Beneteau First 405

Beneteau First 405

A Beneteau First 405 in the slings at Berthon in Lymington for a pre-purchase survey. These Jean Berret 1980s design are very pretty and sail beautifully. It was arguably Beneteau’s best era and these are becoming classics. I’ve sailed on most of this era of design over the years, skippering a Beneteau First 345 for Island Sailing in the 80’s, sailing with a friend on his Beneteau First 325 based in Corfu, and racing on and against a Beneteau First 375 and another 405 around the Solent. All very pretty yachts that have really stood the test of time.

Hallberg Rassy 43 Berthon

Hallberg Rassy 43 Marine Survey

A beautiful Hallberg Rassy 43 at Berthon, Lymington for a pre-purchase survey. The purchaser was looking for a blue water cruiser suitable for a trans-Atlantic to the Caribbean then up to Boston via Chesapeake Bay and possibly to the Artic Circle.

The Hallberg Rassy marque is a high quality Swedish cruiser designed and built very much with blue water cruising in mind – PVC foam cored hull and deck for additional insulation as well as rigidity, lead keel, teak decks and a long list of additions to make life that much more enjoyable!

Nautor Swan 46 Survey, Lymington

Nautor Swan 46 Marine Survey at Berthon, Lymington

A gorgeous Nautor Swan 46 – A Marine Survey at Berthon in Lymington by Guy Nicholls.

I’ve surveyed a good number of Nautor Swan models over the years, from mid 1970’s S&S designs to bang up to date German Frers models. This one, a Swan 46 MkII, a 1990 German Frers design, had cruised across the world, had benefitted from a refit including a new teak deck in New Zealand, and been returned to Berthon in Lymington for the sale process.

Windy Khamsin 34, Lymington

Windy Marine Surveyor Lymington

A Windy Khamsin 34 Survey at Berthon, Lymington. I’ve surveyed numerous vessels in the Windy range, these high quality Norwegian high speed sports boats are very well constructed using the latest materials and with a PVC foam core to the hull and superstructure.

Berthon brokerage, where this vessel was located, are the main UK agents for Windy Boats, and usually have a good selection of these vessels for sale.

Oyster 72 Survey Lymington

Marine Surveyor Lymington

An Oyster 72 Survey by Guy Nicholls Marine Surveyor Lymington for Solent Marine Surveys. I’ve done several Oysters over the last few months, they generally have a fairly similar pattern of equipment layout and design, tankage, generator, hydraulic arrangements and so forth. This one was built at Landamores, the range can vary in where the vessels are fitted out, several being completed at Southampton Yacht Services at Saxon Wharf. Weaknesses can include corrosion to the mast and fittings, hatches and machinery in the bilges, and on some models the GRP work can require careful inspection.

Beneteau Oceanis Lymington

Beneteau Marine Surveyor Lymington

A Beneteau Oceanis 31 Marine Survey in Lymington Yacht Haven by qualified Marine Surveyor and GRP specialist Guy Nicholls, AMRINA.

This Beneteau Oceanis was in great order thanks to a diligent owner with careful use. One interesting point on this model was the navigations lights, which at the time of purchase were and optional extra! This one having a tri-colour and steaming light, but no lower navigation lights, therefore unable to comply with international COLREGS when motoring at night!

Oyster 72 at Berthon, Lymington

Oyster 72 Marine Survey at Berthon, Lymington

An Oyster 72 in the hoist (she only just fitted between the bottom of the keel on the ground and the boom under the hoist beam!) at Berthon Shipyard, Lymington for a marine survey by Guy Nicholls, Solent Marine Surveys.

This 4 year old Oyster 72 was given a full sea trial then a full condition survey at Lymington, the exact scope of the survey for a vessel like this can vary depending on the requirements of the purchaser – in this case a fairly standard pre-purchase survey was chosen, with a full day allowed for the comprehensive sea trial.

A blue water cruising yacht of this size often has multiple systems in addition to the structure of the vessel to inspect, from generators and air conditioning to freezers, water makers, underwater lighting and no less than 55 through hull fittings on this model.

I have surveyed several Oysters recently, ranging from a Holman and Pye Oyster 37, an Oyster Heritage, and the more racy Lightwave 395 all below 40′, through to an Oyster 62 and this Oyster 72, both at Berthon in Lymington. With the exception of the Lightwave, all are constructed from a monolithic hull type (meaning a solid skin, not a cored construction) and are fitted out to the highest standards of joinery internally.

