WHAT IS A MARINE SURVEY?

Marine surveying is the practice of inspecting marine equipment, primarily boats and cargo, to determine safety and market value. A marine surveyor may be called in to assess a damaged vessel for insurance purposes, appraise a vessel that is being sold, or even serve as an expert witness in court.

WHAT I DO

A Marine surveyor is a person who conducts inspections, surveys or examinations of marine vessels to assess, monitor and report on their condition and the products on them, as well as inspects damage caused to both vessels and cargo. Marine surveyors also inspect equipment intended for new or existing vessels to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications. Marine surveys typically include the structure, machinery and equipment and general condition of a vessel and/or cargo. It also includes judging materials on board and their condition. Because certifications and subsequently payments are processed only after the surveyor has expressed his or her satisfaction, a marine surveyor holds a prestigious position and is held with much regard in the shipbuilding industry. Marine Surveyors are highly qualified and technically sound and are usually selected after thorough evaluation procedures as vessels ranging from small ferries to enormous crude oil carriers and cruise liners are approved to sail into the high seas based purely on their judgment, competence and integrity.

OUT OF WATER INSPECTION

Out of water inspections include assessment of the bottom paint condition, above and below waterline through hull fittings, propellers, zinc protection, rudders, keels, and cutless bearings. Using several tools from percussion hammers to moisture meter will also determine if there is any de-lamination occurring of the hull. Identifying blisters on the bottom, electrolysis of any of the metals or damage to any part of the bottom is also addressed.

TYPES OF SURVEYS

Pre Purchase Survey:

  • This is the survey you want when purchasing a boat. The survey goes into great detail about all systems aboard, structure, and attached to the boat. This particular survey is coordinated by the perspective buyer and their broker.

Condition & Valuation (C&V) for Insurance

  • Periodically required by your insurance company to renew your insurance policy or for financial lenders.

Damage Inspection

  • When a boat has suffered any damage large or small, it takes a marine professional to determine the severity and overall damage of the boat.

Appraisals 

  • Estate settlement, taxes, donations and court cases are common requests for appraisals. The process is normally not as intense as a purchase survey and a fair market value is established after inspecting the boat and then using different tools at my disposal such as value guides, proprietary vessel sold databases, standard scales of depreciation, and my professional opinion.

HOW MUCH DOES A SURVEY COST?

Normally the initial cost of the survey is outweighed by the information gained and gathered and the problems that are found or averted.  A lot of mariners save themselves thousands of dollars by investing in a marine survey. Click here for the current Rate Card.

CAN I BE PRESENT AT THE BOAT DURING THE SURVEY?

Absolutely, In fact, I prefer that my clients to be on board so I can explain any potential issues or dangers that might be noticed. A few minutes of conversation and explanation about a situation can make the issue clear. If there is a problem we can discuss the severity of a potential issue.

HOW MUCH TIME DOES A MARINE SURVEY TAKE TO DO?

It just depends on the boat size and condition, it’s usually an all day affair. If the boat is extremely simple and clean, it’ll take less time and of course a boat that is the same size in poor condition, dirty, or full of extraneous stuff, or complicated systems will take longer.  As I am inspecting the boat I will be taking notes, photographing, testing and recording that information to my note pad, laptop or iPad. That way, I can get the report back to you quickly.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WHEN YOU SURVEY MY BOAT?

Basically everything I can access in the boat. What I really look for are any potential dangers, including items that can sink the boat, any potential fire dangers, major mechanical and electrical failures, integrity of the hull and superstructure. We aren’t concerned if the toaster works and any other small items that might turn up in the report.

WHEN DO I GET MY MARINE SURVEY REPORT?

I normally can supply the written report to you within 2-3 days. Next day report delivery is available for boats under 30 feet or so that are inspected early in the day.

STANDARDS I USE AS GUIDELINES

  • The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
  • American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC®) standards and recommended practices
  • Value determinations by BUC® Value, NADA©, Soldboats.com, ABOS, and Power Boat Guide
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA©)
  • Marine Surveyor Accreditation in Progress