Why Should I hire a Marine Surveyor? What kind of things will he be looking for?


Anytime you make an investment in a boat or home, you want to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for. You wouldn’t buy a home without an inspection? When you are considering buying a boat your excitement and
Emotional levels are very high (kind of like a new romance). This is when the
Mistakes start.

  • Loss of focus
  • Overlooking details and crucial parts of the boat
  • Not considering the overall value of the vessel
  • Most Importantly the mechanical and structural integrity of the vessel

    Remember all that glitters is not gold.

Boats are a very emotional purchase, this is why the decision to purchase
Should not be based solely on emotions. There should always be a second
Opinion. That’s where a surveyor comes in. I can’t tell you how many times
I have meet with my client and stood there and explained the list of things
That really needed attention; only to have him say what did you say Captain
Tony? No kidding. In his mind he’s already running the boat.

Some of the things I will be looking for when I do your survey.

  • Blisters on the hull and bottom
  • Gel coat damage
  • Moisture levels throughout the bottom and hull
  • Running gear, bent props and shafts, loose outdrives
  • Transom damage and soft spots
  • Foredeck and aft deck stress cracking and moisture levels
  • Damage to the gel coat and deck coring
  • Engine oil appearance and levels
  • Stringer and bulkhead integrity ( moisture levels)
  • Water lines and mechanical feeds (cracking, Broken)
  • Fuel tanks and fuel lines (safety, Grounds etc)
  • Sanitary systems
  • Low and high voltage wiring and systems
  • Bilge pumps and there operation and location
  • Steering systems
  • Onboard electronics and there operation
  • Helm switches and operation
  • Helm and deck seating(rips in vinyl, overall appearance)
  • Cabin appearance and any signs for leaks.
  • Galley equipment and there operation
  • Security of hatches and doors.
  • Electrical panel and its wiring throughout the vessel
  • On board USCG safety equipment


This is only a partial list of some of the things I look for. As you can see

There is a lot to look at. Many times I have had clients call me after they

Had already purchased the vessel only to find that they indeed make an

Expensive emotional decision. The cost of the survey is most generally

About 2% of the vessel cost. One repair of any the Items listed above

Could well exceed the cost of a survey.

How does a Survey pass or fail.

A survey does not necessarily pass or fail. Throughout the survey process I
Will be compiling a list of things that need attention and or any safety issues.
Of course we will need to address the safety issues first. When I am Finished
I will discuss with the buyer (not the owner) this list of things I found.
Basically; depending on the length of the list and any items requiring major work, it becomes a question of cost of repairs or upgrades verses the price
Of the vessel.

Some of the things you will receive on my report.

  • 20-50 page report in a PDF format via email
  • Findings and recommendations page or pages
  • Statement to the vessels overall value
  • Details on every part of the vessel and its machinery
  • Diagrams of the vessels systems
  • Vessel overall condition
  • Detailed Photos

So; as you can see there is more to buying a vessel other than glitter

And gold. There is a lot more to the process and I have not even mentioned

The Sea Trial portion of my services which is the part where we run the vessel in open water for the shakedown cruise. I will elaborate on this in

Another Blog.

Happy Boating.



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