Thursday, 19 December 2013

Pre-purchase Survey of 24' Jeanneau Eolia at Emsworth Yacht Harbour

Fantastic weather today for a pre-purchase survey of a Jeanneau Eolia. These masthead rigged cruisers were designed by Phillipe Briand and have a cast iron keel with iron centre-plate. This particular boat was built in 1985 and was fitted with a Yanmar 1GM inboard diesel engine.

Side view of Jeanneau Eolia at Emsworth Marina
24' Jeanneau Eolia

As well as being a Marine Surveyor, I am also a boat owner and have had the pleasure of sailing my 24' Westerly GK24 for the last sixteen years or more. The GK24 is similar in length to the Eolia, but this Jeanneau had considerably more headroom than my 1970's cruiser / racer. Additionally, the layout of the Eolia was more aligned to larger yachts of her era: A double berth beneath the port cockpit seating, a good sized galley area, a well appointed heads compartment and quite an acceptable forward facing chart table. The cockpit was a good size, with a large cockpit locker on the starboard side. The forward living space however was more like a smaller craft: Simple saloon seating along each side that joins up towards the bow, which also serves as a fore peak v-berth.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Insurance Survey of Holman & Pye Designed Red Admiral Sailing Yacht

I have just had the pleasure of performing an insurance survey on a very nice 36' fast sailing cruiser/racer. The vessel was a Holman & Pye designed Red Admiral, built in 1979 by Halmatic and fitted out my McGruers. Her lines were typical of Don Pye's designs of the time: fast, handsome and embodying the best aspects of the IOR Rule to produce a fast cruiser.

View of Red Admiral Sailing Yacht during Insurance Survey
Holman & Pye designed Red Admiral
There's a saying that all boats are a compromise, but as my client has owned her for nearly 25 years, the Red Admiral nicely fulfils his requirement for a fast, safe and adequately spacious cruiser.

My task was to perform an Insurance Survey so that my client could present the report to his insurance company, thus allowing him to re-insure the vessel for a further ten years or so. My client also wished to have a detailed professional inspection carried out so that any defects or safety issues could be highlighted to him. The recommendations in the report then formed the basis of the vessel's winter maintenance schedule.

The boat survey was performed on two separate occasions. The mast was climbed and the rigging was inspected whilst she was afloat. Similarly, the engine was run with the propeller engaged, whilst she was still on her mooring. The remainder of the survey was carried out several weeks after she was lifted ashore for the winter. This allowed a thorough inspection of the hull to be made.

Thanks to the owner's meticulous attention to detail and desire to keep the vessel in good order, the recommendations were few but significant. They were the sort of defects that result from slow deterioration of the part's material and would not be apparent unless inspected closely:
  • The gas hose was perished.
  • A PVC skin fitting was degraded by UV light. As the fitting was close to the waterline, I recommended that the fitting was replaced with a Bronze or DZR Brass equivalent.
  • An engine fuel hose was cracked.
  • The lines that tie off the jackstays were old and degraded.
She was certainly one of the nicest boats that I have surveyed recently, but I may be biased in this respect as she has similar lines to my much smaller Westerly GK24, built in the same era.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Insurance Survey of a 1988 Fairline Carrera

It was a cold grey morning when I arrived at Birdham Pool to inspect this boat for insurance purposes. The Fairline had been squeezed tightly between other boats in the yard and there was a significant amount of surface water lying around. It looked as though this inspection was going to be uncomfortable, considering the dull weather and wet surroundings. However, I always find that surveying a well cared for boat always seems to lift the spirits. The deck and cockpit still had a dulled finish, but the topsides were extremely well polished and in great cosmetic condition. A short while later the owner arrived and he was able to explain a little more about her history. This boat had spent most of her life in her berth and hadn't got out of the harbour much. We don't know why she'd been re-engined, but my guess is that the neglect had ruined it, rather than any extensive use.

The new owner was now giving a lot of his spare time to bringing her up to a high cosmetic standard. The list of sales and labour receipts, not to mention new gear on board, showed me that her owner is also giving a great deal of thought to her safety inventory. New items included fire extinguishers throughout, emergency flares, life-rings with lights, back-up outboard motor, VHF/DSC radio, refurbished skin fittings & hoses and overhauled cooking gas system. To add to these, my survey findings will lead to a few more safety-related recommendations. These will include the overhaul of the manual and electric bilge pumps, fitting of a carbon monoxide alarm, fitting of a lpg alarm, replacement of a number of mild-steel hose clips with stainless steel ones and replacement of a heavily crazed navigation light. None of these are too onerous, but all are important for the safety of the crew and vessel.