Marine Classification Society Surveying

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Published Date

April 2009

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Marine Classification Society Surveying

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This book is a guide to the work conducted by marine Classification Societies, their purpose, regulations and the types of surveys carried out. It concentrates particularly on Class Society rules and regulations for the building and continued operations of merchant ships, yachts, offshore platforms and special service crafts (including military vessels).

This publication is a comprehensive introduction to marine Classification Societies. It first covers the history of Class Societies and their current role in the maritime industry, looking at key definitions and examples of terminology, and outlining the important differences between the role of classification societies and statutory authorities. The majority of the book is then devoted to rules and regulations for the building and continued operations of merchant ships, yachts, offshore platforms and special service crafts (including military vessels).




1. History of Ship Classification Societies
2. International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) 
3. General rules and definitions
4. The role of a Society
5. Ship Registries
6. Classification related activities
7. Interaction with other organisations
8. Class surveys
9. Hull construction and equipment
10. Machinery installations
11. Electrical installations
12. Materials
13. Vessel equipment
14. Fire protection, detection and extinction
15. Intact Stability
16. Load lines
17. Assignment of Freeboard
18. Statutory Certification
19. Quality system certification
20. The International Safety Management Code
21. Technical services
22. Emergency technical assistance services
23. Other business areas
24. Classification Society Publications
25. Conclusion



This book provides an insight into the work conducted by Marine Classification Societies, their purpose, regulation and the types of surveys carried out.


There are many Class Societies operating throughout the world and they all have common standards. Discussion of their operation, interpretation and professionalism are not part of this book, neither are the economic and financial influences involved in choosing one society in preference to another.


The majority of the information in this book concerns the Class Societies’ rules and regulations for the building and continued operation of merchant ships, yachts, offshore platforms and special service craft (including military vessels), and their work carried out in marine related industries.


References are provided at the end of the book to help the reader with any background information for further reading and research.


To quote from Lloyd’s Register’s Rules as an explanatory note:


“Ship classification may be regarded as the development and worldwide implementation of published Rules and Regulations which, in conjunction with proper care and conduct on the part of the Owner and operator, will provide for:


1. The structural strength of (and where necessary the watertight integrity of) all essential parts of the hull and its appendages;


2. the safety and reliability of the propulsion and steering; and

3. the effectiveness of those other features and auxiliary systems which have been built into the ship in order to establish and maintain basic conditions onboard whereby appropriate cargoes and personnel can be safely carried whilst the ship is at sea, at anchor, or moored in harbour.....”

Peter Broad (CEng, MIMarEST, Fellow of the MIIMS) is a Chief Engineer experienced in ship operations, superintendency, ship repair, marine insurance claims and litigation, ship new building project management and classification society surveying. He is also a technical training provider and the author of several technical publications.
Title: Marine Classification Society Surveying
Number of Volumes: 1
Number of Pages: 124
Product Code: WS1015K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-314-9 (9781856093149), ISBN 10: 1-85609-314-X (185609314X)
Published Date: April 2009
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 240 mm
Book Width: 180 mm
Book Spine: 70 mm
Weight: 0.60 kg
Author: Peter Broad (CEng, MIMarEST, Fellow of the MIIMS)

Customer Reviews

Marine Classification society surveying Review by Frank
This is a good book, its a nicely laid out modern format like the other witherby seamanship books.

However, as an engineer officer I found the chapter on machinery survey which was 3 pages taking into account pictures and part pages was disappointing. It is merely a list of the machinery in the engine room and had no specific details or depth as to what was to be surveyed on that item. The one item covered in detail is the ships propeller.

The electrical instillation chapter was much better.

As an engineering officer, if you are considering to purchase this book it does have good general information about surveying and the overall picture. However if you are considering it based on machinery survey this book essentially skips it.

The other parts of the book are excellent. (Posted on 26/09/2019)
Marine Classification Society Surveying Review by Review, Lloyds List 23rd November 2009.
The Class Act

I am old enough to remember when a classification society surveyor was treated like visiting royalty. Frantic preparation and tremendous deference gave way to frightful consequences if the great man discovered anything slightly amiss. Nowadays, not enough people actually understand what class does and everyone suffers from this ignorance. Marine Classification Society Surveying is a small book written by surveyor Peter Broad which does a good job in demystifying the work of class and the functions of the surveyors.

Mr Broad describes the work of the class surveyor, in newbuilding, plan approval and the surveyor’s various roles in the aftermath of damage, or periodic surveys. He explains the difference between class and statutory requirements and the confusion that sometimes arises when the class surveyor undertakes work delegated by the flag state.

He emphasises the importance of experience and judgement in making a personal assessment on behalf of class as to whether something is right or wrong, or whether a repair can be postponed, or must be undertaken urgently. In short, Mr Broad tells us exactly what a surveyor does.

The job of the class surveyor gets more complex and more involved as the reach of classification extends, and worldwide sourcing of components and equipment means that approvals of what goes into a ship become increasingly difficult.

At the same time, the consequences of a wrong judgement call get ever more horrendous. This little book will help anyone afloat or ashore in understanding the workings of class. Marine Classification Society Surveying is written by Peter Broad ISBN 978 1 865093 14 9 and published by Witherby Seamanship International,'
(Posted on 01/05/2009)

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