What Type of Marine Survey Do I Need?
Marine Surveyors perform boat surveys for a number of reasons, and the procedures for each vary to best suit your needs:
This is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel should be examined. This covers structural integrity, electrical systems, the propulsion system, the fuel system, other machinery, navigation equipment, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, electronics, and overall maintenance as well as an out-of-water inspection and a sea trial.
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. In addition I inspect for laminate condition using several different methods such as acoustical tapping on the hull with a light-weight hammer to moisture meter reads and if necessary I will use a thermal-imaging camera. The tools I use range from basic hand tools and flashlights to higher tech devices.
Insurance Marine Survey
This inspection is 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.
Boat Appraisal and Inspection
This inspection is 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.
There are a variety of circumstances under which it’s advantageous to carry out sea trials. Perhaps the most common, and the one with the most to lose if it’s not carried out properly, involves pre-purchase surveys and inspections. In other cases, sea trials should be carried out to diagnose a problem such as an unusual vibration or noise, inability to reach rated maximum rpm (or exceeding it), to search for a leak that occurs while under way, to test a new installation such as a depth finder, sonar, or autopilot, or for engine-related issues such as excessive fuel consumption, smoke, or overheating. In still other cases, sea trials should be carried out after major engine or running gear repairs and after a repower.
The surveyor can be retained by an insurance company to determine the cause of a loss and determine the extent of loss related damage and may be asked to recommend repairs, review estimates, and determine the pre-loss value of a vessel. A vessel owner can retain a surveyor for the same purposes, but for the owner’s behalf.
Video Presentation – This examination is offered to save the prospective buyer the time and expense of visiting the vessel personally. A video of the entire boat will be recorded and converted to a DVD or MPEG format and shipped, emailed or posted online as requested. This method can be very useful in determining if further interest in a particular vessel is desired.
Infrared Thermal Imaging – This tool and service is available when needed and very beneficial when looking for anomalies that may be hidden behind panels or visually obscured by other equipment.
Sample Survey available upon request.