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Price discrepancies between surveyors.

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4 hours ago, Higgs said:

 

Just make sure they have the correct certifications. There's a lot of snobbery goes with pricing, and some people will tend towards the higher price. It doesn't necessarily mean better. Get some recommendations, if possible. 

 

My recent survey, conducted for the insurance company, was £450. The insurance company stipulated the qualifications they'd expect the surveyor to have. Without checking, I couldn't say what they were. 

 

 

 

 

I would be interested to know what the qualification requirements actually are.

 

As an accredited vessel inspector and a full member of the International Institute of Marine Surveyors, my qualifications sound good but I have never been close to a narrowboat out of the water. (and I don't come cheap anyway)

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Last year we had a surveyor on site for the first time (who shall remain nameless), who was doing 2 boats in one day. The first of which was at Welton Hythe marina, and the 2nd at Stowe Hill.

He apparently arrived at Welton at 10am, and had finished the Stowe Hill one by 1pm. Comparing the surveys of the two boats was fascinating, if the boat names hadnt been different, you would have thought it was the same boat. 

He managed to do all his metal depth testing, including 48 readings from the baseplate..

.yes, 48. A lovely diagram showed the test sites....both boats had exactly the same thicknesses. This was even more remarkable as it is almost impossible to get under the Welton tractor pulled boat sled , and even more difficult to get under the 2 sleeper high boat stand on the frontage at Stowe. He charged £800...for each survey!!

 

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On 12/09/2020 at 19:37, Microsoft said:

Has anyone had any experience using a survayor who charges less than £650 and have they found them to be satisfactory. 

 

I have found surveyors to charge between 700 ish £ to 800 £ to do a survey and then I have been quoted around 400£ for a full boat survey by others. 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? 

 

 

Never had one, never will. 

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On 13/09/2020 at 20:17, Alan de Enfield said:

Bear in mind that in most cases you are also going to have to pay for a 'lift out' and a 'drop back in' after the survey £1000 'all in' would not be unreasonable to budget for.

 

The problem comes when folk are looking at the 'bottom end' of the market (say sub £20,000) and the boats in that price range are 'not the best'. You pay a £1000 for a survey, and the boat 'fails', you now have £19,000 so look at slightly cheaper boats, find one, pay £1000 and have it surveyed, it fails quite badly so you now have £18,000  ..........................

 

You can see where this is going.

 

If buying on a limited budget you either :

 

1) have to accept you are not going to be able to buy a boat that will remain floating.

2) buy a campervan

3) keep saving until you get enough saved up to take you up into the next price bracket where 'good' boats can be found

4) start a crowd-funding page

I am on the lookout for a narrowboat and this is what I find irritating...a boat could end up with a dozen surveys done on it. and i've seen people selling surveys of boats because they didn't buy the boat.   Why can't there be a change of practice, that if you want to sell your boat, get a survey, which will give you a more realistic cost, you can get, and also notify the buyers of precisely what needs doing.

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1 hour ago, Keymaker said:

I am on the lookout for a narrowboat and this is what I find irritating...a boat could end up with a dozen surveys done on it. and i've seen people selling surveys of boats because they didn't buy the boat.   Why can't there be a change of practice, that if you want to sell your boat, get a survey, which will give you a more realistic cost, you can get, and also notify the buyers of precisely what needs doing.

Because the survey would be done on behalf of the seller, and would not show all of the bad things.

The seller is unlikely to tell you "I want market price for the boat, I know it needs £20k spending on it" (if I don't tell you its your problem once you bought it)

Legally the survey belongs to the person commissioning it and so if you bought the boat based on a survey by the seller, then you would have absolutely no 'come-back' on the seller OR the surveyor.

 

On ocassions you can 'buy' the survey from the surveyor (and get some level of assurance) but it will still have the small print :

 

"I cannot comment on anything I have not seen, I do not lift carpets or open cupboard doors and if I have missed anything obvious it's at your risk. The survey is valid only until I leave the boat"

 

The last sentence is due to the fact that someone could rip out the engine, drill a hole in the boat or whatever after the surveyor has left the yard.

 

London is possibly the worst place to try and buy a boat, all old boats go there to die, a coat of 'London White' emulsion and they are sold as 'good as new'.

