SURVEYOR NOTEBOOK - STUFF ABOUT BOATS

SURVEYOR NOTEBOOK 03-01-2019

image223

Deferred Maintenance #1 Water Intrusion

One of the most annoying things onboard is to jump in the bunk after a long day going to weather and find the cushions cold and wet, or pulling that book from the shelf and finding it moldy. Investigating the source of the wet can be frustrating. After finding the ports, windows and hatches all secure, then what? What about all that hardware and deck fittings fastened through the deck. Those grab rails we have been pulling on, the cleats handling the stress of dock lines, not to forget the hardware for handling those sail control lines. All those stresses year after year tends to break the bond of the bedding compound, yes even 5200. Removal and re-bedding of all deck fittings should be a maintenance item to be considered after about ten or so years, better yet to do a few items every year or two as it can be a big job. The consequences of not doing it can be costly if it leads to soft decks needing to be re-cored.  With regard to boats for sale, this could call the survey off before it's time!  So the wet bunk and moldy book should definitely get your attention as more than a nuisance. The effect of water intrusion on chainplates will be discussed at a later date.

SURVEYOR NOTEBOOK 02-01-2019

image224

Overcurrent Protection

Overcurrent protection on boats, what's the big deal?


From ABYC E-11;

E-11.10OVERCURRENT PROTECTION  11.10.1 LOCATION OF OVERCURRENT PROTECTION(For) DC CIRCUITS 

11.10.1.1 General Requirements 

11.10.1.1.1 Overcurrent Protection Device Location - Ungrounded conductors shall be provided with overcurrent protection within a distance of seven inches of the point at which the conductor is connected to the source of power measured along the conductor. 


EXCEPTIONS: 

1. Cranking motor conductors. 

2. If the conductor is connected directly to the battery terminal and is contained throughout its entire distance in a sheath or enclosure such as a conduit, junction box, control box or enclosed panel, the overcurrent protection shall be placed as close as practicable to the battery, but not to exceed 72 inches.

3. If the conductor is connected to a source of power other than a battery terminal and is contained throughout its entire distance in a sheath or enclosure such as a conduit, junction box, control box or enclosed panel, the overcurrent protection shall be placed as close as practicable to the point of connection to the source of power, but not to exceed 40 inches.  

4. Overcurrent protection is not required in conductors from self-limiting alternators with integral regulators if the conductor is less than 40 inches, is connected to a source of power other than the battery, and is contained throughout its entire distance in a sheath or enclosure. 

5. Pigtails less than 7 inches in length are exempt from overcurrent protection requirements. ..............

What's the big deal?  For one thing it is no longer just a recommendedABYC standard, it is the law. Federal Code of Regulations; 33 CFR 183.455 pretty closely states word for word the above recommendation. The purpose of these regulations and standards is to prevent the loss of life and property due to onboard fires. A short circuit in a DC circuit should trip an overcurrent device, not use the wire or an electrical device as a fuse and let the smoke out in the form of flames. 


So if nothing else it is a good idea. Questions feel free to call or email.

Surveyor Notebook 1-1-2019

image225

Boat Shopping Online

   

Accurate photos or glamour shots? In the course of my job poking around boats, I often hear from my clients "the boat does not look like the brokers photos". As a buyer you need to remember the brokers photographs are sales literature, meant to show this is the boat of your dreams. I do not often see photos that I believe are meant to deceive, just to show a buyer the boat is worth a visit. If you are not enticed to look, you may miss out on the boat of your dreams. So, ask if the photos are current, ask for close ups of areas of interest. Often the boat is not local to a potential buyer. As a buyer you can seek a surveyor local to the boat to have a look for you and give you feedback on its general condition.  After all,  the boat may just be the boat of your dreams. Or, for two or three hours labor cost the surveyor may save you a lot of travel time and expense, not to mention the aggravation and first hand disappointment of seeing a boat suffering from years of deferred maintenance not depicted in the  photos.