Boat Surveys

Marine SurveyTypes of Marine Survey

Full Pre-Purchase Condition Survey is the most appropriate type of survey you should consider when buying a second-hand boat. Some surveyors also offer External Hull Inspections (osmosis check) or Partial Condition Surveys. These surveys, though less expensive, have limitations and these should be understood before the survey is started.

Buying a New Boat?

It is often a good idea to employ a marine surveyor to monitor the building of a new boat and to carry out a pre-delivery inspection of the vessel.

Why Do I Need a Survey?

When purchasing a secondhand boat over a year old it is very important to think about having a Full Pre-Purchase Condition Survey carried out professionally on the craft, especially if finance is going to be secured on the boat. Many finance companies will insist on surveys being carried out before releasing any monies. You will also need to know the condition of the boat before the purchase incase anything needs repairing. It will be too late after the purchase and it could end up costing a lot of money to correct problems that may have been discovered by a survey. Remember buying a boat could be the second most expensive investment you make.

Sometimes a marine insurer will ask for a condition report on the boat. This indicates to the insurer that the boat is sound and safe to use.

Does the Survey Cover Everything?

Some rigging, electronics, the engine and sea trials are not always included in a Pre-Purchase Marine Survey, though this should be clarified before engaging a surveyor. It may be necessary to ask another expert to carry out checks on these items.

Where Should The Survey Take Place?

it is essential that the survey is done with the craft out of the water and not afloat, to have a full survey done correctly. it is your responsibility to make arrangements for the boat to be hauled out for the inspection and to meet with any particular requirements as specified by the surveyor. These could include having linings or sole boards opened up and the removal on non essential equipment.

Yacht SurveyWho Should Do The Survey?

It is essential that you obtain a qualified marine surveyor, who is an expert on the type of boat you are purchasing to carry out the survey. They should be independent of both purchaser and seller. If you are buying the boat using marine finance the finance company may be able to recommend a surveyor to use.

There are several marine surveying qualifications, the most common are Royal Institution of Naval Architects and the Yacht Brokers Designers and Surveyors Association. Members of the Association are qualified and carry indemnity insurance, an additional safeguard for the owner.

If a survey has been carried out failry recently it can be possible to save money be asking the previous surveyor to do an update to the survey.

Survey Links

The Small Ships Group (SSG) maintains a register of Small Ship Surveyor members who have proven their competence and commitment to small ship surveying through a Professional Review process.

The International Institute of Marine Surveying is an independent, non-political organisation. Membership is open to Qualified Mariners, Cargo Surveyors and Marine Consultants from around the world.  Individuals, with specialised knowledge, experience or skills able to contribute and enhance the aims and objectives of the Institute are also invited to join.

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects is an internationally renowned professional institution whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures. Members of the RINA are widely represented in industry, universities and colleges, and maritime organisations in over 90 countries.


The views and information held within this site are intended only as a guide. Expert advice should be obtained before embarking on any boat purchase or training. Sailing Info are not responsible for information held on any pages external to this website.
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