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Chapter 10


In view of the recent large number of losses of bulk carriers and the
pollution caused by accidents to tankers, IMO has raised concern over
the issue. A proposal to phase out vessels over 17 years of age has
been resisted by ship owners, on the grounds that age is not the sole
criteria that determine the condition of a vessel, especially if it is well
maintained. An alternative response to the problem of an aging world
fleet has been enhanced (more meticulous and stringent) hull surveys.
This contains unified requirements to be adopted by all classification
societies, while surveying tankers and bulk carriers. This contains
unified requirements to the adopted by all classification societies, while
surveying tankers and bulk carriers. The rules apply, regardless of size,
to self-propelled oil tankers, product tankers and dry bulk cargo vessels
including ore carriers and combination carriers.
The features of the enhanced survey program are:
1. Survey Planning.
2. Document file on board.
3. Improved procedures for thickness measurement.
4. Harmonisation between dry-dock and renewal surveys.
5. Extended Intermediate surveys.
6. Possible annual examination of tanks/spaces.
7. Phase-out of continuous Hull survey (CHS) arrangements.
The basic feature of the enhanced survey is extensive examination of
the hull.
A ‘Close-up Examination’ is one where details of structural
components are within the inspection range of the surveyor i.e. normally
within reach of hand.
‘Overall Survey’ is intended to report on the overall condition of the
tank/hold/hull structure and determine the extent of additional close-up
Planning of Survey
It is expected that proper planning and co-operation between the owner
and the Classification society will improve the quality of the survey.
Cleaning, descaling and rigging proper means of access must carry out
proper preparation. Planning of the survey is done by two methods:
1. Mandatory Minimum Survey program.
This program is worked out for a ship, taking into account the
mandatory minimum requirements for Overall examination, close-up
survey and thickness measurement that have been prescribed by the
Classification society. Preparation to be carried out for the survey, such
as access, cleaning/descaling, lighting, gas freeing and survey
equipment are also described.
2. Survey based on Survey Planning Document
The survey-planning document identifies critical structural features, its
operational features and its damage/repair history. It stipulates the
location, extent and means of close-up examination of the areas.
Where a proper survey planning document is established for a ship, a
provision exists for reduced examination of low risk areas, during the
renewal survey, provided the condition of the vessel is good after
inspection of the high risk areas. Initially the survey of these risk based
areas may be less than the general survey, especially when the ship is
new, but if deficiencies are found in these risk areas after the ship has
spent some years in service, the extent of this survey may be more than
the general or mandatory survey.
The planning documents contain:
 Main particulars of the ship.
 Plan of tanks/holds with information on their use, cathodic protection
and condition of coating.
 Corrosion risk nomination for close-up examination.

 Structures and sections nominated for thickness measurements.
 List of acceptable corrosion allowance for different structures.
Risk nomination is an assessment and evaluation of the risk of
deterioration of Structures. It takes into account:
 Design features such as use of high tensile steel.
 Local details such as local stresses and local stress concentrations.
 History of the ship with regard to corrosion, buckling, cracking, repairs
carried out to and spare parts used on that particular ship as well as
sister ships.
 Information on the use of tanks and condition of the paint and cathodic
protection on different ships from the office.
Document File
The document file is to provide those concerned with complete
information about the structural condition of the vessel. It serves as the
basis for the survey and includes
a) Survey Report file containing
 Hull survey reports
 Hull summary.
 Thickness measurement reports.
 Survey planning document.
b) Supporting Documentation
 Structural plans.
 Cargo and ballast history.
 Repair history.
 Inspection and reports of ships’ personnel.
 Use of IG plant.
Each part of the document file will be contained in a binder. The four
parts of the survey Report file will each have a continuously updated
index showing:

 The Document file number.
 Survey type (Annual, Intermediate, renewal, damage, Repair).
 Date of survey.
 Cross-references between survey reports and thickness
measurement report.
A new binder is to be provided for each 5-year period. Old files are to be
kept on board, for the lifetime of the ship, regardless of change in
management or ownership. The document file will always be examined
prior to structural surveys. They are to be readily available for reference
to the vessel’s history and condition.
Corrosion and Coating
Criteria have been established to assess corrosion and to grade the
condition of coating.
Substantial corrosion has been defined as an extent of corrosion,
where the wastage is in excess of 75 % of allowable corrosion margins,
but within acceptable limits.
The laying down of criteria implies that although mild corrosion can be
detected visually, extensive and deep corrosion will have to be
quantitatively evaluated by thickness measurements. These values will
then be compared with a list of minimum thickness for the different
structures of the vessel as prepared by the Classification society.

b 0.25c
c 0.75c

a: Dimension when new.

b: Acceptable minimum thickness
c: Acceptable maximum margin.
d: Substantial corrosion.
The condition of coating is defined as
Good: if there is only minor spot rusting.
Fair: If there is local breakdown of the coating at edges of stiffeners
and weld connections and or light rusting over 20 % or so of the area
under consideration.
Poor If there is coating breakdown in general over 20 % or more area
on hard scales over 10 % area.
If the coating condition is found good, the classification society may
reduce the extent of close-up measurement and thickness
measurement but if the coating is poor, the tank may be subjected to
annual inspection
Typical structural defects and their locations (Bulk carrier)
1. Cracking of hatch covers.
2. Cracking of hatch coamings.
3. Plate panel buckling of cross deck strips and stiffening structure.
4. Cracking at fore and aft extremities of topside tank structure.
5. Corrosion within topside tanks and double skin.
6. Grab and bulldozer damage the main frame/lower bracket.
7. Cracking at main frame bracket toes.
8. Both general and localised corrosion of main ship’s side frames
and brackets.
9. Cracking at the connection of the inner bottom and hopper plating.
10. Grab damage to the tank top plating, hopper and lower stool
Where to look and what to look for
1. Side shell plating – Cracks, leaks and distortion.
2. Connection of side shell frame and end brackets to shell plating
and hopper side tank plating – Cracks, corrosion, wastage, deformation
and detached frames or brackets.

3. Connection of side shell frames and end brackets to shell plating
and topside tank plating- Cracks, corrosion, wastage, deformation and
detached frames or brackets.
4. Connection of side shell frames and end brackets to shell plating
and topside tank plating – Cracks, corrosion, wastage, deformation and
detached frames or brackets.
5. Slant plate at junction of lower stool and corrugated bulkhead –
Cracks, corrosion, wastage, leaks.
6. Connecting trunk between tanks, where fitted, - Cracks, corrosion,
wastage and leaks.
See figures below






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