I like to spend enough time on board to make a very detailed inspection. Typically an inspection will take 4 hours with additional time for the hauling/launching and sea trial.  Then I will spend a full day to produce the report. I am very interested in your safety on the seas and that you do not purchase a yacht without having as much information as possible in hand.

anTypical Survey Requirements

A full pre-purchase survey consists of the following surveys :

  • Ashore Survey
  • In-Water Survey
  • Sea Trial.

The ashore survey is most important and required for insurance. The sea trial extends the limited functional testing of the ashore survey to assess the engine at full rpm, steering, vibration, structural movement at sea. Often however only ashore survey is made.

Survey Scheduling

According to the schedule of the owner a survey may be split so that the out of water survey is on one day and the in-water survey / sea trial is at a later date and vice versa. The survey may also be split to provide a second survey at a later date when the yacht is delivered to the new owner, for instance if the yacht is to be delivered after the charter season.

Haul Out

It is possible to make the out of water survey in the travelift or crane slings. This is called a “Survey Lift”.

During the survey lift inspection it can be determined if full hauling is required for further inspection or repairs. If the hull is with significant marine growth then it is possible to miss items such as stress crazing or osmosis blisters. Therefore pressure wash if required is beneficial but may not always be available in survey lift circumstances. In those cases it would be good if diver cleaning was made before the lift.

Moisture Measurement of GRP Laminates

If representative hull moisture readings of GRP laminates are wanted then the boat should stay at least 1 week on the hard prior to the survey. One week may not be sufficient for all boats, the weather during the drying period is also a factor.

Scope of Services

The survey consists of an external inspection of all the boat for the purpose of prepurchase consideration with functional testing as far as possible and without dismantling.

Survey Items

The survey will examine the condition of the following items, where applicable :

  • Keel
  • Hull below Waterline
  • Topsides
  • Deck Moulding
  • Coachroof
  • Cockpit
  • Hull to Deck Join
  • Bulkheads and Structural Stiffening including Internal Mouldings
  • Rudder and Steering
  • Stern Gear
  • Cathodic Protection
  • Skin Fittings and other Through Hull Apertures
  • Companionway and other Access to Accommodation
  • Ports, Windows
  • Pulpit, Stanchions, Lifelines, Jackstays
  • Rigging Attachment Points
  • Ground Tackle and Mooring Arrangements
  • Davits and Boarding Ladders
  • Spars
  • Standing Rigging
  • Running Rigging
  • Sails and Covers
  • Navigation Lights
  • Bilge Pumping Arrangements
  • Fire-Fighting Equipment
  • Lifesaving and Emergency Equipment
  • Engine and Machinery Installation
  • Fuel System
  • Accommodation – General condition
  • Gas Installation
  • Fresh Water Tanks and Delivery
  • Heads
  • Electrical Installation – 12v, 24v, 220-240v, Shore Power, Generator(s)
  • Electronic and Navigational Equipment
  • Heating, Refrigeration and Aircondition Systems

For GRP yachts the survey will include moisture testing except for “Survey Lift” circumstances.

For Steel or Aluminium yachts ultrasonic thickness measurements are optional.

Items not Included

  • The rigging is inspected from deck level. I can also inspect the rigging aloft if requested and the required arrangements made.
  • The sails if stored are inspected folded. For best inspection they are to be hoisted on sea trial.
  • The tanks are not opened for inspection. They can be inspected with specific request and also for buyers to have permission from the owners.
  • Panels are removed for inspection to access required equipment but if secured with many screws they are not removed. Panels secured with sealant are not removed.
  • Areas with excessive stores and items are not inspected.
  • The engine is externally inspected and running condition is witnessed if sea trial is made available. If further inspection is required (compression testing, endoscope inspection of cylinders) appoint a mechanic to make separate inspection and indicate next servicing requirements. For motor yachts it is normal to have mechanic on sea trial with laptop connection to the engines.
  • If sea trial is not available, engine can be tested ashore with fresh water connection. This is a very basic test which indicates only that the engine runs or does not. It is not the same as sea trial. It requires permission from the owner.
  • Repair estimates can be discussed. For accurate information it is best to obtain quote from a repairer at the boat location.
  • Valuation of the boat is not included for sale purposes but can be included on request, for insurance purposes.

Engine Lubricating Oil Analysis

Engine Lubricating Oil Analysis can be offered at additional charge and requires oil to have done at least 50 hours. The results are ready a few days after the survey from a local laboratory.

Preliminary Findings

Preliminary Findings (Defects List) is sent by email in the evening after the inspection or the next morning. This enables negotiations to continue while the report is being made.

The Report

The report will be delivered by email as a PDF file. Hardcopy is also available if requested at additional cost. The report is earliest ready 2 days after the inspection and may also be up to one week depending on schedule with other boats. We can make agreement for the report delivery schedule.


Full Photographic Reporting

The report includes a full photographic record of the items inspected, the tests performed and a photo of each defect. This provides photographic evidence of the tests and inspection performed. The photographs also provide ease of understanding especially for buyers with less experience or if English is not their first language and avoids any technical terminology not being understood.


Sample Report

Sample reports are available here. Company brochure is available here.

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