Pre Purchase Surveys

Preparing a Boat for a Marine Survey:

After the initial contact with the client and after defining which type of survey is required we will     e-mail them a Work´s Order including our terms and conditions of business and the scope of the survey. The client should return a signed copy to us by fax or internet before we can perform the requested survey.
It is advisable to prepare the vessel prior to the surveyor´s arrival to save any un-necessary delays and to assist in the access of all area´s to be inspected for example:

  • lockers and storage compartments are cleared of gear to make them accessible. Ideally, the owner’s personal gear and effects, stores etc to be removed as far as is practicable.
  • Full safe access to the yacht is provided, including access to all keys etc.
  • It is preferably that all batteries are servicable and fully charged.
  • Necessary arrangements for hauling or launching the vessel have been pre-arranged with the boat yard.
  • The Yachts hull and fittings below the waterline can be inspected during a “survey lift” where the yacht would be lifted out of the water and suspended on the travel lift or crane slings. The yacht should be lifted out for the minimum of one hour. If the hull is covered with marine growth then it must be high pressure washed and dried otherwise moisture readings would be inaccurate.
  • With GRP hulls it is unlikely that we will be able be to take moisture readings during a survey lift as the hull is required to be dried out for minimum two weeks. However, we will check for optical and physical evidence of Osmosis.

Should it should be necessary for new antifouling is to be applied, we would recommend doing this after the survey has been completed as removal of patches of antifouling will occur as part of the survey.

What is included in the vessel inventory? – The buyer or his representative should get the owner to disclose early in the negotiations what equipment, and or effects, are actually included with the sale as this may affect the value of the purchase.

Pre-Purchase Survey

If the survey to be performed is a Pre-Purchase Survey, it is likely that a Yacht Broker is involved and it is his/her task to make the necessary arrangements.

When signing a Purchase and/or Sale´s Agreement, this should be subject to the results of the survey and a sea trial. The results of which can be digested and any defects found could be used as a means of further negotiation with your broker towards reducing the purchase price before closing the deal.

Comprehensive Inspection:

A pre-purchase survey is a comprehensive overall inspection of the yacht. On a typical mid-sized production yacht the on site inspection will take a full day. Research and writing will take another full day.

• However, a typical pre purchase survey can not be a complete investigation of every detail of every system (which would probably take days or weeks). For example, we generally cannot disassemble machinery and cabinetry, remove paint, or bore holes. There are also trade-offs in time and expenditure, which we are able to discus with the client on an individual basis.

The typical survey will concentrate on those items, which are most likely to show evidence of safety problems, or significantly affect the value of the vessel.

The pre-purchase survey will in almost all cases include:

  • Inspection of the topsides, rig and interior spaces, including all normally accessible parts of the boat will be examined.
  • Haul out and inspection of the bottom, prop, rudder, Skin fittings and sea cocks.etc.
  • Examination of design features, modifications, and structural integrity.
  • Visual inspection of engines, generators, fluid levels, fuel, steering, electrical, sanitation, and other systems.
  • Inspection of safety and fire fighting equipment.
  • Examination of the ships papers, registration, and hull numbers.
  • Evaluation of cosmetic appearance and overall maintenance.
  • General Visual Inspection.
  • Osmosis inspection & moisture meter readings. (GRP)
  • Hammer and spike testing. (Timber)
  • External & Internal structure.
  • Bulkheads, framing & reinforcement.
  • Attachments: For chain plates, keel, main deck hardware.
  • Openings, ports, and windows.
  • The normal pre-purchase survey will NOT include (unless previously arranged):
  • Removing screwed or nailed paneling, liners, carpeting, etc.
  • Opening, pressure testing, or sampling tanks.
  • Disassembly of engines, electronics, and machinery, or testing with specialized equipment.
  • Destructive testing such as drilling holes, removing paint or gel coat, etc.
  • It is unlikely that a seller would routinely allow any of these. However, based on what we do see, we may recommend further testing, sampling, or dismantling for inspection.)

If however, you know ahead of time that you need these specialized services, we can arrange to have them done as part of the survey. This, as well as any destructive testing, will, of course, require the permission of the owner/seller, and will be done by a qualified technician.

The additional following check list could also be of assistance when preparing the boat for a Pre-Purchase Survey:

  1. The Owner or his/her representative has given (written) permission for the survey to take place.
  2. The Broker’s full listing and inventory has been made available to the surveyor.
  3. Owners’ manuals and if possible full service records are on board. Warranty documents if appropriate are available.
  4. Invoices to confirm major repairs or renewal of equipment etc that may be listed in Sales Particulars (e.g. for new standing rigging, an osmosis repair, etc)
  5. Yachts built or put into service after 16th June 1998, when the Recreational Craft Directive came into force, must have a Hull Identification Number (HIN) and a CE-Mark plate, and the Owner’s Manual should be presented together with the Declaration of Conformity. Normally the Broker would be expected to confirm the documents were available. * (Please note that it is not part of the Surveyor’s remit to check ownership title documentation. That should be done by the Broker. The report will of course list any Yard Numbers, Builder’s Plate Numbers, Hull Numbers, Part-1 Registration Tonnage Board etc that may be found during the survey).
  6. Original Flag State Registration documents or Federal Documentation are on board the vessel.
  7. A copy of the original Bill of Sale will help to establish the boat’s current ownership and as to the number of owners.
  8. The necessary arrangements have been made for a sea triaThe boat must be operated by the Owner or his/her authorized representative.
  9. The surveyor will never operate the boat.
  10. Depending on the size of the vessel or if trials under sail are required, additional crew may be necessary.
  11. The Owner must have the boat adequately insured and the documents on board.
  12. Sufficient fuel/lubricants must be on board.
  13. The engines should be ready for sea trial.
  14. All keys including ignition keys and/or lock combinations are available.
  15. Winter covers have been removed; surveying a boat laid up for the winter under a cover will impose limits on the scope of survey.
  16. AC shore power is available and batteries are fully charged.
  17. Water tanks are sufficiently filled to test all water systems.
  18. Electronics are all turned on.
  19. Toilets are ready.
  20. All bilges are dry and clean.
  21. Bilge pumps are operational.

We would recommend that the Client or his appointed representative attends the survey.

During the survey we require the time necessary as directed by our Surveyor to adequately inspect, review and evaluate the vessel.

We may verbally inform the Client about some of the findings at the time of the inspection. However, these findings may need further reflection and research, and therefore, the survey will  not be complete until the official report has been prepared. The time scale will depend on the type and complexity of the Survey undertaken however, the Surveyor will discuss this with the client at the time. All reports are supported by high quality photographs, and all defects are photographed which could help the prospective buyer in negotoiations on the purchase price. The Client is advised not to enter into any purchase agreement until he/she has received the official written report.

The findings will be discussed with the Client only, and certainly no discussions will be entered into with either the vessels Owner or representative Broker.

**NOTE: Please note that the Client is responsible for any hauling or launching charges.

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