Brookes Bell Group provides the full range of marine Hull, Cargo and P&I survey services from all its offices in the UK and across Asia. Experienced and highly trained surveyors cover all aspects of hull and machinery surveys for collision damage, groundings and structural failures, condition surveys, pre-purchase inspections, draft surveys and on/off-hire surveys.
In addition to more traditional survey methods, Brookes Bell have also adopted new technologies including 3D laser scanning and the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s more commonly known as drones) to allow for more rapid and accurate documentation of the condition of a vessel or object.
On-board surveys are aimed at covering all aspects of operation with regard to environmental issues, utilising a pragmatic risk-based approach to identify both weak areas and strong areas in comparison to present policy and relevant regulations. This audit programme is considered to be industry leading, providing advice to best practice, beyond the baseline of regulatory compliance.
Accurate condition surveys are vital for owners (both current and prospective), insurers and charterers of vessels in order that all parties are aware of the situation of a vessel at any particular point in time whether it be an On/Off hire survey, pre-purchase survey or suitability survey for a particular project.
Brookes Bell has vast experience of providing comprehensive, accurate and fair condition survey reports conducted both unilaterally or jointly. Our surveyors provide a definitive breakdown of the vessel covering all aspects including the classification status, status of safety/navigation equipment and machinery and its maintenance.
The overall condition of the vessel is provided with consideration to wear and tear, defective and damaged items. We also provide fair estimates for any remedial works that may be necessary.
New Building Inspection and Survey
Brookes Bell group regularly provide expert technical advice to assist in new-building problem resolution for contractual disputes on behalf of Yards and Buyers.
The Group's extensive Naval Architecture expertise and Engineering analysis is available in support of new-building disputes, new designs and conversion projects.
Brookes Bell has offices in both the Far East and Europe and can provide fast on-site support to assist in issues as they arise.
We have a comprehensive and proven track record of providing expert evidence in a wide range of areas relating to new-buildings.
Laser scanning collects vast amounts of very accurate spatial data in a short amount of time and hence is an effective tool when carrying out ship or site inspections where access time may be restricted.
Based on line of sight, laser scanners capture millions of individual points from each scan position by recording each surface that the laser encounters. Scanning at multiple locations and stitching together separate scans builds up a composite representation of the scanned object in the form of a point cloud.
The resulting point cloud can be used for 3D visualisations and fly throughs, which are useful for employee or crew familiarisation and also provide a useful record of the condition of the scanned object or space. The latter is particularly important in the event of a casualty or incident where event reconstruction and investigation is paramount.
When imported into 3D CAD software, “as built” models can be constructed allowing planning and layout of vessel modifications whilst performing clash detection for equipment location and pipe or cable routings. The 3D models output detailed plans and drawings which can be used during tendering and by the dockyard or site team carrying out the work. Scan data can also be used as the basis of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for thermal assessment of engine rooms or wind comfort studies for passenger vessels.
What would traditionally take a team of surveyor’s weeks to complete can now be carried out in a matter of hours. The vast amount of data recorded also ensures that measurements are not missed or overlooked by the surveyor.
UAV Surveys were initially adopted as a tool for Brookes Bell’s Special Casualty Representative’s (SCR’s) when on site, as a means of quickly providing an overview of a casualty, particularly where it may not be possible to gain all around access by land or sea.
Continued development and ruggedization by UAV manufacturers and the addition of optical positioning and obstruction sensors, alternative payloads such as high definition cameras, thermal imagers, and on larger UAV’s LIDAR make other applications possible.
Photogrammetry, using a series of overlapping 2D still photographs to generate a 3D topological model, can be used to target areas of land or structures. Whilst photogrammetry is less accurate than carrying out a 3D laser scan, UAV surveys can be completed in a fraction of the time and the accuracy is sufficient for general dimensions or volume estimates. The resulting 3D model can also be used to create a virtual reality tour of the target, which may be useful for employee or crew familiarisation and as the process takes multiple overlapping high resolution photographs, provides a useful condition record.
Visual inspections using a combination of high definition still photographs and live video feeds, allow surveyors to view and document areas of structure not normally accessible without cranes or scaffolding, allowing larger areas to be surveyed in a shorter time. Several Classification Societies are also early adopters of this technology and guidance notes for use of UAV’s for vessel surveys have already been released by DNVGL and LR.
Tank coating condition and suitability surveys
Our Mariners and Chemists have extensive experience of cargo tank condition and suitability issues. Disputes often arise from the cleanliness, condition or suitability of the tank coatings in respect of different cargoes. The issues involved can be extremely complex and may require the synergy of the combined experience of our mariners and chemists.
Our personnel carry out tank coating inspections and examine the cargo, coating repair and inspection histories. They can advise on remedial action, including further preparation or coating, as necessary.
Tank Cleaning Surveys
Our Mariners and Chemists have extensive experience of cargo tank cleanliness and suitability in respect of a wide range of different cargoes. Disputes often arise from the cleanliness as well as condition or suitability of the tanks. These can be complex and require the synergy of the combined experience of our mariners and chemists.
Our personnel carry out tank cleanliness inspections and examine the cargo and tank cleaning. They will opine upon the appropriateness and effectiveness of methods used.
Cargo Remaining on Board (ROB) can be a major contributor to oil cargo shortages. Our experienced Tanker Mariners will give opinions based on historical paper claims or can attend to investigate the cause of excessive retention.
They will look into voyage cargo heating records and heating effectiveness. They will look at stripping and, where appropriate, crude oil washing issues. Opinions can be based on historical, paper only claims or may involve attendance and intervention at the discharge operation when various ‘squeeze dry’ techniques will be encouraged.