I do not do walk through surveys or brief reports. I like to spend enough time on board to make a very detailed inspection. Then I will spend two days 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.


Typical Survey Requirements

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

  • Haul Out Survey
  • In-Water Survey
  • Sea Trial.
  • These are necessary so that all the functional testing and inspection required is made. Without sea trial the engine, steering, vibration, structural movement at sea cannot be assessed. An ashore inspection is with limited functional testing.

    Survey Scheduling

    Time required is typically as follows :

  • Sail and Motor up to 50ft – One Day
  • Large Sail and Motor over 50ft – Two Days
  • Superyachts – Two to Three Days
  • 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 for boats up to say 50ft 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. 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.

    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. If during a Survey Lift inspection visible moisture related defects are noted (blisters etc). Then full hauling would be recommended for further inspection.

    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. For a boat ashore only the inspection takes about 4-5 hours. With launching and sea trial additional time is required which varies.

    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

  • With the exception of moisture readings of the hull or steel/alu thickness measurements as applicable, no other non destructive testing (NDT) measurements are made.
  • The rigging is inspected from deck level. If further inspection is wanted and this is anyway suggested a rigger to inspect aloft.
  • The sails if stored are inspected folded. For best inspection they are to be hoisted on sea trial.
  • 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.
  • If sea trial is not available, engine can be tested ashore provided buyer or owner arranges with mechanic to fit a fresh water connection to the engine.
  • Repair prices for the defects identified in the report are not included. Contractors can be introduced by surveyor or broker for provision of quotations so that actual repair prices are obtained.
  • Valuation of the boat for insurance purposes is not included unless insurers request and then is provided at no additional charge. I do not provide valuation of the boat for purchase purposes as it is not possible to be so exact but verbal discussions about price are welcome.
  • Valuation of boats for the purposes of promoting a charter investment are not covered by my insurance.

    Engine Lubricating Oil Analysis

    Engine Lubricating Oil Analysis is offered as per quotation and requires oil to have done at least 50 hours. The results require about one week for delivery.

    The Report

    The report will be delivered by email as a PDF file. Hardcopy is also available if requested using double sided colour laser printer. The report generally takes 2 days to write.


    Full Photographic Reporting

    The report includes a full photographic record of the items inspected, the tests performed and a photo of each defect. This is intended to bring confidence to the client in the work performed as there is photographic evidence. 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. The photos are also ideal for negotiations with sellers.


    Preliminary Findings

    Preliminary Findings (Defects List) can be made available soon after the survey to assist negotiations to continue. In case of proceeding to issue the full report quickly it is best to not produce a defects list but instead concentrate on getting the full report issued as fast as possible.

    Sample Report

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

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