Posted April 24, 2020

Your guide to a 5 year class survey

Periodic classification and flagstate surveys throughout the Western Med and beyond.

Each winter the SYM Superyacht Management team take a very active role in ensuring compliance, with periodic classification and flagstate surveys throughout the Western Med and beyond.

In addition to our managed fleet, we are often contracted by shipyards, dealers and owners of non-managed yachts, to assist with this often mis-understood, yet critical, part of yacht ownership.

Did you know that failure to maintain class can be considered a breach under most Insurance policies? Typically, this obligation is listed deep within the insurance company’s terms and conditions, and often, only comes to light too late, during a claims process.

In the list below are examples of some of the works we regularly see required by the classification and flagstate surveyors during the 5 year survey process. It should be noted that this non-exhaustive list is for guidance and example purposes only, and actual legal and insurance requirements will vary dependant on the vessel’s condition and applicable class/flag rules.

Dry Dock

  • Shafts and propellers removed, inspected and measured for thickness. NDT testing of shafts and propeller cones
  • Deep-sea seals inspected
  • Rudders removed and NDT tested
  • Steering gear inspected and tested
  • Sea chests opened and sea valves removed, opened, cleaned and inspected
  • Bilge and fire pumps opened, cleaned and inspected
  • Hull inspections throughout
  • Black, grey and fresh water tanks opened, cleaned and inspected
  • Electrical installation resistance tested (Megger test)


  • Main engines, generators and gearboxes serviced in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations
  • Boroscope inspections of main machinery
  • Engine room alarms tested
  • Ship’s alarm and monitoring systems and fire panel tested
  • General alarm tested
  • Engine room fire dampers, emergency stops and quick closing valves tested
  • Emergency steering system and emergency communication system tested
  • Testing of all garage safety equipment: gas detector, dampers and sprinkler
  • Blackout test carried out and dead ship conditions and equipment tested
  • Emergency lighting inspected and tested
  • Testing of all main systems: fire, bilge, main engines, diesel generators etc. Inspection of watertight doors and closings
  • Testing and inspection of all lifting equipment
  • Sea trial

In addition all lifesaving apparatus and firefighting equipment (LSA/FFE) is always thoroughly checked :

  • Escape routes, manual call points and fire plan inspected
  • Petrol stowage, ventilation arrangements and equipment inspected
  • Fire detection and alarm system tested
  • Fire detectors inspected and tested
  • Fire insulation integrity inspected
  • Fixed fire fighting system inspected, propellant tanks weighed and tested, portable fire extinguishers inspected and tested
  • Other firefighting equipment inspected and tested
  • Fireman’s outfits and breathing apparatus inspected and tested
  • Emergency controls to fire dampers and ventilation system inspected and tested quick pump-stop controls inspected and tested
  • Liferafts and HRUs inspected and tested
  • Lifejackets and immersions suits inspected and tested
  • Lifebuoys inspected and tested
  • Pyrotechnics inspected
  • Rescue boat inspected and tested
  • Rescue boat launching device inspected and tested
  • Life saving symbols, posters, signage and operating instructions inspected. Instructions for onboard maintenance of LSA and FFE inspected
  • Man overboard (MOB) equipment inspected and tested
  • Pilot boarding arrangements inspected and tested. Safety plan inspected

Added to the above are thorough inspections of the vessels GMDSS and navigational equipment and for commercial vessels the relevant parts of MLC and crew qualifications. 

For more information on this service and how we might be able to help you please contact [email protected] for more details.

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