Zeitler Marine Services LLC
Why should you have a vessel surveyed? Most insurance companies and banks will require them on older vessels. They will need to know her condition and fair market value in order to finance and/or underwrite the vessel. Knowing her condition and fair market value before you purchase is also important. However, the most important reason to survey your vessel is for the safety of the passengers and crew.
Marine Surveys are performed for a number of reasons, and the procedures for each vary to best suit your needs:
This is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel should be examined. This covers structural integrity, electrical systems, the propulsion system, the fuel system, other machinery, navigation equipment, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, electronics, and overall maintenance as well as an out-of-water inspection and a sea trial.
This inspection is performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in structural integrity and safety for its intended use. Most insurance companies require a survey on older boats. They will also want to know the vessel's fair market value.
This inspection is performed to gather enough information to justify or determine the fair market value of the vessel. This is normally needed for financing, estate settlements, donations and legal cases.
The surveyor can be retained by an insurance company to determine the cause of a loss and determine the extent of loss related damage and may be asked to recommend repairs, review estimates, and determine the pre-loss value of a vessel. A vessel owner can retain a surveyor for the same purposes, but for the owner's behalf.
Time and additional expense can be saved by preparing the vessel for inspection and making her more accessible.
Arrange to present a clean, shipshape boat, and have all papers and miscellaneous gear ready. If applicable, you will need to make arrangements with the marina to haul the vessel for bottom inspection, and retain a captain for sea trials. Lockers and cabin areas should be cleared of all miscellaneous gear.
The surveyor should never be asked to prepare a boat for inspection. The surveyor may request minor dismantling of interior ceilings, headliners, flooring, etc. in order to gain access to the suspected areas. Random removal and examination of below-the-waterline fasteners on wood boats may be required. Any dismantling and re-installation of parts should be performed by qualified personnel and is the responsibility of the person ordering the survey.
Written authorization from the owner may be needed to board and/or to remove part of the vessel.
ONCE YOU RETAIN THE SURVEYOR, HE OR SHE WORKS ONLY FOR YOU AND REPORTS TO NO ONE ELSE. THE SURVEYOR IS THERE TO PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS!