What to Expect During a Boat Survey

Who can forget falling in love? The giddiness, butterflies in your stomach and pure elation that come with finding The One. You could spend hours dreaming about her beautiful hull. Wait, her hull? Indeed, many water lovers find themselves falling hard for the perfect boat. When we think we have found the perfect vessel, emotions can easily take over. Sound decisions are always better made with facts over feelings. Purchasing, selling and maintaining a boat are major financial endeavors that should not be taken lightly. Just as most people would not consider buying a house without a thorough inspection, a boat should be no different. Having an independent party carefully survey the vessel helps ensure that you make a wise choice.

What Can a Boat Survey Find?

There can be hidden maintenance or mechanical issues that could prove quite costly if not discovered. Even more important is knowing the vessel is safe and seaworthy. Additionally, most insurance companies and lending institutions will require a proper survey to secure a loan or write a policy. What is done during a boat survey? There are several steps in the process that involve both in water and haul out inspection. A boat survey done by an experienced professional can not only help you know the value of your vessel, but provide peace of mind about its safety.

What is Done During a Boat Survey?

A boat surveyor will perform a detailed inspection of the vessel. The most common type is the C&V (condition and value survey). The ensuing report will determine the boat’s condition, if any maintenance or repairs are needed and the overall safety and seaworthiness of the vessel. It is not necessary for you to be present when the boat is surveyed, but it is highly recommended.

Typically boat surveys will include an in-water survey, a haul-out (bottom) survey, an engine survey and a test drive on the open water, also known as a sea trial.

Inspections on a survey usually start with noting the hull identification number (HIN), similar to an automobile’s VIN number. The surveyor will inspect the vessel bulkheads and stringers, making sure it is structurally sound. He will sound the laminate with a hammer, check moisture readings and look for evidence of blistering on the deck and hull. All plumbing, wiring and electrical components will be tested. A complete fuel system inspection will be performed. Propellers, structurally essential fasteners and other underwater gear will be thoroughly checked during the haul-out portion as well. Make sure to ask any questions or address areas of concern with the surveyor. If the boat has a trailer, that will also be inspected to ensure the overall condition and to ensure it is the appropriate size to carry the boat.

The sea trial portion of the survey will check engine performance, how well it cranks, throttle and shifting. The surveyor will be looking for any leaks. The boat will be checked to see how it runs at top speed and how well the hull manages under these conditions. Navigation equipment, radio, etc. will be assessed as well.

The complete survey will include any concerning findings as well as observations and the overall condition and seaworthiness of the boat. A detailed summary will be accompanied by pictures and a fair market/resale value of the boat.

Choosing a Professional?

Your vessel’s survey is only as good as the professional conducting it. Doing your research before hiring a surveyor is important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek recommendations from previous clients. Checking their status with the Better Business Bureau is always a good practice. Once you have made a decision, we have the perfect location to perform a professional survey. Our facilities have expansive wet/dry space and equipment to meet all the criteria needed for a detailed inspection.

How Often Do I Need a Boat Survey?

Boat surveys are generally always recommended and often necessary for the purpose of buying and selling. Insurance companies and lenders will usually require them. Outside of that, industry experts highly suggest having one done every two years. Not only will it keep you abreast of your boat’s value but it will also ensure it is safe for use.

Once you have chosen a surveyor, everything can be done at Pensacola Shipyard. Our incomparable facilities and location make us the perfect place. Call today for rates and information. Let us provide you peace of mind so you can enjoy safe and fun times on the water!