Sample Inspection Reports

New Power Vessel Inspection Report

sample_reportsThe SDMC client who asked me to inspect his new boat prior to finalizing its purchase knew that “new” is not a guarantee of safety, reliability and immediate enjoyment of a faultless vessel. To make sure his first days of ownership were not filled with disappointments and unexpected, expensive costs that were not covered by warranty or the goodwill of the seller, he asked for my complete inspection of his boat. As you will see, I found over 90 items, many of which were critical safety issues, some involved expensive fixes and others would have created problems early in his ownership of the boat. My client was able to use this report, and my credibility in the marine industry, to have all the deficiencies corrected before taking delivery. His cost savings were far greater than the cost of the inspection. Names and other identifying details have been changed or omitted to protect the identity of the client and builder.

Example observations from this report:

2. Recommend the escape route placard be customized for this model. A. 220.

5. Water is leaking from the overhead onto the top of the house battery lid. It is traveling via the BBQ enclosure, and through a hole through which bilge pump hoses pass. The locker and inside of the BBQ are also getting wet with saltwater. B. T:4. 344-347, 357-361*

8. Exposed timber core, port aft engine room. For more on this subject see C. T:2. 488, 489.

20. High output, externally regulated alternator lacks over-current protection at alternator. If the supply wiring for the other alternators leaves the engines, it too should have over-current protection. A. ABYC E-11. T:4. 446, 447.

33. The genset chassis ground appears to be connected to itself. Inside the genset AC junction box there are too many ring terminals on the ground stud. A. T:2. ABYC E-11. 549, 550.

47. The genset wet exhaust has a water trap immediately aft of the genset enclosure. This is a violation of the genset manufacturer’s instructions, as well as those of ABYC. This is a water entry into the genset risk. C. T:2. 500*

57. Bilge pumps are equipped with check valves; however, they lack antisiphon valves. This presents a flooding risk. Check valves cannot be relied upon to prevent flooding. For more on this see B. ABYC H-22. T:20. 158, 159, 232,

60. Pipe to hose adapters used in several locations appear to be brass, rather than bronze, brass is not suited for raw water use, for more on this see B. T:8. 246*

67. Main engines’ seacocks appear to lack thread compatibility, the thru hull uses NPS threads, while valves of this sort typically utilize NPT threads, and the valve, a CW617N, is nickel plated brass, which is not designed to be used with seawater. Handles are mild steel. Valves have no provision for bonding. For more on this see B. T:12. ABYC H-27. 435, 596.

82. HVAC raw water hoses exceed maximum radius, they are overstressed. B. 563, 564*

Used Power Vessel Inspection Report

sample_reportsThe real costs to buy a used boat that will meet your standards for safety, reliability and full enjoyment are too often discovered too late. As a marine industry professional for over three decades, 12 of those years as a boat yard manager, I worked with many disheartened used boat owners, who had followed all the usual purchase steps — deal with a reputable broker, personally inspect the boat, contact owners of similar boats, carry out a survey and conduct a sea trial — only to find, after buying the boat, that they were faced with thousands of dollars in costs to fix safety and reliability problems that were not identified in any of these steps. Here is an example of an inspection of a 12-year old vessel built by a well known, respected manufacturer. The buyer had followed all of those usual steps and was ready to buy the boat when he decided to ask for my inspection. With a full understanding of the costs he would incur to bring this boat to his standards of safety and reliability, he did not purchase the boat. We’re now working together to find the right boat. The accredited marine surveyor who conducted a survey for my client described the vessel as “very favorable”, his report included just 8 items that required correction in order to meet recognized ABYC, USCG and NFPA standards. The following SDMC report, as you’ll see, includes over 100 observations, 8 of which are deemed critical, within just the first 20 observations alone. Names and other identifying details have been changed or omitted to protect the identity of the client and builder, however, the observations are real and remain as they were in the original report.

Example observations from this report:

#16. One of the foredeck shore power fuse holders is overheating. The cause for the overheating should be isolated and repaired. Consider replacing these individual fuses with a single, multi-pole circuit breaker installed in the fwd cabin in accordance with ABYC E- A. ABYC E-11. 010, 013, 014.

#50. A metallic fuel line is chafing against the generator stop solenoid housing. A. 248, 249.

