Category Archives: Yacht Surveys

These posts are all about my daily experiences as I meet clients, boatyard staff and during the surveys themselves. When I find the boat especially interesting or unusual, I like to write a little about the history of the boat. Please feel free to give any comments that you might have.

Flooded Yacht: Damage Survey

I was recently asked to undertake a Damage Survey of a flooded yacht. My instruction from the Insurance Company was to inspect and assess the nature, extent and cause of the damage to the vessel.

Water had entered the vessel over a period of time, leaving the boat low in the water and the engine partially submerged.

Mud accumulation around rudder bearing assembly

She was inspected out of the water at East Cowes, Isle of Wight. In my search for the cause of the leak and working my way from bow to stern, I found water and muddy residue around the upper bearing & seal of the rudder assembly. This provided good evidence that water had leaked into the vessel from the top of the bearing assembly. At this stage of the inspection, I could have packed up, gone back to my office and simply reported that the rudder bearing & seal assembly was the most likely origin of the leak. This conclusion would have been unsatisfactory as it would have required the re-floating of the vessel in order to test & confirm that the rudder bearing & seal assembly was leaking. This task would have involved significant additional costs, which would have to be borne by the Insurance Company or the Insured.

Flooding from around rudder bearing assembly of sailing yacht

In order to confirm that water had leaked around the seal of the rudder bearing, I built a dam around the bearing assembly, which was then fed with water from a hose. I then went outside to check for water. The YouTube video shows the test.

The result of this test confirmed that the faulty or worn water seal of the rudder bearing was the proximate cause of the water ingress. The head of pressure on the bearing seal from this water test was approximately 2 to 5 cm, which was considered to be very low. The rate of water leaking was estimated to be at least 3 to 4 drops per second. When the vessel was originally afloat, the pressure head would have been approximately 20 cm, which would have created a flooding rate that would have been approximately 4 to 10 times greater than the leakage rate seen during this test, although this rate would have been reduced due to the accumulation of mud inside the rudder bearing & seal assembly.

If you have any questions regarding this Damage Survey, please leave a comment or contact us via our website.

Yacht Insurance Survey

A Yacht Insurance Survey may be required by your Insurance Company. If your Insurance Company has made it a condition of cover, Fieldhouse Yacht Surveys and Consulting Ltd can undertake the Insurance Survey for you. Our reports are accepted by all of the marine insurance underwriters. [gallery type="slideshow" ids="138,143,291,520"] The Insurance Survey report will be…
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Insurance Survey of Etap 32i

I have nearly completed the Insurance Survey report for the inspection of this Etap 32i. These boats were designed by Philippe Harlé & Alain Mortain and built by Etap Yachting of Belgium. About 150 were built between 1992 and 2000, making this 32i one of the earlier ones. [caption id="attachment_611" align="alignnone" width="1764"] Insurance Survey of…
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Insurance Survey of Princess 45

[caption id="attachment_530" align="alignnone" width="2066"] Princess 45 Flybridge Cruiser at Brighton Marina. Held in lifting slings during an Insurance Survey[/caption] After a few delays with the lifting hoist, this Princess 45 Flybridge Cruiser was safely lifted for the inspection of the underwater parts of the hull & propulsion equipment. Once it was found that all hull…
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Survey of a Westerly Fulmar

The pre-purchase survey of this 1987 Westerly Fulmar 32 recently took place in Gosport, Hampshire, with the vessel ashore for the majority of the survey. The boat yard wouldn’t allow me to run the engine whilst the boat was in her cradle, so once the boat had been lifted into the water, I returned on…
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Pre-purchase Survey of Greenline 40 Yacht

This 2013 Greenline Yachts 40' was surveyed over a two day period. The first day of the pre-purchase survey included a sea trial in Chichester Harbour and The Solent. The second day was spent at Birdham Pool Marina, with the vessel lifted ashore. Although the boat was only five years old, there was still as…
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Pre-purchase Survey of Hallberg Rassy 49

Introduction to the Hallberg Rassy 49, designed by Enderlein & Rassy This cutter rigged Hallberg Rassy 49 was designed by Olle Enderlein & Christoph Rassy and built in 1989. A superb boat for long distance cruising, with lots of stowage space and long range capability. The classic flush teak-laid deck is uncluttered and the stow away cutter…
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