Hire a surveyor and he’ll check everything from construction to rigging to safety and more. He’ll offer recommended changes, suggested changes, and give you a good indication if you are getting what you plan on paying for. This is all provided in a report that’s about as long as an issue of this magazine. For space considerations, we condensed Noyce’s report, starting with the boat’s mechanical systems.
Noyce found The Greatest Loop’s engine well ventilated — able to deliver enough cubic feet per minute of air based on the needs of the engine and genset to consume oxygen. The exhaust system had heavy, toggle-style clamps, strong enough to withstand the weight of water it would have to bear while discharging exhaust. Since The Greatest Loop was brand-new, Noyce did not run a compression test, send oil out for analysis or inspect the engine zincs. He noted that the engine mounts were secure and properly adjusted, the types of things many new boats go back for warranty service on shortly after delivery.
The diesel fuel tank was constructed of 5052 aluminum, Noyce noted, sported properly made fillet welds and was equipped with approved fuel lines, vent hoses and fittings. A fuel shut-off was located at the remote manifold per ABYC. The fuel fills were located in a well-designed “overflow proof” locker high on the cabin side.
The shaft and propeller appeared true, an observation borne out in smooth operation during sea trial. Surveyors use a dial gauge to check for trueness in running gear. That makes it important to arrange a survey that takes place on land and includes a sea trial like ours did. A Glomex ground plate provided an earth bond — but curiously, the through-hull fittings were not bonded, which may increase their susceptibility to corrosion.
The electrical installation met the strict standards of the ABYC and the European CE/ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and RCD requirements. Noyce commented that “the ABYC standards and the extensive tables the council supplies to builders are my bible for both engineering and safety.” The shore-power inlets were located in a compartment set high on the stern above damaging splashes from rough seas. Getting to them required moving a cushion on a settee, less convenient than the common transom hatch, but the location was designed for reliability and longevity.
The grounded main 12-volt electrical panel included a vapor-proof battery selector switch. Two EP 450 and one EG 1102 Exide AGM batteries sat in acid-proof trays, with terminals well secured and covered to prevent fire-causing arcs and sparks per ABYC. The batteries themselves were secured so that they would not move more than one inch when a force of 90 pounds, or twice the battery weight, is applied. The positive terminals were covered to prevent short circuits. Both are requirements of ABYC.
The 110-volt system, installed on a separate electrical panel, was equipped with circuit breakers. Polarity was correct, and the ground fault circuit interruption system worked properly, which means safety for crew aboard.