Small Craft Services

For vessels below 24m in Length, inclusive of sailing yachts, motorboats and RIBs

We’re expanding our work on small craft yacht survey and consultancy to complement the reputation we have as an industry leader in the luxury superyacht survey sector. Our team has significant experience and expertise in small craft survey, safety standards and regulation.

It’s essential to have your boat checked by an experienced marine professional after collision damage, after running aground, prior to any long passages, prior to purchase, or following a period of intense regular use. This is a common theme of new guidance being produced by the MCA as the UK regulator, in response to recommendations in recent MAIB accident reports. Your insurer will also need to know the condition of your vessel at specific intervals, including when making a claim.

For commercial operation of small craft, it’s a requirement that an examination of your boat by an authorised person is completed prior to the issue of a certificate, and at specified intervals over a 5 year period.

Further, getting a survey completed is an important step to take for peace of mind for you and your family. We have the expertise and experience to help.

Insurance Survey

Your insurer will want to know the condition of your vessel and typically this is requested every 10 years but it’s prudent to have a condition survey every 5 years. We offer a comprehensive insurance condition survey for all types of small craft and we have a reputation among insurance companies meaning they, and you, can trust our opinion. It’s also a chance for us to provide you with a good understanding of your boat’s condition, what’s working well and what’s not doing so well.

Post-Damage Inspection

In the event of an incident, it’s important to know the full extent of damage. Shock loading in the event of a collision or grounding, or just from intense use or use in heavy weather can cause damage which may not be easily visible. Our surveyors have the right background and experience to make a thorough assessment of damage; considering the type of vessel, accounting for the type of damage, and with expert knowledge on the behaviour of structural materials.

Pre-Purchase Condition Survey

When buying a boat it’s essential to know exactly what you’re getting and the best way to achieve this is through a detailed pre-purchase condition survey. Our experienced team can provide you with a detailed explanation of the status of the boat’s hull, superstructure, equipment, machinery, and internal fittings. We thoroughly check the boat out of the water and in the water, check the operation of all mechanical and electrical items and detail the equipment on board at the time. We can also arrange for oil sample testing from engines to predict any potential issues but we recommend that a full diagnostic assessment by an authorised agent for the engines is completed separately.

Report on Keel, Keel-bolt and Keel Structure Condition

On sailing yachts, particularly with deep fin bolt-on keels, the keel itself, keel bolts, and internal supporting structure are highly stressed areas, particularly if the yacht is raced, engaged in heavy weather or long-distance passages, or grounded while underway. All of these components, including the internal supporting structure, are designed to work together to distribute stresses as a system. An issue with any one component may lead to an issue with the overall system, and risks the loss of the keel.

MCA Commercial Coding Advice and Survey

We are the only existing survey company with staff who were directly responsible for the MCA’s development of UK commercial codes and regulations for small craft so we’re ideally placed to provide you with advice and surveys to the MCA Codes of Practice. Any boat which is less than 24m Length, carrying no more than 12 passengers, normally in use for navigation and operating outside of the definition of “Pleasure Vessel” is required to comply with applicable commercial Code of Practice. If you want an assessment of your vessel or guidance on what to do prior to the formal examination then our experts can provide you with direction on compliance to make your coding experience as smooth as possible.

Pre-passage Health-Check of Your Boat

If you’re new to boats, about to embark on a long passage, or just looking for peace of mind then why not get one of our surveyors, as experienced marine professionals, to provide a Health-Check condition report on your boat. We’ll take account of the boat’s age and type, what it’s been used for up to now, what you intended to use it for, and where you intend to go so that we can advise on what needs to be sorted before you go.

Expert Witness and Arbitration or Dispute Report Services

We have an industry-wide reputation for high-quality expert reports and representation either as an expert witness or as the contracted arbitrator. We can offer this service on any aspect of the technical design, built and operation of yachts and we have substantial experience in working with lawyers and representing owners.

IPV Code Assessment for Pleasure Vessels

For boats which are temporarily outside of the Pleasure Vessel definition, the MCA has created a dedicated Code of Practice for Intended Pleasure Vessels and it allows temporary commercial use based on the company using the boat complying with the Code. If you’re new to this Code, we can advise on how it works and we can offer services to assess the likelihood of the vessel meeting this new Code of Practice. The Code does set standards for the vessel that the Operator needs to check so we can provide a detailed report on compliance to reduce the ambiguity and associated risk of non-compliance.

Report on Compliance with Pleasure Vessel Regulations

There are UK regulations applicable to any Pleasure Vessel of 13.7m and over. Exemptions in place only apply if your boat carries certain equipment on board. Even though there is no formal survey requirement in the UK pleasure vessel regulations, the Owner and Master remain liable in the event of an incident so our dedicated experts are able to provide you with a report on compliance to assure you that you and your boat are the right side of the law.

Contact Winterbothams

For a quote on any of our services, contact us today.
You can call us on +44 (0)23 80 668 665 or send us a message.

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