Marine Surveys...What You Need To Know

Marine Surveys…What You Need To Know

So you’ve finally narrowed down your options and found the ideal used yacht. Even though you’re ready to get out on the water, it’s critical to have the boat inspected before buying it. What is a maritime survey, exactly? Here’s what you need to know about marine surveys.

A marine survey is an “inspection, survey, or examination of a marine vessel to assess, monitor, and report on their condition and the products on them.”(1) In short, it is an inspection to make sure the vessel is safe, structurally sound, and helps point out any problems which you may have missed in your own viewing. Since many buyers are not mechanics, it is always a good idea to have a professional survey your boat. The last thing you want… is to go without a survey and later find out that there are major mechanical, structural, or electrical problems with your purchase!

Finding the Right Surveyor

The safest route is to go to either SAM’s website or the National Association of Marine Surveyors and locate a
surveyor geographically close to boat in question. Try calling local brokers and marinas in the area and find recommendations on reputable and honest surveyors.

Ask for references, credentials, and past surveys to get an idea of what to expect with your surveyor. Also make sure the surveyor you have chosen has experience in the style of boat you are interested in.

The Survey

The boat should be pulled out of the water as it gives the surveyor full access to the hull. The surveyor will utilize a  check sheet and write down anything he finds which needs addressing. A small “hammer” will be used along the hull to test for any water damage or inconsistencies in sound which can reveal hidden problems. A surveyor may also attend the sea trial and test out all electrical components of the vessel. Once the survey is complete, be sure to ask any questions you may have regarding anything recommended.

Having a boat surveyed before purchasing can save a lot of hassle, and potential financial burden, down the road. On average, it will cost between $14-$22 a foot but is well worth the cost, especially if a large issue is revealed. For more information on marine surveys, visit SAMS and NAMS websites and check out this article “10 Things You Need to Know About a Marine Survey.”

If you have any questions, or need a surveyor recommendation, feel free to contact any one of us here at Off the Hook Yacht Sales.

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