Effective 'hull condition assessment' relies not only on regular, intensive ultrasonic inspection but also on proper analysis of the collected data. Practical appraisal can only be achieved by computerization--a task hindered by the lack of standards. Historically, engineering terms, gauging patterns, equipment standards, definitions, and nomenclature have varied from one classification, society, shipowner, shipbuilder, and NDT Company to another. The International Association of Classification Socieities should be formalizing standards; they appear to be causing more fragmentation. Surtest Marine and Cygnus Instruments are forming systems that they feel must meet the necessary criteria for all parties in today's technologically and financialy demanding shipping industry.