Surveyors usually don’t require you to be present. Inventory. Please note that the purpose of these reviews is educational, to help you discern the differences in quality among boats generally. He doesn't share his findings with anyone else unless you specifically request it. Surveyors make copious notes and take lots of pictures, which will form the basis of the written report. Do I have to be present for the boat survey? Testing information. Engine Issues. and general condition of a vessel and/or cargo. Look at the hull/deck joint and ensure that it is straight and fair, look for new sealant at the joint or overspray from paint or gel work. Privacy Policy, 4% back on purchases from West Marine stores or online at, Discounts on fuel, transient slips, repairs and more at over 1,000 businesses. What to Look for During a Sea Trial. I have just purchased a vessel that will be built, should I engage with a Marine Surveyor? And I really have to look at it. Why a boat survey is necessary A boat survey is necessary for these two main reasons: Or the buyer can just walk away to look at another boat. Photographs. That bargain-basement-price survey could cost you in the long run should the surveyor miss some important fault on the boat. They will also answer questions after the survey, so don't be scared to call them up if you see something in a survey report that you don't understand. Of course you need to know up front what the cost of the survey will be, but it could be a case of "if you don't pay now, you'll pay later." The last thing a surveyor wants to do is tell you what kind of boat is best for you. He also performs a sea trial for $150, which is critical because there are things that don’t show up at the dock or on the trailer that will be revealed on a sea trial. var plc296584 = window.plc296584 || 0; The keel must run true in a straight line from fore to aft. Allow the surveyor to do his job — you'll get a complete written report about everything he sees. Surveyors cannot do any destructive tests, Cozzi points out. Five Reasons to Consider an Extended Warranty on a Used Boat. If you have a broker acting as your buyer's agent, then you may ask that the surveyor send a copy of the survey to the agent as it makes your broker's job easier if he's asking for things to be addressed. Professional surveyors are qualified to appraise boats and yachts by virtue of the fact that they work with them on a daily basis. Surveyors cannot do any destructive tests, Cozzi points out. Cozzi specializes in performance boats, but the trouble spots are the same for most recreational craft. “Every customer is different,” Cozzi said. If that wasn't bad enough, the boat also had a Great Dane aboard! The surveyor spends time below-decks, inspecting the engine installation, seacocks, fuel lines, electrical wiring, and plumbing systems, and the hull's interior for structural defects. What does a boat surveyor do? I asked Edward R. Cozzi, president, CEO and professional master surveyor with Performance Marine Surveyors in Boca Raton, Fla. what he looks for. var pid296584 = window.pid296584 || rnd; I am working on and altering my vessel, do I need to contact a Marine Surveyor? According to Ron Reisner, president of the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS), marine surveyors are categorized into three classifications: yacht and small craft surveyors, hull and machinery surveyors, and cargo surveyors. They only want little minor things to be wrong with it. It should be straight horizontally and … (Photo: Mark Corke). Be especially careful to look out for repairs that may have been made to the hull. Make sure that any surveyor you use is SAMS or NAMS accredited. Many times the repair involves cutting the cockpit sole out of the boat, then glassing it back into place. Don't choose a surveyor on price alone. It's not hard to make a surveyor smile. Marine surveyors are, by nature of their industry standards, supposed to be impartial and unbiased. He won't expect everything to be off the boat, but he will appreciate reasonable access. If you have a problem with a survey (or a surveyor) don't hesitate to bring it up.Â, Hiring a professional surveyor before you buy could be the most important decision you'll make, A marine surveyor is hired to protect your interests and to make sure a boat is sound, A marine survey can offer a wealth of information about your boat — if you know how to read it. Most surveyors expect payment on the day the service is completed. and runabout markets for, he regularly writes and shoots for That means they’re one of the most difficult to get to. This will look at as many aspects of the vessel as possible, from structural integrity and safety of systems, right through to cosmetic details. A marine survey is a useful tool for buyers when negotiating price based on what repairs the boat needs. The Rinda TechMate tool can help determine engine hours on a used boat. If you've never had a marine survey before, here are some things to help make the experience better. Before digging into the details, let’s make a checklist of the things covered in a boat survey: Verify the boat’s identity, via HIN (hull identification) number and state or federal registration. The surveyor will need to pay close attention to the engines, helm, and systems, and how the boat handles. Our members are certified based on their knowledge and experience, with designations for: Yachts and Small Craft, Cargo, and Hull and Machinery (including Fishing Vessel Marine surveyors also inspect equipment intended for new or existing vessels to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications. During the inspection, a surveyor will examine a boat in depth from the top to the bottom, looking at the hull and deck, often determining any soft or rotting spots by using a hammer and moisture meter. Findings & Recommendations. They can answer questions and point out things of interest on the boat that may not find their way into the survey report. Written for both the aspiring, novice and experienced surveyor, Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats provides a foundation of essentials for anyone who wants to begin a marine surveying career, or just hone up on one's skills and knowledge. “The great thing about fiberglass boats is that if the repair is done by the right person, it’s stronger than the original,” he said. Buy a boat with a bad engine, and you’re in for a serious … It’s a nondestructive inspection of the boat to check its condition, check its systems for basic operation and adherence to applicable regulations and standards, look for any warning signs that might recommend a follow-on inspection by a specialist, and determine its overall value. Visually inspect the hull for flaws or damage. They can’t disassemble or cut or drill, but they are looking for anything that might signal trouble, such as evidence of water or oil leaks, excess corrosion in the engines or drives, excess wear in gimbals and steering systems. Decide what sort of boat you want and need. You'll be paying the bill, so it's important that you understand that the surveyor reports only to you. Take a look at the Blog page on this website to get an idea of what we look for when we survey a boat. If in doubt, ask the surveyor what he needs before he arrives. When inspecting the hull, you’ll want to look for any cracks, dents, or any other irregularities. I have just purchased a vessel that will be built, should I engage with a Marine Surveyor? Surveyors are on boats every day, but owners and buyers may not always understand some of the technical terms. It is a procedure that is mostly carried out by the trained experts in the field of property appraisal and has a lot to say in the final value of the boat. Make sure that any surveyor you use is SAMS or NAMS accredited. By: pblake - Staff photojournalist at The most comprehensive is a Full Condition Survey, which may also be called a Pre-Purchase Survey. What do boat surveyors look and check for before purchasing a boat? I’m also looking for repairs — evidence of repairs in strategic areas where the bottom takes the most abuse.”