There is a Broker in the South Midlands well known for selling boats to London Liveboards, and despite being 'sold with a survey' more than one has actually sunk with its new owners on board as they head down to London

 

Buying an £80k boat can be a risk, buying a £20k boat there is (almost) a certainty that it has 'problems'.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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3 hours ago, Keymaker said:

I am on the lookout for a narrowboat and this is what I find irritating...a boat could end up with a dozen surveys done on it. and i've seen people selling surveys of boats because they didn't buy the boat.   Why can't there be a change of practice, that if you want to sell your boat, get a survey, which will give you a more realistic cost, you can get, and also notify the buyers of precisely what needs doing.

 

Because under British Law the principle of  caveat emptor (buyer beware) applies.

 

If the seller paid for the survey what is stopping him from bribing the surveyor to overlook serious faults?

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6 hours ago, Keymaker said:

I am on the lookout for a narrowboat and this is what I find irritating...a boat could end up with a dozen surveys done on it. 

I suspect the same scenario regarding a house I looked at earlier in the year . 

Very disappointing .

On the plus side the survey on the house cost me less than a survey on a boat , and it didn't need  to be craned out.

  • Greenie 1

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17 hours ago, cuthound said:

 

Because under British Law the principle of  caveat emptor (buyer beware) applies.

 

If the seller paid for the survey what is stopping him from bribing the surveyor to overlook serious faults?

Or even simpler, commission a hull-only survey and try to pass that off as all the buyer needs because you know the hull's about the only aspect of the boat that isn't in trouble.

 

Also, I found a fair bit of the value of the survey was talking to the surveyor about what remedial work he would and wouldn't expect to be carried out by the vendor, why he'd made the optional recommendations and other things he'd noted about the boat but not written down.

  • Greenie 2

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27 minutes ago, enigmatic said:

Or even simpler, commission a hull-only survey and try to pass that off as all the buyer needs because you know the hull's about the only aspect of the boat that isn't in trouble.

I was just re-reading this for quoting in a post in another thread (cheap boats)

 

It reminds us all of the value of a survey.

 

From the accident enquiry :

 

 

It was noted by the PLA that the vessel had been the subject of extensive overplating. Whoever had recommended the overplating had also recommended partly blocking off the engine room air jalousie on the port side as its bottom edge was considered even then to be too near the waterline. The following Figure 1 below shows the effect of the overplating and the number of persons seated aft.

The buyer of the MINI MOO bought the boat on the strength of a survey report provided by the seller. The marine surveyor concerned had estimated the height of the engine air intake jalousie from water level marks on the hull although the vessel had been out of the water for a considerable time prior to his survey. He had estimated the intake to be 200 mm above the waterline but when it measured after the salvage it was only 65 mm. The marine surveyor had covered himself with the caveat that it was an estimate only. In that particular case, when the vessel sank, no life jackets were on board and at least one person on board could not swim. The survivors were very lucky that nearby boats managed to pluck them from the water immediately. The fact that a marine surveyor’s report perhaps covers him with words such as estimated does not provide much comfort if bodies have to be pulled from the water.

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2 hours ago, enigmatic said:

Also, I found a fair bit of the value of the survey was talking to the surveyor about what remedial work he would and wouldn't expect to be carried out by the vendor, why he'd made the optional recommendations and other things he'd noted about the boat but not written down.

Exactly my experience with Steve Hands when we bought our boat in 2011.

 

Amongst other things that he said, but didn't include in the survey, were his first words which were: "There is no catch! If you don't buy it, I will!!" 

 

I still have the survey to hand and often refer to it for details of various items of equipment, and have found that, over the years, all of the things that he suggested weren't urgent, but would need attention eventually, have come to pass. Very few things that he didn't mention have become issues.

 

Worth every penny!!

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I still fondly remember a survey I had done on a boat called "Whittington Squirrel". The surveyor (Mike Chadwick) basically said that the boat was a temporarily still floating disaster. The floor was rotten, the hull was paper thin and his advice was to run a mile, then keep running. "Note, this vessel is in a dangerous condition and should be removed from the water as soon as possible"

The boat was eventually bought for next to nothing and was craned out, taken on a low loader to London, put back in the water and used as student accommodation. I can't help wondering if it's still afloat.

