Getting a Marine Survey- What It Entails & What to Expect
By: Scott Way
If you're a prospective boat buyer, getting a marine survey on a vessel can seem like an annoying part of the process. And the truth is, you'd be right. But you know what's worse? Purchasing a boat without a survey and discovering a multitude of issues that will keep you on shore with insurance issues and digging deeper into your wallet. Depending on the size and type of the vessel you're considering, a marine survey is a worthwhile investment that ensures you get what you pay for. A reputable marine surveyor will inspect the vessel from top to bottom, and while it's a tedious process the outcome is worth it. Making sure your boat is sound is part of being a good captain.
For new boaters Nic Morganti and Melissa Auman, they decided to sell all their possessions, buy a sailboat, and live on it full time with a dream of sailing from Canada to the Caribbean. New to boating and unsure what to expect, they hired a marine surveyor to inspect the vessel they ended up purchasing, their Island Packet IP27 sailboat, the sv Dodi. In Nic's own words;
"Boat surveys are not sexy, but I did my best to make it fun to watch the process. It is a long slow day of checking out each individual system on a boat. Technically we just watch the marine surveyor check all the systems. There are a lot of systems, the bottom, the standing rigging, the running rigging, the lights, the anchors, the deck, the tender or dinghy, the inboard diesel motor, the out board gas motor for the dingy, the VHF, the stereo, the DC power, the AC power, the air conditioner, the refrigeration, the head, the fresh water, the seacocks, the starter battery, the house bank batteries, the sails. The list goes on and on and they all have their own specs. A good survey takes quite a long time. It is well worth it. After, the first survey we had I would never buy a boat without one.The key is a good, honest, knowledgeable surveyor. This is what it is like. Not that exciting until you realize you have found the perfect boat!"
Watch below to see what a good marine inspection entails and what you can expect as a prospective buyer:
Nic and Melissa offer boaters are a great inside look at their transition into boating, their learning process, and what it's like to live on a boat full time. Follow their adventures on TheBoatLife on YouTube.
To learn more about marine surveys and how they can affect ownership, check out our full article on marine insurance.
To learn more about the different types of marine surveys and some common FAQ's, check out a great resource from Discover Boating.