I have been racking my brains thinking of the definitive list of things which are of more use than a Selles and Van Dijk pre purchase survey and here they are:
1) A condom machine in the Vatican
2) A solar powered foghorn
3) An ejector seat in a helicopter
4) Breasts on a fish
5) A moral compass in the current Whitehouse team
Why do I say that? The seacock in the cargo hold which had almost completely corroded through (an obvious flood risk)?
The hawse pipe (anchor tube) which was thoroughly holed and when hit with a hammer almost completely fell apart?
The multiple frames which have corroded through under the skipper's cabin leaving holes in the skin of the vessel?
Or could it be the 10 foot section of bilge which now needs overplating as it has corroded from the inside, complete with holes and major delamination?
I don't know. I can forgive minor oversights but when a surveyor fails to inspect any part of the bilge, that should be a red flag as to the professionalism of the outfit. As I know now, these boats generally rust from the inside out due to water pooling and condensation, especially if there isn't a rigorous inspection routine for the bilges. This does need a vessel which has those inspections considered during its design and construction.
So dry docking has yielded a few surprises. The large section requiring plating is probably the worst and most expensive. This means that instead of having the superstructure stripped and painted, I have saved the money from that, taken that on the chin as a job I have to do piecemeal, and used that to offset the cost of the plating work. I invested in a couple of hours of an NDT specialist to give me some hull thickness readings in areas of concern which highlighted the extent of the port side plating but also showed that despite the major areas of delamination on the starboard side, hull thickness was still acceptable.
The blasters are in situ now and have hopefully started on the hull today. I will head in for a full day tomorrow of removing the used blast media from the hull and just to keep and eye on what's going on. I have also found some holes in the skipper's cabin walls which do not really require major surgery but will need a small plate behind them and then filling. From my discussions with the shipyard, West Systems epoxy is the best (but v expensive) and for the above water line purposes, any decent 2 part car body filler is sufficient.
The Hawse tube has been a difficult replacement, generally due to the poor the replacement pipe being slightly undersized and corrosion. Hopefully the portholes and overplating will be less problematic.
So overall, it has been an emotional experience and a thoroughly exhausting one. It is not over yet so time to put on my big boy pants and get back at it tomorrow. As for Selles and Van Dijk Surveyors, you are as much use as Anne Frank's drum kit.... drops mic