Marine Surveyor? Need a

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1 40 Need a Marine Surveyor? The purchase of a boat is likely to be one of the largest investments you ever make after the purchase of a property. To ensure you spend your hard-earned money wisely you are likely to need the services of a marine surveyor before you actually make that purchase. So what do you know about the services a marine surveyor provides? How do you choose the Anthony Gates right surveyor? How much will they cost? To find out the answers to these questions and more, we interviewed Anthony Gates (IIMS DipMarSur), Principle Marine Surveyor at Andaman Maritime Services (AMS) based in Phuket, Thailand. How would you describe the role of a marine surveyor? A marine surveyor is a factfinder hired to go over a boat with a fine-tooth comb, find out what s shipshape and what s not, and through careful inspection help the client make an informed decision about any potential investment in the boat. What is the most important attribute a good marine surveyor should possess? A surveyor should be an unprejudiced third party participant who does not get involved in emotional or political issues. Their primary job is to comment on technical facts only and they should not favour one party over another regardless of who is paying the fee.

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3 42 What services does a marine surveyor provide? At Andaman Maritime Services (AMS) we provide a full range of surveying services including: General Condition Assessment (GCA): Consists of a brief inspection of the vessel in order to provide the owner, yacht broker or potential buyer with an independent overview of the vessel and the equipment listed, either prior to the owner listing the vessel for sale or a buyer making an offer to purchase it. Pre-purchase Survey: Our certified surveyor will examine the vessel in detail to identify any deficiencies. You can then make an informed decision about the purchase and/or price. Specialty Inspections: Introduces specialized engineers and technicians to assess the condition of specific systems aboard and should be considered by buyers of high-tech or sophisticated vessels. Follow up Survey: We can make certain that work agreed to in the sales contract has been completed to a satisfactory level. Insurance Survey: Required by insurance companies to gain and maintain vessel insurance. Cook Island Yacht Registration & Renewals: Registration of a yacht with the Cook Islands Ships Registry is simple and open to owners of all nationalities. We are happy to assist you in setting up new registrations or renewals. Damage Survey: Accidents can happen. We can assess the damage, advise on repairs and if required, oversee completion. Damage/Loss Investigation: Appointed by the Underwriter, we investigate insurance claims in order to establish the extent of the claimed damage and or loss. Valuation Appraisal: If you need to know the value of a vessel we can conduct a valuation appraisal to establish a fair market price. Marine Consultancy: Drawing on years of experience we can help you make an informed decision about a vessel. Loading & Discharge Surveys: We can observe and record the loading and unloading of your boat, documenting any damage for insurance purposes. Pre-end of Warranty Inspection: With this service we check that any warranty issues are recorded with the dealer or manufacturer before the vessel or machinery warranty expires. How is a Pre-purchase Survey conducted? Ideally a Pre-purchase Survey includes an in-water inspection, sea trial and a haulout inspection to survey underwater hull surfaces, steering and drive gear. What is the scope of a Pre-purchase Survey? During a standard Pre-purchase or Insurance (condition) Survey the following will be inspected and the condition reported on: Hull, deck & superstructure Interior Electronics & navigation aids Electrical systems Propulsion systems Steering systems Tankage & plumbing Spars, rigging & sails (inspected from deck level) Anchoring equipment Safety and firefighting equipment Auxiliary equipment

4 43 What s included in the Survey Report? Our reports with embedded photographs vary in length from 30 to 60 pages and describe the construction and condition of the vessel, its components and systems at the time of inspection. If deficiencies are discovered in the course of the survey it does not necessarily mean it is a bad boat. It simply means that problems have been identified. Hence we use three grades in our report: Priority 1 - Urgent Recommendations: These are problems that require immediate attention and must be addressed before the vessel is next used. The surveyor believes they endanger the crew and/or the vessel, and may also be in violation of local laws. Priority 2 - Recommendations: These refer to maintenance items that should be corrected in the near future to maintain standards and ensure the vessel retains its value. If not addressed, they may become Priority 1 problems. Observations: These are less significant maintenance items that could lead to further issues and/or reduce the vessel s market value. The report will also include a statement of the vessel s overall condition and an estimated fair market value of the boat, based on comparable sales or industry data. How long does it take to complete a Pre-purchase Survey? It really depends on the size, type and complexity of the vessel. On average a Prepurchase Survey of a 12 meter monohull including survey inspection, sea trial and report writing would take approximately 28 hours to complete. The survey report would then be available within three working days. What does a Pre-purchase Survey cost? Prices can vary hugely so you may wish to source several quotes, but you should remember that the cheapest is not always the best and you often get what you pay for. As the client how can I get the most out of a Pre-purchase Survey? Let the surveyor know about any deficiency that would absolutely disqualify the boat in your mind and advise of any special requirements so that the surveyor can check these items first. We also welcome clients to be present during the survey inspection and if so I will discuss my finding with them as the survey progresses. The survey inspection might be the best and only introduction you get to the vessel and its systems. How should a vessel be prepared for a survey and seatrial? The preparation starts long before the survey. In the ideal world we should all be preparing to sell our boats as soon as we buy them. To prepare a vessel for survey the owner should: a) Provide: ship s papers (Certificate of Registry, Builder s Certificate etc); a detailed ship s inventory and service history; the vessel s manuals; a list of any known deficiencies; certificates for all recent safety equipment inspections (life raft, firefighting, EPIRBs); engine maintenance and service records; a list of special instructions if owner is absent for sea trial. b) Ensure: engine(s), anchor winch and electrical systems (AC & DC) are fully operational; tanks are accessible; sails, winches and running rigging are ready for inspection; cabin sole hatch boards are made removable. c) Appoint: an owner s representative if the owner cannot attend (this can be the broker); a Captain for the sea trial (this can be the owner or owner s representative).

5 44 How do I choose a Marine Surveyor? This can be a difficult job as the industry is largely unregulated which means anyone can set up business and call themselves a marine surveyor. Yacht brokers may provide buyers with a list of local surveyors but they should maintain impartiality as to who you select to ensure that the surveyor is totally independent and there is no conflict of interest. Associations such as the International Institute of Marine Surveyors (IIMS) list their thoroughly vetted members on the website s Surveyor Search so you can browse the profiles of hundreds of marine surveyors around the world by surveyor, company name, or by country. Web searches may also identify marine surveyors in your region, which for reasons unknown, did not make it on to the yacht brokers list. Things to consider when choosing a surveyor: Do they hold a qualification such as a Diploma in Marine Surveying? Are they a member of a professional association and therefore governed to abide by the association s codes of ethics and rules of practice? Are their surveys accepted by insurance companies and financial institutions? Do they have the skills; competency and knowledge in surveying the type of craft you require surveying? Is a sample survey report available for you to view? Are you welcome to attend the survey and learn more about the boat? How long have you worked in the marine industry? My entire working life has been spent working in the marine industry working on a range of vessels in a wide variety of roles. What is the hardest part of being a marine surveyor? Although heat, dirt and confined spaces are all part of the job, my love of boats and desire to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew makes these things bearable. I find that the hardest part of the job is establishing a Fair Market Price because at the end of the day the vessel is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. What is the best part of being a marine surveyor? I get to play with big boats I couldn t afford to buy. What is the largest vessel you have ever surveyed? meters (138 ft.). What is the most expensive vessel you have ever surveyed? + 10,000,000 Euro What do you do in your spare time? Take the family out in our boat, go yacht racing and play with boats. Where can an interested party find out more about the services provided by AMS? All our details can be found on our website at How can a client contact you? Anthony Gates Marine Surveyor Andaman Maritime Services Mobile: +66 (0) Web:

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