A pre-purchase survey is an in-depth, through evaluation of all the vessels
systems. When conditions permit, the inspection includes operational testing of all
equipment. The vessel must be hauled out of the water for hull inspection. A
sea trial is also highly recommended and is generally included in the cost of the survey
when conditions permit and the sea trial is conducted on the same day as the
inspection. Other inspections include rigging, machinery and electrical
systems. Given todays complicated vessel system, specialists should be
consulted when circumstances dictate such as with large diesel powered machinery and
complicated electronic systems.
A Pre-purchase Survey report
is designed to assist you in post survey negotiations, scheduling required repairs,
completing routine and preventive maintenance as well as making decisions for upgrades in
the near and distant future.
pre-purchase survey is
a systematic, thorough, and operational evaluation of all the vessel's structure, systems
and equipment that includes:
||Hull, deck, & structure
||Running gear and keel
||Operational test of systems
||USCG-mandated safety gear
Rigging Limitations -
Rigging aloft is inspected if the vessel's equipment is
deemed suitable by the surveyor and the manpower present, at the time of inspection, is
adequate to ensure the surveyor's safety.
Value Limitations - An opinion, based on the surveyor's experience and research
of available market information, as to the approximate fair market value and replacement cost
of the vessel in included in each report.
All vessels undergoing Pre-purchase surveys must be hauled
for a thorough inspection of the hull and underwater machinery.
A test run of the vessel, often termed a "Sea Trial", is highly recommended.
Given today's complicated and expensive systems, it may also be recommended that
specialists be consulted when circumstances dictate, such as with large diesel engines and
complicated electronic systems.
The prospective purchaser is
encouraged to attend the survey. We think you will find this a valuable experience. During
the survey, our first priority is the inspection process. An on-site post survey
consultation will follow the inspection to address your questions and visually qualify
important findings. If you are unable to be present at the time of inspection, a telephone
conference will be held with you to discuss important findings. We often find other
interested parties (owner, brokers, purchaser's friend, etc.) attend the survey as well.
However, we will politely but strictly limit any potential for distraction. Our obligation
is to report fully the facts, discoveries and opinions of privileged communicators. A high
risk discovery that poses an immediate threat to the vessel or her crew may, however, be
reported immediately to the seller and/or his or her agent.
A Pre-purchase survey report
is designed to assist you in post-survey negotiations, scheduling required repairs,
completing routine and preventive maintenance, and for making decisions about future
upgrades. Inspections are non-destructive and non-intrusive. A variety of non-destructive
test equipment such as moisture meters, sounding devices, temperature probes, and
electronic multimeters may be employed by the surveyor.
No portion of the vessel
will be examined that requires disassembly of any structure or machinery, and the surveyor
will not commission any machinery or systems that are not in operating order at the time
of inspection. No test borings of the hull or superstructure will be made and no equipment
or machinery is operated under abnormal loads. The owner or authorized agent must be
prepared to operate the vessel so that the surveyor can concentrate on the inspection at
hand. In addition, we will offer no opinion or evaluation of the vessel's inherent
stability or handling characteristics.
As the purchaser of the survey, you are responsible for making arrangements for necessary
yard services (hauling of vessel, bottom washing, blocking, etc.). Hull bottoms and
underwater gear must be washed and cleared of marine growth to enable proper inspection.
Most yards require payment at the time of haul out.
Preparing the vessel for
survey is the owner's responsibility. Specifically, he or she should take any action
necessary to ensure reasonable access to the vessel's systems (steering, machinery, sea
valves, batteries, fuel tanks, etc.). This may require temporary relocation of loose or
heavy gear stowed in cockpit lockers (sails, anchors, inflatable boats, cleaning and
maintenance products, canvas, etc.). On some vessels, access to the machinery spaces may
be limited by carpet or heavy furniture which must be moved. If the vessel's owner lives
aboard or if the vessel is excessively cluttered, the surveyor will not move personal
effects to gain required access. Preparations should include ensuring both AD and DC power
is availability (as applicable) during operational testing. All equipment and electronics
that are to convey with the sale of the vessel should be available and properly installed.
All equipment that is not to convey with the sale should be removed or clearly labeled.
Bilge's should be as dry as possible. Failure to make these provisions might force the
surveyor to bypass inspection of a critical system or component, or the purchaser may
incur additional expense if the surveyor must revisit the vessel to complete inspection.
Surveys are conducted
year-round. However, severe weather conditions limit our effectiveness. The inspection
schedule may need to be adjusted due to high winds, rain, snow, ice, or temperature
extremes which interfere with our normal field testing and inspection methods. The
personal safety of the surveyor and survey attendees is also considered.
Prior to the survey,
prospective purchasers are advised to request full disclosures from the seller to include,
but not be limited to: records of maintenance and repairs, engine logs, damage experience,
manuals, title status, documentation papers, etc. It is also advised that you get
agreement and understanding about responsibilities from the owner or the broker agent to
minimize the chance of problems or misunderstandings. If the vessel cannot be adequately
prepared for survey, we should be notified so assistance can be employed. Costs associated
with employing a surveyor's assistant will be passed along to you. A surcharge may also
apply in the event of an extremely dirty or cluttered vessel.
Given the complicated
systems, machinery, and method of construction of vessels, it is highly probable that some
defects may not be detected due to the inability to inspect some portions of the vessel
and machinery. To minimize this potential, the surveyor will endeavor to exercise his or
her best judgment and to follow accepted professional standards and practice in the
performance of the survey. The surveyor may recommend other specialists be consulted when
circumstances dictate in order to protect the prospective purchaser's best interest.
Payment for survey services
is due at the time of survey and must be received in full prior to transmittal of the
survey report. Survey reports are normally forwarded, via regular mail, within five
working days or less depending on workload. A single copy will be sent via Fax upon
Our reports are highly
detailed and provide a clearly articulated impression of the condition of the vessel,
recommendations for necessary repairs, and an opinion as to the approximate current market
value and replacement cost. Photographs may be used to qualify observations. Each vessel
is given thoughtful consideration of survey observations and the research necessary to
support recommendations and valuation opinions.
The Marine Survey &
Design Co. survey report format is recognized by every insurance company and marine
lending institution worldwide.
Click here to view a
sample of our Pre-Purchase Survey Report.