When chartering a workboat, like any other charter agreement negotiations, there are certain uncertainties one needs to pay special interest in. Most charter companies for workboats give you insight, such as HMS broker, but there is still need to do more digging.
Below is a list of pointers you need to give consideration to:
Know your needs
Always ensure you charter the workboat you need, not the one you want. If you are planning on transporting perishables, you need a vessel which has good refrigeration. Most Charterers will convince you that they are giving you the boat that meets your requirement, but you need to do a personal survey and ensure the boat is what you need.
In any form of transport, insurance is a key consideration. Persons intending to charter a workboat need to ensure that not only is the vessel insured, but also the goods aboard and the crew. Always check with your charter company to know whether they have a valid insurance cover for the vessel, to avoid double insurance.
To ensure safe operations, a workboat vessel requires constant checks and maintenance. The hirer should ensure they have a good understanding of the vessel, and know what to do when there is a problem. This is ensured by having a crew who understand the vessel. When maintenance is done promptly, it saves the hirer repair costs, which can get huge.
Know your budget strength
Knowing the amount of money you are ready to spend gives you a head start in chartering a workboat since you approach the charter company and ask them for the specific budget vessel. When chartering the vessel, choose a vessel and give a budget allowance for such needs as insurance, crew wages and maintenance costs.
Select the right crew
Crew selection is also a sensitive part of chartering workboats. This point should not be guided solely by the budget constraints, but more by the knowledge of what more the crew can do for you. If for example, you wish to transport refrigerated beef, you should get some crew members who have experience in transporting refrigerated goods, and running vessels with refrigeration services.
Such suppliers as HMS Brokers will give you two options, a vessel with crew and a vessel without the crew. Bearing in mind the budget constraint, picking the crewed vessel is the better idea since it removes some level of liability from you.
Compliance with the rule of law
Safety rules for crew and goods in transit should be the charterer’s responsibility, regardless of the assurances given by the chartering company. The charterer should ensure that all compliance certificates, such as fire compliance are in order, and that all mitigation steps such as ensuring the vessel has enough fire extinguishers are strictly in order. This should be ensured before signing the agreement.
Knowledge of hiring workboats is not always easy to get, and so the process looks complicated on paper, but on adhering to the above pointers, the whole experience gets smooth.