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Vessel Inspections

Vessel Inspection and Condition

Reports hips, boats, ferries, tugs, barges: all represent signi? - cant capital investments that are worth regular evalu- ation to ensure maximum return and lifespan. A key

Seffort to ensure the expected life of a vessel is regular condition monitoring. An inspection serves to document the vessel’s condition at a point in time. It may be used to estab- lish value for ? nancial institutions, support insurance matters, con? rm the suitability for a mission, identify de? ciencies, or provide a reference for a charter.

Depending on the purpose, the inspection may be conduct- ed by: a classi? cation society; a broker; a cargo surveyor; or an engineering ? rm.

Using an engineering ? rm for inspection work has several advantages if the purpose extends beyond merely document- ing the condition. Engineers can evaluate regulatory compli- ance and functional conditions. They can advise on repairs, improvements, or substitutions that will bene? t the client.


They can also help build a business case for making changes.

In some cases, the engineer can save the client substantial duties of this committee was to appoint inspectors (surveyors) who would represent Lloyd’s Register in certifying the suit- costs as presented in the following examples.

At minimum, an inspection must be based on some set of ability of ships and their machinery.

They took those appointments seriously: requirements to determine whether items pass or fail. For ex- “The utmost care and discrimination have been exercised by ample, the requirements of 46 CFR Subchapter T, Small Pas- senger Vessels, requires that a vessel larger than 65 feet be the Committee in the selection of persons of talent, integrity, equipped with at least one ? re pump that is self-priming and and ? rmness as Surveyors, on whom the practical ef? cacy of the system and the contemplated advantages must so materi- power driven, capable of producing a ? ow of at least 50 gallons ally depend; the Committee have in their judgement appointed per minute at a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. An in- those persons only…who appeared to them to be most compe- spection would determine whether those requirements are satis- ? ed or not. In addition to verifying compliance requirements, tent to discharge the important duties of their situations with ? delity and ability, and to ensure strict and impartial justice to an inspection can be a document that informs and recommends. all parties whose property shall come under their supervision.”

Using the example of the ? re pump, an inspection report might

To properly conduct an inspection, the inspector needs ac- go on to say whether the pump is in good condition, whether the piping is well arranged and clear in its function, and whether cess. Whether it is a whole vessel inspection or a review of speci? c damage, the owner can facilitate the process by pre- future maintenance would be simple or dif? cult. These addi- tional observations require the inspector to have experience in paring access. This includes moving things out of the way, gas freeing tanks and voids, providing light and ventilation, the design, operation, and maintenance of pumps.

An inspector must have knowledge of requirements and arranging staging as needed, and having ship’s crew avail- should have experience in their application. What else does able to open access plates or operate machinery as necessary.

Another aspect of the survey is to ensure the surveyor has an inspector need? Given the reliance of others on their judge- the requisite knowledge and even speci? c experience. Some ment, an inspector must have integrity. In 1834, Lloyd’s Reg- surveyors may be strong on steel inspections but weak on ister of Shipping established a General Committee. One of the aluminum structure and welding. Others may know diesel 20 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • June 2021

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