#71. Seacocks located under the fwd head vanity utilize thread types that are incompatible. For more on the subject of seacock installations see The handle on the fwd valve is seized and the shelf impinges on its free movement. B. T: 18. ABYC H-27. 093-095.

New Sailing Vessel Inspection Report

Example observations from this report:

5. Port engine room, washers have been inserted between ring terminals and battery terminals. This present a high resistance path to electric current and a potential overheating scenario. A.

10. Isolation transformer chassis grounds are daisy chained, if one connection fails, transformers downstream of it lose protection. A. 116, 117, 123.

22. Main engine anti-siphon valves are plumbed directly overboard, and the check valve appears to have been removed from the valve assembly, water flows from them continuously, this is not typical, these could become submerged while sailing, creating a siphon, and clouding the engine when the engine is shut down. C. 090, 091, 399.

25. The engine room ventilation is inadequate, during the sea trial the engine room temperature at the engine air intake on the port side (the stbd side was not equipped with the curtain, making it impossible to obtain accurate measurements) reached 115 F (46C), while ambient temperatures was 63F (17C), yielding a delta T of 52F (29C), well above the industry standard. Recommend warm air be exhaust from the top of the engine compartments. C. 342,698.

33. There are no isolation valves between the autopilot pump and the steering system. B. 005.

38. Confirm that all threads used on seacock plumbing are compatible. NPS valves appear to be used with NPT 90 degree fittings. B. 022.

45. Port main engine raw water intake, an 18” (45 cm) long pipe nipple extension has been installed into the seacock valve, its purpose is unknown, however, it can impart significant leverage on the assembly, considerably increasing the risk of failure and flooding. B. 128.

58. It is my opinion that the seacocks used throughout the vessel lack the necessary robustness for an ocean-going craft, many could be easily broken if loose gear slid into, or a person fell onto, or even stepped on them. For more on seacock installation and selection, see B. 243, 245.

84. There is debris inside the hydraulic steering system reservoir. B. 293.

90. There is no manual tiller aboard, it could not be tested. B. 397, 398.

Used Sailing Vessel Inspection Report

Example observations from this report:

5. The forestay toggle nuts lack a seizing mechanism, or bolts are too  short to engage the nut’s Nylon insert. Confirm that all rigging fasteners  are properly seized and/or long enough to engage locking nuts, in the latter case two threads should be visible beyond the nut’s locking ring. B. T:2. 019, 020.

13. Lower gooseneck nut is backing off, and a larger washed should be used under the nut. B. T:1. 056, 057, 058, 072.

27. The aft cockpit access port is seized; the manual steering tiller could not be tested. Recommend the threaded inspection port be replaced with a bayonet T-handle variety. B. T:2. 104.

35. The cockpit winch tube is bronze. This should be encapsulated/isolated from the surrounding aluminum structure. C. T:4. 545.

43. A series of ring terminals are connected to a hull stiffener under the stbd saloon settee. The aluminum is corroding. All connections between grounds and the DC electrical system should be made in one location; the cable used to make this connection should be large enough to carry the highest possible fault current. No more than four ring terminals may be installed per stud or fastener. B. T:16. 359.

54. There is exposed, corroded and overheated wiring in the fwd sail locker. The wiring in this space should be gutted and replaced in an ABYC compliant fashion. A. ABYC E-11. T:16. 399, 401, 584.

66. The engine exhaust riser lacks adequate insulation, the exterior of the insulation exceeded 500F (the threshold for ABYC compliance is 200F). The riser is also poorly supported; it moves too much and is attached to the overhead with twine. Recommend this assembly be reworked or replaced, ensuring it is in full compliance with ABYC and engine manufacturer installation guidelines. B. ABYC P-1. T:8. 552, 553, 438, 441, 479, video Exhaust Support

75. The emergency engine stop cable is secured with seizing wire, it is chafing against the remote oil cooler hose. B. T:2. 473, 474.

82. The water heater mounted above the engine is plumbed into the engine coolant circuit; however, there appears to be no remote expansion tank, as is required by the engine manufacturer for cases such as this. There is a remote expansion tank for the heating system, however, it’s unclear of the two are paralleled. Determine plumbing arrangement, create schematic. C. 512.

124. The primary fuel filter is not rated for marine engine room use; it lacks a heat shield and metallic drain plug or valve. For more on fuel filters see A. ABYC H-33. T:2. 450.