Beyond Visuals: The Role of Non-Destructive Testing in Marine Boat Surveys
When conducting marine surveys, it’s important to make sure that the vessel is structurally sound and safe for sea. This means more than just a visual inspection – non-destructive testing (NDT) can provide invaluable insights into the condition of a boat. Sun Coast Marine Surveying is a full-service boat survey firm that utilizes NDT to ensure that vessels are prepared for sale or repair.
In any marine survey, the principal responsibility of the marine surveyor rests on the visual inspection of the boat. During this process, items such as decks, bulkheads, bilges, individual components, and systems are evaluated. Though this assessment provides a reliable foundation for maritime vessel evaluation, by itself it can leave some potential risks uncovered. That’s why many marine surveyors, including Sun Coast Marine Surveying, include non-destructive testing as part of their standard procedures.
Non-destructive testing is an essential tool for marine surveys. To put it simply, NDT is a technique used to test and inspect materials without damaging them. It uses probes, radiation, sound waves, and other technologies to detect surface issues which may not be visible to the eye. By finding indications within the structure of the boat that could be indicative of future problems, NDT can save money and time in the long run by preventing expensive repairs and maintenance down the line.
For example, Sun Coast Marine Surveying’s experts leverage ultrasound technology to examine hull thickness and overall structural integrity. While visual evaluations can detect major flaws like rot or corrosion, they cannot detect thinning caused by erosion or overloading. Ultrasound tests can accurately measure wall thickness and detect metal fatigue and internal corrosion. This allows watercraft owners to take corrective action before an issue becomes critical. Similarly, radiographic imaging can uncover flaws in welds usually hidden beneath paint or fiberglass layers.
In addition to providing useful information for buyers and sellers, NDT is also used to verify repairs and new construction. For example, if a vessel has recently been through a major refit, NDT can help identify any weak points which could arise during operation. At Sun Coast Marine Surveying, we use both ultrasonic and radiographic testing procedures to evaluate the durability of engineered components after installation.
Non-destructive testing plays an important role in marine surveys. Through its ability to detect unseen issues that are too small to even be noticed by a visual examination, it protects vessel owners from unexpected problems further down the road. If you’re looking for an experienced marine surveyor who uses non-destructive testing techniques, make sure to contact Sun Coast Marine Surveying today. With their experience and expertise in using NDT for marine surveys, you can rest assured that your boat will be properly inspected for safety and reliability. r