Category: Yacht Surveying

What does a marine loss adjuster do?

In the insurance industry there are plenty of jargon and statements that sometimes make it difficult to understand what the role of certain people is, or who they represent.
For example there is a difference between loss adjusters and loss assessors. Loss adjusters represent the insurance company, whilst an assessor represents the policyholder.

What does a marine loss adjuster do?

When it comes to marine loss adjusters the same applies. The adjuster is there to represent the insurance firm and determine, how much of your claim can be legitimately made based upon a number of factors from the age and condition of the vessel prior to the claim to servicing and modifications made over the lifetime of boat.
A loss assessor on the other hand, works entirely for the benefit of the policyholder.
Sometimes when making a claim it can be daunting, that’s when the policy holder can appoint assessor to help them through the process and ensure they get what is fair and that the claim is reviewed impartially. After all it is not unusual for the insurance company to bring in all kinds of experts to the party to make sure that their loss is a small as possible. This could include forensic investigators and industry specialists. This often means that making a marine insurance claim can be daunting and quickly expose shortcomings in a negotiation.

Assessors are trained negotiators and experts in unpicking policy terms and conditions. Quite often they will have an idea of the amount for each claim and discuss this with you in order that you know the target. They also understand how insurance companies work and the likely outcomes, their experience can mean thousands of pounds difference in respect of your claim.

If you are still unsure about what to do in your specific circumstances, contact Yachtwork via our contact page to get the best advice for you.

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Yacht Surveys a must…

If you’re buying a boat, then surveys are a must

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) strongly recommends that you employ a marine surveyor prior to purchase. Whether buying your yacht privately or through an established broker.
Boats are liable to deterioration and damage, just like any mode of travel. The difference being that the addition of salt water and exposure to the elements means that wear and tear is inevitable.
Discovering faults in a craft after the purchase can leave you on a sticky wicket, as oddly much of the industry is unregulated which puts even more importance on a preventative approach with a yacht survey.
So if you decide not to have a survey then the chances of redress are minimal, as the onus is squarely on the purchaser to make sure that their new purchase is fit to sail. You can get some free legal advice in respect of implications of boat purchase, members of the Royal Yacht Association for example, can get this as part of their membership benefit.

Yacht surveyors can be found all over the country, indeed in many places far from water! It’s fair to say that many of them will be referrals from locals or harbour workers, but a ‘go to’ location to get more info is the International Institute of Marine Surveying.
Other useful sites include:

or you might simply ask the harbour master which surveyors operate in the area. Whichever route you take it is worth checking if they are registered with the IIMS as you can carry out a search to find those closest to you, the advice they provide is impartial too.
If you decide a broker is the best route, unless you can afford it, then don’t take the first recommendation that is presented. The broker wants to sell the boat, whereas the surveyor has to provide an impartial report.

How much does a yacht survey cost?

Well as with many things in life the survey can vary but is usually based upon the dimensions of the boat, a fair rule of thumb could be anywhere between £10 – £15 per foot, plus travel expenses. Most reasonable size yachts will take 1 or possibly two days but it is price worth paying.

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Don’t rely on an existing marine survey

It sounds like an obvious statement but we come across so many instances where a client has purchased a vessel based upon an existing survey rather than get a new one commissioned.

Firstly a marine survey report must really be treated as a one off, it can only reflect the condition of a boat on the day it was carried out. Even if the survey was just a few days old the vessel could have run aground the day before, which would never be reflected in the report and could end up a costly mistake.

Most reputable surveyors will be covered by an indemnity insurance, this protects them if for some reason there is a defect or condition that was missed at the time of the survey, so you have some redress in that scenario. But once the report is issued and the appointed surveyor has issue and invoice and it has been paid, the contract with them is ended. So there is no recourse if the problem is noticed at a later date.

The marine survey, should provide a list of recommendations that can range from structural defects to damaged rails and in some cases will recommend measurement of potential defects over a period of time, such as progressive problems with paint deterioration or osmosis, the signs of which can be noted but can get worse over a period of time.

There are always likely to be some aspects that the surveyor is unable to comment on, so it is important that they express what parts of the marine survey that they cannot include, so its important that any areas that are more difficult to access are opened or unscrewed so that the surveyor can get access and add details to the report. For example, if sole boards are screwed down then they will not be lifted. So a bit of forward planning is required to maximise the opportunity.

