EghamSurreyTW20 8ED

Yacht and Smallcraft Surveyors in Surrey

Phone Number: 01784 464 899

Mobile Number: 07860 254369

Pre Purchase Boat Inspections
Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Greater London

When it comes to buying a new boat, many buyers will opt to have a pre-purchase boat inspection. Some insurance companies will ask for a boat inspection before providing you with full insurance cover. If you intend to buy a boat, you should have a survey. It is also a good idea to give you peace of mind.

An inspection is likely carried out on behalf of the buyer. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't commission one when you are selling your boat. Although it contributes to an additional cost, it may also bring some benefits. If you are a buyer, you should have your survey; you will then be sure that the boat you are buying is all that she is meant to be.

Smooth Sales Process

Boat inspections ensure that the sale process goes on smoothly. For example, the surveyor will check your boat thoroughly and notify you of any problem areas. It means you can repair them before you put your boat on the market. The result is if a buyer wants to have an inspection, you'll be ahead of the game. 

Honest Reputation

Having a quality boat inspection is essential. If you have a substandard one, you risk looking dishonest, even if you were unaware that the problems existed. Remember that some issues may be challenging to detect without an inspection, meaning you need to look for experts to carry them out. 

Aftersale Protection

By ensuring that potential buyers know the problems identified during the boat inspection, you will reduce the risk of facing lawsuits and aftersales disputes. Remember that it can be expensive to deal with court cases when you compare them to the amount you could have spent correcting the problems.

Carrying out regular boat inspections provides you with several benefits. If you decide not to repair the problems, one option is to reduce the boat's price when selling. A boat inspection will help you in avoiding buyer cancellation and any potential lawsuits.

What is Pre-Purchase?

An independent marine surveyor must complete the pre-purchase surveying. They will choose the appropriate approach for your specific boat and offer boat services for both domestic and commercial boats. 

Surveyor's Perspective

The buyer will hire a surveyor to ensure the purchase goes well and the boat is in good condition. However, the surveyor must please the owner of the boat and the broker too. The broker might also send clients to the surveyor, and the seller usually uses the surveyor when buying their next boat.

The SAMS (Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors) and the NAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors are used to ensure their members aren't victims of conflict of interest. Please contact a professional or view their website for their ethics codes in place for their members. 

The Process

The surveyors for the boat will use the worklist to define all the individual jobs objectively. The surveyor cannot tell the buyer whether to buy the boat or look for another; however, they must inform the buyer of all potential issues and repairs. Both themselves and the brokers want the new owner to love their boat, so they continue to use their business. 

The surveyor will write a report to view yourself and send another copy to the insurance company. This ensures the buyer can't use the repairs and issues against the seller to bring down the purchase price. 

Survey Guidelines

Within the surveys, the surveyors and sellers must use some guidelines. Several codes are used, including The Code of Federal Regulation (CFRs), also known as the Coast Guard Regulations. These regulations cover:

  Navigation Lights 




  Electrical Sytems 

  Safety Equipment

Other recommendations, including the ABYC, the American Boat and Yacht Council Standards, also used by the British marines. These standards include absolutely everything you could think of apart from the design and construction of the boat. Then, the boat must meet the NFPA, National Fire Protection Agency, standards too.

The Scope of a Pre-Purchase Survey

A non-destructive survey is necessary to check the overall condition and value of the boat. It is usually a limited inspection and should only take a day. 

The pre-purchase surveys are pretty much all the same structure unless you are having a survey for a boat in the water, then a different approach is taken, depending on the country. Surveyors will also do a sea trial during a survey for a boat on the water. Sea trials are there to ensure the boat runs smoothly on the sea. 

The Report 

After vessels have been surveyed, the owner and buyer will receive a written report which includes:

  The boats overall condition. 

  Market values for the boat. 

  Recommendations and requirements for your boat, along with any findings. 

  The level of importance sorts these. 

  Description of the boat.

Getting the Most out of a Survey

Both the buyer and seller can get the most out of the survey. Here are a few ways you can do this:


If you research and know a lot about boats and factors that may be considered as red flags, such as moisture, engine mounts and blisters, then you will be able to let your surveyor know. This means they can thoroughly check them in your pre-purchase surveys.  

It is essential to attend part of the survey, whether it's the pre-purchase survey, the insurance survey, or whatever the surveyor finds in the reports. You could also speed the process along if you help out. For example, clear out the areas that need to be inspected.  

You can survey some things yourself, such as the fishing equipment and more. This will not only lower your expenses but also speed the process along.  

If you have any questions during any point of the process, make sure you write them down. If there is a part of the boat stopping you from buying it, for example, the overall condition isn't perfect, you need to tell the surveyor straight away, and they will be able to check that first. 


It would help if you cleaned your boat before the survey. As soon as you buy your boat, generally, the preparation process for selling your boat should begin.  

It is essential to keep a log of all the maintenance and servicing jobs you've had done to your boat and will also help the surveyor and any potential buyers. Doing work yourself can put surveyors and potential buyers off buying your boat, as it can sometimes be a red flag. 

Ensure you are available to answer any questions throughout the survey processes, including the pre-purchase surveys and the insurance surveys.

How Long Does it Take?

Generally, a survey will take the whole day, but it can take around 5 days for the comprehensive report to be written and processed. Then, you can choose to discuss your detailed feedback either over the phone or at the yard. Fees are usually fixed but may vary depending on several factors, including the service, travel costs, whether you have a small or large boat and much more. 

It may also depend on the type of survey, for example:

  Full Condition (Pre-Purchase Survey) 

  Limited Scope Appraisal 

  Non-Destructive Testing 

  Damage Insurance & Valuation 

  Coding & Registration 

  Tonnage Measurement

What's Checked During a Full Condition Survey?

A complete condition survey helps the surveyor, seller, and buyer identify any damage to the vessel that could affect the structure's value. 

The assessment and testing of the following take place during a complete condition survey; the surveyor will make a list of defects:

  Hull: Ultrasound for GRP 

  The thickness of the Hull 

  Steering and Propulsion 

  Superstructure and Decks 

  Deck Equipment 

  Rigging (mainly required for sailing yachts) 

  Hull Interior  

  Machinery and Fuel Systems  

  Electrical Systems  

  Navigation Equipment  

  Domestic Systems  

  Safety Equipment

If you would like to find out more information, please don't hesitate to call the professional marine surveyor companies based in your area, with years of knowledge and experience in the industry. 

Cetec Marine Ltd

7 Malet Close
TW20 8ED