what is a marine survey and why should you have a vessel surveyed?

a marine survey is a systematic inspection of a boat or yacht to determine if the vessel conforms to the federal requirements as published by the us coast guard and also conforms to the standards published by the american boat and yacht council (abyc). in addition the inspection looks for safety issues, determines the vessels condition and estimates the fair market value.

there are several types of inspection: pre purchase, insurance, appraisal and damage inspection. in general terms damage inspection is the least thorough in the sense that the damage inspection is focused on the results of an event causing damage. at the upper end of the scale, a pre purchase survey is a detailed investigation of the entire vessel.

pre-purchase: condition and overall operation are examined. focus is applied to out of the water examination, sea trial, electrical systems, propulsion, fuel and other on board systems, machinery, navigation, electronics, cosmetic appearance and overall maintenance.

insurance: the insurance inspection focuses on structural integrity, safety and suitability for the intended use as well as fair market value.

appraisal: an appraisal is intended to gather sufficient information to determine the fair market value of the vessel for the use of financing, estates, donations or other legal cases.

damage: the damage investigation assesses the extent of damage, recommends repairs, and if possible indicates repair costs and if possible identifies the probable cause of the damage.

how to prepare for a survey:
present a clean and organized vessel to allow the surveyor access to the vessels systems and equipment. have the proper ships papers and equipment ready for inspection. pre arrange with the marina to haul the boat. have the owner or a captain available for the sea trial. surveyors do not prepare vessels for inspection. surveyors may request removal of panels and equipment for access, qualified personnel should be available as designated by the person ordering the survey.

pre-inspection checklist:
type of survey: pre–purchase_____ insurance_____ appraisal____ damage_____
permission from owner___ yard notified___ hauling arranged___ dc power available ___
ac power available ___ electronics installed ___ engines ready ___ water system ready ___ water on board ___ toilets ready ___ bilges clean/dry __ covers removed ___ lockers clear of gear ___ safety systems operable ___ life jackets and throwables on board ___ fire extinguishers on board ___, anchor and rode ___ compass ___ sound devices ___ visual distress signals ___ bilge pumps operating ___ navigation lights operational ____


yacht and small craft surveying

phone: 864 855 0504   |   mobile: 864 444 3297

society of acredited marine surveyors

member: abyc, Peter Stevenson AMS#1109, usps
graduate: chapman school of seamanship, marine survey

certified: abyc

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