By Al Prisco. Some years ago, I would have always advised anyone buying a boat to have it surveyed by a professional certified marine surveyor.Â That is no longer the case based on my own experience as both an owner of many boats and a yacht-repair-yard manager. What other services can a Marine Surveyor offer? Houseboat Surveys - get a marine surveyor before buying by: Yachtz o' G's I found a 1997 14x48 Myacht priced at $57,000. If your boat has been damaged in any way, a professional opinion will establish the extent of any … Costs vary greatly, depending on the region. Carol Cronin has published several novels about the Olympics, sailing, hurricanes, time travel, and old schooners. I am working on and altering my vessel, do I need to contact a Marine Surveyor? What do I need to do to prepare for the vessel survey? If you buy without engaging a Professional Marine Surveyor: You may find at a later date a serious issue that would have been picked up. We do recommend getting a survey on a boat, before purchase and in some cases it will be required in order to provide the policy. Boating Is Booming: How To Sell Your Boat For Top Dollar. The Surveyor Works For You Only. Surveys will vary in cost depending on the type of survey and the individual surveyor’s prices, but a good guide line of what you should expect to pay is around £300 - £600. Paul Grimes, a licensed surveyor, has recently written a few articles about the details of the boat survey process, including an explanation about the surveyors themselves. If I only would have had a marine survey completed before my purchase how far ahead I would be today. Knowledge, work based competence and understanding are the main elements to success. Should all pre-owned boats have a marine survey? Keys and access to the boat to be organized prior to the survey by the customer. A marine survey serves that need by putting an experienced set of eyes on the boat that are independent. The industry does not require Surveyors to be licensed or qualified. Never forget to make a good first impression. Not all Marine Surveys are the Same. That is why you should always insist on a sea-trial, with the surveyor present, when buying a boat. I wish I could recall how many times I heard that phrase. The initial visit is focused on looking for indicators that will tell us about the things we can’t see. The most common time to hire a surveyor is when you're buying a boat, so that's what Paul's latest article (Understanding Boat Surveys: What is Pre-Purchase?) The cost of a boat survey often depends on the length of the boat, and in most cases, surveyors will have a flat fee, but some may want to use an hourly rate as all boats are not created equally, even it was the same length. Gear. Â Depending on what kind of material your prospective boat was built with â wood, metal, or fiberglass â I would find a surveyor experienced in that particular construction material or not bother. So, If you insist on buying a boat on the beach where the engine(s) havenât been run, you are running a risk.Â A report from a certified mechanic attesting to the condition of the engines, including compression test results, or an explicit warranty from a boat dealer may suffice in lieu of a surveyorâs report. explanation about the surveyors themselves, 10 Things You Need to Know About a Marine Survey, 10 Problems to Look Out For in Used Yachts and Boats. A marine survey is helpful in determining what repairs or upgrades may be necessary to get a boat into safe operating condition. I have just purchased a vessel that will be built, should I engage with a Marine Surveyor? If you are considering purchasing a boat, or you are currently a boat owner who is looking to insure a vessel, a marine survey should be an integral part of your transaction. You'll be paying the bill, so it's important that you understand … Â A surveyor would only state the obvious in the report, since the engine or systems canât be tested, and you can visually judge for yourself if there are any evident hull imperfections. A one-time executive editor at Sailing World magazine, he writes about his passion for racing and boating. A Pre-Purchase Survey is often the most in depth look at your boat you’ll ever get, and your offer to purchase should stipulate that it is subject to a satisfactory independent out of water marine survey to the purchaser. Understanding Boat Surveys: What is Pre-Purchase? I was prepared to pay $55,000 and made a first offer of $51,300 subject to a marine survey. A prudent buyer should make his final acceptance of the boat subject to the findings of a marine surveyor. Structural deficiency may be even harder to detect.