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Pre-Purchase Surveys

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A pre-purchase survey will, at a minimum, cover an inspection of the following items: 

  • Hull/deck/cabin/keel construction and condition

  • Steering gear

  • Cathodic and paint protection

  • Mechanical installation (including ancillary equipment)

  • Propulsion and stern gear

  • Skin fittings and seacocks

  • Electrical installation

  • Electronic equipment

  • Plumbing (water and gas)

  • Toilets and associated plumbing

  • Tanks and pipework

  • Spars, rig, fittings and sails

  • Deck gear

  • Hatches and openings

  • Ventilation systems

  • Rails and lifelines

  • Safety equipment

  • Ground tackle

Why Is a Pre-Purchase Marine Survey Important?

Anyone with experience in owning a boat or vessel, in particular a boat that is berthed permanently in the water, understands that ongoing maintenance and servicing is essential to reduce major faults, defects, or failures. Such issues can be very costly to rectify and not uncommon for repairs to cost into the thousands or tens of thousands. To prevent such nasty expenses incurring to a new buyer, a Pre-purchase survey is conducted.


Secondly, many Marine Hull Insurers require a vessel to be surveyed to ensure the vessel. As such, a Pre-purchase survey is often accepted for this purpose.

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Who Performs a Pre-purchase Survey?

The requirements can be different depending on your Country or State. However, these types of surveys are completed by a Marine Surveyor. It is highly recommended you engage a surveyor who is accredited by an industry peak body or regulator, for example, in Australia this would be Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) or Australian Institute of Marine Surveyors (AIMS). The reason this is important is that such surveyors are more likely to have done the following:

  • Accredited surveyors should follow a set of guidelines when conducting a survey or inspection.

  • They have been vetted by the association or regulator.

  • Their experience and knowledge have been established.

  • They have provided proof of insurance.

  • Committed to ongoing professional development.

What Is Involved in A Pre-purchase Survey?

A typical survey will include the following:
The client engages a Marine Surveyor of their preference.

  • The surveyor provides a quote, survey terms, and scope of works to the client.

  • Arrangements are made to have the vessel lifted from the water for inspection on an agreed date.

  • The Marine Surveyor inspects the vessel below the waterline. Typically, 30 minutes or so.

  • The vessel is placed back into the water. The surveyor continues to inspect the boat above the waterline, internally and mechanically. Typically takes 2-3 hours.

  • Once the surveyor has completed the boat inspection, they may contact the client to discuss the overall condition and findings.

  • The surveyor will prepare the survey report. Once payment has been made, the surveyor will forward a copy of the report to the client. This usually occurs 24-72 hours after the inspection.

The overall hours involved in a survey are generally between 6 – 12 hours or more depending on the size and location of the vessel.

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How much do our surveys cost?

From $745 Including 1 Engine + Sea Trial
All prices include GST

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