How do I choose a marine surveyor?
Surveyors should provide you with a professionally prepared report that can be accepted by your bank and/or insurance company. Talk with prospective surveyors and ask questions! What does the survey include and what type of reporting format is used? Do they use ABYC, NFPA and USCG standards in their surveys? How much will the inspection cost? How long will the on-board inspection take?
A thorough inspection will not be rushed and will depend on the type of survey required based on vessel size, equipment and on-board systems. There may be additional services available such as engine surveys, oil analysis, galvanic and stray current corrosion testing, ultrasonic testing, moisture testing and other non-destructive tests. There may be additional charges for these and other services.
Well conducted surveys can provide good information on the vessels' condition, but they are not guarantees. The surveyor reports the condition in accessible areas only as it exists at the time of inspection.
What Type of Survey Do I Need?
Marine Surveys are performed for a number of reasons,
and the procedures for each vary to best suit your needs:
This is the most comprehensive type of inspection completed when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel will be examined. This includes structural integrity, electrical systems, propulsion system, fuel system, other machinery, navigation equipment, cosmetic appearance, electronics, overall maintenance, an out-of-water inspection and a sea trail.
Performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in structural integrity and safety for its intended use. Most insurance companies require a survey on older boats. They will also want to know the vessel's fair market value.
Performed to gather enough information to justify or determine the fair market value of the vessel. This is normally needed for financing, estate settlements, donations and legal cases.
Assesses the extent of damage, recommend repairs, estimate repair cost, and if requested, possible cause.
How Should I Prepare for a Marine Survey?
Arrange to present a clean, shipshape boat, and have all papers and miscellaneous gear ready. If applicable, you will need to make arrangements with the marina to haul the vessel for bottom inspection, and retain a captain for sea trials.
The surveyor may request minor dismantling of interior ceilings, headliners, flooring, etc. in order to gain access to the suspected areas. Any dismantling and re-installation of parts should be performed by qualified personnel and is the responsibility of the client ordering the survey.
Who does the surveyor work for?
Once you retain the surveyor, he or she works only for you and reports to no one else. The surveyor is there to protect your interests!