It was all very sad, my wife loved the boat, it had had a brand new kitchen fitted (on top of the rotten floor) a 3 cylinder Honda engine, new cratch cover and rear hood etc.

We used Mike Chadwick again when we bought "Cobweb" and all the things he said would need attention were quite correct. In the end the galvanic action of boats moored either side of us and the MIC bug in the canals thinned the hull down to 2 - 3 mm in places, so we sold very cheaply.

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9 minutes ago, manxmike said:

In the end the galvanic action of boats moored either side of us and the MIC bug in the canals thinned the hull down to 2 - 3 mm in places, so we sold very cheaply.

Whilst I am sorry you suffered from the MIC, I'm pleased that you at least acknowledge its existence.

 

I am repeatedly told there is no such thing - 'estuaries & offshore yes', but 'canals no'.

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I made the mistake of going through Chester and down to the boat museum at Ellesmere. What a mistake, stopping every 15 minutes to clear weed, MIC very strong down there. The boat museum was wonderful, but I wouldn't take a boat there again!

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Just now, manxmike said:

I made the mistake of going through Chester and down to the boat museum at Ellesmere. What a mistake, stopping every 15 minutes to clear weed, MIC very strong down there. The boat museum was wonderful, but I wouldn't take a boat there again!

 

I seem to remember that a boat on the Chesterfied was diagnosed with it.

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I wonder why people deny the existence of a bug that eats metal and excretes acid? Maybe because if they admitted it someone would have to do something about it?

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27 minutes ago, manxmike said:

I wonder why people deny the existence of a bug that eats metal and excretes acid? Maybe because if they admitted it someone would have to do something about it?

The 'industry' acknowledges it, it just seems to be boaters with the blinkers on.

 

 

There are any number of scientic papers and industry presentations.

 

Extracts :

 

Boat owners and yards know all about rust. There is endless literature on electro-chemical and galvanic corrosion – all under the general heading of ‘rust’. But there are other types of corrosion which closely resemble (but are not) rust in the conventional sense about which little is known by boat owners and by many yards. This is a corrosion caused by microbiological action which is can occur on boat hulls, particularly those lying in canals or rivers containing high levels of chemicals or decaying vegetable matter. Microbially Induced Corrosion (MIC) is a highly unpredictable process but under the influence of micro-organisms, corrosion processes can be rapid, happening in a matter of months compared to the years it would take for ordinary abiotic corrosion to reach serious proportions.

This phenomenon is well known in the oil, gas, water and mining industries but is little understood in the steel boating world. MIC frequently occurs in areas with high nitrate content in the water – this particularly pertains to arable regions of the canal network and particularly to canals and rivers on the east side of the UK and where there is intensive crop farming using non organic chemical fertilizers with consequential phosphate, sulphate and nitrate run-off into the watercourses. Marinas fed by rivers are another risk area and, in salt water environments, it is well known that harbour muds are highly contaminated by sulphides produced by these creatures.

Sulphide films are, by their very nature, highly corrosive and the identification of such very obvious. It is usually found under muddy and slimy surfaces, sometimes even behind paint coatings and a very careful visual inspection is necessary to locate it. It is not discoverable by non-destructive testing such as ultrasonic thickness measurement, eddy current testing or the magnetic method familiar to most marine surveyors. The bacteria are often found inside oxidised welds or in areas which contain physical defects such as porosity, overlap or lack of penetration. The microbes leading to this condition can both cause corrosion from beneath existing coatings or seek out pinpricks in the steel coating and cause the reaction to occur from the outside. MIC bacteria can be present under previous blackings and is not eradicated by simple pressure washing.

 

Unless correctly treated, MIC can continue to thrive beneath the coating, emerging as major pitting.

 

 

and

 

These organisms are commonly found in ballast tanks where the vessel has ballasted by taking on muddy river water or lying in the mud of harbours or in the waters of canals particularly those running through farm land where surface water often deposits chemical fertilizers into the canal. The author discovered the severity of the problem some forty odd years ago when employed as a superintendent engineer for a company running a number of general cargo Liberty ships which often loaded ballast water for return trips from the West African coast. The ballast water was, from the nature of its loading from the rivers, often heavily polluted with vegetable matter and very muddy. On inspection of the ballast tanks at the classification surveys very severe pitting of a clearly defined and characteristic type was frequently found under mud deposits in the tanks and a great deal of time - and money - was spent in trying to find the cause of the problem. It was eventually identified as microbiological in origin when specimens of the corroded steel were sent for laboratory analysis. The per diem corrosion rates were often as high as 860 mg/dm2 or, if it is easier to understand, pits several centimetres in diameter, 8 to 10 millimetres deep were often found in 18 millimetre thick mild steel plates in less than two years.