Choosing a marine surveyor can be a difficult process as the industry is largely unregulated, so unlike buying a car, some sales between private individuals can throw a lot of curve balls in the lifetime of the vessel.

Image by Jeremy Bishop

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Why do I need a marine survey?

As you might well assume a marine survey is a detailed report which is compiled by a marine surveyor once they have carried out an onsite inspection of a vessel. So why do I need a marine survey?

Most typically, marine surveyors are called to assess damage to pleasure craft such as yachts but it can be in connection with any type of vessel from tugs and cargo ships, assessing how they are loaded and the cargo carried.
For the most part the purpose of the report or marine survey is to ascertain what condition of the vessel and it’s history for the purposes of financial, insurance or purchasing information to ensure that it meets all regulatory requirements.
If you are purchasing a pleasure craft with your hard earned savings then surveys are highly recommended as they can identify many things that may well be overlooked with simpler valuations.
Surveys refer to many things from the condition of the craft, detailed information on its history or lack of it and potentially if it has been previously damaged. In some cases insurers will insist on a report before underwriting a vessel. It is likely that they will be appointed by the insurer but this does not mean that they will favour the insurance company as they must remain unbiased in any assessment and not influence the actual purchase decision.
Whatever the reason for the survey, it is important to remember that it will stand you in good stead if you intend to sell the vessel on at a future date. It will also streamline any claims process should you have the need to make an insurance claim at any time. Whilst your insurer or finance company will recommend a marine surveyor to you, we have some other useful information in Choosing a Marine Surveyor here. Alternatively you can seek advice from the IIMS website.

Photo by James Connolly

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Choosing a marine surveyor

Choosing the right marine surveyor can save thousands

The surveying industry is largely unregulated, so if you are deciding which marine surveyor to use it can present a few issues from the start which when you need to get your pride and joy back on the water, or get the marine insurance company to pay up for that damage

Choosing the right marine surveyor can be a difficult job so the first task is to ensure that you are prepared and know what to ask so you can get someone with the right level of skill to carry out your repair with the level of competency you would expect from a marine survey specialist.

The International Institute of marine management is a good place to start to find the right person for your needs.

Clearly being recommended is high on the list, geography is another important factor, although it
is important to remember that many of the best marine surveyors will be travelling globally on a regular basis, as they are in demand. So don’t limit you search to just your local area, whilst its a good place to start someone could be already on your doorstep so make plenty of enquires.

Make sure you ask for reference of work or look on their websites, if they are confident of what they do then they will not be afraid to show their work on their site, or send you examples via the many digital channels available today.

The International Institute of Marine Surveying makes identifying the right one easier for you and it is fair to say that if they are listing members they feel they are competent and that they have a track record in the industry.

So once you have made all the relevant checks and feel comfortable you can begin the process of getting quotes for the work and be safe in the knowledge you have chosen your surveyor wisely.

The IIMS cannot be bias towards any one person or company but we are proud that our Chief Marine Surveyor, Jim Vintner is an Associate member.

Located in Hamble Yachtwork cover Southampton, Portsmouth as well as the whole of the UK, in fact we travel all over the world helping our clients get the best advise and are highly experiences and respected Yacht Surveyors, Yacht Repair Specialists and coatings experts with over 30 years experience.


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    Yacht Insurance Claim Process Explained!

    You’ve damaged your yacht! Thankfully you’ve got suitable yacht insurance and you’re finally going to need to use it to rectify the damage to your vessel.

    Yachtwork are going to take you through the yacht insurance claim process for your yacht and we’ll highlight where we, the yacht surveyors, come into the equation!

    An important note before we continue: if you have suffered water ingress you must thoroughly clean the affected areas with fresh water and detergent to reduce further damage. If they engine has been flooded, get an engineer to carry out first aid and get it running if possible. This should be done immediately to stop further damage!

    First thing for you to do is tell you broker or insurer what has happened. Immediate notification is vital to ensure your claim is valid; delaying notification may void your claim and you’ll be stuck with the repair bill. Don’t forget, if the claim involves a criminal act, such as vandalism or criminal damage, you must notify the police as well.

    Next up, record and preserve evidence. It is your responsibility to demonstrate the losses you have incurred to your insurers (or the surveyor). Go crazy with your camera (or, more likely, your phone) and record as much photographic evidence as you can of what has happened. Take down the details of anyone who saw what happened too, witnesses can be useful. If the claim involves another party, record their damage too.

