Saturday, 22 November 2014

Insurance Survey of a Frances 26 at Emsworth Yacht Harbour

I have just finished the insurance survey report of this very nicely maintained Frances 26, currently out of the water at Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Hampshire, England. It's not often that my reports have as few as twelve recommendations for the owner to carry out, showing that she has been very well looked after.

This Frances 26 was built in 1989 by Victoria Yachts in Warsash, Southampton, England. The original Frances was designed by Chuck W. Paine for his own use. His wish was to reduce the size of the well known Colin Archer designs, in order to reduce the problems and difficulties encountered with the larger ocean cruisers. He retained the attributes of the Archer designs that were necessary for comfort and safety at sea, such as a double ended stern, plenty of ballast and heavy displacement. A generously sized bridge deck offered a good level of flooding protection, should the vessel be pooped. For crew who are nervous of working on the foredeck when the vessel is heeled over, the teak laid deck of the Frances has a very well designed 'well' on her foredeck, providing high-sided bulwarks that give a better level of safety to the crew.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Insurance survey of Broom Monarch Motor Cruiser

I have just completed an insurance survey of a 1983 Broom Monarch motor cruiser in Birdham Pool Marina, Chichester. A total of 28 of these fast offshore cruisers were built between 1982 and 1991. This example, which has spent most of her life on The Thames, was fitted with a large double berth in the forepeak and two cabins in the aft. She was fitted with two Ford Mermaid Majestic, six cylinder turbocharged diesel engines, each driving a three-bladed bronze propeller.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Pre-purchase Survey of Hallberg Rassy 42 (E) in Alicante, Spain

The Hallberg-Rassy 42 (E) was designed by Olle Enderlein and built between 1980 and 1991, with a total of 255 hulls being built. Enderlein’s design was replaced in 1991 by German Frers’ 42 (F). To me, her most noticeable difference when compared with the more recent Frers design is her large expanse of flat deck. I find that working (and relaxing) on a flat deck is much nicer than having to work around the slippery sides of a coachroof.

Down below in the saloon, they are light and spacious, with plenty of light coming through the numerous deck hatches and opening hull ports. With these boats being 23+ years old, the interior mahogany bulkheads, cupboards and furniture frames have darkened to a very beautiful deep red-brown.

I was recently asked to travel out to Alicante in Spain to survey a very nice 42 (E), built in 1982. Performing a pre-purchase survey of a 42’ ketch is physically demanding at the best of times, but working down below & delving into the bilges is more strenuous when the outside temperature is 30°C and the humidity is high. The vessel’s skipper, who was a great help throughout the day, kept me supplied with many litres of bottled water.

Not surprisingly, this boat’s hull had suffered from blistering in the past. This is incorrectly termed ‘osmosis’ in the UK and is called ‘boat pox’ in the States. Of more concern were the skin fittings and attached valves. The majority of these were the boat’s original hardware and were beginning to fail. I say ‘beginning’ as it was only when the valves and attached spigots were lightly struck with a hammer, did any of them fail.

Having finished the majority of the survey, it was time to put the yacht back into the water and take her back to her mooring, several miles up the coast. This gave the skipper & I plenty of time to run a sea trial on the Yanmar 4 cylinder main engine and also to enjoy a very pleasant sail. My only regret of the survey was that I didn’t take a photo of her deck whilst I was at the top of her main mast, checking over the mast cap and attached hardware.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Pre-purchase Survey of Nimbus 380 Carisma Motor Cruiser

I have just finished a pre-purchase survey on a very nice Nimbus 380 Carisma motor cruiser at Lymington Yacht Haven. She was built in Sweden in 2004 and has been maintained to a high standard. She was equipped with teak cockpit, decks, bathing platform & flybridge, cabin heating and a good selection of instruments. The 380 has a large amount of storage space, with a large locker positioned under the saloon sole.

The survey also included a sea trial, where the vessels's twin Volvo diesel engines were tested through varying conditions. The engines were KAMD 43P, each rated at 230HP, each driving a 4 blade propeller through a V-drive. Although the sea state was quite lumpy, with a fresh breeze and wind-over-tide, we managed to reach 23 knots through the water. Careful adjustment of the trim tabs kept the semi-displacement hull nicely balanced. With the trim tabs fully raised, visibility from the helm in the main cabin was poor and the ride very lumpy. once adjusted, all-round visibility was excellent and the ride kinder to the boat and crew.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Hull Survey of a Teak & Oak 1945 Motor Boat

Today's most interesting survey was of a timber house boat, which was inspected whilst dried out on the grid at Strand on the Green, Kew, London. Whatever role Venture was originally built for, no one really knows as there were few details or records available to describe her history. The details on her stern show that she was built for the Royal Navy and measures 40.5' length overall.

Her hull was constructed from double diagonal teak planks, with a total thickness of 1", fastened to bent oak frames with copper nails and roves.

She was purchased by her current owner in 2007 and photos show that she was open-decked, with a simple wheelhouse mounted over the single Perkins 6354 diesel engine. The owner then fitted her out with decking made from 18mm eastern hard plywood, with laminated Douglas Fir deck beams. Iron knees secured the hull sides to the thwarts of the original construction and would have given Venture much of her stiffness. In the new fit-out, the knees have been kept, but much greater stiffness has been added by the new deck and superstructure.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Insurance Survey of 1976 Westerly Berwick

Our lousy Sussex weather held off long enough for me to undertake this recent Insurance Survey at the Littlehampton Harbour Masters' workshops, just next to the River Arun and opposite Littlehampton Marina.
The Westerly Berwick was designed by Laurent Giles. These aft-cockpit, bilge keel sloops were built between 1973 and 1980.

Yacht survey, Westerly Berwick in Littlehampton
Marine Survey of a Westerly Berwick in Littlehampton, West Sussex
This particular Berwick was made in 1976 and was powered by a relatively new Perkins KD28 diesel engine. Her hull was in reasonable condition, although the hand-painted topsides were rather faded. She didn't have too many defects that would cause her owner too much labour before her Spring launch. The most was significant is shown in the photograph below, which shows some of the cracks in the fore-stay chain plate. There were a number of well developed cracks on the two vertical plates that support the bow roller. The image shows the two cracks on the port side plate. This plate also supports the fore-stay; therefore the security of the entire rig depends on the strength and integrity of this plate. In consideration of the fact that cracks have occurred in similar locations on each of the vertical plates, it is likely that these cracks are predominantly due to cyclical loading from the vessel’s mooring chain when she is on her summer mooring. The cracks on the port side plate (the one in the photo) may also be due to cyclical athwartships loading from the jib when she is sailing.

The recommendation to the owner was that the bow roller fabrication is repaired in order to return strength to the two plates. This repair should include the welding of doubler plates on each of the existing vertical plates.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Pre-purchase Marine Survey of Fisher 34 at Birdham Pool Marina

A few days ago I had the pleasure of performing a marine survey on a very well maintained Fisher 34, Mark III - a masthead rigged motor sailing yacht with integrally moulded full-length keel. She was built by Northshore Yachts in 1999.

I usually find that boats made as recently as this are often very light in construction, but not so with a Fisher. These days the Fisher boats are made to order and my guess is that in order to make a boat to this high standard and with such a sturdily built hull, Northshore Yachts have to charge a premium. This makes them less competitive with the lighter motor sailers on the market and are therefore made to order.

Fisher 34 Mk III at Birdham Pool Marina

The new owners seem to be very happy with her. I'll look out for this boat when I'm down at Ramsgate Marina, her new home.