Port Credit Marine Surveys
& Yacht Delivery

Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors

American Boat & Yacht Council




Preparing For a Marine Survey

The process of buying a boat can be frustrating. A few simple steps can help this part of it go a little easier.
After reading this, take a look at
Sea Trial, it ain't just a boat ride.

1. The surveyor must have specific directions to the boat. I can't tell you how many marinas and boatyards I have wandered looking for the right boat. Ensure the boat is where it's supposed to be.

2. If the mast is not stepped I must have specific directions to it and it must be clearly identified. "It's the aluminum one on the rack" (among 150 others) just doesn't cut it.

3. All keys to the engine, the cabin, the engine room, and all lockers must be onboard.

4. All ship's papers including registration or license (Canada), documentation or state registration (US) should be laid out onboard for the surveyor.

5. All boat covers, shrink wrap should be removed from the boat prior to surveyors arrival. I once made a small (4" u-shaped) cut in shrink wrap to get the HIN number. After the deal fell through due to the survey report I was sued by an angry owner for "destroying" his shrink wrap.

6. Remove as many personal items as possible to facilitate access to all systems and lockers. You really want your surveyor spending his time examining the boat, not moving piles of "stuff" around. If two settees and three chairs must be removed from the vessel in order to open the engine compartment, please have that done before the surveyor arrives.

7. Have all fasteners removed from sole panels, chainplate coverings (or any other panel) for inspection. The surveyor will not remove screws from the nicely varnished teak sole to inspect the keel bolts. I can't report on that badly decayed mast step if I can't see it.

8. Ensure batteries are installed and connected. No prudent surveyor will connect batteries as we have no idea why they were disconnected.

9. Ensure shore power is connected. No prudent surveyor will connect shorepower. As with the DC system we have no idea why it was disconnected.

10. Try to have water, fuel and waste tanks filled as leaks are more easily detected.

11. Notify marine yard ahead of time, and have them standing by to haul and pressure wash the bottom if the boat isn't already out. Make sure the marina has the name and phone number of the surveyor and everyone else involved.

12. Have the broker or owners representative on hand to move the boat to the lift. We will not drive the boat.

13. It is in your best interest to attend the survey but please don't bring your friends, kids or dogs. We simply do not have time to continually ask people to move out of the way to gain access to components. You want us to focus on the job at hand without having to move three people every time we turn around. We do not have the authority to deny the owners presence but it is in your best interest that they not be present. If the owner is present we will cordially introduce ourselves and politely inform them that we will not talk to them during or about the survey. Think about it, the reasons should be obvious.

We refused to survey this

and this

and this