    At this stage, you have done everything reasonable to inform your insurers and record what has happened. Just make sure you make every effort to limit any further damage or liability; if you’re at risk of causing more damage, or more damage happening, tell your insurers immediately and ask for advice.

    Now this is where Yachtwork come into play. Your insurer will likely instruct an independent surveyor to survey your yacht and report back on the cause, responsibility, and recommendations to make good. If you’re lucky, your insurer will appoint one of our team of expert yacht surveyors and we’ll be along in no time to assess the damage to your vessel, record the evidence and write up a report for your insurer.

    At this stage your insurer is aware of the issues and how to rectify them. You should stay in regular communication with them throughout the repairs process; they may be able to advise you on where to get the repairs done. If you’re struggling coordinating your yacht repair, our Project Management team may be able to help; they take total control of the repair management and will return your yacht to you as good as new! Get in touch for a yacht repair project management quote.

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    Yacht Design Basics

    Getting the simple things right

    There are those who promise you the perfect yacht. One that offers everything you want and more. A yacht that is a no compromise work of art that shines in comparison to all others. But does this type of yacht really exist? I mean, there has to be some compromises in the design or construction of it, right? Ask any engineer and you will find that every machine, every electrical component and every vehicle we use on a daily basis is full of compromises. So how can there be a no compromise, perfect yacht?

    Compromises are what yacht design and construction are all about. There is no perfect yacht for all yacht owners or for all sea and speed conditions. Even if it is custom-designed and built, the key to having your perfect yacht is knowing what the important factors and choices are, and making informed decisions about where your priorities lie. Let’s take a look at some yacht design basics that will provide a better understanding of how your next yacht is built.


    One factor that yacht builders can’t compromise on is safety and that leads us to the stability of the craft. If you say more stability would be better, you would be wrong. Stability is dependent to some extent on vertical center of gravity, but is also highly dependent on hull beam. You could build a wider boat and have more stability, but then you would sacrifice in resistance and weight which would lead to a need for more horsepower and more fuel usage. The wider the boat, the greater the stability, but more beam also means more resistance and weight, and thus more horsepower and fuel, or less speed and range.


    The top speed of a boat is another area where designers must make compromises. By adding more speed, you will be adding more weight and more cost. It could also mean that your hull could be less efficient at extended cruising speeds which will increase fuel consumption.


    With hulls, you have a wide range of choices, many with their own positives and negatives. You have planing and displacement hulls, as well as semi-displacement hull (or semi-planing) with the latter not very good at planing or running slow. At the stern, you could have a fantail, cruiser stern, transom, or double-ender. You can have a raked and flared bow to lift the boat above the waves, a plumb stem to moderate pitching, or even a reverse stem to plow through the waves with almost no pitching, but with the potential for lots of water on deck.

    Once you decide on the type of hull, you will need to choose how many you need. Then, you will need to choose a colour, with each colour option having its own positives and negatives. Finally, the material a hull is made from must be chosen. With steel, aluminum and several woods and composites available, the possibilities can seem confusing.


    How will your boat be powered? Will you choose the wind in your sails, or gasoline, diesel or gas turbine engines? You could also choose batteries and solar cells or a combination of the above. This all leads to yet another compromise and another decision that must be made when designing and building your boat.

    As you can clearly see, there is a lot that goes into the design of a modern yacht and there are just as many compromises. To own the perfect yacht, you must decide what is important to you and which features you want or need. To learn more about yacht design, contact Yachtwork today!



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      5 Ways to Enjoy Your Next Cruise


      If you ask anyone who owns a motor yacht and regularly cruises, they will always say that there is nothing like it. But the idea of taking your yacht out for a cruise can sometimes seem difficult when you factor in the planning, scheduling and finally being able to head out to open water. If this is you, we have created an informative and helpful list of some ways that you can enjoy your next cruise and get more out of it. Read along and keep these in mind the next time you start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of taking a cruise.

