Types of Marine Survey

Types of Marine Survey
The Marine Survey Process
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Pre-purchase Survey

The purchase of a new or pre-owned yacht or powerboat is a major expense regardless of the size of the intended budget.  A pre-purchase survey is therefore highly recommended before committing to any purchase in order to determine that the vessel is as stated in the particulars and to report on the condition of the vessel.  Any defects or deficiencies identified are graded in the survey report to help the potential buyer either negotiate a reduction in price or that works be carried out to correct such faults.  Pre-purchase surveys are equally applicable to new vessels and should be considered part of the commissioning of any vessel.


Damage Assessment

Following any form of collision, grounding, flooding or fire it is essential that a damage assessment survey be carried out prior to undertaking any repairs.  Many insurance companies will insist on such a survey to enable a Loss Adjuster to decide any insurance payout.  The owner is well advised to seek the assistance of a professional surveyor to represent his interests and to ensure that the full extent of the damage is uncovered and to suggest likely repair options.

Sea Trials

Sea trials are intended to confirm the satisfactory operation of a vessel’s systems after a period or re-fit or repair.  They are conducted in such manner as to test all essential systems and to confirm that the vessel is seaworthy.  Sailing vessel sea trials will include hoisting and setting of all sails assuming favourable conditions.  Powerboat sea trials will include a full engine system test culminating in a full speed run of up to 30 minutes.  Sea trials are highly recommended for any vessel prior to undertaking extended cruising and are also recommended for owners new to boat ownership when commissioning a vessel.

Rigging Survey

The standing and running rigging of a sailing vessel has to withstand high stresses in use whilst under continuous attack from the elements.  In an ideal world rigging should fail in a predictable manner, but this is seldom the case.  A rigging survey involves a thorough visual examination of the entire rig and may include further specialist examination techniques including the use of dye penetrant to detect fine cracks. Ideally the survey is conducted whilst the vessel is afloat with the mast stepped.   For vessels ashore, the mast will need to be unstepped to allow full access to all of the rigging components.


Engine Survey

The powerplants of any vessel are critical to its seaworthiness and in the case of a powerboat represent a significant percentage of the purchase cost.  It is therefore highly desirable to know as much as possible about the condition of the engine before committing to a purchase.  Engine surveys are conducted to give a more thorough understanding of the condition of an engine than would be arrived at during a standard pre-purchase survey.  The survey will include a detailed examination of the engine within its operating environment to ensure adequate arrangements exist for cooling, ventilation, air intake and exhaust.  The engine mountings and propshaft connections will be examined for serviceability and electrical and earthing connections will be tested.  Engine oil will be tested both on site by the surveyor and off-site to ascertain the level of contaminants present within the oil which may offer extra insights into the internal wear pattern of the engine.  Further sample tests of the engine coolant will reveal any oil contamination.



The value of any vessel is influenced by a combination of the original value, age, current condition and location.  A valuation survey is conducted so as to ascertain the condition of a particular vessel and its valuation relative to similar vessels currently in the marketplace or having recently been sold. 



Pictures From Previous Surveys

Variety of faults present.

Picture of a tired Volvo Penta stern drive
Tired Volvo Penta Stern Drive
Picture of a rudder with blisters
Blisters on Rudder

Failure of hull / superstructure sealing.

For further insight into what is involved in a marine survey visit
The Marine Survey Process page or contact us to discuss your requirements.

Tel: +44 7793 485628