 

Interesting read https://www.iims.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Biological-Attack-on-Iron-and-Steel.pdf

 

Microbial Corrosion.jpg

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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Oh god another to worry about! Us there anything we can do to protect our boat from MIC?

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7 minutes ago, MrsM said:

Oh god another to worry about! Us there anything we can do to protect our boat from MIC?

Yes, It involves far more prep work before blacking. I don't know too much about it or if there are better chemicals available but I THINK its get all the old blacking off & de-rust as bets at possible then treat the whole area with a strong bleach solution (maybe more than once) wash down with CLEAN water. Then black.

 

I would suggest google and study.

Edited by Tony Brooks

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11 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Yes, It involves far more prep work before blacking. I don't know too much about it or if there are better chemicals available but I THINK its get all the old blacking off & de-rust as bets at possible then treat the whole area with a strong bleach solution (maybe more than once) wash down with CLEAN water. Then black.

 

I would suggest google and study.

Thank you Tony, will do. We were only blacked in June so not planning to lift the boat out again for another 2 years. Hope there will still be some hull left by then! M

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55 minutes ago, MrsM said:

Oh god another to worry about! Us there anything we can do to protect our boat from MIC?

Would you like me to send some documenst (Pdf's) about it - including how to treat it and minimise it, ?

 

.......... If a hull is found with evidence of microbial attack, it is necessary to deal with it to try to prevent it recurring. A simple solution is for the whole area to be washed with copious amounts of high pressure fresh water. When dry the area affected should be coated with a strong bleaching agent (sodium hypochlorite) diluted 1:4 with water and left for twenty four hours. Afterwards a second high pressure fresh water wash is necessary followed by recoating. This will probably remove around 90% of the microbes but the only real solution is to blast back to bare steel and to treat any inaccessible areas such as tack-welded rubbing strakes as best one can with the bleach solution before applying the next stage of the coating process. The main problem is that the microbes can continue to live beneath the existing paint coatings and once sealed in with a fresh blacking, the lack of oxygen and light is the perfect environment for them to thrive leading to a risk of corrosion from the inside out. No coatings are entirely proof against a microbial attack from the exterior. Minute pinpricks, mechanical damage below the waterline are all opportunities for the microbes to penetrate the steel and commence the process from the outside in..

 

file:///C:/Users/Alan/Downloads/WadeCaM2011.pdf

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/materials-science/microbiological-corrosion

 

http://roscoemoss.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/fmcf.pdf

 

https://www.keelblack.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MICROBIOLOGICAL-CORROSION.pdf

 

https://aem.asm.org/content/80/4/1226.full

 

https://www.iims.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Biological-Attack-on-Iron-and-Steel.pdf

 

A bit of light reading - I've loads more if you run out of things to do.

 

2 years until you look at the bottom >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Another example of the rapid corrosion of steel hull plate in a ship’s bilge was reported by Campbell et al in which pit depths of 8 mm in 12 months were recorded.

 

One of the earlier reports on the problems of suspected MIC in a ship’s bilge was made by Copenhagen in 1966. Localised deep pitting including perforation of 8 mm mild steel plate located near the propeller shaft casing in the ship’s stern occurred in less than 2 years.

 

 In 2007 Mart reported several examples of suspected MIC in RAN vessels including one case in which 10 mm bilge shell plating was penetrated in less than a year. 

 

One of the highest corrosion rates reported that was suspected to be due to MIC was the perforation of 11 mm hull in less than 6 months.

 

I do wonder if MIC is the problem @WotEver had (one side of his NB 'disappeared' within 18 months)

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Would you like me to send some documenst (Pdf's) about it - including how to treat it and minimise it, ?

