Types of Surveys
A marine surveyor performs a survey and makes a diagnosis of your boat’s problems as found on the day of the survey. He then makes recommendations for the improvements that your boat should have. The type of survey prepared depends on the needs of the client.
Remember, once you hire a surveyor, he or she will be working only for you. The surveyor is there to protect your interest.
When a client wants to purchase a new or used boat, the buyer makes an offer to the seller subject to the findings of a survey. The surveyor then completes a comprehensive survey to determine the boat’s condition and value. The survey includes structural integrity, electrical and electronic systems, propulsion and steering systems, navigation, tanks and plumbing, cosmetics and maintenance, safety equipment, etc. On a sailboat the surveyor will also look at sails and rigging. An out of the water inspection and sea trial are often recommended.
Insurance or Financing Survey
Once you own a boat, your insurance company will want a new survey every several years, depending on the company. This type of survey is usually done with the boat in the water. If you change insurance companies or financing, the new companies will probably want an up-to-date survey as well. These surveys are a good opportunity for you to be alerted to maintenance issues before they become major problems. If your class of boat has declined in value in the market place, it may also an opportunity for you to lower the cost of your insurance by up dating the market value of your boat, according to the findings of the surveyor.
After years of cruising to the Hawaii, the South Pacific, England, the Caribbean, Panama and Mexico, Steve has valuable experience to share with those new to cruising. Before you head out the Golden Gate, we recommend that you have Steve take a close look at your boat and equipment to be sure that the systems you have in place will serve you well in blue water.
Other Common Surveys
If you purchase a boat with a warranty, it is a good idea to have a survey performed a month of two before your warranty expires. If you decide to donate your boat to a non-profit, you may want to get a survey to determine its fair market value for tax purposes. If your boat should be damaged, your insurance company will want a surveyor to determine the approximate cost of repairs. In the case of death, divorce or bankruptcy legal parties will want a survey to determine your boat’s fair market value.