Â Damage from grounding or collision are the main concernsâand these can be covered up or imperfectly repaired. Uncover is the operative word here because the defects to mechanical systems and structural integrity are often unseen. Al Prisco has been surveying vessels since 1976. The sellers both work for insurance companies but acted like they didn't know what a marine survey is. Buyers and owners can be present but it is not necessary. The boat has gone to survey, which is now complete, and the survey report is now in hand. Canal Boating: A Unique Way … Latest. How long does a Marine Survey take? Investing in a Boat, Do I Need a Survey? A survey’s total cost includes the surveyor’s fee, and the boat’s haul-out costs. Here are a few tips: 1. Ideally you should also try and spend time with a practicing surveyor. Belonging to SAMS or NAMS is important because it shows that the surveyor is committed to their profession but it is essential that the surveyor is an ABYC member as well. If you are going to buy a boat on dry land without a sea trial, I wonder if you really need a surveyor. How do I get my boat “in survey”? Surveying the hull of a yacht should consist of three distinct parts: interior, exterior and sea trial. The surveyor will move on to actually try the mechanical systems, run the engine etc… Obviously for a boat out of the water, the surveyor will note in the report that these could not all be tested. When selling a boat it can be advantageous to already have a survey in-hand, to show to potential buyers. Member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC),Maritime Services Institute (MSI) and the National Fire and Protection Association (NFPA). Boat surveys help determine the actual value of a boat, since they can expose items in need of repair or replacement. Different Types of Marine Surveys. I talked to a few surveyors in the area, and for $500, I can get a full detailed survey done, from a reputable guy. In general, I think the relatively small cost of a survey is warranted.Â Surveyors donât guarantee your boat is perfect; rather, they try to give you a realistic assessment of the vessel as is, so read the surveyorâs report carefully and ask questions.Â However, if you are not going to give the surveyor the opportunity to check all the systems or they donât have direct experience with a given type of boat, you may be better off saving the money and foregoing the survey.Â Better yet, find the right pro and let them do their job, but be mindful that youâre not getting a guarantee. With boating booming here are some ways to ride the wave and get top dollar for your boat. This is necessary because the overall survey process proceeds in three distinct steps, and does not provide the opportunity to complete it all at once. Full Survey A narrow boat that requires a full survey will need to be out of the water so that ultrasonic measurement of … The exterior portion, of course, is done at the haul out. Basically, we hire surveyors to confirm that a vessel is structurally sound and mechanically in good working order as portrayed by the seller.Â We expect them to uncover and report any defects that could affect our decision to buy, or end in an adjustment to the price of the vessel.Â And in fact, if you are financing the vessel, the finance company may require a survey.Â This does not guarantee you a boat free of defects, however, and there are a few exceptions where you might consider NOT hiring a surveyor. Paul Grimes inspects an engine as part of his work as a surveyor. Surveys are billed by the job, by the hour or on a per-foot basis. Or you’re selling your boat and finally found a buyer at the right price. Shop around to get a feel for the going rate in your area, but don’t base your decision solely on the lowest cost. There are also a few other times when a survey is necessary, like when you update your insurance, file a claim, or have a special situation or area that needs inspection. A close look at new and used boat values and sale prices, including answers on how to price a boat as... Boat Trader talks you through how to choose the right boat insurance policy for you. boats.com is part of the Boats Group Network. by David Pascoe, marine surveyor on boat, yacht purchase: What you should know about buying a boat, design errors, buying old and used boats, buying blistered boats, how to avoid buying stolen boats, engine overhauls, prepurchase survey, new boat survey, long distance shopping. Boat surveys fall into several categories including: You lose an opportunity to negotiate a final sales price on a used boat. Copyright © 1999-2020 Boats Group. Siren 3 Pro. Why you should consider a new-boat survey, and what it entails. Simply put, a Condition and Value Survey (C & V) is a report which details the current condition of a boat and estimates its value. The surveyor will complete a thorough visual inspection of the boat to insure it conforms with accepted marine standards as a safe floating platform. Please note that the 10, 20 and 30 year survey items, required in Clause 4.11(2) of the National Law—Marine surveyors accreditation guidance manual, will need to be completed by no later than the second renewal survey post 1 July 2018. What is a Marine Survey and Why Should You Get One? Curb appeal is as important in a boat survey as it is in real estate. A survey isn’t always required for insurance purposes, so please contact us in advance and depending on your situation we can provide advice on if you should get a survey or not. All rights reserved. There are several different types of marine surveys commonly performed, some more detailed than others. These are skills that border on art form and you should query any potential surveyor as to their experience with this type of vessel. A