Limitations of a Marine Survey

By its nature, a marine survey can only assess and comment on that which is accessible for assessment. Many areas of a typical vessel’s infrastructure will be hidden or inaccessible. The following paragraphs highlight the main limitations of any marine survey.

The survey report represents the opinion of the surveyor and this should not be construed as being incontrovertible fact. Except where stated otherwise, no parts of the vessel or equipment have been examined where these have been hidden by linings, mouldings, machinery, installations, tanks, etc. Any opinion based on these areas has been based on the surveyor’s experience, judgment and upon the condition of adjacent parts of the vessel and should not be taken to preclude completely the existence of isolated damage or deterioration concealed by paints, fillers or other means.

Where a mast is stepped only those parts of the mast and rig up to head height are inspected in detail less stated otherwise. Unless otherwise stated no fastenings have been withdrawn, no test borings of the hull made and no specialised testing conducted, other than when otherwise stated. The surveyor accepts that the owner’s consent has been given to the client for the removal of small areas of antifouling to allow for inspection and moisture testing of the hull. Minor destructive testing may need to be carried out and where necessary disturbance would be kept to a minimum. The surveyor will assume that unless otherwise informed that permission has been given to the client by the owner for the running of machinery and switching on and testing of electrics as required. Hull condition is assessed by general non-destructive examination and by assessment of the condition of sample areas where coatings are removed. Where hulls carry heavy layers of paint, pitch or epoxy finishes the condition of all areas of the substrate cannot be guaranteed and condition can only be estimated on the basis of the evidence gleaned from sample areas scraped clean.

The engine and generator installations are inspected visually, and (where possible if presented in commission,) the engine is run up to assess its general running characteristics, vibration levels etc. No dismantling of the engine or associated equipment is carried out within the scope of a condition survey so no detailed comment upon the condition of internal parts is possible without separate full strip down and mechanical survey.

Electrical, plumbing, heating and other services are inspected where visible but not operated unless presented in commission. Electrical wiring is inspected visually (only) in all cases.