What to expect from a marine survey

There are many similarities between a marine survey and the survey prior to a house purchase. The exact parameters of any survey are the result of discussion between the surveyor and the client and are tailored to deliver the information that the client needs. It is important for both surveyor and client to understand each other and to know what is and is not to be included in the survey.

Once the survey requirements are fully understood a fee is quoted and once this is accepted by the client a contract with terms and conditions will be produced for approval and signature.

Lifting / hauling arrangements are usually arranged between the vessel’s owner, broker (if appointed) and the prospective purchaser with an availability check made with the surveyor. Surveys on tidal inspection grids normally require booking with the relevant river authority. Once an agreed date for survey is arrived at all parties are made aware.

What to expect from a marine survey

The survey itself will normally take several hours to complete depending on the scope of survey required and the size and complexity of the vessel. Whilst it is hardly the most exhilarating spectator sport; clients are welcome to attend for some or all of the survey. It can be useful to meet on site towards the end of the survey process to discuss any significant problems identified and to discuss strategies for purchase or repair as needed.

Once the survey is completed the writing begins. A typical survey report will be 12-15 pages long with defects identified and graded according to severity with recommended courses of action for consideration. In an insurance survey an assessment is made with regard to the insurability of the vessel for the intended use stated by the owner.

Every effort is made to get reports to clients within 2 working days in PDF format, with signed hard copy to follow in the post within 5 working days. Survey fees are invoiced when reports are dispatched. Further communication regarding what was in (or was not in) the report is best conducted by phone or e-mail.