qualified, and experienced surveyor is paramount in gathering accurate results.
SURVEYS WE PROVIDE:
- Condition & Valuation Surveys
- Pre-Purchase Surveys
- Failure analysis of marine hull and propulsion systems
- Damage estimation of dock facilities and other marine related equipment
- Cargo Surveys
- Barge and/or towing vessel charter surveys
- Trip & Tow surveys
- Emergency barge and or cargo damage surveys
- Ultrasonic thickness gauging
- Draft Surveys
Types of Surveys
CONDITION & VALUE SURVEY:
A Condition and Value Survey is typically required by insurance underwriters and/or financial underwriters, both in attempt to assess risk and limit of liability. This type of survey is an onsite examination of the hull and its systems. This survey, again through non-destructive means, is to ascertain the condition of the hull and its ability to operate safely as designed. Note: A surveyor with proper training will refer to the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) as it pertains to the safe operation of the vessel and its systems, along with reference to voluntary safety standards set forth by ABYC (American Boat & Yacht Council) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency). All this including valuation through comprehensive market analysis adhering to the guidelines set forth by USPAP (Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice).
A Pre-Purchase Survey is typically required by a purchaser, who wants to make an educated purchase decision and to protect their investment. This is the most comprehensive of vessel examinations, which includes a visual non-destructive examination, both in and out of water, along with testing of its systems. The purpose of this examination is to identify any abnormal liabilities and/or characteristics of a particular vessel, which the purchaser would normally not be equipped to locate or identify. This survey allows the examiner the opportunity to operate and test both AC & DC electrical systems, measure for ground faults and/or stray current. Test for temperature and load measurements with all systems operating, ensure load carrying capabilities of the generator, shore power and DC or inverters, etc. Operation of the propulsion machinery through a variety of RPM ranges along with the ability to connect to various ECU (electronic control units) of propulsion engines to identify run history, stored faults and current faults along with operational parameters. The vessel is operated through various turns (extra space) and maneuvers to identify abnormal conditions, such as stringer flex, temperature variations through IR temperature gauge etc. Including appraisal through comprehensive market analysis adhering to the guidelines set forth by USPAP (uniform standard of professional appraisal practice).
Damage surveys are comprehensive examinations used to determine the cause and extent of damage. This type of survey is referred to as failure analysis. Failure analysis inspections are typically performed on hull and/or machinery or propulsion components to determine their cause of failure. This information is typically relied upon by vessel owners, repairers, manufacturer’s and insurance companies to assess liability. We offer this service at a much higher level of training, knowledge and expertise to ensure the most accurate results.
A damage survey is essentially a scientific report, based upon facts surrounding the investigation, with scientific backing by published information and training materials from societies such as:
A.B.Y.C. Standards And Recommended Practices and Tech Bulletins
ABMA (American Bearing Manufacturers Association)
AGMA (American Gear Manufacturers Association)
ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
ASM (American Society for Metals)
ASNT (American Society for Nondestructive Testing)
ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)
ISO (Insurance Services Office) and ACORD
Marine Propulsion Manufacturers (Mercury, OMC, Volvo, Caterpillar, etc.)
N.F.P.A. (National Fire Protection Agency)
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)
U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories)
U.S.C.G. NVIC (“Notes on Inspection and Repair of Steel, Fiberglass and Wooden Hulled Vessels”)
USC 33 CFR and USC 46 CFR
DRAFT TONNAGE SURVEY:
Draft tonnage surveys, or “draft surveys” for short, are used to determine the weight of cargo that has been loaded onto or off of a barge. Freeboard measurements of the barge both empty and laden are used to determine the amount of cargo. When conducting a draft survey, we measure the freeboard at six different locations on the barge. Then we measure from those same locations again. We do this in order to self-check ourselves and provide the highest level of accuracy in our measurements. With the information we obtain by physically measuring the barge freeboard, we then calculate the actual tonnage of materials and electronically submit a full report with the information to our client in a matter of minutes.
Sometimes called on/off hires, these surveys are useful in determining if any new damage or wear has occurred on your vessel after it has come back from charter. We are very thorough in conducting these surveys because we want to inform our customers of any differences in the vessel’s condition after it has been used so proper repairs can be made. We enter, inspect, and photograph every compartment (when possible) and determine if any new damage has occurred. Ideally, we would have our own on charter survey to reference when looking for new conditions on a vessel coming off charter. However, due to our experience and training, we can provide accurate results even if no older survey is provided for reference.
Cargo surveys are important in determining the condition of your cargo when it arrives at or leaves for its destination. We thoroughly examine every piece of cargo and how it is stored for its journey, making sure each item is properly secured and protected. We have seen it all when it comes to cargo, from heavy machinery travelling overseas, to crates of coffee coming in from South America. You will be provided with detailed pictures of the cargo and an accompanying report as soon as possible. Any new damage that may have occurred during transport will be recorded and provided to you in this report.
ULTRASONIC THICKNESS TESTING:
Ultrasonic thickness testing is a method of performing Non Destructive Testing. Non Destructive Testing (NDT) is an analysis technique used to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage. We utilize high end industrial testing equipment to determine the local thickness of metal hulls, decks, bulkheads, and framing. Wastage of these components can then be calculated and put into a report.