 

.......... If a hull is found with evidence of microbial attack, it is necessary to deal with it to try to prevent it recurring. A simple solution is for the whole area to be washed with copious amounts of high pressure fresh water. When dry the area affected should be coated with a strong bleaching agent (sodium hypochlorite) diluted 1:4 with water and left for twenty four hours. Afterwards a second high pressure fresh water wash is necessary followed by recoating. This will probably remove around 90% of the microbes but the only real solution is to blast back to bare steel and to treat any inaccessible areas such as tack-welded rubbing strakes as best one can with the bleach solution before applying the next stage of the coating process. The main problem is that the microbes can continue to live beneath the existing paint coatings and once sealed in with a fresh blacking, the lack of oxygen and light is the perfect environment for them to thrive leading to a risk of corrosion from the inside out. No coatings are entirely proof against a microbial attack from the exterior. Minute pinpricks, mechanical damage below the waterline are all opportunities for the microbes to penetrate the steel and commence the process from the outside in..

 

file:///C:/Users/Alan/Downloads/WadeCaM2011.pdf

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/materials-science/microbiological-corrosion

 

http://roscoemoss.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/fmcf.pdf

 

https://www.keelblack.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MICROBIOLOGICAL-CORROSION.pdf

 

https://aem.asm.org/content/80/4/1226.full

 

https://www.iims.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Biological-Attack-on-Iron-and-Steel.pdf

 

A bit of light reading - I've loads more if you run out of things to do.

 

2 years until you look at the bottom >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Another example of the rapid corrosion of steel hull plate in a ship’s bilge was reported by Campbell et al in which pit depths of 8 mm in 12 months were recorded.

 

One of the earlier reports on the problems of suspected MIC in a ship’s bilge was made by Copenhagen in 1966. Localised deep pitting including perforation of 8 mm mild steel plate located near the propeller shaft casing in the ship’s stern occurred in less than 2 years.

 

 In 2007 Mart reported several examples of suspected MIC in RAN vessels including one case in which 10 mm bilge shell plating was penetrated in less than a year. 

 

One of the highest corrosion rates reported that was suspected to be due to MIC was the perforation of 11 mm hull in less than 6 months.

 

I do wonder if MIC is the problem @WotEver had (one side of his NB 'disappeared' within 18 months)

Thanks Alan. I had no idea this was even a thing. If it was an issue do you think it whould have been identified during our survey in June? 

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51 minutes ago, MrsM said:

Thanks Alan. I had no idea this was even a thing. If it was an issue do you think it whould have been identified during our survey in June? 

I would hope so.

 

It has been denied for so long, and it is having such a serious affect on shipping that the Surveyors Professional Bodies are circulating information with 'what to look for'.

 

Known cases on the canals are few and far between but (like Covid) I reckon there are a lot of un-diagnosed or mis-diagnosed cases.

 

This is one of the documents circulated amongst surveyors 

 

https://www.iims.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Biological-Attack-on-Iron-and-Steel.pdf

 

This is a document produced by Steve Hands (who is a Surveyor based at Sawley Marina), it is based on the IIMS document above, and he uses it to try and 'spread the word' using just a simple, single page document.

 

http://handsonmarine.com/microbially-induced-corrosion/

  • Greenie 1

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On 21/10/2020 at 23:14, Alan de Enfield said:

I would hope so.

 

It has been denied for so long, and it is having such a serious affect on shipping that the Surveyors Professional Bodies are circulating information with 'what to look for'.

 

Known cases on the canals are few and far between but (like Covid) I reckon there are a lot of un-diagnosed or mis-diagnosed cases.

 

This is one of the documents circulated amongst surveyors 

 

https://www.iims.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Biological-Attack-on-Iron-and-Steel.pdf

 

This is a document produced by Steve Hands (who is a Surveyor based at Sawley Marina), it is based on the IIMS document above, and he uses it to try and 'spread the word' using just a simple, single page document.

 

http://handsonmarine.com/microbially-induced-corrosion/

Thanks Alan, your knowledge and experience are, as ever, invaluable. 

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You can't win with underwater problems. Boat has never suffered from MIC (As far as I can tell) but is now in slightly brackish water in Belgium. Bottom now seems to be covered in blasted barnacles and mussels. Next year, Covid permitting, will be in France where no doubt it will be attacked by something else.  I seriously wonder if steel is the best material any more. Riveted iron? GRP? not wood surely?

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