USCG licensed captain and former merchant mariner, Peter d'Anjou is now a freelance writer and editor. Having managed a large yacht repair facility in the NE U.S. his background in boat construction and repair translate to the practical side of boat ownership. Boat yards deal with a lot of surveyors and can most likely recommend the appropriate pro for your type of vessel. Updated: August 22, 2017. Final selection should include a review of the surveyor’s experience, references, sample surveys, etc. But again, to satisfy banks and insurance companies, the survey will likely have to be performed by a SAMS- or NAMS-accredited pro. A good survey should more than pay for itself in negotiating a fair price when buying a boat and in forecasting maintenance and equipment upgrades when insuring one. With fiberglass boats built with core material, water intrusion, particularly in climates that freeze, can cause delamination and the weakening of the hull structure.Â Surveyors will use moisture meters and “tap” the hull of fiberglass boats looking for water intrusion or structural voids. sail, trawler, performance, fishing, wood, steel, fiberglass, etc.). How to Buy a Boat: Tips for a First Time Buyer, Top 10 New Fishing Boats for Under $20,000, What Type is Right for You? Do I avoid spending the extra $500 on this, considering the boat and price, or do I get it done anyways, even if it is a large % of the purchase price. Experience in other types of survey work particularly damage surveys will be a plus, as is experience in … You finally reach the big day when you have found it, have made an offer, and it has been accepted. The best option is to show up 3-4 hours into the survey to allow sufficient time for the surveyor to inspect the vessel before arriving. The Boat Buyers Guide from BoatUS is designed to make it easier for you to buy a boat by explaining the sometimes-confusing process and pointing out the areas that can trip up a buyer. By Capt. Preparing the boat for the survey is the owner’s responsibility. Reputation is the key. A Pre-Purchase Survey is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Get a Survey. Moderator of the BoaterEd.com Surveyor Forum Since 2003 to Present. The pre-purchase boat survey can make or break a deal, so you'll want to completely understand what's going on. What kind of engine do I need for my boat? Your yacht broker will usually attend the sea trial and marine survey with you, and help you determine how to properly address the nearly inevitable yacht survey issues and put the problems in context. Obviously, surveyors will start with visual clues that lead them to believe there might be more problems than meet the eye: rust stains, leaks, broken ribs or fiberglass damage etc…Â Letâs say that visually there are no telltale problems.Â The surveyor will move on to actually try the mechanical systems, run the engine etcâ¦Â Obviously for a boat out of the water, the surveyor will note in the report that these could not all be tested.Â That is why you should always insist on a sea-trial, with the surveyor present, when buying a boat.Â The prospective buyer typically pays any expenses related to sea-trialing a boat. The marine survey should be comprehensive, thorough, and cover all systems in the boat as well as structure, cosmetic condition, include findings and recommendations, and valuation. Top 10 Choices for Boaters, boats.com Introduces New National Boat Survey Service. The Value of a New-Boat Survey. Even if you’re an experienced, seasoned mariner, a marine survey is always worthwhile and normally required by lenders, insurance companies, and some marinas. Buying or selling usually requires a boat survey, but there are other times you might need one too. Every year nearly 1.5 million Americans buy a new or used boat, ranging from large yachts to small cruisers to canoes. Marine Surveyor / Consultant. How To. You may be unable to obtain finance or insurance until a survey is submitted. Quick Boat Survey – Part of our “How to Buy a Boat” series. You've spent months, possibly even years researching the ideal boat you want to buy. She spends as much time on the water as possible, in a variety of boats, though most have sails. Buyers pay for the surveys and for hauling the boat out of the water for inspection. John Page Williams, Photos by John Bildahl. boats.com, 1221 Brickell Avenue, 23rd Floor, Miami, FL 33131, USA. The Diplomas will stand you in good stead. But, you should expect your surveyor to have had significant experience with the size and type of boat (i.e. We're lucky to have several experts contributing stories to boats.com. When we are looking at boats we usually make two visits; a quick boat survey and a full boat survey. Get the boat cleaned up and make her look as appealing as possible! In your offer, allow enough time for the survey to be completed. Say you’ve found the right boat and made an offer contingent upon a survey. More Boats. deals with in detail. Now all you need to do is get past the dreaded survey. When you’re in the process of buying a boat and trying your best to keep costs under control, the idea of throwing a big chunk of cash at a surveyor can be quite onerous, so why should you bother?