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Feature article: Poacher turned gamekeeper

Choosing a third-party surveyor to ensure that your project cargo is transported safely from point of loading to point of delivery can be a tricky job in itself. It is important to note that, whether you go with a Marine Warranty Surveyor (MWS) or a third-party consultant, all surveyors have their own specific skills and specialist knowledge.

While it is safe to say that a number of MWS’s are ex-Master Mariners, from time to time you can also come across a surveyor with an engineering background, such as naval architecture or marine engineering.

A valuable third-party surveyor or MWS not only understands the ins and outs of successfully conducting a full examination of the vessel, but also recognises and reacts to any issues as they occur, before they have a chance to grow.

Selecting the right marine surveyor should go beyond nominating a third party to witness and photograph what happens onsite. They should also be able to complement and add to your own in-house expertise. For example, a Master Mariner will be highly skilled in ship procedures and operations and in some cases, have an understanding of cargo securing and lashing standards.

However is such a surveyor right for consulting your team on barge roll-on operations or complex structural design of grillage and sea fastening? Also, a naval architect can give excellent advice on marine structural design and ship motions but may not be as knowledgeable on towage operations as a Tug Master.

Perhaps your transportation project covers a number of complex operations and transport engineering elements, in which case it is best to find an experienced heavy transport partner who has the required expertise to ensure your cargo is delivered in a safe and efficient manner.

Ultimately, you need to find someone who has the skills, competency and ability to carry out the type of inspection that you require. Choosing a marine surveyor is a crucial part of determining whether your vessel is seaworthy, so take the time to consider what you are looking for and the kind of person needed to help you get from the planning stages through to the physical cargo transportation.

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