There are a number of different sections to
a boat survey, which are in turn modified, omitted or added in
part, according to the reason for the survey. For example, it
may or may not be necessary to have an approximate value assesed.
Without listing all that is to be surveyed, the sections can
be basically described as 1/ The hull. 2/ The hull fittings and attachments.
3/ The deck. 4/
All deckworks, deck fittings and attachments. 5/
The interior. 6/
The rig. 7/
The boat owner/prospective boatowner has much to consider
when contemplating the services of a surveyor....there are two
kinds ...those that have come from college...and those that have
come from being boatbuilders. They can be broken down further
into subsections....a/ The
'rivet counter'. b/ The 'hull
tapper'. c/ The qualified
naval architect with little or no boatbuilding/repairing experience.
d/ The 'time served', experienced
boatbuilder/repairer. (There are of course many combinations
of those mentioned). Then bearing in mind that the main construction
material can be either steel, wood, fibreglass, ferro-cement,
aluminium, etc.....and I haven't met a specialist in all mediums...yet
So where do you begin ? Let's work through the numbered
sections that I listed in the first paragraph 6/
The rig...most of the rig is the same regardless of
what material the hull is made of. 7/
The machinery...that is similar again in all kinds of hull construction.
5/ The interior...this is
where the differences in technique start. Layout and fitting
out is similar except the positioning and the way bulheads are
positioned vary according to hull material, as well as lining
(ceilings and deck head), and other items in direct contact with
the hull. 4/ and 2/....the fixtures and fittings,
the way they are designed as well as the way they are attached
to the hull or deck, vary dramatically according to the hull
and deck construction medium. For 1/
and 3/...you will of course
have very different requirements for different construction materials.
Before making the final summary, I will enlarge on
some of my earlier statements of 'surveyor types'. 'The rivet
counter'....he's the guy who gives you 30 pages of report listing
every screw, nut, bolt, shackle, type of wood or metal used in
every part....end of story. What use is that ? You neither want
to know nor really need to know if it's a 'brass countersink
No8 x 3/4 inch screw', and the 56th one from for'd port side
on the rubbing strake has a damaged slot ! You
wan't to know whether the boat was designed properly, built to
the designers specs properly, what state of deterioration the
vessel is in, and either how or whether it is necessary to repair
and how much !! 'The tapper.....he's
the guy that comes along to inspect your ferro hull armed with
a small hammer, and proceeds to tap it all over, making notes
as he goes (as well as crushing the paint and sealer, and often
damaging the outer layer of plaster that's protecting the steel
armature). When challenged he will retort 'I'm checking for voids'.
You will then need to follow up with the questions 'If you find
any, will you be able to identify why it is there and is it of
any structural importance'. 'And if it is, will you be able to
advise me on how to repair/correct it'.
If you are engaging the services
of a surveyor, ensure that he is experienced in the medium of
construction, and really able to advise on how to repair/correct
any deterioration or damage he may find (as well as knowing how
to find it). Don't ever accept the answer 'oh I have surveyed
dozens of ferroboats', etc. And finally....the older the ferroboat,
the easier it is to find any problems there may be with the hull.
And you neither need, nor acan you use an x-ray machine to achieve
it, as one idiot suggested in a recent newsgroup.