      1. Be flexible. When yachting, things do always go your way and if you plan for them not to, you might be pleasantly surprised when they do. Be flexible and you will soon find that you will begin to enjoy your cruises more and feel more relaxed after every trip.
      2. Be open-minded. When cruising, especially in areas that you are a foreigner to, you should always remain open minded. If you do, you will find that you will have a better experience and you may learn something new.
      3. Don’t try to adhere to strict schedules. Making a plan is a good idea, but sometimes you don’t get to stick to a schedule that you have created especially if that schedule is very strict. A loose itinerary will enable you to enjoy your cruise and give you time to make a few extra stops along the way.
      4. Enjoy the locals. This may seem obvious, but many people will take their yachts out for a cruise and will stick mainly to themselves. Meeting new people is a big part of cruising and something that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, the locals may know of some out of the way spots that you might want to see or they could alert you to some dangerous areas that you might want to avoid.
      5. Be confident in your abilities and your boat. We are not saying that you have to be a pro at this, but you should be confident in yourself and your vessel. Understanding the basics, knowing how to use the navigation system and knowing your abilities is important. This is how you become an experienced sailor and how you can enjoy your cruise even more.


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      Marine Insurance Profesionals.

      Are you a Claims Handler?

      Are you an Underwriter?

      Are you a Manager of the above?


      We very much hope that you have read our previous posts, which gives evidence to the fact, that we have quite an understanding of the repair, refit and building of a boat. We also intended our posts to demonstrate that we have a deep understanding of the claims process.


      Are you a Claims Handler?

      We would love the opportunity to sit down and talk to you, and discuss your requirements. I, Jim Vintner, have worked in many areas of the marine industry from a Captain and Engineer of Superyachts, to an Operations Manager of a prolific repair facility with the past four years as the Principal Surveyor and Director of Yachtnet Ltd TA as We have developed an excellent relationship with our clients and established a UK wide network of Surveyors, currently expanding into Europe, USA and Australasia, saving you time and travel costs, whilst continuing to give good concise reporting, with information backed up by the industry knowledge as mentioned earlier. Many Clients have reported an improved claims ratio, many have reported greater customer satisfaction and client retention. With all of the above points, and the fact that there is no cost in making contact, we will come to you for a meeting, why not make contact? After all, it is part of your role to make sure you are giving the best service on behalf of your underwriters.


      Are you an Underwriter?

      If you are, and have read the above, we very much hope that you may insist on a meeting of minds with the Claims Team, and will find the next part of interest: –

      We have developed a system for Conditional Yacht Surveys, that will result in you having a numerical understanding of the risk you are exposed to. Current Surveys tend to be over-worded documents that tell you the weather on the day of the inspection, the designer of the yacht and who built it rather than the Risk you are exposing yourselves to, which is what we believe you require?

      Maybe we should talk?

      Are you a manager of the above?

      I am hoping that the above gets to you, I feel we need not say too much.

      Claims ratio down

      Client retention up

      Risk understood

      If you feel the above to be relevant, please forward to anyone you feel may benefit, we are trying to expand our business by offering a service that adds value.

      Jim Vintner                                       07712713740




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      Following an accident

      Causation, repair requirements, costings, project management.


      So, you have been unfortunate enough to have an incident, be it your fault, the fault of another or extreme weather. Your next move is the most important, let your insurers know as soon as you can, they are  more qualified to deal with what is to happen next.


      The Cause

      The cause, although important, is not as important as you and your crew’s safety. The safety of the vessel following an incident, is also important to mitigate any further loss. The cause needs to be understood, and the insurers and their panel of surveyors, will clarify this.

      People: Make the people safe and secure immediately.” Oh, well John would have been fine, but we spent so long cleaning up the boat, following the incident, by the time we got him to hospital, his internal bleeding had caused……”.


      Repair Requirements

      The repair requirements are always going to be varied, this will obviously be dependent upon the incident. As the owner, first aid of the vessel by qualified persons is imperative to mitigate increased repair costs. If you are the owner, act in a prudently uninsured manner.

      Do not start the actual repair process, until all costings are understood and agreed with your insurers.

      The yard, who you have used for years, may not be the most qualified, or the most competitive for the requirements.



      Again, your insurers will have vast experience in appraising this aspect or they may instruct one of their surveyors to carry out this part on their behalf.

      Insurers, make sure the surveyor you appoint is qualified to carry out the appraisal.


      Project management

      The insurers will generally not cover the cost of a project manager for the repair procedure, they use yards that have vast experience and do not require this, on most occasions. If you, as the owner, feel this to be a requirement, please talk with your insurers at your earliest convenience, rather than presenting them with an invoice for project management upon completion. You may be disappointed with the answer you may well receive.


      • Safety of you, your crew, your family.
      • Safety of the vessel.
      • Clearly laid out estimates for repair.
      • Clarification with your insurers.
      • No hidden surprises.
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