Frequently Asked Questions


Who needs a Marine Surveyor?

Ship and boat owners, operators, insurers, or persons who finance marine operations need a Marine Surveyor. A surveyor  should provide you with an unbiased, professional opinion as to the condition, valuation and suitability of a vessel to perform a particular role.  A  surveyor can  also provide reassurance and an independent opinion regarding the condition of a vessel prior to purchase. A surveyor can assess the cause and effect of any damage to your vessel.  You should discuss your requirements with the surveyor in advance to insure that your needs are met.


What is a Marine Survey?

Jervis Bay Maritime Consultants consider a marine survey to be a critical inspection of a vessel for a specific purpose; the inspection of a vessel and/or her cargo or equipment to determine their condition; the gathering of facts to determine responsibility for damage to the vessel, its equipment or cargo and a fair and reasonable cost of repair.  The purpose of the survey must be known in advance and discoveries made during the survey will usually require further investigation. Marine surveys are performed for but are not limited to marine insurance companies, vessel owners, solicitors, vessel purchasers and/or financial institutions. The client is the person or organisation who commissions the survey and pays the survey fee.


What is a Pre-Purchase Survey

The purpose of the survey is to determine the suitability of the vessel to meet the purchaser's requirements and to identify any latent or apparent defects which might effect the purchaser's requirements. A pre-purchase inspection is not primarily to determine the price of the vessel, this is normally agreed between the owner and the purchaser prior to considering the need for a pre-purchase survey. A bank, financial institution, or mortgagee may have an interest in the vessel and require written opinions on which to base their decisions. The surveyor will normally be paid by the purchaser. The report will provide a factual picture of the actual condition of the vessel and the surveyor's opinion of the valuation at the time of inspection.


What is a Condition & Valuation Survey?

Often called an 'insurance survey', a C & V report will provide an insurance company  with a report on the condition of the vessel at the time of inspection. The report lists the onboard machinery and equipment and comments upon any items identified as deficient or potentially deficient. Recent improvements which may influence the valuation are noted. The report confirms that the vessel meets the State Government Survey Authority requirements and that adequate safety equipment is provided onboard the vessel. The surveyor will offer an opinion on the valuation of the vessel to allow the insurance company or other institution to determine if the risk is sufficiently insured in the event of a loss; or if damage is sustained to the hull,  machinery or other items. Where a particular underwriter assesses their risk by use of   form or guidance notes, JBMC will comply with their fixed format as far as possible.


What happens if I make an insurance claim?

When the owner makes an insurance claim for damage to his vessel an insurance company will normally appoint a surveyor of their choice to inspect and report on the damage. The surveyor will be employed to determine the cause of the damage,  to quantify the extent of the loss; to make recommendations for repair, and on occasions oversee repairs. The surveyor will usually be required to comment on the repair costs incurred. Repairs should be sighted in progress, inspected on completion and repair invoices scrutinised. It is not the surveyor's role to determine who will pay for the repairs or adjust the claim but he may make suggestions to the underwriter. The surveyor should determine which repairs can be attributed to an incident or in the case where a number of incidents are involved, to which incident attribution should be made. He should identify old damage or damage resulting from fair wear and tear. Depending on the nature of the incident the surveyor may be appointed to act for other interested parties. He may represent the owner, a classification society, and aggrieved third party or the owner of another vessel in the event of a collision.


What does a marine consultant do?

The short answer is anything and everything.  A Consultant is someone who has specific knowledge or skills. The different types of knowledge and skills involved in marine operations span many disciplines to the extent that surveyors themselves often require the services of a specialist to perform certain tasks.  There are a number of good reasons for using a consultant, for example; you do not have the time to do the job yourself; or you want to distance yourself from the decision making; or you do not have the knowledge to do the job yourself. When employing a consultant it is imperative that the Principal identifies his needs and expectations and clearly explains these to the consultant in advance. In most cases a written contract is not necessary but the cost of the service and the outcome required should be agreed upon in advance.


Anyone can adopt the title Marine Surveyor or Consultant and start a business. There have been reports of unethical opportunists within the industry. If you do not have a regular need for a surveyor your best protection is to seek a surveyor who is a member of a professional accredited institute which requires technical qualifications and proven on the job experience as criteria for membership. Jervis Bay Maritime Consultants has performed all types of surveys and consultancy tasks since October 1988. Established by John R Peel known as Jack, JBMC has specialized in commercial fishing vessels, charter vessels, vehicular and passenger ferries and all types of small pleasure craft. The cornerstone of the business is the high ethical standard that has been established over the past fourteen years. JBMC reports are accepted by leading Marine Insurance Companies and Financial Institutions in Australia, Great Britain, France and the United States of America.

In April 2003 Jack retired and handed over to David Copley. David has been involved in the MarineIndustry for more than twenty three years as a Shipwright, Charter Boat Owner/Operator and Sail Trainer/Commercial Vessel Operator and more recently worked alongside Jack prior to taking over the business. David is currently enrolled at the Australian Maritime College in the Commercial Marine Surveying Certificate course. In May 2003 David was granted probationary membership of the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors the peak professional body for Marine Surveyors in Australia. David's vast experience and knowledge of the Marine Industry enables Jervis Bay Maritime Consultants to provide a prompt and professional service anywhere in Australia or overseas.