‘Helping People Understand Boats Better’

Survey of Calypso - A 2004 Sunseeker Super Hawk 40 at Plymouth Yacht Haven in Devon
Pre-purchase survey of 1920 Dutch Barge at PLA Tidal Grid Strand-on-the-Green Kew
Pre-purchase boat survey by White Hat Marine Surveying of Our First Lady, a 1981 Carver 3007 Motorboat

White Hat Marine Surveying was founded by David Pestridge when he retired from the British Army in 2008 after a 17 year career with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Building on 20 years experience as a sailor and boat owner he completed the highly respected Diploma in Yacht and Small Craft Surveying. This course is designed and accredited by the International institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS); an award winning, independent, non-political organisation promoting the professionalism, recognition and training of marine surveyors worldwide.

David is passionate about ‘Helping People Understand Boats Better’ and creates written and video content to help boat owners, surveyors, brokers and prospective boat buyers.

Boat Chat is a fortnightly newsletter written by David which looks at key maritime news stories and considers what they mean for boat owners and surveyors.

Read it at Boat Chat UK

David is a Fellow of the IIMS, a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, has a Masters Degree of Science and is a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Society for Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors (SCMS) and sits on the Management Board of the IIMS. Their websites can be found here:

IMechE    IIMS    SCMS

White Hat Marine Surveying is a trusted, experienced and independent consultancy which seeks to deliver a professional marine survey service founded on these three principles:


  • Requests for quotes to be actioned within 24 hours.
  • All completed PDF reports to be with the client within 5 working days.


  • Tell it as it is – barnacles and all!
  • Help the client focus on the important things, recognising this is a big financial and emotional commitment for them, but also highlight the positive aspects.


  • Maintain high standards of professional integrity and independence.
  • Remember that the client is the customer.

“David was a pleasure to communicate with and instruct for a pre-purchase survey. On survey day he provided an excellent and professional service, and I hugely appreciate all the guidance and knowledge he shared with me. The subsequent report was promptly produced, clear, and comprehensive. I will be coming back to David for all future marine surveys I may require”.

AY-C (Pre-purchase survey of 1998 50’ Trad Narrowboat) – Oct 23

“In a world where average/OK service is all too often the norm, it’s always a pleasure when you accidentally encounter something so much better.  David, was always very  responsive, flexible when booking the survey, competitively priced, happily answered my endless lists of questions, and produced a clear, high quality report that really helped me make a clear decision. Professional throughout.

Would use David again, without hesitation”.

From DH (Two Pre-purchase Narrowboat surveys) - Apr / May 23

A Fairline Targa 43 Motor Boat In Plymouth During Pre-Purchase Survey By David Pestridge of White Hat Marine Surveying
A 2003 Liverpool Boats Narrowboat In dry Dock During Survey By David Pestridge of White Hat Marine Surveying