BMT Marine & Offshore Surveys Launches Unique Guide to Ships’ Hulls and Machinery (UK)


A unique guide to the technical aspects of marine hull and machinery insurance – a market handling many millions of dollars’ worth of claims each year – has been compiled by leading marine consultancy and survey company, BMT Marine & Offshore Surveys Ltd, a member of BMT Group Ltd.

Indications have already emerged that the company’s new Hull & Machinery Guide will become a standard reference publication, in the light of the welcome it has received from leading figures in the London underwriting market and beyond.

Simon Stonehouse (Brit Insurance), one of the leading hull underwriters at Lloyd’s, says: “This is an essential reference guide for the marine insurance industry and a most welcome initiative. It has been many years since something of this calibre has been published and, as it’s available electronically, underwriters and claims teams can refer to it whenever and wherever – a great step forward.”

The publication is seen by BMT Marine & Offshore Surveys Ltd as just a part of its professional interaction with ship operators, hull insurers, P&I providers, brokers and other specialists. It is set to be of value to experienced practitioners and newcomers alike, and all in between.

Marine survey reports frequently contain engineering terminology which can be unfamiliar to the non-engineers in the wider spectrum of the shipping industry,” said the lead author, Dinos Levantis, who was recently in London to personally introduce the guide to underwriters. “In an attempt to bridge this gap we have produced this guide, which covers some of the common terminology often encountered in survey reports for ships, their engines and their operations.” Piraeus-based Mr Levantis is business director for the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe region of the company. He is a highly accomplished naval architect, surveyor and marine engineer, with substantial experience in casualty investigations.

Rather than seek to compile what would be an unwieldy dictionary of the entire terminology, Mr Levantis and his colleagues in Piraeus and other offices of BMT Marine & Offshore Surveys Ltd have produced a small, easy-to-use handbook with clear illustrations of ship components which figure often in insurance claims. The book is divided into three parts: general, hull, machinery. A blank page has been left next to each easily understood illustration for users to write additional notes and queries they may have which the company’s technical staff can advise on.

The team has drawn on material from 24 authoritative sources to produce more than 70 pages of diagrams and explanations of terms relating to the key functions of ships – including those such as rocker arm, pushrod, scavenger air inlet, sterntube aft bearing, crosshead bearings – which might puzzle many novices or outsiders.

Users of the guide will gain greater insight into questions of propulsion, steering gear, engines, and boilers. The importance of factors such as ocean wave geometry is underlined: “In a seaway, the vessel’s structure will be continuously subjected to deformation in all directions,” says the guide.

The generated stresses will alternate and the material forming the structure will therefore be subjected to fatigue. A well-designed structure having a well-conceived geometry and being of suitable material is expected to withstand the fatigue stresses for a substantial period of time.”

This is the first version of the booklet and Mr Levantis welcomes suggestions from users which will enhance future editions.

BMT Marine & Offshore Surveys Ltd incorporates the renowned casualty expertise of The Salvage Association and BMT Murray Fenton. A multi-discipline marine consultancy with an international network of offices, its work includes surveys of incidents affecting every type of vessel from yachts to ultra large crude carriers and the most complex liquefied natural gas and chemical carriers.

The company has for several years been building on its professional relationships with insurance specialists through its shipyard familiarisation courses, what it terms its “assault courses”, organised for small groups of underwriters and brokers, and based around visits to shipyards and other facilities in Greece and the UK.

Managing director Nigel Clark said: “The hands-on familiarisation visits we have arranged so far have proved so successful and well received that we are planning to run additional courses this year and to extend them to more of our overseas offices. As well as being an extremely informative document for everyday use, the new guide will also be an excellent reference tool for those attending the courses.

Meanwhile, we congratulate Dinos and his colleagues for producing such a useful guide to the workings of ship and machinery for those at the sharp end in receiving and dealing with claims – the commercial and P&I underwriters and claims adjusters.”

Source: bmt ,March 10, 2011;


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