EXPERT ADVICE

Jim Pritchard is a valuable source of expert advice, having Royal Charter status professional qualifications, high academic qualifications, and a wealth of hands-on and managerial experience in the leisure marine industry. He regularly provides expert advice in the following fields.

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EXPERT WITNESS | INSURANCE CLAIMS | QUALITY & AFTER SALES |
VALUATIONS | RECREATIONAL CRAFT DIRECTIVE

EXPERT WITNESS

 
Jim Pritchard has frequently acted as an expert witness in civil, and on occasions, in criminal legal proceedings. By providing detailed and reliable advice in such actions, Jim Pritchard has most often helped to achieve satisfactory settlement before reaching Court.
The depth and extent of Jim Pritchard’s experience in the marine industry, his professional qualifications and the detail in his inspection reports, enable his findings to be accepted as authoritative and reliable.

INSURANCE CLAIMS

 
If substantial damage is sustained during a yachting incident, then the Owner is well advised to engage a surveyor to represent his interests. In such cases Jim Pritchard examines and documents the damage and advises and oversees repairs. Although Insurance Underwriters may also appoint a surveyor, he will be representing the interests of underwriters, which will not necessarily result in the same outcome as the interests of the Owner would require.
Advice may also be provided if there is a dispute with underwriters. This may be concerning liability under the terms of the policy, areas of alleged betterment, scope and extent of the repairs, conduct of the repairs and cash settlement.
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QUALITY &
AFTER SALES

 
Upon taking delivery of a new yacht, even from the best of manufacturers, defects can soon become evident. Those manufacturers that have an excellent after sales service will soon sort out any problems with minimum of fuss. Unfortunately this does not always happen, especially if the Supplier is under pressure either from work overload or shortage of funds. Such problems can usually be avoided by appointing a surveyor to carry out an inspection and trials before handover, and to authoritatively negotiate with the Supplier for immediate improvements where required.
Such an inspection would not only highlight defects and malfunctions, it would also report on the quality and reliability of the installations, and whether there is evidence that defects may develop in the foreseeable future.
If the Purchaser is buying a high value yacht, then he would also be well advised to engage Jim Pritchard to monitor and report at various stages of the construction and fit out from the inception of the yacht. By this means quality in all respects may be assured throughout the building process, additional costs controlled, and later problems minimised and avoided.
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VALUATIONS

 
Valuations may be carried out for a number of purposes and Jim Pritchard frequently carries out valuations for insurance cover, marine mortgage lending, yacht purchase and sale, and estate and divorce settlement. Valuations are made with the benefit of experience in the leisure marine industry, and access to the soldboats.com database. General condition, age, quality of build, inventory of installed equipment, purchase price for recently built boats, demand within the marketplace, and other factors are all taken into account.
Insurance valuations should reflect the replacement cost of the vessel in the event of a total loss, and this is often higher than the median selling price of similar vessels, when the yacht in question has been extremely well maintained and equipped.
Valuations for a marine mortgage should reflect the selling value of the vessel under current market conditions and are intended as information for the lender when assessing their security.
When assessing the value of a yacht which is offered for sale, the task can become quite challenging. The market can vary quite significantly from year to year and factors such as availability of similar yachts for sale, rarity, presentation and condition will all influence the valuation.    
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RECREATIONAL CRAFT DIRECTIVE



All leisure marine craft of up the 24 metres load line length built or imported since the 16th June 1998, that are sold in the European Community, must carry a certificate of conformity with the Recreational Craft Directive. Such certificates are issued by the boat manufacturer under the authorisation of a Notified Body. If a home built boat is offered for sale within 5 years of its completion, it must also carry such a certificate. The certificate can be obtained under an RCD assessment process referred to as Post Construction Assessment.
A boat that has been imported from outside the European Community, even if it was built before 1998, must also carry an RCD certificate if it is to be offered for sale. The certificate can also be obtained under the RCD Post Construction Assessment. This can lead to significant problems, particularly for older boats, as they may not comply with the current engine exhaust emission standards with which they are required to comply. This can lead to the owner having no choice but to fit a new engine or engines!
The Post Construction Assessment requires the RCD Consultant (or Owner) to draw up a Technical File that explains in detail how the vessel conforms in all respects with the requirements of the RCD. He must also draw up an Owner’s Manual, (unless one already exists) that complies with RCD requirements. The Notified Body will inspect the boat in relation to the Technical File and Owner’s Manual. They will also carry out a sound emission test.

The RCD is intended to ensure that all leisure marine craft in use within the European Community are safe to use within their limits of operation. They must also comply with current exhaust, pollutant and noise emission standards. The RCD falls within European Law, and failure to comply with this bureaucratic imposition can lead to a substantial fine or imprisonment!

In practice the Notified Bodies frequently have insufficient capacity to efficiently process applications from private owners. So a great deal of time, as well as a comparatively large sum of money for fees, should be allowed for by an owner who does not hold an RCD certificate before offering his boat for sale.

Jim Pritchard offers consultancy services with regard to the RCD.

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survey@jimpritchard.co.uk    (+44) 07767385109
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