Delve into the world of professional ship inspections and discover how our expertise at Artime Consult Marine can help you


Essential Overview of Ship Inspections

Vessel inspections and surveys are essential for evaluating a ship’s condition. They involve a comprehensive examination of the vessel’s structure, machinery, safety equipment, critical systems, certificates, and relevant documentation.

These inspections come in various forms, each serving specific purposes. Regardless of their nature, they are pivotal for assessing the condition of a vessel. Ship inspections play a crucial role for Owners and Ship Managers, guaranteeing that their vessels are safe, seaworthy, and compliant with relevant maritime regulations.

Similarly, regulatory authorities conduct inspections to confirm vessels’ adherence to safety standards.

Prospective buyers request detailed reports on a ship’s condition before purchase. Sometimes, audits or accidents prompt inspections to evaluate the vessel’s hull and machinery.

When Ship Owners, potential buyers, or third parties such as Ship Brokers seek an unbiased evaluation of a vessel’s condition, they often engage professional Ship Inspectors. These experts typically possess extensive maritime experience both at sea and onshore, along with profound technical knowledge of ships and maritime regulations.

At ACM, we offer unparalleled expertise gained from years of experience both at sea and ashore, ensuring the highest quality of service in vessel inspections.


Ship inspections typically follow a three-stage process to ensure thorough evaluation and evidence collection on inspected vessels. At ACM, we take a meticulous approach as we divide the process into planning, onboard assessment, and detailed reporting, each stage crafted to meet the highest standards of marine consultancy.

1 Planning
Ship Inspection Calendar

When conducting a vessel pre-purchase inspection, a ship pre-vetting survey, or a routine ship condition inspection for a Ship Manager or third-party broker, thorough planning is crucial. Often, ships are available at a port for only a limited time, sometimes mere hours. Preparing beforehand by obtaining copies of ship certificates, vessel particulars, and other pertinent documents can save valuable time once the inspector is onboard. Additionally, sharing relevant logistics information such as Ship Agent contact details and loading/discharging terminal information not only aids in proper planning but can also contribute to reduced logistic costs.

As part of proper planning, it’s beneficial to ventilate and open a representative number of ballast tanks in advance, if feasible. This principle also applies to cargo tanks or cargo holds. Having proper information beforehand ensures accurate completion of the inspection.

Sometimes, inspectors can’t fully check cargo holds in bulk carriers as these are full because of postponed discharge operations. In some countries, agents do not provide all the information in a timely manner. Providing contact details of the terminal person in charge to the inspector could prevent such issues.

2 Onboard Assessment

Life buoy on deck

The inspection onboard typically begins with a meeting with the vessel Master and the collection of relevant documents.  Additionally, the inspector takes about a thousand pictures of the ship’s structure, decks, accommodation spaces, machinery, and safety equipment.

Because of on-going operations, the inspector must be flexible and inspect cargo and ballast spaces as they become available. As part of the inspection, critical machinery and safety systems are tested, subject to equipment availability.

A thorough inspection of a medium-sized ship typically requires about 10 hours, with optimal results achieved over approximately 14 hours. At ACM, we include up to a full second day in the normal inspection rate.

It is important to state that, while ship inspections are vital, they cannot uncover all hidden defects on board. This is because very often, serious defects are not accessible for inspection. One area of uncertainty is piping; while pipes may appear well-painted externally, serious corrosion problems may exist internally.

Another uncertainty arises regarding the actual condition of the machinery. Although the onboard inspection includes the review of performance records, extracting vital information from these data is not always straightforward. Often, under a good cosmetic condition, there may be performance issues that only the most knowledgeable inspectors can discern. At ACM, we take pride in our ability to assess and analyze machinery condition effectively, even with limited available data.

3 Reporting

Ship Inspection Reporting

The vessel inspection process concludes with the completion and submission of the inspection report to the client. ACM uses a comprehensive report format, including sections for various ship areas and operational aspects. These sections cover ship particulars, structural design, regulatory documentation, safety equipment, machinery, and an extensive photographic record. Our commitment to personalized service extends beyond the report; clients can reach us by phone for any necessary clarifications.

Depending on available transportation means, the inspector may take a full day to travel back home. This timeframe accounts for potential mobility challenges, especially in countries where logistics may be less straightforward. An additional day or two is then required for report completion.



Pricing of ship inspections can be influenced by factors such as the geographical area where the inspection takes place, logistic concerns, the expertise of the inspector, the size and type of the vessel, and any additional services or requirements.

The specific geography and business practices of a particular country may influence costs. With bases in Spain and Indonesia, ACM offers affordable vessel inspections in West Europe and South East Asia. The inspections are conducted by a qualified inspector experienced with all types of Gas Carriers, Oil Tankers, Bulk-Carriers and more.

