Thursday, April 16, 2009

Schooner Survey...

These are my observations from a recent survey of a Canadian built wood schooner...

The following Observations and or Non-Standard Conditions were noted at the time of survey:
The vessel was found to be in generally good condition and presentable for her age with the observations and recommendations noted herein. It should be noted that the vessel was found to be cluttered and inaccessible (below deck spaces – generally, forward and aft) which prevent a thorough inspection. The undersigned will inspect all spaces and compartments once reasonable accessibility is provided. It was observed that the vessel described herein is presently being used as a live aboard.
Vessel’s topside, cabins, and deck(s) were found to be in generally fair to good condition. The vessel’s topsides are coated with marine grade paint with the following observations.

The vessel was not hauled and only inspected at docksides. No hull fastenings were opened up and or inspected – the exterior hull underbody, rudder, and underwater hardware was not inspected or observed. It was reported that the vessel was last surveyed in 2004 (Mr XXXX attending surveyor) and at which time fasteners were inspected with no deficiencies noted in 24 June 2004. Vessel has been fresh water moored. The undersigned will conduct an underwater video camera inspection of the vessel’s underbody on a time and expense basis if required or requested.
The vessel was damaged in a 2004 collision with a City of XXXX fire boat MV XXXX. The undersigned reviewed the findings of the subsequent inspection and written report issued on 26 March 2004 by XXXXX Marine, Ms XXXXX attending surveyor.
The vessel’s exterior weather decks, house, and topsides were sounded with a hammer and visually inspected. Exposed portions of the hull and the sheer appeared fair-to-the-eye with no proud planks, seams and or butts. Visual inspection of (limited) accessible areas of the hull’s interior and exterior areas found the structure to be stable, with little or no apparently softness and or cracking in the wood. No fungi rot was found in the hull structure where accessible. The top side planking seams are small, tight, and dry.
Deck beams, shelves, clamps, coaming, and carlins were visually inspected (where accessible) and found to be stable and in serviceable condition.
Several areas (plywood) of the house structure were found to be suffering from fungi rot decay especially forward on the main cabin (on both beams) around and between the most forward port lights, aft on the starboard, and on the port side of the after bulkhead of the main cabin immediately adjacent to the companionway hatch. Wood decay – softness was also observed on the starboard side of the aft cabin. These areas should be restored using marine grade materials and accepted shipwright practices to ensure structure integrity and restore proper cosmetic appearance.
Several small penetrations were observed on the top of the aft cabin which should be filled with a marine-grade compound to prevent water ingress into the underlying wood structure and to restore proper cosmetic appearance.
On the forward weather deck, just aft of the king post on the starboard side – a small area of crushed wood was observed and should be repaired.
Forward of the main cabin and escape hatch – starboard to – the hammer soundings indicated (perhaps) an area of weakened structure. No softness or decayed wood was observed – just a slight change in the hammer report. This area should be frequently monitored from topsides and below deck for any visual or material change in condition.
The keel bolts (where accessible) were inspected by filing and hammer punch and found to be in serviceable condition. A material amount of water was found in the bilge and fixed flooring precluded a thorough examination of mast steps and several keel bolts - as with all hull and structural fastenings – regular inspections must be made to ensure proper seaworthiness of the vessel.
The vessel was found to be carrying water in the bilge. An attempt should be made to keep the bilges dry as possible.
Several safety rail stanchions and life lines were found to be slightly loose and in need of attention.
At the starboard side, just after the bow, some minor, localized abrasion damage was found.
The deck and areas of the house have weathered from sun and weather exposure and should be restored to provide proper protection from the marine environment and cosmetic appearance.
It was observed by the undersigned that the weather deck seam compound was generally serviceable condition.
Although it’s recognized that unfinished wood surfaces are skid-proof and should remain non-varnished, there are several areas of exposed wood on the deck, trunk cabin, and the belaying pin rack at the masts which could benefit from being varnished to prevent damage to the wood and improve appearance.
The vessel’s standing and running rig was visually inspected deck level only. The undersigned did not go aloft. Upon inspection, the standing rig appears to be fairly sound and in generally fair condition for its age with the exception of the main mast boot at the deck which was split which could allow water ingress into the underlying structure and mast partners. This boot should be made weather tight to protect mast, deck, and partners from water damage and rot fungi. A complete rig inspection, including all masts and booms, should be performed by a competent rig surveyor prior to placing the vessel under sail. The following comments are made:
The undersigned visually inspected all accessible (on-board) sails for general condition only – no sails were pulled or hoisted.
Chainplate and backstay fasteners should be checked and re-tightened to required specifications. In addition, several turnbuckles and shackles were found not be seized or moused.
Wire rope, fittings, and turnbuckles were visually inspected and found to be in serviceable condition. It should be noted that the 3/8" 6X19 wire rope shrouds are not galvanized and some rusting – wastage was observed and the overall condition of the standing rig should be regularly inspected and repaired as found necessary to ensure for proper and safe operation.
The tune of the standing rig (both masts) appears to be proper but should be examined by a competent rigger before getting underway.
Running rigging appears to be in serviceable condition. Winches should be serviced as to provide proper service and function.
Line clutches, blocks, belaying pins, cleats, goose-necks, travelers, and related structural and operational components appear to be in serviceable condition.
Both masts are constructed of spruce (solid) are of the keel-stepped type. The undersigned visually inspected the related deck fittings – mast partners on deck and in the cabin. No deficiencies observed.
Vessel is equipped with a marine battery 12 volt DC and shorepowred 120 volt AC electrical systems with over-current protection. The 12-volt DC system is currently being repaired and refitted. The 120-volt AC system has proper double-ganged 20 amp circuit breakers with GFCI protection for the outlets. Vessel has been generally wired with marine-grade materials. At the time of survey, the vessel’s dewatering device was tested for proper operation.
Machinery space and galley through-hull fittings - seacocks were inspected for proper operation, external condition, leakage, and wastage with deficiencies noted in the Recommendations made herein. Due to inaccessibility in forward and aft cabins – additional hull fittings were not inspected. The undersigned will inspect affected fittings at such time when accessible. The undersigned did not perform a mechanical survey. The auxiliary engine (Yanmar diesel reduction) and related independent tankage were visually inspected and found to be free of oil, fuel, and or water leakage. Machinery, steering, and engine controls were inspected but NOT tested for proper operation.
Vessel has one (1) 12-volt DC operated dewatering device with an estimated capacity of 1500 gallon per hour (GPH) and one (1) diaphragm hand-operated bilge pump.
Flares found aboard were currently out of date as required in 33 CFR 175.110. Recommendations made herein.
The vessel was equipped with two (2) Type III and one (1) Type IV USCG approved personal floatation devices (46 CFR 28.135). All lifesaving equipment and appliances should be USCG approved, serviceable condition, and readily accessible as per 33 CFR Subchapter S.
The subject vessel is equipped with two (2) portable USCG approved BC: Type I dry chemical fire extinguishers. Devices not currently inspected. Recommendations made herein.
Navigation equipment include a binnacle mounted magnetic steering compass and one (1) compressed gas horn.
Vessel is equipped with one (1) 35 pound (estimated) anchor and 150-feet 3/8" chain and 150-feet 5/8" nylon rode.
The vessel’s Canadian issued official number was affixed on a wood structural component forward in the main cabin, viz ., ON 347XXX RT 9.48.

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