Category: Yacht Surveying

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.

Stability

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.

Speed

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.

Hull

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.

Propulsion

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 www.yachtwork.co.uk. 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                            support@yachtwork.co.uk                     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 used to, and 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.

 

Costings

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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Refitting A Yacht

Refitting Your Yacht

 

Refitting of a yacht is a requirement from time to time. It is like the refurbishment of our houses or our cherished cars, a necessary requirement that can be quite a stressful experience or one of great enjoyment and a sense of achievement.

 

We have, over the years, been involved in many refits and have experienced what we would consider satisfaction and disappointment from owners, and yards in equal measure.

 

The Owner.

Whilst it is important to understand, that the owner’s satisfaction is paramount in this process, there are factors that can, and do, detract from this.

Example: –

“I want a bow thruster” the Client has asked.

“OK, we recommend this model Sir”.

“Oh No” the Client has replied,” I have seen a much cheaper option online!”.

Upon completion, the finding was that the bow thruster was under powered, therefore, over utilised, leading to eventual overheating and failure. Luckily, no fire.

The yard then changed the thruster for the one that they recommended in the first instance. It now works fine.

Bow thrusters do have similarities to ears.

You don’t have to use them, but generally it helps, and what is the point of having something if you do not use it!

Having a third party surveyor in the above circumstance, may well have removed the stress, eased the decision making process, and reduced the financial and time penalties.

We could harp on about this for many paragraphs, but feel the above alone, gives a firm example of how things can become stressful.

 

The Yard.

The yard, or yards, invariably are busy places, with many projects underway at the same time. Projects can become very convoluted and timelines stretched, budgets over run. Eventually the vessel approaches completion and the invoice arrives on the owner’s desk. The invoice is now 35% more than the owner was expecting, and a dispute ensues! The yard’s opinion is that certain jobs were fraught with problems, corrosion etc., and the over runs were unavoidable. The owner’s version is,” Why was I not told”. The yard operatives were requested to undertake works, keep time sheets, but were never told of the budget, or the exact specification, it happens, daily! This is eventually cleared up, generally leaving a bitter taste with one party, and the vessel is launched.

 

 

 

Sea Trials.

 

The vessel goes for sea trials, “where is the new navigation equipment”, askes the owner.

“What new navigation equipment”, says the yard hand.

“Well, when I visited the yacht in mid February, ish, I spoke with one of the electrician chaps, and we agreed it would be a good idea”.

This obviously never got to the office, and it never got done. I am sure the yard would have preferred to have done this, and had it gone through the correct channels, it would have been done.

 

A Surveyor.

 

In all of the above, a suitably qualified marine surveyor would have been invaluable. A comprehensive specification with all pricing signed off prior to a yard being awarded the project.

Any anomalies to work requirements, to be notified, and costs agreed, prior to the work being complete.

What was not mentioned above, was the fact, that many items may well have come in below budget, and these funds could have been used against any over runs, and more competitive pricing may have been obtained for many items prior to the refit commencing.

 

Surveyor, or no Surveyor?

Qualified to manage the above?

Contact Jim support@yachtwork.co.uk

 

 

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Building a Boat

Building a boat?

 

You lucky thing!!!

 

So, you are going to buy a new boat and it is one of the slightly or totally bespoke options available.

The question is – do you have a Project Manager/Surveyor to oversee this or not?

Unless of course, you are from a marine background and have all the relevant experience to undertake this without it taking over your life you will need to know the following: –

 

 

Contracts.

Specification.

Timeline – knowing what is realistic and what is just plain ridiculous or unachievable.

Option list pricing –  with a lot of options having a price tag of more than 100K, do you understand enough about this to possibly save a few points on all of them.

Quality control – have you built a boat, with your own hands, have you overseen a team of boat builders, have you been involved in the repair of vessels when it has gone wrong, do you have industry connections within just about every part of the marine industry to check out if things you are told are correct?

We Do…….

 

Drop us a line.

 

Let’s get safety and operational quality designed in, rather than being an after thought.

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