Address everything that comes up with as much reason and as little emotion as possible. When you purchase any expensive asset, you want to make sure it’s in “as advertised” condition. You may need more than one type of surveyor based on the type of boat and the type of survey. Your surveyor should be present for the whole survey and sea trial as should you. They’re used to determine the nature and cost of repairs for damaged vessels or ones that have been salvaged (typically ones that had sunk and been raised). The pre-purchase is generally considered the most thorough. 4. Educate yourself about what is and isn’t a big issue. Boat insurance quotes are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at www.UnitedMarine.net or by phone at 800-477-7140. “It depends on the size of the vessel,” says David Duong, a surveyor based on St. Martin, FWI. Marine Appraisals : Donations, Estates, Court Cases, Tax Assessments: Base Price $300. Only after an offer has been made and accepted on a boat, can the process of evaluation begin in earnest. This pre-purchase survey is a basic and limited inspection of the condition and operation of the boat’s systems and equipment. That makes the purchase more complicated, because you’ll need to ascertain the condition of a used boat in order to arrive at a fair market value on a vessel that may have been in use for multiple decades. It’s hugely impressive for a surveyor to find this on a boat. How long does it take to get a quote? I have just purchased a vessel that will be built, should I engage with a Marine Surveyor? No used boat is perfect. The Surveyor Works For You Only. How Should I Interpret The Results Of A Survey? Paint should be touched up and all equipment should be tested for proper functionality. Depending on the type of Survey and the size of the vessel it will take as little as two hours or a day. He or she is not there to tell you to buy/not buy the boat. HOW MUCH TIME DOES A MARINE SURVEY TAKE TO DO? The surveyor will find and note the HIN (hull identification number) and state or federal registration marks. You'll be paying the bill, so it's important that you understand that … Routine inspections include (but aren’t limited to) such things as moisture readings in the hull and deck and checks for delamination or blistering. The seller’s survey is owned by the seller but can be shared with a buyer to attract and increase his or her interest. If the boat is older or fairly unique, performance information may be harder to find. It just depends on the boat size and condition. Understand that if the offer comes in low, the seller won’t be motivated to make many repairs or changes. This is where the boat survey becomes a critical part of the boat buying process. A Marine Surveyor working in the commercial sector in the UK earns an AVERAGE of £39,403.00 per year based on a range of £25,216 – £65,614. It will also depend on the surveyor and how thorough they are and how much they explain things to you as you go through the boat. Generally between 4 and 8 hours, but there are a lot of variables such as the size, age and condition of the boat along with the logistics of hauling out the boat and the sea trial. Don’t expect (or ask) the surveyor to enter into the negotiations. How long does a boat survey take? You can also ask for referrals from other boaters or boat brokers or search online marine directories under “surveyors”. Come prepared to make payments for all services rendered on the day of the survey including the surveyor and the short haul. If you don’t know one personally, you can research available options in your area via the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) and National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) organizations. Don’t waste the surveyor’s time and attention with things you can survey yourself, like fishing gear, sails in bags, and other add-ons. When is payment due? The most common type of boat survey is the condition and value (C&V) survey that is usually done for a buyer to ascertain fair market value of a vessel. However the more thorough the inspection, the greater the benefit to the buyer. The stringers, bulkheads and transom will be inspected for structural integrity. The surveyor works for the hiring party, which is usually the buyer although there are exceptions to this. Be there for at least part of the survey so the surveyor can show you findings in person. It usually takes 3 days before obtaining the results. How do I get my boat “in survey”? We’ve included a FREE boat survey worksheet at the bottom of the post that you can download and take with you on your next boat visit. The surveyor may need several days after the physical survey to complete his written report. How much does a boat survey cost? boats.com, 1221 Brickell Avenue, 23rd Floor, Miami, FL 33131, USA. Your preparation starts long before the survey. Scratches or chips in the gelcoat, evidence of filler 5. Although not always required, some insurance companies request a current survey to help identify issues that may lead to a future claim. One boat survey item we do want to circle back on: in our checklist, the sea trial got just one bullet point. Large issues should be addressed by the seller and those include significant engine malfunction or hull de-lamination. If you’ll be running the boat, the sea trial usually lasts 30-60 minutes. An insurance survey is more focused on safety related items, and the vessel’s condition to the extent that it is material to the value of the boat. Some surveyors won’t take on really old boats. Insurance Condition & Valuation (C&V) Marine Survey: $18.00 to $20.00 per foot. 