Ark  Surveys

Partners: Rhys Warren-Thomas & Lawrence Weldon

Professional indemnity insurance arranged by Markel International

The scope of examination for the average sailing vessel will commonly included the following points


  1. Glass fibre hulls are tested for high moisture content and osmosis. If necessary (and only in agreement with the vendor), an assessment is made of the water barrier coatings (gelcoat / epoxy) by removing antifouling paint in small tokens.
  2. The exterior planking on wooden hulls is sounded at close intervals throughout, including the stem, keel and transom. This inspection will also involve a check on the fairness (uniformity) of the hull lines which will highlight any failing of the internal support.
  3. Examination of the integral hull stiffening will include bulkheads and bonding, accommodation mouldings, moulded floors and stringers. On wooden vessels, the framing and the centreline structure, including longitudinals, is included.
  4. The condition of a ballast keel and fastenings is assessed, with consideration given to any available documented history of bolt renewals.
  5. An overall opinion as to the condition of the hull cosmetic exterior is expressed for maintenance and valuation reasons.  


  1. Deck structures are assessed for adequate support, including any mast support members. Timber-built deck structures are examined for failing joints and signs of leakage below.
  2. Decks of sandwiched core construction are tested for moisture ingress.
  3. Wooden deck coverings of either sheathed-over plywood or teak planking are examined visually and tested by sounding.
  4. Timber-built upperworks (cabin sides and coachroof surfaces) will undergo a close examination; this will invariably include soundings taken in order to determine areas of suspected timber decay.
  5. Hatches, portlights and windows are checked for soundness and function.
  6. Bulwarks, cappings, rubbing strakes and rails are checked for security.
  7. The overall condition of the cockpit structure is considered along with the adequacy of any drainage.

A check is made on the condition and security of the following items of deck gear:

  1. Rigging attachments and all associated supporting structures below deck.
  2. Anchors and mooring arrangements.
  3. Stanchions, guard-wires, grabrails and harness attachments.
  4. Winches and control line gear.
  5. Boarding ladder and davits.

Services to be checked will include:

  1. Steering gear and foils, shaft and bearings, control cabling of any accessible mechanisms.
  2. Electrical installations, including batteries and charging systems, wiring, panel switching and any installed shore power circuits.
  3. Skin fittings and transducers, including seacocks and connected plumbing.
  4. Fuel and water tanks, including delivery.
  5. WC and galley services.
  6. Installed heating systems.
  7. Bilge pumping.
  8. Cabin ventilation.
  9. Gas installations are examined and advised on accordingly.

The overall condition of the following areas of accommodation fit-out is included with pre-purchase reports:  

  1. Joinery and glass fibre mouldings.
  2. Deckhead and hull linings.
  3. Handholds and rails.
  4. Soft furnishings.

An examination of the following rigging items is made, with recommendations duly considered in line with any available documented history of renewals:

  1. Mast and spars.
  2. Running rigging.
  3. Sails.
  4. Standing rigging.
  5. Furling gear.



  1. The structural security and safety of installed engine units including generators is assessed, including fuel and exhaust systems.
  2. The stern gear, bearings and inboard glands are checked for leakage and wear.
  3. The conductivity and wastage of any anodic protection is measured.
  4. An opinion is expressed on the adequacy of any ventilation and sound deadening offered through machinery compartments.


  1. Distress signalling, fire fighting and safety equipment is noted and advised on accordingly.
  2. Electronic navigational equipment and navigation lights are operated where appropriate.
  3. An inventory of equipment relating to safety and navigation, belonging to the vessel, is listed in a standard report.
  4. Where available, a power-up test is performed on electronics for pre-purchase reasons.
  5. General equipment including fenders, lines and covers is listed at the end of the report.