A pre-purchase survey is what you would choose when you are considering purchasing a new or pre-owned vessel. It is the most comprehensive survey and involves an examination of the vessel's overall condition and operation. That would include examining the structural integrity of the hull, condition of the fuel, electrical, air conditioning, heat, waste and other water systems, and propulsion system including underwater machinery (prop, rudder, etc.), electronics and safety equipment. The vessel will also be examined for any signs of blistering, cracking or crazing and overall appearance and condition of cushions, covers, tops, bolsters, etc. Future maintenance and lack of maintenance issues will also be addressed when appropriate. In addition to visual inspection, percussion testing (hammer tapping) is performed on structural composites to reveal any evidence of delamination. Note, haul-out charges are typically the responsibility of the party requesting the survey. The pre-purchase survey also includes a determination of the replacement cost, and fair market value of the vessel in consideration of its condition. Whenever possible, the pre-purchase survey includes a sea trial to observe and report on the overall performance of the vessel while under load.
An insurance survey is done to determine if a vessel is in a condition that would be considered an "acceptable risk" to an insurer. The focus during this type of survey would be on structural integrity and condition and operation of those systems which could present safety hazards. The fair market value and replacement cost is also determined and assigned. This survey can be performed while the boat is on land or in the water. Many insurance companies will require an out-of water inspection. Typically, a sea trial is not conducted and engines are usually not started.
This inspection is typically performed to gather enough information to determine a fair market value used to settle an estate, vessel donation, financing, divorce or legal case.
An inspection performed to review and document the extent of damage , recommend repair, evaluate repair estimate costs, determine pre-loss value of the vessel, and if required, to attempt to determine the probable cause of loss.
Occasionally, a potential buyer may be interested in a vessel but without having seen it themselves, due to distance or other reasons, they may be reluctant to request a full survey. In that instance, I am available to perform visual inspections, take pictures and make some preliminary comments regarding what I observed. If the potential buyer elects to move forward with a full pre-purchase survey, a credit may be applied to the pre-purchase survey billing for the amount charged for the limited inspection minus expenses incurred with the limited inspection.
I am also available to survey cargo and or containers that are being offloaded or loaded to verify the condition of the cargo or containers either before or after being transported.