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. You would take a used car to a mechanic and you’d hire a reputable and certified home inspector to purchase a house. The boat should be thoroughly cleaned of any clutter or extraneous equipment and gear. Many of our clients have never experienced a marine survey and are often surprised at what it does and does not provide as a significant part of the boat buying process. It starts long before the boat goes in the water. The location and age of the boat may also affect survey pricing. Blisters. If no engine surveyor is aboard then hull surveyor will check the engines for proper operation and performance. As a surveyor, when you hear “the owner is very handy, and he’s done a lot of work on the boat himself,” it’s a red flag. In the UK standard contracts for buying a used boat give a 14-day period in which a survey can take place, once a deposit has been paid to the vendor or his agent. Consider too, that for the typical diesel cruiser that you've traveled a long distance to purchase, you'll probably end up spending at least $2,000 on survey fees and travel, maybe more. Boat Survey Checklist. Fisheries biologist Dr. Ross Boucek rounds up some shallow water boating tips. Normally between 3-8 hours. A report is usually generated within 24-48 hours and will include observations as well as photos. The surveyor will generally also include the condition of underwater gear including shafts, struts and propellers, key fasteners such as structural bolts, and the floorboards. It’s a snapshot in time and not a guarantee that that equipment will work in the future. All periodic maintenance including oil and impeller changes should be done prior to the survey. Hull 4. Write down questions to be asked when a good time arises—don’t distract the surveyor every time you see something to ask about. Bilges, engines and machinery spaces should be scrubbed. After the samples are obtained, they then have to be sent to a lab service. Educate yourself about what is and isn’t a big issue. It’s best to choose a surveyor who has significant experience in the type of boat you plan to purchase – sailboat, motoryacht, tow boat, pontoon boat, metal boat, classic or anqitue boat, etc. I am working on and altering my vessel, do I need to contact a Marine Surveyor? Surveyors are specialists who have been certified to enter the profession and are required to participate in continuing education programs to maintain membership. All rights reserved. Surveyors usually don’t require you to be present. A survey can take a few hours to a full day depending on the size and complexity of the boat and its systems. plus hourly (depends on the boat – please call for more information). A fuel system inspection should be done from the tanks to the engines and electronics should be turned on an tested for proper function. This fee usually only covers the actual cost of the marine survey and non-destructive testing. The cost of a survey differs depending on which surveyor you use and where you have the boat hauled out for the survey. The time to dig into the findings will be later when they’re assembled into a report. If there’s some deficiency that would absolutely disqualify the boat in your mind, let the surveyor know to check that first. This will depend on the length of the boat, number of engines and generators to be inspected. Smaller issues will need to be taken on by the buyer. If you’ll be running the boat, the sea trial usually lasts 30-60 minutes. A survey can generally be completed within a few hours or one day. Copyright © 1999-2020 Boats Group. How long does a boat inspection take? Get an estimate of what repair or replacement will cost. The process is the same for boats except that you use an accredited surveyor and focus on different issues. Q. A water trial is where the surveyor along with the owner or broker will take the boat out to test the engines as well as other equipment that can only be fully tested while underway, such as autopilot and trim tabs. The hull should ring with a solid whump and it should feel firm under your fist. The surveyor will usually inspect and make an inventory of required safety gear that varies with the size and type of boat. 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? 4. This may help to reduce the cost of the survey as well. Additional charges to expect will be for the short haul at a boat yard, which can run another $15 per foot. Should the boat be in or out of the water? On a typical 40ft Sports Cruiser Pre-Purchase and Mechanical Survey with two engines and one generator, you would expect the Surveyor to onboard for a full day depending on the age and condition. I recommend that you be there to open any locks and give me permission to board and inspect. It should be straight horizontally and … A survey may be a long day for the buyer. For optimal results, a seller should take time to prepare the boat for a survey so it shows to its best advantage. CURRENT RATES (10/2019): Pre-Purchase Condition & Valuation (C&V) Marine Survey: $22.00 – $26.00 per foot. Electrical systems and wiring as well as any thru hulls will be reviewed and tested as will be the plumbing. The buyer should have an independent survey done by a third party regardless of there being one already done by the seller’s surveyor. Do I have to be present for the boat survey? Boat Trader encourages boaters to "talk trash" on the water with its #CleanWake Instagram challenge. how long does a survey take? boats.com is part of the Boats Group Network. When we are looking at boats we usually make two visits; a quick boat survey and a full boat survey. This may include using the navigation and communications electronics, anchoring, hearing the stereo and checking the batteries. Just as with a home inspection, a boat survey and sea