Condition Surveys are undertaken on all types of craft, sail and power, constructed of timber, G.R.P, steel, aluminium alloy and ferro-cement. A Condition Survey provides a detailed assessment of the structural condition of all visible and significant aspects of the vessel as presented for survey, with particular reference to hull condition. For full access it is very often necessary to remove internal linings and extract keel bolts and other fastenings at the Surveyor's discretion. Where possible, the machinery is run, but dismantling and testing is not normally undertaken. The Survey Report notes the condition of all major items, makes detailed recommendations for repairs where necessary, and gives an overall assessment of the condition of the vessel.
A Damage Survey is nearly always required when a craft is the subject of an insurance claim, but may also be commissioned independently by an owner to ensure that effective repairs are made. The damage is carefully examined, and a Report is prepared, itemising in detail the repairs necessary. This can then be submitted to a yard for quotation. Supervision of repairs can also be provided.
A Valuation Survey is carried out to assess the market value of a vessel, and takes into account the quality and condition of the hull, equipment and machinery. Such a Survey may be required for insurance or mortgage purposes, where a full Condition Survey is not justified.
Before taking delivery of a newly built, repaired or restored vessel and making the final payment, the owner can commission an Acceptance Survey, preferably including sea trials, to ensure that the builder's contract has been fully complied with. Such a Survey can often save the owner time and money, and has the advantage of impartiality in the event of a dispute.
A Preliminary Inspection is advisable as an initial step when there is any doubt about the value of undertaking a full Condition Survey. It can also be useful when a choice has to be made between similar craft before commissioning a full Survey on one of them. The inspection is carried out as the vessel lies, without any dismantling. A Preliminary Inspection should never be regarded as taking the place of a full Condition Survey.