Marine Surveying. How It Works

Surveying a boat

A surveyor will help the client understand the condition of the vessel enabling him to decide whether it is the right purchase for him. This will depend on many factors including whether he is looking for a ‘project’ or something in a suitable condition in which to take his family sailing immediately. The surveyor may find issues that the seller is unaware of.
boat suspended in the air for examination
The surveyor will provide a detailed report of the condition of the vessel, but this will generally not include things like the soft furnishings or cosmetic items that do not affect the structural integrity of the boat.
The surveyor may identify faults that the boat owner will not be aware of, possibly using specialist equipment. Knowledge of faults and deterioration can assist the purchaser regarding rectification of defects or appropriate allowances.
The full condition report will give brief details identifying the craft – name, type of construction, year of build, registration number if applicable – and will outline the extent and limitations of the inspection. This is followed by a full description of the inspection carried out and any defects found, together with graded recommendations identifying when action is needed – this may, for instance, be immediately for safety reasons, at winterisation, or cosmetic.
To insure and/or secure finance on a boat you have purchased you should be able to use the pre-purchase survey. If you decide not to have a pre-purchase survey you may still need an insurance survey, so it is generally worth having a survey done to cover all eventualities.
Mark Wiater
Principle Surveyor