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
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.
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.
Type of survey: Pre–purchase_____ Insurance_____ Appraisal____
Permission from owner___ Yard notified___ Hauling arranged___ DC power
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 ____