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Hull Condition Valuation Marine Surveys and New Purchase Surveys

A few notable points concerning the survey and surveyor:

1.  It is the responsibility of the surveyor to inspect, examine, and report the facts of the subject vessel as they are at the time of inspection.

2.  The Marine Surveyor is working for the person who commissioned him and should have a fiduciary responsibility to that commission.  The Marine Surveyor also has an ethical responsibility to report the facts as they are presented.  The survey report is provided only to he or she who commissioned the survey.  The surveyor should only forward the report to third parties as directed.

3.  The Surveyor should provide at minimum three easy to understand lists delineating the following:

A. “Required” or “Critical” Recommendations;  These recommendations include issues or repairs that should be corrected prior to operation of the vessel in it’s designed capacity.  These may include regulatory and safety deficiencies, structural deficiencies, and/or vessel’s soundness concerns.  These deficiencies must be corrected prior to the vessel being considered a reasonable risk for insurance purposes.  These items should preclude the vessel from operation until corrected.

B. “Suggested” or “Recommended” Recommendations;  These include items that should be strongly considered for correction or repair within a reasonable amount of time or at the first convenience of the vessel owner or agent.  These recommendations will not include items that should stop ship’s movement.  However, they should be placed on the list for repair at the next available opportunity.  This list may include items that at the opinion of the attending surveyor should be corrected.  The surveyor may include within this list his professional opinion based on experience.

C.  “Deferred Maintenance” Recommendations;  This list includes items that should be addressed on an ongoing bases to maintain the vessel in sound operating condition.

The above lists will reflect the vessel’s intended use and area of operation.

4.  The Hull Condition Valuation Marine Survey should include an appraised value based on industry standard practices of determining both current Market Value and current Replacement Value.  This value should be determined by reviewing several sources available to marine professionals.

5.  General information should be included listing onboard equipment and it’s operational status.

6.  A description of the vessel’s construction along with designer information should be included when available.

7.  The vessel should be well identified within the contents of the Survey.

This is a basic list of what should be included in every Hull Condition Valuation Marine Survey.  Special circumstances may prevail especially for Damage Assessment and other special purpose surveys.

It is not the responsibility of the surveyor to negotiate a purchase price for the client.  Certain facts may be discovered or uncovered during a survey that may make it appropriate to negotiate repairs or adjustment of the agreed upon purchase price of the vessel prior to closing the purchase.  It is not the responsibility of the surveyor to enter into these negotiations.  However, the surveyor should advise you of his or her professional opinions when asked.  The information contained within the survey is the sole property of person or entity that commissioned the survey.  The survey will not be shared with anyone without the expressed permission of the owner of the survey. 

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