Boat Insurance Survey Dubai

Boat Insurance Survey Dubai

Certificate of approval and Certificate of Seaworthiness

Please note some issuing authorities refer to a C of A as:

• A certificate of transportation;
• A survey certificate; or
• A towage certificate;

It depends upon the nature of the operation to which it applies

These documents are not the same thing and must not be thought to have any equivalence in fact or status. In marine law, especially in terms of vessel insurance cover and cargo insurance and the carriage of cargoes seaworthiness is a state in which the vessel must remain throughout a given period of time or a given voyage. The vessel and cargo must be fit to withstand “all the normal perils of the sea”.

If during the course of a voyage, some accident occurs which adversely affects this required state of seaworthiness, the vessel may be put into a port or place and undergo repairs. When the repairs are complete and the voyage is resumed, it is not unusual for the vessel to obtain a certificate of seaworthiness, which confirms that the vessel or cargo is once again in fit state to continue. The vessel and cargo owners and respective underwriters are thereby assured that their assets have the degree of protection required by both fact and law. Such certificates are issued by classification society surveyors, protection and indemnity club surveyors, local surveyors at the place of repair recommended by Lloyd’s (insurance market) agents or surveyors approved by them.

A CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL on the other hand is issued at the beginning of a voyage or operation and seaworthiness, in both its narrow legal and in a more general sense is one of the preconditions for the issue of such a certificate. The basis on which a C of A is issued is the fitness of the vessel or the operation to begin and execute the operation under the special conditions applied by the warranty survey company in addition to the ability to “withstand the normal perils of the sea” as they affect that vessel or operation. Therefore, any deterioration in the seaworthy state of the vessels or operation to which the certificate applies will make the certificate terms invalid. The “conditions” attached to a C of A, which often require certain things to be done or complied with should not conflict with the required seaworthy condition. If during the course of an operation for which a C of A has been issued, the vessel(s) suffer damage and they become unseaworthy then the conditions on which the C of A was issued may no longer apply.

As an example, a valuable cargo is loaded on a barge for tow from A to B. If the C of A specifies a particular route and the tugmaster takes a short cut, the C of A may thereby be invalidated and this may affect the insurance cover for the cargo even though both the tug and barge, remain seaworthy. If an accident occurs which damages the tug or barge during the course of taking the short cut then the underwriters of the cargo may avoid their liability in part or whole not least because damage to the tug or barge may make either unseaworthy and, therefore, invalidate the principal condition under which the C of A was issued.

Many C of As are claused with the words “this document is not a certificate of seaworthiness” in order to protect the issuer of the C of A and to remind the holder that he must not use it as evidence of seaworthiness in the future or during the course of the voyage for which he holds the C of A.

Grounds on which a Certificate of approval can be with held

A C of A may be withheld if, in the” opinion of the attending surveyor or his base office (after consultation with and advice from their surveyor), they consider that the underwriter’s risk is compromised.
The examples show what constitutes grounds for withholding the certificate, broken down into categories of vessel. This is not a comprehensive list.

Jack-up barge – preparing to move from one location to another (field move):

1. Storm force weather forecast within 48 hours or less which will obviously hazard the  vessel.

2. Deficiency or defect in watertight integrity which violates the load line certificate conditions.

3. Calculated afloat stability condition exceeding allowable conditions as laid down in the operations manual.

4. Deficiency or defect in the towing gear which might hazard the vessel.

5. Cargo so poorly secured as to hazard the vessel.

6. Damage or defect to the jacking machinery or leg structure such that its ability to operate efficiently is in doubt.

7. Geological or formation condition at next or proposed new location which obviously hazards the vessel when loaded with the vessel’s weight (punch through risk).

8. Defect in towing vessel which results in it being considered unsuitable for the work of towing the jack-up.

Towing vessel – proposed vessel surveyed prior to use for a’job:

1.  Defective steering, propulsion or winch system which seriously affects the ability of the vessel to operate
efficiently and perform the task envisaged.

2.  Insufficient fuel, water or lubricating oil to perform the contemplated voyage.

3.  Hull damage or defect affecting watertight integrity to the point where the load line certificate may be considered  invalid.

4.  Lack of a spare towline by b.

5.  Towline or lines so damaged or defective as to be considered unsuitable to carry out the proposed tow.

6.  Inexperience of the master and crew which in the surveyor’s opinion makes them unsuitable for performing the work.

7.  Lack of navigational equipment or communication equipment such that the vessel is “unseaworthy”.

8.  Insufficient power to perform the task envisaged based on criteria set for that tow.

Cargo barge and load:

1.  Damage or defect to the barge structure which is so serious as to compromise its watertight integrity to the point  where the load line certificate is invalidated.

