Many ship-owners offer their vessels for hire. When hiring a vessel the charterers have the responsibility for returning the vessel to the owner in much the same condition as she was in at the beginning of the charter. To verify this it is usual for the parties to retain the services of a surveyor at the beginning / completion of the charter to record the condition of the cargo gear, the holds and ship’s structure near the cargo working areas.
Documentation (on/off hire status report) is issued, including photos of any vessel damage. This in order to document vessels condition so there can be no misunderstandings or disputes at a later stage.