Choosing a Marine Surveyor

Choosing a Marine Surveyor


If you are looking to own a boat, it is almost written in stone that you will at some point require the services of a marine surveyor.


Buying a boat. Pre Purchase Survey


Insuring a boat. Conditional survey for the insurers to base their decisions upon


Building a boat. Project management, contract negotiations, quality control


Refit of a yacht. Pre project planning and costing, project management, quality control, yard selection, negotiation, sea trials upon completion


Following an accident. Causation, repair requirements, costings, project management.


Are you a claims handler? Understanding the cause, are the costs fair and reasonable, are all items within the claim incident related, is the yard suitably qualified.


Safety systems and crew training in the use of. You may have all required equipment, are your crew aware of systems to mitigate loss and danger to your craft, family and friends?


The above list of possible requirements is not exhaustive but we feel pertinent to some of the most frequent requirements. We will not try and cover all items in this post and aim to add one item per week for the next seven weeks. We hope you find this an interesting read and we aim to not be to biased towards ourselves, that may be harder than we think!


Buying a Boat.

We will firstly start with a case study so you have an overview of what we feel is amiss with the current system of appointing a Surveyor for a pre purchase survey.

We were contacted by a potential purchaser and asked to give costings for carrying out a pre purchase survey. The prospective client found us through the website of the International Institute of Marine Surveyors.

We gave a fixed price for attending, inspecting and delivery of our report. The client called us and after some, “why are you more expensive than others”, agreed to proceed.

We sent the contract and received a telephone call, requesting that we remove the oil sampling from the survey, the broker assured the client this was not a requirement and although I disagreed in principal, I told the client we would report that this was suggested but declined. The client made payment and we began the organisation, I requested the vessel was lifted the night before the out of water survey. We received another call from the client. The Broker had told the client that most surveyors would have the vessel lifted in the slings and held for two to three hours as to inspect the below waterline areas. He asked why we would not do this. We replied that we vehemently disagreed with this practise and that we would only comment as to the condition of the below waterline area if we were allowed to carry out a proper inspection. The client reneged and agreed to this.


We carried out the inspection and found that the vessel had been subjected to a very sub standard osmosis treatment and had de-lamination in many areas and a very unfair finish to all. We then found structural defects to the internal structure and advised that we did not believe this vessel to represent good value. The owner was very disappointed and felt it had been an expensive day for himself, he also told us that he had been offered a good price for his boat in part exchange, in fact, almost double its value, in our opinion.


We will not go into any more detail and hope by reading between the lines you will understand why we feel it very important to employ the services of a surveyor who has not been recommended by the person selling the boat.


We also feel that the client would save £30,000.00 by not proceeding with the purchase.


Next week. Conditional survey of a yacht for insurance purposes.



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