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Choosing a Marine Surveyor

After your, oftentimes long and exhaustive, search for the right boat for you, you have finally selected the boat that you feel is "The Boat" for you. Your next step is to make a written offer through your Yacht Broker. Your offer may be subject to numerous items such as financing, sea-trial, mechanical surveys, and an out-of-water marine survey. Let's discuss the marine survey. Why is the marine survey so important?
  • To insure your boat, your insurance company will insist on obtaining a copy of the survey.
  • If you are financing your purchase, your lender will also insist on obtaining a copy of the survey.
  • Certainly the most important reason for a survey is for your peace of mind as the Buyer. You want to be confident that the boat of your dreams is not actually a nightmare in disguise.
  • The survey may uncover problems that even the Seller was not aware of.
  • Last but certainly not least, your Yacht Broker must be made aware of the condition of the vessel.
    To properly represent your best interest, a good Yacht Broker needs to know the exact condition of the vessel so that he may address the problems that may exist. Armed with the facts, he can provide you with his professional guidance throughout your new purchase.
    For the surveyor to thoroughly inspect your boat, he must see the boat out of the water. Never allow anyone to talk you into an in-water survey. Another point that I would like to emphasize is the need to also obtain a separate mechanical survey/inspection. The mechanical survey is not required by insurance companies or lenders and therefore it is oftentimes overlooked. In my opinion, the mechanical survey is just as important as the marine survey. Engines and generators are very expensive components of the boat and must be inspected by a competent marine mechanic. Always insist on a mechanical survey!
    Now, how do you select a surveyor? Fortunately, regardless of how your selection is made, most surveyors today are very competent professionals and will provide you with a first class survey. The best method of selecting a surveyor is the method that makes you feel the most comfortable and confident.
  • I urge you to ask a friend for his recommendation.
  • Ask your lender.
  • Ask your insurance broker.
  • Ask the local boatyard.
  • Call one of the national surveyor organizations such as SAMS, Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors or NAMS, National Association of Marine Surveyors.
  • Ask your trusted Yacht Broker. Perhaps you might ask everyone that I suggested and see if there is one name that is prominent. Above all, call the surveyors and talk to them. Select the one that instills the most confidence in you.
    During the survey, I highly recommend that you attend and ask questions. A good surveyor will encourage and be responsive to your questions and comments. A good surveyor is not the alarmist that distorts everything out of context. A good surveyor will not gloss over everything in a hurried manner. A good surveyor inspects the vessel thoroughly, gives his professional evaluation as to the condition and valuation, and puts his findings into written form.

    This is a copy of an article written by Bob Merritt for Sea Magazine.


    Corinthian Yacht & Ship Brokers

    3600 South Harbor Blvd, Suite 113
    Channel Islands Harbor
    Oxnard, CA 93035-4136, United States

    Tel 805-382-6050
    Email Us


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