. A poorly repaired hull coul… There's a saying experienced surveyors tell newbies: You're only as good as your last survey. Look for an independent surveyor who has been around for a number of years, and is in the business more or less on a full time basis. It is also the main component of a boat and can fall victim to collisions with the dock, rocks, and even other boats. Another service Cozzi offers, which is important, is performing compression and leak-down tests on the engine. the marine industry for 15 years. For many people, a boat may be the second biggest purchase they make, after a house, and there's a lot at stake financially. If you are asking a surveyor to come to your boat to perform an insurance survey, make sure that the surveyor has access. degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the While there is no guarantee that you will get more from a more expensive surveyor, as in all things, you typically get what you pay for. By all means ask how much the surveyor charges, but don't wait until the day of the survey and then try to start negotiating the fee. You might consider making any deal contingent upon a sea trial. 8 Things A Marine Surveyor Wants You To Know Do Your Research Ahead Of Time. Surveyors need to be able to stand behind their work (possibly even in the courtroom), and doing a "light" survey doesn't help anyone. Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered I am working on and altering my vessel, do I need to contact a Marine Surveyor? Duties. It is a process of assessing the state of a boat to determine its value and the prevailing conditions. A boat’s hull is under the constant stress of the water and it is one of the few parts that run the risk of going aground. Surveyors do not have x ray vision to see behind walls and under floors and cannot enter small or restricted roof and sub floor areas. Over the years, BoatUS's Consumer Protection department has written plenty on the importance of getting a marine survey on a boat you're considering buying, and for good reason. I am looking into buying a new boat and i got a boat surveyor to come and look at the boat but i wanna make sure that he is doing and checking like he is suppose to before i put money down on a boat… Most of this doesn’t require any specialized knowledge, just a pair of latex gloves and keen eyes. The surveyor will also look for delamination or broken bonds inside the hull. What do I need to do to prepare for the vessel survey? They want something that someone has really taken care of and they’re willing to pay more money. (Photo: Mark Corke). var rnd = window.rnd || Math.floor(Math.random()*10e6); How long does a Marine Survey take? That being said, it makes the job slower if you hover. Surveyors typically won't send out the completed survey report until they get paid. Simply put, a compression test shows the engine’s ability to generate cylinder pressure, and a leak-down test demonstrates its ability to hold that pressure. Though it’s usually the buyer’s responsibility to pay for the survey, it’s money well spent. Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. By hiring Southern Marine Surveying to look at the boat first, we can save you the headache and trouble of purchasing a bad vessel. How do you find a skilled surveyor you can trust to be unbiased (i.e. Our marine survey does not replace, nor should it, a professional marine survey. Additionally insurance and lending companies that need to know the true condition and fair market value of a vessel often require it. Prices are generally around $20 to $22 per foot, but if you're quoted $12 per foot you need to ask yourself why. Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s How long does a boat survey take? Tea drinker, vegetarian, looking for new things to attach a GoPro to. Most surveyors are professionals and want you to be happy with your boat and ensure your safety on the water. The purpose of a sea trial is to check the boat's systems, engines, generators, electronics, and other parts that cannot be inspected while the boat is not under commission or is "on the hard." If problems are caught before inking the deal, you have the option of renegotiating the price or getting faults corrected before you take delivery of the boat. Most surveyors are only too happy to talk to you about the survey process, especially if this is your first time employing a surveyor. While insurance value and market value are not the same, the surveyor is not qualified to determine what amount is insurable, and therefore should assess the Fair Market Value only. Educational Comments and Suggestions. Boat Trader has plenty of  Buying and Selling advice, but also check out the hundreds of articles in the Boating section, with tips on everything from seamanship to maintenance, how-to, where to find replacement parts, and much more. Old surveys should not be relied upon. We have developed a list of actions and things to look for in a full blown marine survey. If you’re choosy enough to hire a surveyor, it would be helpful to know what they’re looking for. Avoid people involved in brokerage or the repair businesses, and who may only be doing surveys as a sideline. Surveyors want to build solid relationships, because their reputations are at stake. Surveyors typically do the following: Measure distances and angles between points on, above, and below the Earth’s surface var abkw = window.abkw || ''; Any wood or coring in a hull acts like a wick that draws water in through the cracks. What he finds on the bottom tells him where to look once he’s inside. Moisture is something more likely to be found in a hull with a core but can appear in single skin hulls. They can’t disassemble or cut or drill, but they are looking for anything that might signal trouble, such as evidence of water or oil leaks, excess corrosion in the engines or drives, excess wear in gimbals and steering systems. If you’re looking at something older or a later model with a lot of hours, a professional survey might be worthwhile. Cozzi checks the bottom and the transom for cracks and blisters and evidence of water intrusion using a specialized moisture meter. They provide data relevant to the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, and construction projects.
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