Ensuring Safe and Efficient Operation: The Importance of Class Surveys in Yachting
In yachting, class surveys are a vital step to ensuring the safe and efficient operation of a vessel. This comprehensive assessment, conducted by a certified surveyor specializing in marine engineering, includes a thorough inspection of the propulsion, auxiliary, structural, and electrical systems.
By examining for wear and tear, corrosion, or damage that can compromise performance, class surveys help identify routine maintenance tasks and necessary repairs. It also focuses on critical components such as the main engines, transmissions, fuel systems, cooling systems, and generators as these are necessary to operate the vessel and safely arrive back to port. Information provided in these surveys assist yacht owners and operators in maintaining their asset's mechanical integrity to avoid potential safety hazards.
The propulsion system, crucial for navigation and operation, requires extra attention. To ensure smooth running conditions, a comprehensive condition-monitoring strategy is essential. As external specialists for condition monitoring, recognized by ABS Shipping, we emphasize the importance of conducting regular vibration analysis surveys performed – particularly before a yard period.
The standard use case for this begins with a vibration survey of propulsion and critical auxiliary machinery as well as the hull structure in habitable areas (Aft Deck, Main Salon, Cabins, Pilot House, etc.). This helps in one of two ways, it either identifies an area of concern that can be addressed during the yard period, or it establishes a baseline vibration signature prior to any works being performed. In the first case, this will help minimize unforeseen growth in scopes of work from subcontractors and ensure that all concerns are rectified. In the latter, it protects both yacht owners/operators as well as yards/subcontractors – Owners/operators have substantive evidence to compare in potential warranty claims to prove the vessel was in good working order prior to works performed, and the same can be said for yards/subcontractors. In the end, vibration surveys provide hard data to eliminate typical hearsay opinions. These become even more powerful when performing a post works vibration analysis survey, under the same conditions, to compare the post survey to the pre survey and analyze any changes or lack thereof.
One final additional benefit to having a yacht registered with a class society, aside from the previously mentioned safety of personnel and equipment/assets, is the insurance deduction given. Most, if not all insurance companies, will offer a deduction on their policies for classed vessels.
This expert analysis helps uncover hidden issues within the propulsion system, allowing for timely repairs and maintenance, thus preventing more significant problems from arising in the future.