Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Other than the purchase of a home, buying a boat will very likely be the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. Just as you wouldn’t put a down payment on a house without first getting a home inspection, you also shouldn’t consider taking on a boat without first having it surveyed by a qualified establishment. Not only is it a requirement for insurance purposes, but you can save yourself loads of time and money down the road.
Though these tips and things to keep in mind are undoubtedly geared towards bringing newcomers up to speed, it doesn’t hurt veteran boat owners to brush up on their knowledge as well.
Any survey has a shelf life
Naturally, due to the somewhat unpredictable day-to-day conditions even a docked boat can face, a survey must only be treated as valid for a short time. The day after a survey, there could be poor weather that damages the boat, rendering the previous information no longer up-to-date. Never relay on an older survey to give a proper representation of a boat’s condition.
Be present, but from a respectful distance
It might be tough to believe, but many surveyors prefer when their client is present at the time of the inspection. It allows them to give the client notes that may not necessarily be included on the final report, as they make small observations ‘not worthy’ of inclusion. That being said, give the surveyor room to move instead of being under their feet. Breathing down their neck will only slow down the process, and cause possible distractions.
If you cannot attend the inspection personally, be accessible via phone. This helps the surveyor if they find anything that they’d like to immediately share with you.
Prepare for the inspection
For a survey to be completed, the owner (or a representative familiar with the vessel) should be present. The surveyor usually avoids using tools to remove panels and the like, because if they break something as simple as a fastener in the process, they could be held liable for the repair.
In addition, have all unnecessary gear removed from the vessel ahead of time to leave as much room as possible for the inspection.
Remember that the surveyor only works for you
Talk to them. Build a relationship with them. Feel free to ask them questions, especially if this is your first survey. Any findings or reports come only to you, unless you’ve instructed them to share the information with a broker acting as your ‘agent’. Otherwise, your surveyor will stay entirely out of any negotiation process.
While keeping these things in mind and trusting the professionalism of Atlantix Marine Worx, your next marine survey will bring a lifetime of happiness for your friends and family.