Gladding Marine Survey
Jacksonville, Florida, USA - 904-945-0511
Serving the Continental United States and the Caribbean
William K. Gladding, SAMS® AMS®
Principal Marine Surveyor
Surveying is About Listening -
|Obviously seeing, touching and even smelling are part of the survey process too but it all starts with listening to your client and answering their questions. After I have done that then I ask potential clients questions to help me determine how their experience or lack of should guide the job I do for them. The basic survey process is the same for all surveys but more attention to details and systems that will play a prominent role in my client's use of their boat allows me to tailor my report better to their needs.
Once aboard listening again becomes very important. When I arrive at an idle vessel I like to hear it as I work my way through my survey process. Are there any pumps running? Is the refrigerator quiet as it works? When I switch on the freshwater pump and vacuum flush head systems do they power up and cycle off then hold pressure and vacuum? When I raise the de watering bilge pump float switches do the pumps respond quickly and hum efficiently then turn off promptly when the switch is lowered? Do the air-conditioners sound well when started, their blowers run smoothly and quietly and compressors spool up without struggling to come up to speed? Pretty much every system aboard needs careful attention to how it sounds including engines and generators...
The hull is no different. When I step on it I am listening. Does it creak or crunch in excess? When I tap test it does it give an appropriate report? When inside are there water sounds such as dripping or hissing? When underway does it make sounds that indicate a structural issue? Does the drive train communicate noise from the machinery that indicates a problem? Is there objectionable drive train noise such as squeaking or singing? Any of these may warrant further attention...
At the end of the day more listening is important. I like to go over my findings with clients. I measure their responses and listen to their questions to try and determine their level of understanding and improve on it if necessary so they can factor in the various items both positive and negative into their boating equation. My many years of experience usually help clients speed to a good understanding of where they stand and if not where they want to be and how to get there.