The Class rating attributed to a dive boat comes from the set of rules adhered to when a vessel is designed, built and surveyed during its operational life. These rules provide owners and insurance companies with a comfort level as to the standard of design and build.
The rules are administered by independent classification societies ( BV, Lloyds Register, ABS, DNV to name a few) that survey the liveaboard during construction. The classification society’s surveyor ensures the approved Class rating is adhered to during construction and hence assures the quality and standard of the finished dive boat. The society charges a fee for their surveyors to provide this service and this is usually borne by the builder.
To maintain the classification rating, there is a further requirement for subsequent surveys during the life of the vessel and the cost of maintaining the liveaboard to survey level should be factored into the purchase and sale decision.
The achievement of a classification provides additional value to the vessel and is usually not something that can be applied to an existing vessel/ship.
Buyers should consider if this classification certification is a requirement for their particular needs. Classification is particularly valuable where an owner wishes to sell in the global market. Other country’s authorities (Flag state) HAVE GREATER ACCEPTANCE OF VESSELS BEING INTRODUCED INTO SERVICE IN THE COUNTRY WHEN THE vessel has classification certification. The reason is that the quality of the design and build have been checked by an organization with world recognised rules and regulations.
We have been developing design/build packages for passenger catamarans high speed ferries with proven options with one of the top designers and have combined them with a builder here in Australia to provide high quality, operationally efficient, competitive new build vessels. Current programs using this package are underway.
Analysis of performance requirement can add profitability when deciding what vessel is required to meet your market and operations.
A variety of useful techniques are employed in military and high end commercial platforms that can be readily adapted for commercial ferry fleets.