Nautical or naval appraisal: what it is
The nautical appraisal is a technical assessment aimed at determining the actual state of use in which a boat is. In the simplest terms, it consists of a complete check-up of the boat, the equivalent of the overhaul for a car.
The purpose is to identify any damage sustained as well as existing problems and to highlight areas that could generate problems in the future, ultimately providing a detailed picture of the overall health of the vessel.
The nautical or naval appraisal: when to ask for it
Buying a boat, even a small one, is a valuable investment. Particularly if you are thinking of buying a used boat it could be a good deal or a bad deal. What often determines it is not so much the purchase price as the condition of the boat. The current owners may not be aware of any existing problems. Therefore it is fundamental to verify the real conditions of the boat under negotiation. This is a very important reason why a nautical appraisal should always be requested before making a purchase.
A nautical appraisal is also required to ascertain damages resulting from maritime disaster.
The nautical appraisal is not a test
Having the boat you are buying appraised does not guarantee against problems that may arise after the purchase. The appraisal is a static process that aims to generate a “picture” as detailed and accurate as possible of the state of the boat, while the test is a dynamic process focused in the functional test of the boat and in the development of any stress test that can verify the functional qualities of the boat.
How to perform a nautical appraisal: types of problems
The nautical appraiser verifies and evaluates the condition of the hull, which could be affected by osmosis problems (for fiberglass boats), or could have delaminations of the laminate that generate a weakening of the structure. The hull may also have repairs that, however well done, will change its commercial valuation.
The appraiser also checks the internal structures, verifying the condition of the bulkheads, stringers and spars, to ensure that there are no repairs or signs of local stresses that may have stressed the hull.
Finally, the systems and accessories are checked, and any possible curative and improvement work is carefully noted.
Where to carry out the nautical appraisal
The appraisal must be carried out both in and out of the water, in order to have the possibility to evaluate all aspects of the boat: structural, rigging, hydraulic system, electrical systems, mechanical components.
Nautical appraisal and insurance policies: types and purposes
A nautical appraisal with an estimate of the boat’s value is necessary and is requested by insurance companies when they wish to take out a Marine Hull policy (the Kasko equivalent for cars).
For this type of evaluation, the checks focus on safety aspects (sea intakes, axle seals, bulb fixings, fire fighting system, etc.).
The insurance appraisal includes an assessment of the boat’s commercial value, which is necessary for the company to insure the boat for the right value.
The appraisal consists of the certification of the value of the boat according to the conditions and equipment, and is useful to be able to take out leases and boat loans.
Nautical appraisal and litigation
In legal disputes, nautical appraisals play a vital role in determining the cause and responsibility for the incident.
The fundamental role of the nautical or naval appraiser
The nautical appraiser verifies, from a technical point of view, the state of the boat in relation to various parameters (year of construction, state of wear and tear, asking price). In this way, he brings into focus a general image of the asset that puts the buyer in a position to know what he is actually buying.
The figure of the nautical appraiser plays therefore a role of fundamental importance, both because he is able to evaluate the possible interventions both from the technical point of view and from the economic one, but also because his intervention relieves the customer from difficult decisions giving him at the same time useful hints for possible improvements and modifications.
Novires has many years of experience in the field of nautical appraisals both for the estimation of the value of a boat and for the estimation of possible damages suffered by the boat. It is therefore able to provide appraisal and loss adjustment services of the highest level both to insurance companies and to owners of boats of all kinds.