trial will generate a list of items that may need to be addressed. It should include fair market and replacement values for the boat based on comparable sales and industry data. A C&V survey will include observations and descriptions of the findings as well as a summary statement of the overall condition of the boat. How does an insurance survey differ from a pre-purchase survey? Please note this is an AVERAGE as recorded on payscale.com There is the potential to earn considerably more or less. Surveys sometimes end abruptly, and it’s common for the surveyor and client to agree on some partial payment if a clear defect convinces the buyer that there’s no need to continue. Purchasing a boat is a process that shares some similarities to buying a home or car, but with some important differences. Melanie Mortimer | Mon Sep 7, 2020 at 11:33am Hello Please could you let me know the procedure you recommended, to get the best out of the ultrasound survey. How long does a Marine Survey take? There is nothing better than a day out on the water, the wind in your hair carrying away the stresses... Trash Talk: #CleanWake Challenge Unites Boaters To Tackle Marine Debris. The surveyor should be accompanied by the owner or the vessel operator. A variety of surveys are usually scheduled including an in-water survey, a haul-out/bottom survey, an engine survey and the sea trial (test drive), which is the test drive and usually a part of the survey done on the same day. Most boats can be sea trialed and surveyed in one day and some boats may be surveyed on the trailer although they should be put in the water to be tested. During the recruitment process, speak to two or three surveyors to find the proper fit of both experience and personality. How long does a Marine Survey take? Your surveyor may suggest additional inspections be done by specialists like an engine surveyor who may conduct an oil sample analysis and a detailed evaluation of the condition of the motor(s). We do NOT solicit yacht brokers for business and therefore do not have conflicts of interest of who we have allegiance to. It should include an evaluation of the hull, deck and structure as well as the boat’s systems and should be done by an accredited surveyor. The underwriters will review the report and the recommendations that must be cleared prior to obtaining coverage. How much does a marine survey cost? Every year nearly 1.5 million Americans buy a new or used boat, ranging from large yachts to small cruisers to canoes. A survey can take a few hours to a full day depending on the size and complexity of the boat and its systems. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. Helping you assess the condition of the asset you’re about to purchase and settling on a fair value for it are just two reasons to take the surveying process seriously. “For example, I need one full day to inspect a typical 45-foot sail boat. Some surveyors may have a flat rate for their time, especially for smaller and simpler boats. How long does a survey take? How long does a marine survey take? Pressure washing the bottom (or having a diver clean it if it’s kept in the water) is helpful. Taking a boat off the dock and operating it will tell you volumes about how much you will or will not like it as the future unfolds. A surveyor should be willing to initially speak with you over the phone, answer basic questions about the survey process, provide references and supply a sample of a past survey so you can gage the thoroughness of the work that will be performed. Some surveyors use a flat rate based on the length the boat, while others use an hourly rate. This depends on the condition of the vessel being surveyed. For that matter, no new boat is perfect so expect that the sea trial will uncover something. 4. Fair market and replacement values for the boat, based on comparable sales or industry data. While under way, the surveyor will be inspecting systems, taking measurements and photos as well as recording notes. Surveyors and some boatyards may require a check rather than a credit card. On average, we discovered that respondents take just over a minute to answer the first question in a survey (including the time spent reading any survey introductions) and spend about 5 minutes in total, answering a 10 question survey. If the boat is kept in the water, the test drive should be before the haul out at the boatyard to save on that bill if something goes wrong during the sea trial and the buyer decides not to continue with the purchase. If the boat is extremely simple and clean, it’ll take less time and of course a boat that is the same size in poor condition, dirty, or full of extraneous stuff, or complicated systems will take … Don’t expect a surveyor to answer specific questions about a boat he or she hasn’t seen and don’t expect advice on repairs on your current vessel. Cleaning the propeller of growth will help it vibrate less and perform better. The fact is we don't know how long the survey will take. The surveyor will want to inspect the equipment and engines when they’re cold at the dock so the sea trial will have to occur after that. Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. either have it fixed or note it for the buyer so it doesn’t come as a surprise. We service boat buyers directly. Older boats take more time and may have more challenging access to systems requiring the surveyor to get creative. You’ll learn how others have dealt with the same issues. The day following the survey is devoted to finalizing findings, market research, and writing your report. Surveyors are therefore accustomed to booking work at relatively short notice. A. Descriptions of the boat and each system onboard. Be there or be available. But what does a marine surveyor look for? Others may charge per foot of boat length, which ranges $18-25/ft. Cracks (especially at keel hull joint) 4. Surveyors earn their keep in many ways including identifying past maintenance issues and future repair needs. The boatyard may do what’s called a “short haul” where they leave the boat in the slings over the lunch hour thereby eliminating the need to block the boat up into a space. Prior to the survey, clean the boat and remove any clutter. Do this a couple times and the cost gets serious. Your broker may be the one to attend the survey, but make sure you’re available to answer questions—you know your boat better than anyone, and you may be able to clear up issues before they become misconceptions. The valuation assessment in the survey will help determine how much the loan can be for and how much has to be supplied as down payment. We also have extended business hours. How long does a survey take? Findings and recommendations, divided into levels of importance. This individual will be working for you so a mesh of temperaments cannot be understated. Generally a pre-purchase survey survey takes 6-8 hours. Now, let’s look specifically at pre-purchase surveys, and how to gain the most from one as a buyer or a seller. The survey can run anywhere from 2 to 10 hours depending on the size of the vessel and 2 to 8 hours in the office to thoroughly prepare the survey report. If the boat comes with a trailer, that should be thoroughly reviewed as well to make sure it’s the proper size for the weight of the boat and that it’s in good road condition including having working lights and tires that don’t show excessive wear. The time involved is more a factor of the condition of the boat and the complexity of the systems than anything else. Some insurers also request a periodic survey (every three or five years) to keep tabs on the current condition of the boat and whether something (like frayed wires, fuel leaks, bilge pump malfunction) could signal the possibility of a future claim. The keel must run true in a straight line from fore to aft. A statement of the boat’s overall condition. Top 10 Choices for Boaters, Understanding and Choosing Marine Surveyors, Boating Tips: Understanding Boat Stability. Whether you’re buying or selling, the pre-purchase boat survey can make or break the deal. Some surveyors will charge a portion of their per-foot time for travel to and from the vessel. When the boat is on the trailer, walk around it and thump the sides of the boat with the bottom of your fist. Either way, a pre-purchase survey will cost somewhere around $20 per foot, but it will be higher on large and complex (or older) boats. The out-of-water survey will need to be quick and precisely scheduled to get done in that short period of time. A rig surveyor may be needed for sailboats where the individual goes up the mast, checks the condition of the shrouds and stays and possibly reviews the condition of the sails. Generally we can complete a Condition and Value Survey within six (3) business days of your request. 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. Be careful about doing work on the boat yourself if it goes beyond cosmetics. (The U.S. Coast Guard doesn’t approve nor certify surveyors.) Help if you can, perhaps by pulling gear and cushions out of areas to be inspected. However, respondents take more time per question when responding to shorter surveys compared to longer surveys: If something doesn’t work, (electronics, generator, air conditioning, etc.) In some cases, it may be less. What do I need to do to prepare for the vessel survey? But in the real world, it deserves to have some added emphasis. Cosmetics make the first impression so wash the boat and have the gel coat waxed, the stainless steel work polished and the wood varnished. It was an eye-opening experience because, as a long-time boat owner, I thought I knew a lot about boats. The larger the boat and the more systems it has, the longer the survey and report will take. If you own the boat, we ask that you be present at the survey to open any locks or give us permission to board and access to inspect the vessel. Keel. If the boat is a popular model of which a number were built, you should be able to find information on performance statistics and possible problems online. Engine and sailboat rig surveys generally cost $500-$1000 but are dependent on the number of engines and the age of the rig. Whatever equipment is not part of the sale should be removed or should be labeled as available for at an extra cost. Quick Boat Survey – Part of our “How to Buy a Boat” series. A prepared seller may commission a survey to help the boat sell faster and potentially for a higher price. Keep a log with all invoices for maintenance and service work performed on the boat throughout its life. There may be an online history of issues via owners associations and clubs so you can learn what a model has experienced over the years whether with performance or problems with components like engine mounts, fuel tank corrosion, steering irregularities and so forth. A lender may request a survey if the boat is financed. Also, remember that the pre-purchase survey will go to your insurance provider and your lender so making it excessively negative in hopes of putting downward pressure on the price won’t serve you well in the long run. Soft spots/hollow spots. The initial visit is focused on looking for indicators that will tell us about the things we can’t see. While buying a new boat is fairly straightforward, 80% of boats for sale today are pre-owned. Our normal business hours are 8:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday. 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