Friday, 13 April 2012


Essential Reading for Sailors (2)

Reeds Handbook Marine Surveying 2ed

Thomas Ask


Books on marine subjects coming from Reeds publishing house have a reputation for being clear and authoritative and this second edition is no exception. It is an expanded and updated edition aimed at students of marine surveying, professional surveyors, boatyard operators and technically minded boat owners.

Expensive - but could save money
As you would expect, it covers the latest surveying technology and includes an analysis of the mechanical behavior of materials, stress concentration, failure analysis, fatigue and fracture. More practically for the boatowner it also has new sections on hull and deck loads, non destructive testing, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, engine installations, cooling and exhaust systems, fuel and electrical systems, noise and vibration.

Without specialist equipment, it would be very difficult for the average amateur to carry out a full boat survey but given the cost of commissioning a professional buyer’s survey, the section of the book which provides a survey checklist with techniques and hints for conducting a survey is particularly useful for anyone considering buying a small boat.

Basically, I read the book so that I could do my own ‘pre-survey surveys’ on a number of craft to get an idea of whether any of them are worth pursuing. Let’s face it, a surveyor will charge you even if the boat is a wreck. You don’t need to commission many surveys before you are seriously out of pocket, so you  have to be pretty sure the boat is what you want and in a reasonable state before you part with your limited cash.

The advice contained here, would give you a fighting chance of getting it right before you call in the professionals.

Mmm - don't need a surveyor for this one
All in all, this is a very sound practical text book which could earn its keep on your bookshelf simply by arming you with enough knowledge to spot obvious faults in any boat you were thinking of buying. As a paperback with a recommended retail price of £30.00 it is very expensive – so try Amazon (scroll down to the link) and see if you can pick up a second hand copy.

Thomas Ask, the author is an associate professor in the school of construction and design at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Title                 Reeds Marine Surveying (2nd Edition 2007)
Author             Thomas Ask
Publisher          Adlard Coles Nautical London -38 Soho Square London W1D 3HB

                                    www.adlardcoles.com

ISBN:                           10: 0-7136-7714-7

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