The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey

The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
The Worth of a Follow-Up Survey
After a long, tightly scheduled trip like this one that tests the boat and all of her systems, it's hard to overestimate the value of having someone with a practiced eye and good tools like a phenolic hammer to make sure that she is as healthy as she appears to be. Consider it a "trust, but verify" operation. At a cost like the $340 that Robert Noyce charged for this survey, it's cheap insurance to make sure that this well-traveled Beneteau 34 Swift Trawler continues to maintain both her cruising capability and her value. What You Can Learn
Our surveyor, Robert A. Noyce, showed that a marine survey provides more than a suitability-for-service report and a measure of quality: Maintenance tips and repair history are also revealed.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Fuel Tanks and Fuel System
Our surveyor noted no changes to the well-designed and installed fuel tanks and systems. The base of the 900MA Racor secondary water separator filter was clear. What You Learn
Even diesel fuel can explode or ignite, making regular tank inspections a must. Fuel filters with sight bowls make inspections easier.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Engine Installation
Noyce found the engine mounts secure and all belts and controls reliable. He noticed some soot in the engine room and found it to have been caused by an exhaust system leak, which had occurred and been corrected during the trip. He also sent out an oil sample for analysis. What You Learn
Engine mounts need frequent inspection. If they get loose, misalignment can occur and destroy engines and gears and/or leave you stranded. Plus, a surveyor can spot prior repairs to a boat being considered for purchase that boat owners might miss.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Hull, Topsides, Deck, Hull-to-Deck Joint, Bulkheads
Noyce found the general condition of the hull topsides, deck and cabin to still be very good. There were no signs of damage or deterioration of the superstructure. The teak planking was satisfactory. What You Learn
The hull-to-deck joint takes a lot of stress and is often a source of leaks aboard poorly constructed boats or those having been used hard and long. Bulkheads can come loose from long or hard use, and poor initial construction, and damage after the fact can often be revealed by "hard spots" showing up in the topsides to a surveyor's experienced eye.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Hull Bottom and Underwater Machinery
Noyce reinspected the bottom of the hull, sounding it with a phenolic hammer, and found it to be structurally sound, without delamination or predominant voids. Random tests with a moisture meter read very low, with the average the same as in the new-boat survey. He observed the running gear to be free of corrosion. He indexed the propeller and shaft and found them true. This last check was particularly important because The Greatest Loop sustained propeller damage twice on her trip, once in Canada's Trent-Severn Waterway and once near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. What You Learn
Corroded underwater fittings can sink your boat, and a bent shaft or prop can ruin the engine and gears.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Plumbing
After months of constant use, our surveyor found all hoses and components to still be in very good condition. What You Learn
Leaks, odors and failed equipment often result from faulty or worn plumbing.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Electrical System
As Noyce noted in the initial survey, the installation of the electrical system met ABYC standards and the Recreational Craft Directive requirements. Thus he was pleased, but not surprised, to find that all of the AC and DC systems remained in very good condition. The chargers were functioning properly, and he proved the ground fault system worked properly. The batteries remained in very good condition. What You Learn
From both the insurability and safety standpoints, a thorough check of electrical systems is mandatory.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Marine Sanitation Devices
The Greatest Loop's head, holding tank and plumbing were still in good operating condition, despite daily use for 71 days. What You Learn
Top-quality equipment usually pays for itself in long-term reliability.
The Importance of a Follow-Up Survey
Bilge Pumps
On inspection, our surveyor found all of the boat's bilge pumps to be in operating condition. What You Learn
A top quality installation leads to long-term reliability.