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How do I choose who to hire?

Much like choosing a contractor, you interview the person to see if they are a right fit. The boat that you are buying and personalities will help determine who you hire. You'll want to make sure the surveyor is familiar with the brand and type of boat you're going to survey. There is a list of few accredited marine surveyors available on: or International Association of Marine Surveyors

How much does it cost to hire a surveyor?

Typically a survey for an average sized boat is around $20/ft +/- 5. That does not include a haul out for a boat that is in the water. That is about $8-20/ft. These items are at the expense of a buyer. (Much like buying a house)

Mechanical Surveys are different and not typically done by the same surveyor. These are typically just inspections performed by a certified technician trained on the particular type of engine.

Do I need a survey/surveyor?

It is more than likely your insurance and/or lender will require a survey by an accredited marine surveyor . As a professional yacht broker, I encourage all buyers to conduct a presale inspection survey and to never rely on listing, advertising or marketing verbiage.

What is the difference between a survey, sea trial/in-water demonstration, and mechanical inspection?

Survey's, much like a home inspection, is checking the structural integrity of the boat and going through all of the vessels systems and mechanicals to be sure that they are functioning properly.

A sea trial/in-water demonstration will demonstrate the performance and stability of the vessel while underway. Ensuring the vessel runs as the manufacturer originally intended.

Mechanical inspection's are not typically done by the same surveyor. A mechanical inspection is done by a certified technician who specializes in the brand or manufacturer of the engines and or plants and systems.

Who does the surveyor work for and who pays for the survey?

Buyers are responsible for employing their surveyor and are responsible for the cost associated with the inspections. The broker and seller are in no way responsible for hiring a surveyor or should act in such way. It is the sole responsibility of the buyer to hire professionals to perform the inspections and survey. Once the surveyor is hired by the buyer, the broker(s) should be assisting with logistics including haul outs, dockage, and scheduling. Essentially getting the boat ready for survey and inspection.

Why your broker should NOT recommend any certain surveyor.

It's important to reiterate that the Broker and Seller should not be involved in hiring or recommending a particular surveyor. The buyer should hire their own objective independent contractor with no pressure from any parties.

How do I prep my boat for survey?

Prepping your boat for survey is like prepping your home for a home inspection. You want to make sure all items are checked off the list before going to survey. This will hopefully bring a better report and less items that you may need to address for the buyer. You hire a surveyor for an unofficial preliminary inspection or go through the boat yourself and check everything to be sure that it works properly (even if you don't use it!) It allows for corrections to be made prior to a sale.

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Chuck Newman

All Fun Yacht Sales