The importance of surveyors within the yachting industry

"When purchasing a multi-million euro villa, one of the first things you'd do is hire a technical surveyor/auditor to check the foundation, to ensure the very bones of the house are in order before signing the contract, no? In yachting, it's the same," says Andrea Carlevaris, founder and CEO of ACP SURVEYORS, when asked to explain what his company does. "But unlike in real estate, most of the time, the future owner of a superyacht does not know who the pre-purchase surveyor is - even though our check is key to securing and signing the deal." One of the industry leaders in pre-purchase surveying, new-build supervision and yacht refits, Carlevaris is well-aware that his area of expertise may not always receive the recognition it warrants. Still, it remains a vital part of the industry. "We are a needed aspect."Andrea Carlevaris, Founder and CEO of ACP SurveyorsIn 2002 as a build engineer, Carlevaris realised the importance of working with skilled and trained surveyors. In 2005 ACP was founded and started with the project management and build supervision of a 60m new construction. Since then, Carlevaris has focused on cultivating the best possible team to offer the highest level of service. "We currently have a team of 15 people in-house, each with their own skill set, expertise and qualifications." It is one of the few surveying companies with such a diversified in-house team. Driven by Carlevaris' passion for delivering the best experience and quality service possible, ACP SURVEYORS has expanded rapidly over the last 17 years. However, it has managed to grow without compromising on the quality of its team, their level of education/qualifications and the level of service offered. Working on new-builds as large as 79-metres and pre-owned yachts and refits has given him and the team invaluable insights and knowledge. ACP Surveyors yacht insuranceWhile the client's interface on a Project is just one person, behind him/her there is an entire team of specialists who support as and when needed to deliver the service. To assure expertise in all areas relating to surveying, his team is trained in various specialisations, including thermography, ultrasound, electrical power plants and paint inspection to name some. "One team member is attending a corrosion course this month to become a Frosio qualified inspector," says Carlevaris. All team members are provided with the latest state-of-the-art technology and tools to perform their inspections." Just to make an example, it can cost between 30,000 and 40,000 euros, and more for paint surveying tools, which we gladly invested in."ACP Surveyors paint check with Andrea CarlevarisAs each team member holds their own area of expertise, it makes sense for Carlevaris to send out two surveyors or more for certain jobs, depending on the size of the yacht in case of a pre-purchase. "When you are looking to purchase a yacht and are making such an important investment, doesn't it make sense to have the appropriate team of experts on hand to know everything you need to know beforehand?"

Recognising that surveyors are part of the service industry, Carlevaris instils premium customer service and relationship management skills in his team. "We aim to give our clients a premium experience each time. To us, it's not just about gauging the performance of the yacht but how we perform the checks and we present and convey that information to the client, so he can make a well-informed decision." At the same time, Carlevaris also acknowledges the need to protect and keep the owners' interests close at heart.Zazou yacht launch at Benetti LivornoOur inspections and reports are extremely detailed. However, we are aware that too much information kills the information. Therefore we present it in clearly organised executive summaries, which put the client or his family office who might not be familiar with the subject, in the position to understand the content and make informed decisions.

Further leveraging his prior experience working at sea, Carlevaris ensures that, especially during new builds, the crew and captain find the perfect environment to work in. "We value the feedback from the field. For this reason, we maintain solid relationships with highly qualified crew, captains, engineers, chief stewardesses, especially those who stay in their position for long. Their experience contributes to streamlining a surveyor's work during a refit or new build project.”Turquoise 74m Valicelli yacht in build in PendikPhoto: Turquoise YachtsSupporting brokers and lawyers in delivering their services is also a key part of a surveyor's role. This is why Carlevaris places emphasis on clear communication and working transparently without compromising on ethics and confidentiality. As one of the few surveyors in the industry to have a strong second generation of skilled, motivated and specialised surveyors, Carlevaris is keen to impart his knowledge to the next generation.

"I would like to think that the hard work I put in ACP will contribute to improving - to some extent - the way yachts are built, refitted and surveyed in the future.”

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