The rates for inspections are influenced by the type of vessel. Vessels such as LNG carriers, LPG, and ethylene carriers require specialized knowledge and entail higher costs for intrinsically safe devices. Additionally, ship size affects the level of physical activity required for tank inspections and the time needed to complete surveys.

Contact us today to discuss your inspection requirements and obtain a personalized quote.


There are different approaches to undertaking a ship inspection or a vessel survey. Major marine consultancy and ship inspection companies tend to use a network of freelance inspectors worldwide, ensuring availability in virtually any corner of the globe. Others, like ACM, prioritize personalized service by utilizing their own resources. This approach ensures a better direct contact with clients and minimizes costs while maintaining quality and consistency throughout the inspection process.

Below are some of the most common types of ship inspections ACM can carry out on your behalf:

Pre-purchase Inspection

This type of inspection is conducted before the purchase of a vessel to assess its condition, seaworthiness, and regulatory compliance. It aims to provide the buyer with a comprehensive understanding of the vessel’s overall condition and any potential risks.

Pre-vetting Inspection

Pre-vetting inspections play a critical role in ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices. They are normally conducted to prepare a vessel for vetting assessments required by oil majors. The focus is on ensuring that the vessel meets the specific requirements and standards outlined by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) in accordance with the Ship Inspection Report (SIRE) programme.

Pre-RightShip Inspection

Pre-RightShip inspections are conducted in preparation for the official inspection carried out by RightShip, a leading maritime risk management organization. This preliminary evaluation ensures that the vessel meets the stringent RightShip standards, enhancing its marketability and eligibility for chartering opportunities.

Routine Ship Condition Inspection

Routine ship condition inspections are periodic assessments carried out to monitor and maintain the condition of a vessel over time. These inspections help identify any deterioration, defects, or maintenance needs to ensure the vessel remains in a safe and seaworthy condition.

P&I Vessel Survey for insurance purposes

P&I vessel surveys assess the condition of a ship and her equipment for insurance purposes involving a P&I Club. These surveys often follow accidents or adverse events to assess the extent of damage on board and determine the cause.

Bunker Survey

Although not strictly an inspection with a vesselwide scope, bunker surveys are essential for verifying the quantity and quality of fuel oil loaded onto a vessel. These surveys help ensure compliance with contractual agreements and prevent disputes between parties involved in bunkering operations.

Cargo Survey

Cargo Surveys assess the condition, quantity, and quality of cargo loaded onto or discharged from a vessel. These surveys enable verification of compliance with contractual agreements and inspection of cargo condition.


In conclusion, ship inspections serve as indispensable tools for ensuring vessel safety, seaworthiness, and regulatory compliance. Whether it’s a pre-purchase inspection, a routine condition assessment, or specialized surveys like pre-vetting or pre-RightShip inspections, each type plays a crucial role in the maritime industry. These assessments not only provide valuable insights into a vessel’s condition but also help mitigate risks, prevent accidents, and maintain operational efficiency.

At ACM, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive and meticulous inspection services, backed by years of maritime experience and technical expertise. Our three-stage inspection process, from meticulous planning to thorough onboard assessment and detailed reporting, ensures that clients receive accurate and actionable insights to make informed decisions about their vessels.

Furthermore, our commitment to personalized service and competitive pricing ensures that clients receive high-quality inspections tailored to their specific needs and budget. Whether it’s in West Europe, South East Asia, or beyond, ACM stands ready to deliver reliable and professional ship inspection services to clients worldwide.

In a dynamic and ever-evolving maritime landscape, the importance of ship inspections cannot be overstated.

By partnering with a trusted inspection provider like ACM, our customers receive comprehensive assessments of a ship’s condition. ACM’s expertise in evaluating ship structure, machinery, safety aspects, and critical systems ensures accurate reporting. This information is invaluable for ship managers, owners, prospective buyers, charterers, and others involved in vessel operations.

Discover the ACM Advantage

Caliper and ball bearings on drawing

Expertise Beyond the Ordinary

With a solid marine engineering background, ACM offers expertise that goes beyond typical inspection services.

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Thorough Inspections, Exceptional Value

Enjoy thorough inspections with the added benefit of a second inspection day, provided at no extra cost when needed.

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Direct Engagement, Personalized Service

By working directly with our inspector, you not only receive personalized service but also enjoy significant cost savings.

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Holistic Solutions for Every Challenge

Beyond inspections, we offer comprehensive solutions tailored to your needs, including further investigation and problem-solving expertise.

Unlock the ACM Advantage today and experience excellence in ship inspections while maximizing your savings.

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