Welcome to Great Lakes Marine Surveyors

By: Great Lakes Marine Surveyors  09-12-2011
Keywords: Insurance Companies, Oil analysis, Yacht Council

Pre-Purchase – Condition and Value
This is the most comprehensive type of inspection and is strongly advised before agreeing to purchase any used vessel. Many Insurance companies will normally not provide Boat Insurance for used boats without a current marine survey. Many clients also request a Pre-Purchase Condition & Value survey when they want to sell their boat so they can find and correct any known problems before listing the vessel for sale. The condition and overall operation of the entire vessel is thoroughly inspected including such items as structural integrity including the bottom and underwater machinery (if hauled), the superstructure, electrical systems, propulsion and fuel systems, steering, navigation and miscellaneous on-board systems like generators and air conditioning units, electronics, safety gear and interior portions accessed in a non-destructive manner. Moisture and/or delamination checks are made on the vessels hull, top deck and stringers.
The final report will reference compliance with United States Code of Federal Regulations, US Coast Guard, American Boat and Yacht Council and National Fire Protection Association standards. All recommendations are clearly defined. Fair market value, replacement cost and general remarks regarding the overall condition of the vessel are always included.


NOTE: It should be noted that it is highly recommended that the vessel be hauled out for complete bottom and underwater machinery inspection. The haul out yard charges are separate and not a part of the survey fees.

Insurance - Condition and Value


The Insurance Condition & Value survey is for current owners who have changed Insurance Companies or have been requested by their Insurance Co to obtain a current Marine Survey. This inspection is necessary for the insurance company to determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in parts of the vessel related to structural integrity, safety and suitability for its intended use. High-risk systems related to fuel, ventilation, exhaust, and steering are some examples of inspected areas. A sea trial is not required and the report is much less comprehensive than the pre-purchase condition and value survey. Most insurance companies require a survey on older boats and will also want to know the vessels fair market value and replacement cost.

You should check with your insurance company as many insurance companies will request a haul out to have the bottom and underwater machinery inspected. The haul out yard charges are separate and not a part of the survey fees.

Yacht Appraisal Inspection

An appraisal is an inspection to gather enough information to justify or determine the fair market value of the vessel. This is normally needed for financing, estate settlements, donations and legal cases. The equipment on board, general maintenance, overall condition, same vessel selling prices and the current economy are all considered when determining the fair market value.

Damage Surveys

A damage inspection is performed for an Insurance Company to assess the extent of damage to the vessel, recommend repairs, assess estimated repair costs and if requested, the probable cause.

Oil Analysis
An optional Oil analysis can be very beneficial in determining the internal condition of engines and transmissions and saving the expense of hiring an engine surveyor. It is also a great idea to establish a baseline analysis for used boats to measure future oil analysis against. A small sample of warm oil is extracted and sent to a lab where a spectrometer analysis of all contaminants is conducted. The oil analysis report can identify internal problems and is much less expensive than hiring an engine surveyor. The report is usually ready within a few days of obtaining the sample and can be shared with an engine surveyor or mechanic to determine necessary repair costs. NOTE: The oil cannot be fresh oil and it is preferred to know the type of oil and the number of hours used when taking a sample.

Sea Trial
A Sea Trial is highly recommended for pre-purchase surveys especially for power boats or large sailing vessels. The sea trial will demonstrate the handling characteristics of the vessel as well as provide valuable information regarding the vessels operating systems, engines, cooling systems, transmissions, vibration, steering, instrument operation as well as direct observation of oil, coolant or water leaks. Vessels are operated at various speeds while readings and observations are made by the surveyor. The sea trial usually takes about 1 hour to complete. The sea trial report of all findings is included with the survey report or if the sea trial was done later, an amendment is prepared for attaching to the survey following the sea trial.

NOTE: The surveyor DOES NOT operate the vessel. The seller or broker must provide a captain to pilot the vessel for a sea trial.

Consulting Services
Surveyor consulting services are provided on a hourly cost basis. Sometimes prospective buyers ask a surveyor to "walk thru" a vessel with them without a formal report to get an objective opinion of a vessel or a specific component or to inspect a previous previous repair or components of a vessel before deciding to purchase.

Survey Report Options - Any way you choose!!
Condition and Value Surveys are frequently 20 to 30 pages in length and include numerous color photos of the vessel as well as discrepancies sighted. The completed survey report is ready within one or two business days following the physical inspection under normal circumstances. We are proud to offer multiple delivery options for your finished survey.

Keywords: Insurance Companies, Oil analysis, Yacht Council

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