In draft survey, cargo quantity are computed based on the change of ship's draft prior to and after the loading or discharging by using the scales or tables which equipped on board the vessel or barge.
In principle, draft surveys require only a measurement of the water displaced by the vessel before and after the cargo is transferred, along with a measurement of the water’s density. Water displacement is measured through draft marks on the ship and converted to a volume using draft tables. The weight of displaced water is calculated by multiplying its volume (displacement) by its density. The difference between the weights of water displaced before and after the cargo transfer will equal the weight of the fertilizer within measurement accuracy limits.
In practice, draft surveys are complicated procedures that require a highly qualified draft surveyor. Overall accuracy will depend on the surveyor’s skill in dealing with:
- Reading the draft is the first step
- The varying density of sea or river water
- Changes in quantity of ballast between initial and final draft readings
- Changes in consumables on the vessel between initial and final draft readings (fuel oil, potable water, etc.)
- Allowance for trim, list and deformation corrections ( uses data from the vessel’s draft tables)
- Accuracy of the ship’s draft tables
- Ship light weight
- Store and constant
- Condition of the vessel’s draft markings
- Weather and sea conditions at the time of reading (pitch and swell)
- Weight of the cargo loaded when compared to the total capacity of the vessel
- Weather and day-light
- Accurate calculation must be done,
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