A skipper needs to be provided for the trial and the appropriate paperwork carried out with the local port authorities. The trial will include running up and operating the ships systems that are commissioned at the time of the inspection. Main engines will be operated throughout their RPM range and once fully warmed up operated at open throttle settings, this is particularly important for power vessels. At a comfortable cruising RPM there will be a visual inspection of the main engine(s) when under load. For sailing yachts that are rigged sails will be raised or unfurled and the yacht sailed on each tack. Where possible steering systems will be inspected during operation.
Hull & Bulkhead
This is a survey inspection of only the main hull and internal bulkheads. For a GRP yacht this can include moisture meter reading where possible, and if requested thermal imaging. The inspection of the bulkheads is generally a visual inspection, so the interior of these areas needs to be cleared of all equipment and gear prior to the day of inspection. For steel yachts, inspection will generally include ultrasonic thickness measurement of the shell plating and possibly the internal support structure.
This involves inspection of the spars (masts and booms), the standing rigging and chain plates. A Rig Survey is recommended before you carry out any period of extended cruising, after an accident, or when your Yacht’s rigging wires (standing rigging) are more than a few years old. Some Insurance Companies will require that you replace your rigging wires every ten years, others insist on a Rig Survey. Rig surveys for yachts up to and around 12 m (about 40 feet) are normally completed within two or three hours. Rig surveys on larger yachts with multiple spars are generally completed within one day.
Ultrasound inspection is a non-destructive method used to measure the thickness of shell plating and structure on metal vessels (steel and aluminum). The readings are used to estimate the metal loss/waste due to corrosion to ensure the remaining metal is sufficient for the vessel to maintain it's structural integrity.
Readings can be taken internally with the vessel afloat, but for a full survey the vessel should be on hard standing with clear access to the underwater surfaces. The hull needs to be cleaned of marine growth and any poorly adhered paint system. Staging and ladders should be provided for larger vessels. At YSG the Ultrasound testing device we use is a CYGNUS 4 and employs multiple echo system to read thickness with +/- 0.1 mm accuracy without the removal of the paint system. The Cygnus 4 is checked multiple times for accuracy using a calibration block.
Osmosis & Moisture Level Inspection
Fiberglass hulls are subject to water absorption and over time this can affect the hull condition. Using a variety of moisture meters we can inspect a GRP hull with regard to moisture ingress in the laminate, or core material on composite yachts. Meters can read through most paint systems but the underwater surfaces should be cleaned of all marine growth and washed. Scrapings will usually be made to remove some small coupons of paint system to inspect the underlying gelcoat or epoxy barrier system. If blistering (Osmosis) is present recommendation will be given on appropriate courses of action that can be taken.
Systems, Machinery & Propulsion
A machinery and systems survey is recommended following works undertaken to repair damage, or to test the systems on a newly built yacht. This survey will usually involve a sea trial. The scope of the survey very much depends on the systems onboard but would typically include running up and the operation of the following: Main engine(s), generators, steering and autopilot, bow/stern thrusters, stabilizers, winches, windlasses, air conditioning, bilge pumps, fresh water systems, grey/black water systems, refrigeration, heating, gas/ electric.
Safety equipment recommendations greatly depend on the intended use of the yacht. Our recommendations will generally follow MCA (Maritime Coastal Agency) requirements for small commercial yachts (up to 24m load line length). The recommendations vary according to the distance the yacht intends to sail from a port. .