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Guidelines for Survey Prep

Preparing For A Survey

Now that you have decided to execute a vessel survey here are some tips to help minimize expenses while maximizing your survey content.   A surveyor can only inspect what he has access to.  Time and additional expense can be saved by preparing the vessel for inspection and by making the vessel more accessible.

If you are the seller or broker, arrange to present a clean, shipshape boat, and have all vessel documents available and miscellaneous gear ready. If you are the buyer, work with the owner or broker to follow these guidelines for survey preparation.  When applicable, you will need to make arrangements with the marina to haul the vessel for bottom inspection or water launch for a sea trial.  Even though many surveyors are licensed captains, they are not permitted to run the vessel during a sea trial as they will be inspecting the vessel during the actual trip. It is recommended to retain a licensed captain or have the owner at the helm for the sea trial.

The scope of the survey will consist of hull and systems inspection without requiring the surveyor to remove any parts, such as fittings, screwed or nailed boards, anchors, chain, fixed partitions, instruments or disassembly of any kind.  Some inaccessible areas may preclude inspection as well as areas with owners’ personal items.

Guidelines for a Successful Survey
  1. Vessel documentation should be made available along with written authorization from the owner to board the vessel

  2. Include any engine and maintenance logs or upgrade receipts so they are properly represented in the final survey report.

  3. All personal items, within reason, be removed to prevent hindrance of the inspection process.

  4. Lockers and cabin areas should be unlocked and cleared of all miscellaneous gear. 

  5. DC and AC shore power should be available for applicable systems.

  6. All tanks shall be filled prior to survey to evaluate the continuity of each system, this includes fuel tanks, holding tanks and fresh water tanks, etc.

  7. Bilges should be clean and dry, this is particularly important prior to a Sea Trial to identify any water intrusion.

  8. Vessel haul out, if applicable, should be scheduled with the marina and coordinated with the surveyor on timeline.

  9. The wetted surfaces should be clean to optimize the inspection process (Pressure cleaning is highly recommended)

  10. Buyers and sellers are welcomed to attend the survey; just be mindful not to interrupt the survey process flow.   

  11. Ultimately the surveyor works for the VESSEL to identify its condition and value on that given day.  

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