What does a marine survey entail?
A condition and valuation survey (C&V) covers the hull and structures as well as the boat’s systems. This type of thorough survey is usually required for insurance and financing. It is sometimes referred to as a pre-purchase survey. No matter if your insurance company or finance company requires it or not, you should always get one before making this type of major purchase.
The condition of the vessel and its equipment: A marine survey determines the condition of the boat’s visible components and accessible structures at the time of the inspection. A survey provides a list of deficiencies as well as needed repairs and focuses on safety. Deficiencies in a survey can be used to renegotiate the sales price or scrap the deal altogether if needed repairs are too expensive or complicated.
The value of the vessel: Value is determined by using pricing guides along with vast experience in valuing boats. A seller or broker may think a boat has a specific worth, but until a survey is performed, those figures are only guesses. Banks and insurance companies use the survey value to determine loan and insurance hull value amounts. This is also a great tool for price negotiations and can easily pay for the cost of the survey.
A professional and thorough C&V survey for your peace of mind:
A proper C&V survey requires the boat to be hauled so the hull and all underwater gear can be inspected. A proper survey will include inspection of a boat from top to bottom, fore and aft. The hull and deck is inspected by sounding with a hammer and moisture meter. This will determine whether there are voids or delamination, and can identify places in the core that may eventually rot and become soft (and expensive to repair) before they’re detectable by a buyer. The condition of AC and DC electrical systems, plumbing and thru-hull fittings, deck hardware, propane and fuel systems, steering and controls, and safety equipment are all inspected.
The marine survey deliverable will be an in-depth written report that evaluates the boat according to U.S. Coast Guard regulations, as well as American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. (Don’t rely upon a survey prepared for a previous owner, even if it was done recently. A boat could have run aground or suffered other unnoticed damage since the last survey.)
Engine surveys cover the operation and condition of propulsion and generator engines. Typically, they include inspection of controls, electrical, cooling, and exhaust systems, as well as engine mounts. Compression, engine, and exhaust temperatures are also checked, and engine surveys typically include tests of oil samples.
A rigging survey looks at the condition of a sailboat’s mast and boom and associated rigging. Inspections are made of attachment points, welds, standing and running rigging, and the mast step. Whether a rigging survey is needed depends on the age, prior use of the rig, and its intended purpose. Red flags that would signal the need for a rigging survey include a rig more than 10 years old, frayed stays, cracked swages, weeping chainplates, and turnbuckles that are bottomed out. The rig also needs to be surveyed if the boat will be used offshore or heavily raced.