Behind the scenes

BRIGADOON is one the best quality vessels I have surveyed and one of the best-prepared for a class survey.” This special citation came from a Lloyd’s Register surveyor after the 36.3m Moonen 119 Martinique sailed through her 5-year class survey this summer. While BRIGADOON’s happy owners are enjoying the rest of the season, we asked their Captain, Kirk Smith, how he managed the survey.

Why do owners need to think about 5-year class surveys?
It’s not an option, all Martinique vessels are built to class, you have to see it through. If you don’t, you’ll lose insurance coverage by default. For owners it’s about the safety of the vessel. That’s the purpose. The survey is tough, the surveyors put everything under the microscope. If the boat isn’t prepared well, the impact will be time and this will reflect a huge extra cost to the owners and more than likely cost them the rest of their summer season as well. It’s quite black and white. If it’s not satisfactory, it has to be fixed and that means more contractor and parts costs, more time at the shipyard, and there is 21% tax which is an actual cost for owners – big numbers that can come as a surprise. BRIGADOON’s survey came in under budget and this was due to very thorough planning. She is now turnkey ready and every single thing is working well on board.

How do you ace a class survey?
I started working on it in October last year, at least 6 months before survey date. It’s very important to have a process in place that gets followed well. The captain needs to understand the process and know what you have to prepare for. You have to have clear communications with class and be well versed on what is expected. Get all the contractors lined up and pro-actively go through the details. If you have the wrong parts and need to order them, it can easily take 10 weeks. That means longer in the shipyard. I was enormously supported by Moonen when I needed it. I built up a strong relationship with the Moonen technical guys Cornee and Nicky, [Head of Mechanics Cornee de Bruin and Technical Director Nicky van Zon]. They fix things, they don’t just talk about them. Even on the weekend, they will take my call.

How is a survey of a yacht built by Moonen different?
The surveyor told me they wished all the boats were like this. Structurally, wow, how well was the boat built! I have to congratulate Moonen from a structural point of view. The hydraulics, the cable caging, access, piping etc etc, they have done an incredibly good job. Hats off to them. BRIGADOON is hull number one from the Martinique design, so yes, there is some minor stuff, and I know they have improved on it in the later Martiniques, but it’s a very good structurally, mechanically and electrically put together vessel.


36.3m Martinique BRIGADOON
36.3m Martinique BRIGADOON

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