Condition & Value (pre-purchase)
This is the most comprehensive type of survey, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel should be examined. This covers structural integrity, electrical systems, the propulsion system, the fuel system, other machinery, navigation equipment, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, electronics, and overall maintenance as well as an out-of-water inspection and a sea trial.This type of survey is required by some insurance companies.
Damage & Claims
The surveyor can be retained by an insurance company to determine the cause of a loss and determine the extent of loss related damage and may be asked to recommend repairs, review estimates, and determine the pre-loss value of a vessel. A vessel owner can retain a surveyor for the same purposes, but for the owner’s behalf. Such surveys are normal after storm events and, incidents such as grounding.
This type of survey is performed to gather enough information to justify or determine the fair market value of the vessel. The scope of this survey is a general condition of the vessel as well as an inventory of all equipment on board. This is normally needed for financing, estate settlements, donations and legal cases.
This single page shortened inspection is an outdated practice and is no longer industry standard. It is typically performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. Not all insurance companies will accept an insurance type survey. As a surveyor whose primary concern is your safety, I have opted to not perform these abbreviated surveys. Insurance companies are interested in structural integrity and safety and most insurance companies will require a survey on older and wooden boats. They will also want to know the vessel’s fair market value. Be sure to call and ask your insurance company what they require for your particular coverage. (i.e. out of water, sea trial, etc.)