A Bavaria 42 Cruiser at Chichester Marina for a pre-purchase survey by Guy Nicholls, Solent Marine Surveys. This 2001 model had been very well looked after, a marine surveyor can quickly spot tell tale signs of good maintenance when approaching a survey. This one, from the polished, deep lustre to the topsides, clean running rigging and canvas work, plus immaculate interior was clearly much loved by the vendor. As with all Bavaria yachts, this one was constructed with a closed cell foam sandwich to the topsides and deck, coachroof and cockpit, with a solid skin of monolithic laminate to the hull below waterline.
A Moody 31 Marine Survey for insurance renewal purposes at Chichester Marina. These Marine Projects built Moody yachts are now of an age where the vessel’s insurers will ask for a basic survey every 3 to 5 years. The insurance survey can be a cut down survey compared to a full condition survey, also known as a pre-purchase survey, details can be found on the scope section.
Items for a marine surveyor to particularly watch out for on these Moody yachts, while well built, can include corroded keel studs, the access on these twin keelers can be difficult, and possible moisture ingress into the end grain balsa core for the deck and coachroof, particularly if any enthusiastic owner has added new deck fittings and not sealed the fastenings well. Overall, sturdy vessels that are now reaching an age when maintenance requirements will increase, but proving to be generally well built.
Marine Survey of a Westerly Oceanquest at Northney Marina in Chichester Harbour. I worked for Westerly Yachts in the 1980’s and this was a development of the Westerly Seahawk 34 that was produced in the 80’s.
The Westerly Oceanquest is a heavily built cruiser with a centre cockpit giving a huge owner’s cabin aft. A snug galley and saloon made this Ed Dubois design a popular Westerly. From a Marine Surveyor’s viewpoint, these are solid vessels, which generally are structurally sound, although can suffer from high moisture and sometimes moisture related defects below waterline. Otherwise the usual ancillary items that come up in many surveys need to be carefully checked – gas installation, safety and life saving equipment being out of date or insufficient, corroded sea cock valves and so on. This one had a bonded on teak faced deck, which can wear rapidly and can be a costly item to replace.
Beneteau Oceanis 37 Marine Survey in Chichester; Beneteau, the world’s largest boat builder make the Oceanis range as their primary cruising yacht range. The build method, in line with other models, uses an extensive internal tray matrix to stiffen the structure. This internal tray matrix is constructed off the vessel at build stage, and is dropped into the mould before the deck and internal joinery is fitted, allowing a strong chemical bond by way of epoxy paste to the hull structure. The net result is a strong design that is easy to manufacture and unless a serious impact and damage has occurred, this design method usually gives few issues. A Marine Surveyor must carefully check the tray matrix for any sign of stress or impact, and any indication of moisture between the tray and the hull, as well as hammer testing where possible to check for bonding integrity.
This particular model had no major structural issues, and was a beautifully maintained example. The design being equally suited to UK cruising or charter in warmer waters such as the Mediterranean or Caribbean, where several charter operators tend to use this range as a default, due to their robustness and value for money to purchase.
Nauticat 321 Marine Survey for Stratton Marine. The Nauticat 321 was built in Finland to very high standards using the best quality materials. This Nauticat is a go anywhere aft cockpit heavy displacement cruiser that has been meticulously maintained by her current owner. This pre-purchase survey resulted in no recommendations at all to the hull and structure, with just a few fire extinguishers to replace.
Moody 38 by Bill Dixon and built by Marine Projects. An insurance marine survey as the vessel was over 20 years old, but still in great condition. Mild Steel keel studs and the chainplates are always an item to watch on these vessels.