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Boat Surveys

Author: Michael Hiller | 10 min Read

Boat surveys are an important aspect of boat purchase and ownership, as they provide a detailed assessment of the condition and value of a vessel. If you are a current owner of a boat it's vital to cover you and your vessel, ensuring it is in good condition and at an industry standard. Whether you are buying a new boat or maintaining an existing one, a boat survey can help identify any potential issues or problems that may need to be addressed.

The Different Types of Marine Surveys

There are several types of boat surveys available, including pre-purchase surveys, insurance surveys, and condition and valuation surveys. A pre-purchase inspection survey is typically conducted before a boat is purchased, and is designed to provide an in-depth evaluation of the vessel's condition and its market value therein. Insurance surveys are typically conducted for the purpose of obtaining or renewing boat insurance, and provide an assessment of the boat's condition and safety. Condition and valuation surveys are conducted for various purposes, including to assess the value of a boat for a loan or to determine the market value of the vessel.

Choosing Between Out of Water and In Water Inspections

The above surveys can either be an out of water or an in water survey. Each type has its own benefits and limitations, and the right choice for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. Out of water surveys involve removing the boat from the water and placing it on dry land. This type of survey allows the marine surveyor to get a more comprehensive view of the boat's hull and other underwater structures, as well as the condition of the propeller and rudder. Out of water surveys are generally more thorough than in water inspections and allow the surveyor to get a better look at the boat's overall condition. However, they can be more expensive and time-consuming, as the boat must be transported to a dry dock or other location for the survey. 

In water surveys, also known as afloat surveys, involve conducting the survey while the boat is still in the water. This type of survey is generally less expensive and faster than an out of water survey, as it does not require the boat to be removed from the water. However, in water surveys can be more limited in scope, as the surveyor may not have access to all parts of the boat's hull and other underwater structures. In addition, in water surveys may not be suitable for boats that are in poor condition or are not seaworthy.

Overall, the choice between an out of water survey and an in water survey will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. If you are looking for a more comprehensive assessment of your boat's condition and value, an out of water survey may be the better choice. However, if you are looking for a more cost-effective and time-efficient option, an in water survey may be a good fit.

Boat survey out of water
Out of water surveys allow the surveyor to get a more comprehensive view and inspection of the boat's hull

Is a Boat Survey Necessary?

The importance of boat surveys cannot be understated. A boat survey can help assess potential problems or issues that may affect the safety and value of a marine vessel, and can provide valuable information that can be used to make informed decisions about your own boat and boat ownership in general. You will find that many boat insurance companies require a survey to be conducted periodically to maintain coverage

If you are considering buying a boat or are in need of a marine survey for any other reason, it is important to choose a qualified marine surveyor. A qualified surveyor will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to accurately assess the condition and value of a boat, and can provide a detailed report that can help you make informed decisions about your vessel.

Marine Surveyors: Experts in Evaluating and Assessing Vessels for Safe Operation

A sea trial is crucial when buying older or newer boats. The process involves a test run of the vessel to determine its performance, handling, and seaworthiness. During the sea trial, the boat is taken out on the water for a set period of time, to test its functionality. This will reveal any mechanical or structural problems, as well as any potential safety issues. 

Overall, boat surveys are an important aspect of boat ownership, and can provide valuable information and protection for boat owners. If you are in need of a boat survey, be sure to choose a qualified and experienced surveyor to ensure that you get the most accurate, complete and comprehensive assessment possible.

Motor Inspection

What is Checked in a Boat Survey?

The specific elements of a boat survey can vary depending on the type of survey and the specific needs of the boat owner, but generally, a boat survey report should include an evaluation of the following:

  • Hull and deck: The surveyor will examine the condition of the hull and deck, including the structure, materials, and any visible damage.
  • Engine and machinery: The surveyor will inspect the boat's engine and machinery, including the condition of the engine, transmission, and propeller.
  • Electrical systems: The surveyor will evaluate the condition and functioning of the boat's electrical systems, including the wiring, battery, and any electronic equipment.
  • Safety equipment: The surveyor will assess the condition and adequacy of the boat's safety equipment, including including lifejackets, fire extinguishers, and any other required safety gear.
  • Accommodations and amenities: The surveyor will examine the condition of the boat's interior and any amenities, such as the galley, head, air conditioning and sleeping quarters.
  • Documentation: The surveyor will review the boat's documentation, including the title, registration, and any maintenance records.

Inspection checklist
It's important all parts of your boat are inspected thoroughly

Thorough Full Inspections Provide Detailed Reports to An Insurance Company

Ensure you mitigate any risk to get the best insurance coverage for your boat. Marine insurers may require a full inspection and report of a boat's condition by a certified marine surveyor before providing coverage for potential damages or losses. One of the main reasons that a boat survey may be required in order to obtain boat insurance is the age of the boat.

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