A Marine Survey is an independent evaluation of a watercraft's value and condition by a professional marine surveyor. As part of a marine survey; a watercraft’s condition, boat value estimation and at times - damage assessment investigations are performed. These are just a few of the many services that fall under the broad definition of a marine survey. In its simplest terms, a marine survey can be described as any fact-finding endeavor having to do with boats.

Prior to the purchase of any watercraft, a careful inspection should precede the final purchase to authenticate the condition of the vessel. When a boat owner is required to have insurance; a boat’s fair market value is normally requested to determine the boats realistic value, reflecting the conditions found. When a boat or its cargo is damaged, a marine surveyor evaluates the extent of the loss and its cause. A complete marine survey consists of: (1) Accurate and detailed description of a vessel; (2) Fair Market Valuation of a vessel; (3) List of deficiencies and recommendations for repair.

In essence, a marine surveyor is a trained professional who acts as your eyes and ears in any assessment or investigation situation -- someone who makes sure accurate information is gathered correctly and impartially.

Preparing for the Survey

When presenting a boat for survey, it should be clean and shipshape. Current documentation and papers should be available on-board. All equipment included with the boat should be on-board or close-by and available for inspection. The batteries should be charged and connected and shore power should be available. The individual requesting the survey or their agent should make any necessary arrangements with the yard for dockage and/or haulout as required for underbody inspection and retain a qualified captain for the seatrial. Lockers, compartments, and cabins should be cleared of unnecessary gear.

Minor dismantling of ceilings, headliners, or flooring may be necessary to reach specific areas. Any dismantling and reinstallation of parts should be performed by qualified personnel and is the responsibility of the individual ordering the survey.