Beneteau Oceanis 323, Lymington

Beneteau Oceanis 323 Marine Survey

A Beneteau Oceanis 323 ashore for a marine survey by Guy Nicholls, Solent Marine Surveys at Lymington Yacht Haven, Lymington.

The Beneteau Oceanis 323 is one of Beneteau’s best –  a great pocket cruiser built in hundreds and used by private and charter companies alike for good value, good accommodation, practical cruisers. I own a similar Oceanis, which pre-dates this particular model, the Oceanis 311, so I am very familiar with both the build and the systems.

As with most modern Beneteau yachts, internally the company has used an extensive tray matrix, sometimes referred to as a grid, to tie in keel and rigging loads. This grid is epoxy bonded to the hull at build stage, and forms a vital part of the yacht’s structure and rigidity. It is essential that this tray matrix remains well bonded and careful inspection is needed to ensure that the structure remains as built, any cracking or moisture within the grid must be carefully assessed by a surveyor.

Windy 35 Khamsin, Lymington

Windy 35 Khamsin Survey, Berthon

A Windy 35 Khamsin Marine Survey and sea trial at Berthon Brokerage in Lymington. These Norwegian built top quality sports cruisers are a pleasure for a marine surveyor, with beautifully finished workmanship of the highest standards both inside and out.

I have never found a serious structural defect on one of these vessels, this is a significant statement given the fairly high speed of these craft, powered by twin Volvo Penta D4 diesels. Some might hold the Sunseeker marque in this class of vessel in the highest regard, my experience of these craft suggests the Windy range is at the very least equal, and in my opinion, the superior of the two.

A deep v hull gives impeccable handling and manners, giving very precise control at high speed.

Dufour 36 CC Survey, Lymington

Dufour 36 Yacht Marine Survey in the slings at Lymington Yacht Haven

This Dufour 36 CC (centre cockpit), surveyed at Lymington Yacht Haven is an unusual Dufour – the majority of the 36 Classic range designed by Alain Mortain & Yiannis Mavrikios being traditional aft cockpit designs, totalling around 470 built.

The main benefit of the centre cockpit of course is the large owners cabin aft, which has full standing headroom, the downside being a higher cockpit which is further forward than a traditional aft cockpit.

I’ve surveyed a number of Dufour Yachts over the last few years, the original build quality with monolithic hull and cored FRP deck does seem to stand up to time fairly well. Sailing wise, in common with many modern designs, the low ballast ratio with cast iron keel in this case (some 36 Classic models have a lead keel) will require early reefing.

Wauquiez Centurion 45S, Berthon

Wauquiez 45 Marine Survey Lymington

A gorgeous Wauquiez Centurion 45S from the designers Berret / Racoupeau and built in France north of Lille, near the border of Belgium. The Wauquiez range are one of France’s finest, with the quality of finish and standard of build certainly comparable to several of the top Scandinavian marques.

Being designed by Jean Berret, it was no surprise that she sailed like a dream too, hitting over 8 knots with ease in very little wind – there are just some occasions when a Marine Surveyor does get a little jealous of the clients!

There was very little wrong with this particular craft, always a pleasure for a Marine Surveyor as well as the buyer, vendor and broker! The survey report is short, and all parties are happy, the sale goes ahead smoothly!

Hardy 42 Marine Survey

Hardy 42 Marine Survey

A Hardy 42 Marine Survey and Sea Trial in Poole, Dorset. As a Marine Surveyor, these tough, well build British semi-displacement trawler type vessels are a joy to survey. Well built throughout, and with twin Caterpillar engines giving a smooth ride, this vessel powered through the short chop outside Poole Harbour without fuss.

Very comfortable internally, with high quality finish and a luxurious owners en suite cabin aft, this design would certainly be on my list if I were looking for a similar boat. In fact, the only reason this one was for sale at all is because the owner had bought another one, new – that is testament to the quality and design of these vessels, and made in Britain too!

Oyster Lightwave 395 Lymington

Oyster Lightwave survey in Lymington

An Oyster Lightwave 395 in Lymington for an insurance renewal type survey. This is a well travelled an well maintained yacht, having just competed in the Rolex Fastnet race two handed, the owner is now looking to cruise further afield including the Bay of Biscay, Portugal and the Med.

Oyster Lightwaves are interesting for a marine surveyor, as the entire hull and deck are end grain balsa cored, thus requiring careful moisture readings both above and below waterline to ensure no moisture ingress into the balsa core. This one was given a clean bill of health and was very well maintained throughout.

Sigma 33, Berthon Lymington

Sigma 33 Marine Survey Lymington

A Sigma 33 OOD ashore at Berthon Boatyard in Lymington for a Marine Survey, this one for an insurance renewal. Most insurers will ask for a survey report once the vessel is over 20 years old. Solent Marine Surveys have developed (with the BMSE – British Marine Surveyors, Europe) a survey report template which is accepted by all UK insurers, thus we are able to reduce the cost of survey to the owner. when compared with the cost of a full condition survey.

The Sigma 33, in common with the Sigma 38 was designed by David Thomas and constructed by Marine Projects in Plymouth. They make great cruiser racers and are often seen in offshore IRC handicap races, as well as the UK National Championships. The Sigma 38 in particular is a good performer under the IRC rule, and a large fleet can be regularly seen in JOG and RORC offshore racing.

From a marine surveyor’s point of view, the hulls are of single skin GRP construction, also sometimes known as a monolithic construction. While not particularly substantial, the hulls have proved themselves durable and fairly robust, in spite of groundings when raced these yachts can often suffer. Weaker points can include the chainplate area, the end grain balsa cored decks, the mild steel original keel studs and of course any poorly repaired collision damage – a marine surveyor should always conduct many moisture readings to the deck and coachroof to establish whether any moisture has entered the balsa core, which will lead to debonding from the outer laminate, thus weakening the structure. We have surveyed many of this type, and are very familiar with the Sigma range, including the Sigma 33, Sigma 36, Sigma 362 and the Sigma 38.

Nordic Folkboat, Lymington

Nordic Folkboat, Lymington

For a qualified marine surveyor this classic Nordic Folkboat in Lymington was a pleasure to survey. This one by LM Glasfiber of Denmark, unusually had a self draining cockpit, an option from new. This one has been extensively cruised and was in excellent condition. Being over 20 years old, this was an insurance survey for the current owner.

Contest 55 Project Supervision, Lymington

Contest 55

This Contest 55 in Lymington was undergoing a major refurbishment project when as a Marine Surveyor I was asked to supervise the project. The critical moisture level below the waterline was accurately established using the latest testing equipment, reading both the laminate and the internal end grain balsa core, prior to a full epoxy treatment with WEST system 105.

Discovery 67, Berthon

Discovery Yacht Marine Survey

Discovery 67 yacht marine survey at Berthon Boatyard Lymington. The Discovery range of solid cruisers are one of the best from British boat builders. These long range capable yachts have cruised the world in style, this one already has an ARC behind her. Equipped with all the luxury equipment including a/c to make life onboard pleasant.

Southerly 49, Lymington

Southerly 45

A Southerly 49 shallow draft pilot house saloon with in mast roller furling and staysail option. These solid cruisers by Northshore have twin rudders to take the ground in the shallowest of waters. This particular example has already been down the Canal du Midi, possibly one of the largest yachts to do so.

Dufour 36 Classic, Lymington

Dufour 36 Classic

Dufour 36 Classic Yacht Marine Survey with Ancasta in Lymington at Lymington Yacht Haven. A solid sailing cruiser with a deep coloured mahogany interior that had been well cared for. The linear galley to starboard, curved seating to port with a bench seat on the centreline is an unusual but highly effective and practical layout.

Hallberg Rassy 48, Sea Trial

Hallberg Rassy Sea Trial

Hallberg Rassy 48 Sea Trial with Berthon Brokerage and the purchaser from Lymington within the Western Solent. The best part of being a Yacht Surveyor / Marine Surveyor can be sea trials such as this. This Hallberg Rassy is a high quality Scandinavian yacht, this vessel has sailed around the world, and could do so again!

Malo 41 Classic, Lymington

Malo 41 Classic

Malo 41 Classic Yacht Marine Survey at Berthon in Lymington. These high quality Swedish go anywhere yachts are exceptional, this one has traveled the world and ready to go around again. Beautiful Swedish joinery with classic lines and moderate displacement, teak decks to finish off the quality image.

Discovery 67 Sea Trial, Solent

Discovery 67

Discovery 67 Sea Trial, from Berthon, Lymington through the Solent to the Nab tower and return. With the wind over 30 knots, gusting to 40, this blue water cruiser happily cruised at 12 to 13 knots off the wind, and 9 or so to windward, a sea trial like this is one of the highlights of being a Marine Surveyor!