Article – Yacht Survey Report Styles: Software Vs Traditional….?

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Report Writing Trends

Over the last few years there has been an increase in Software Generated report writing for Marine Surveyors. Whilst this can be effective in certain types of survey work; particularly in commercial shipping and insurance claims, when it comes to yachting my preference lies with the narrative style of reporting as an approach more easily understood by the client. Of course, there are marine surveying software packages that are very adaptable to all styles; however, when it comes to giving defect recommendations, ticking a box stating, “Repair or Replace” may be sufficient for a technical superintendent, but could be quite confusing for an inexperienced and apprehensive buyer attempting to decide on a substantial financial outlay.

The main reason a marine surveyor is instructed, is to give clear and easily understood recommendations that can be acted upon by the client or the client’s representatives.  It takes considerable experience to be able to make effective recommendations; unfortunately, it is often the case that an inexperienced surveyor looks to a choice in his software drop down box rather than putting the time and effort into researching a detailed solution. Another too often used side step, is to recommend…. “further investigation should be carried out by a qualified technician”. Whilst it is very important that a surveyor does not exceed his agreed instructions or offer advice on a subject he lacks sufficient knowledge in, he is expected to be sufficiently proficient in his craft to reach a conclusion on the condition of most aspects of a vessel’s structure and machinery, without expecting his client to engage a raft of expensive experts.

If in doubt when writing a report, the surveyor should ask himself “What does the client expect from me, and what can I report that will help him reach a conclusion and will fulfil his expectations?”

Phil Duffy MIIMS, Principal Surveyor. Interface Marine. France