Purchasing a boat is a big decision. You have found the perfect boat. You can picture yourself on this boat fulfilling your dreams whether it be fishing, entertaining clients, family vacations, whatever YOUR dream is. But is this boat really a good buy? Is it safe? The first step to determine if, in fact, this is the perfect boat, is to obtain a complete survey from an accredited, certified boat surveyor who has complete knowledge of both hull and engines since they are two separate surveys. The surveyor you choose is the most important person involved in your purchase and should have many years experience in boat building, boat repair, boat inspections. If you have an engine survey completed, the surveyor should have a background in engine manufacturing and repair. A surveyor with the proper knowledge, experience and equipment will save you money in the long run.
What does a hull survey entail?
- a complete topside inspection which should include thermal imaging, ( moisture meters and percussion soundings are NOT accurate and went by the wayside almost twenty years ago), exterior and interior inspections including bilge areas and all compartments, tankage, electronics, internal running gear, wiring, batteries, sea valves, condition of safety equipment and all systems
- an out of water inspection with thermal imager to check for moisture and delamination, external running gear, external hull above and below the water line, and manufacturer’s hull number.
- The hull survey should include a written report which includes deficiencies and recommendations that are compliant with the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, NFPA, ABYC, IMO and any other regulations pertaining to the particular vessel. Many underwriters are unhappy with standardized, computerized surveys and prefer a survey written to the particular boat that you have purchased.
- Hull surveys will vary in price based on size of boat, minimum size charges, additional travel and experience of the surveyor. The lowest price is not always the best, especially in this case.
- What does an engine survey entail?
- A complete engine survey will include inspection of cooling systems, possible bore scoping, compression checks and/or computer scans of engines, thermal imaging, engine heats, possible turbo inspections, transmission inspections, engine pump inspection, manifold and oil sampling. The engine survey requires a longer sea trial than a hull survey alone. Prices on engine surveys vary by number of engines, horsepower, gas, diesel, type of insulation, age of engine and accessibility.
NOTE: AN OIL SAMPLE IS NOT AN ENGINE SURVEY. IT IS ONLY 1/20TH OR THE SMALLEST PART OF AN ENGINE SURVEY. DON’T BE FOOLED. GET A REAL ENGINE SURVEY WHEN YOU GET YOUR HULL SURVEYED.