What actions do I take on a Marine Survey?

Goal: to discover as much as possible about your purchase before you buy.

(Ideal sequence of events which do not necessarilly have to occur in this order, but good to strive for.)

The process begins when you call me. I take down information about the boat, location and contact information from you. There are usually more phone calls to coordinate date with seller and boat yard for haul out or launch. Finally, a date and time is set for the survey.

I then research the Fair Market Value which I will adjust for condition and options when the survey gets done. More research takes place checking databases to see if there are any problems with this type/year boat that we should know about or things to look for. The wide open throttle speed and engine RPM is also researched so we can make comparisons at sea trial.

On survey day, the hull is inspected and tested for de-lamination and moisture measurements are made. An inspection for collision damage and previous repairs is also conducted. Propellers, struts, shafts, cutlass bearings, rudder bearings and toe-in alignment of rudders, outdrives if any, thru hulls and transducers are all checked and tested for integrity and compliance. Topsides and rub rails together with other hull attachments such as swim platform, swim ladder, etc are all inspected and checked for proper attachment and operation.

Extensive digital photography continues throughout the inspections to record data.

The vessel is then launched and all systems are tested and documented wether operational or not. An inspection is then conducted of the deck for de-lamination and moisture intrusion. All deck fittings are inspected for secure attachment to deck and water intrusion integrity. On sailing vessels all spars, rigging, sails, etc are also checked and inventoried.

The engine room is where much time will be devoted to checking for compliance to standards and determining mechanical condition of boat. Serial numbers of major components are recorded. All systems are tested to see what is operational and what is not. Results of all data are documented in a checklist to help insure that nothing is missed. The engine room is often a good location for inspecting the hull to deck joint. Engine blowers are checked to make sure there is proper ventillation.

An electronic fuel sniffer is used to detect fuel vapors around the fuel tanks. This is the best way to see if there are any trace fuel leaks. The same instrument is used to detect propane leaks in the galley.

Cabin interiors is examined for condition of furnishings, inspection of hatches, galley, refrigerator, microwave, heads, etc. documenting what is operational and what is not. Air conditioning and refrigeration are checked with a digital pyrometer to verify proper operation by recording actual temperatures.

Fresh water system is checked for proper operation. AC and DC electrical systems are checked for compliance and proper operation.

All safety items such as life preservers, flares, fire extinguishers, etc are inventoried and documented with recommendations.

Bilge pumps are checked for proper operation and seacocks are activated to make sure it is possible to close them in an emergency.

Finally, the sea trial. The vessel is tested under adverse conditions with wide open throttle top end speed and maximum RPM compared with previoius tests and documentation of this combination boat/engine. But please note we will be comparing data that has been documented with flat seas and light payload, so allowances are made for conditions. For a more thorough inspection of engines, a compression test can optionally be done @ $20 per cylinder and we are equipped to provide such service. To go deeper into attempting to discover as many problems as possible, we are also equipped to take oil samples @ $60 per sample from engines and transmissions and have the samples tested for trace chemicals and contamination. However, the most important engine test, a sea trial, is performed and included in survey price.

A pyrometer is used to record component temperatures such as risers, mainifolds, alternator, oil pan, etc.

If there is any doubt about achieving specifications or other problems such as excessive exhaust smoke or engine performance problems, Marinetech will then recommend compression testing or a factory trained mechanic to do an engine survey and investigate source of problem discoverd during the General Marine Survey.

Report is then assembled according to collected data with digital photography, Fair Market Value, findings and recommendations, and delivered in a pdf file email two days after survey. A hard copy mailing is also done at this time if requested by client.

I then make himself available to the client for a consultation and discussion of findings reported in the Survey Report.

THE ABOVE DESCRIPTION OF A MARINE SURVEY IS ONLY A PARTIAL LIST AND DOES NOT NECESSARILY HAVE TO FOLLOW THE ORDER PRESENTED AS WE MUST SOMETIMES ADAPT TO SCHEDULES AND CONDITIONS. IT IS ALSO A VERY CONDENSED PARTIAL SUMMARY.

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