When it comes to chartering a vessel, conducting on/off hire surveys is crucial to ensure a smooth and fair process for both parties involved. These surveys are conducted at the beginning and end of a charter to identify any damages or discrepancies before the vessel is chartered or returned.
The On/Off Hire Condition Survey is conducted at the commencement / completion of chartering to identify any damages prior to the vessel being chartered or returned. The inspection includes visual inspection of the ship’s cargo holds, hatch coamings and covers, adjacent weather decks and equipment. The vessels’ Statutory Certificates are reviewed for validity as well. These certificates are essential for ensuring compliance with international regulations and standards. If any certificates are found to be expired or invalid, it can lead to delays or even legal issues. A report specifying the observed damages is produced along with numerous photographs of the damage.
The On/Off Hire Bunker Survey involves calculating the quantities of fuel and diesel oil on board at the time of on/off hire. The ship’s bunker, settling and service tanks are sounded in company with the chief engineer. Using hydrostatic tables provided by the ship, after making corrections for temperature, trim and list, using the daily consumption rates, the quantities of fuel oil and diesel oil are determined to be remaining on board at the time of on/off hire (at delivery/redelivery time).
These surveys are essential for both parties involved in the chartering agreement. For the charterer, it ensures that they are not held responsible for any existing damages. It also provides them with an accurate understanding of the vessel’s fuel reserves, which can impact their decision-making during the charter period. For the owner, these surveys serve as a means to document the condition of their vessel and protect their interests in case of any disputes or claims.