What the survey is:
The survey is a description of the condition of the vessel, generated by a
thorough inspection of the structure and systems. Values given are the
surveyor's opinion of the vessel in comparison to similar vessels on the
market, or recently sold comparable vessels. A sale price for a boat on
the market is to be negotiated between the owner and purchaser, the
surveyor's job is to give an accurate representation of the vessel and a
fair estimation of its value. Please view my Survey Process page for a
more detailed description of how a survey is performed.
A survey can be useful for new and prospective boat owners as well as
people who have owned their boats for many years. I can help you more
fully understand the vessel you wish to purchase to assist in making an
informed decision; provide condition and value surveys for insurance
coverage; and help you prioritize repairs to be made if you plan to refit
your boat. I can also help you wade through regulations that specify the
minimum safety equipment that must be on board.
What the survey is not:
The survey is not a guarantee that the vessel will be problem-free in the
future. It is an evaluation of the vessel at the time of survey - not a
It is not a thorough inspection of engines or generators. While not always
necessary, it is recommended to have a mechanic or engine surveyor
examine any powerplant systems. I will check fluids, belts, hoses, motor
mounts, exhaust systems, fuel lines, raw water systems, etc. I will not
disassemble any component of an engine - I am not a mechanic.
The survey is not a guarantee that every inch of the hull and structure
has been examined. Many boats, through the use of headliners and
other paneling structures, have made access to various parts of the
vessel very difficult without significant disassembly and sometimes
drilling or cutting. I do my best to see as much of the boat as reasonably
possible, but any invasive examination shall be arranged with the owner
and a marine services outfit, and may require additional charges for
additional time on my part.
Although I use a moisture meter to detect the presence of water, what it
cannot tell you is where exactly the moisture is in the stratification of
fiberglass layers, the exact source of the moisture, or a percentage.
The moisture meter operates on a relative scale and can be influenced
by many factors, such as a metal backing plate, SSB antenna, or water
in a bilge space. It can lead you to knowing what areas may be a
problem in the future. Just because a portion of fiberglass gives off wet
readings, does not mean it is structurally unsound.
The survey report will list problems to be repaired in three categories:
Required: These are safety issues that do not conform to the codes
specified by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), the US Coast
Guard (USCG) or the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) - any
issues in this category should be considered must-resolve and may be
required for insurance coverage.
Essential: These are problems that may not fall under the ABYC,
USCG, or NFPA codes, and may or may not be a safety issue. Issues in
this category could be along the lines of a cracked floorboard over a
bilge space that someone could fall into, a crack in a sailboat mast, or
loose structural fiberglass tabbing.
Recommended: These are items that will not be safety issues, but will
be repairs to help further the owner's enjoyment of the boat.
You may see the word "appears" on the survey report, this is commonly
used in the description of components that are difficult to fully access;
"appears" describes the condition of what is possible to observe.
What you may see in the survey:
About the Survey
1656 Homewood Landing Rd.
Annapolis, MD 21409