2.  Defect or damage to the towing gear so as to render it unsuitable for the voyage.

3.  Insufficient intact stability as indicated on the “as loaded” calculations.

4.  Cargo insufficiently secured or so poorly secured as to .be. a hazard when subjected to the “design storm” loads.

5.  Barge overloaded beyond its statutory load line.

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Boat Insurance Survey Dubai

Boat Survey Dubai

Boat Survey Dubai:

On-Site Evaluation at Departure Port

The attending surveyor of the Constellation marine will carry out the following work scope:

Tug Approval Survey

Using a checklist, he inspects the towing vessel to ensure that it complies fully with the requirements of the operation. He will, if any significant defects are found, inform his base office who will, on the advice of the field surveyor evaluate the defect. They may then advise the client and suggest an appropriate course of action.

Barge Survey

This is a detailed physical examination of the barge itself, its watertight and structural integrity, general condition, towing arrangements and certification. He may require tests or demonstrations of various systems or equipment. A checklist may be used. As with the tug any serious defect will have to be rectified.

Cargo Securing Inspection

A thorough physical inspection of the sea fastening of the cargo to the barge is carried out using the “as designed” approved drawings to check that the system built is what was actually approved. This physical examination includes inspection of the test data for the welded connections (including the qualifications of the welders), measurements of length and angle of braces, underdeck strengthening if required, tightness and security of bolted connections, tumbuckles and any other securing devices. Protection of the cargo from the effects of wind, water and other conditions. Internal security of the cargo items if applicable.

boat Operational Survey

Using the data supplied by Constellation’s base office he examines the barge as loaded for draught, trim ballast distribution and provision of any extra equipment and test any special systems fitted. Constellation’s surveyor reviews the tow route with the tug master, discuss and briefs the surveyor on requirements of the Certificate of Approval and ensure that the tug is fully bunkered, stored and manned for the operation. He liaises and approves arrangements with the client for the safe exit of the tow from port, the provision of tugs or pilots and any other special considerations such as tidal state, air draught and traffic management. If a tow-out meeting is planned he attends it, representing his client and company interests. Additionally, the provision of weather forecasts and the compliance with them will be inspected. Constellation’s surveyor uses a sailaway checklist to ensure that all is in order. Once he is satisfied that all is prepared and any special conditions met, he signs and issues the Certificate of Approval just prior to the departure of the tow for sea.


Purpose of Inspection

The inspection of a vessel being considered for or hired to carry out a towage operation is made to determine:

(a) The suitability of the tug for the intended towage operation.

(b) The general condition of the tug and its equipment.

(c) The compliance with any fixed parameters set by the tow’s underwriters or


 The inspection is carried out by:

(a)  Constellation’s warranty surveyor attending the tow for the purposes of issuing a    towage approval certificate.

(b)  Constellation’s TOWMASTER who will be in charge of the operation.

(c)  In the case of rig moves of both semi-submersibles and jack-ups, the master of the rig in question assists our warranty surveyors.

(d)The representative of a potential charterer of the tug when selecting vessels for a particular towage operation is part of our reporting.

Carrying Out the Inspection

The checklist and report form provide the basic documentation of the inspection, but Constellation’s surveyor also carries out the following tasks – after a thorough examination of the certificates and paperwork presented to him.

Interview with the Master

The discussion with the tug’s master covers:

(a)His formal qualifications and experience, including the types of towing operation he has performed and his length of service on the vessel. The Constellation Marine’s inspector ascertains the qualifications and experience of the vessel’s officers and crew.

(b) Constellation Marine’s inspector will discuss the proposed towing operation with the master by giving him details of what is to be towed and where, with appropriate sketches and details of the towing gear, both main and emergency, fitted to the vessel.

(c) Constellation Marine’s inspector informs the master of any preset limits or special requirements of the tow.

(d) Constellation Marine’s inspector will ascertain if any part of the vessel or her equipment is defective, damaged or particularly idiosyncratic in operation.


 Examples of some such problems maybe (but not limited to):

1.  Bow thruster – motor works fine, but propellers dropped off.

2. Joystick control – particular types of fault make both main engines go full astern.

3.  Bow thruster motors overheats after about 30 minutes of continuous operation   at ¾ Power and has to be shut down.

4. Dog clutches and pawls on the main towing winch have no manual back-up control. If service power is lost and the clutches or pawls are engaged, the winch cannot be put into free running pay out position.

5. The spare tow wire is “pretty old”, in fact it has had “quite a bit” cut off when a short work wire was needed.

6. The towing spring has had a sample cut out and tested. It broke at half the original (new) breaking strain, but was shortened, respliced and is presented as “the towing spring”.

7. The vessel has a mixed nationality crew. There is a serious language problem between the deck crew and the master and mate.

8. The deck crew were recruited on the basis of cost alone. Their knowledge of tow gear and rigging is limited in the extreme.

9. The main engines share a common lubricating oil sump. Diesel oil contamination due to bad piston rings and injector problems results in the entire main engine lubricating Oil system being affected, with the possibility of major engine damage or engine performance being lowered.

10. One of the two main generators, generator end is stripped down and being dried out. A deck hatch directly above the main line leaked badly in a storm.


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