What is a Marine Surveyor?

A small craft Marine Surveyor is a recognised competent person qualified and experienced in the survey and valuation of small craft. The Surveyor may or may not have academic qualifications but it is essential that he have some relevant experience and practical training.

What to look for in Selecting a Small Craft Marine Surveyor.

The following questions and criteria should help you to choose a Surveyor who will best meet your requirements and offer you a good service at a fair price.

What academic qualifications does the surveyor hold?
What relevant training and practical expertise does the surveyor have?
What testimonials can he offer?
Is the surveyor's knowledge current?.How is it maintained current?
Does the surveyor carry professional indemnity insurance?
Is there a flexible attitude to the client's request?
Is there a realistic and competitive attitude to pricing?

Ask questions! It is the only way to find out if a particular Marine Surveyor is right for you. If any Marine Surveyor ever avoids a direct question it is probably because he is trying to hide something.

What types of Survey are there?

The commonly accepted types of small craft marine survey are:

Pre-purchase Survey;
Valuation Inspection (these two are often done simultaneously as a Condition and Valuation Survey);
Insurance Survey; and
Damage Survey.

How much does it Cost?

Most Marine Surveyors base their fees on the size of the vessel. Usually, the total cost is calculated by multiplying a dollar figure by the vessel's Length Overall (LOA) as taken from published specifications. In doing this, the surveyor is using the vessel's size as a surrogate for the difficulty, complexity, and time required to perform the inspection and prepare the subsequent report.

Many surveyors also charge for mileage, any extra time required for a sea trial, and inspection of the underwater sections if a separate lift out is required.

For a 30 foot sail boat of moderate complexity, a typical fee would fall in the range of $500 to $600 plus expenses and other charges as noted above.

What do I get for my money?

You will receive a Report of Marine Survey. This will be a detailed photo illustrated document based on an inspection of the vessel carried out by the Marine Surveyor. For a Condition and Valuation Survey, it will contain a general description of the vessel, detailed descriptions of all the vessel's systems, a comprehensive list of Findings and Recommendations, an overall assessment of the vessel's condition, and the surveyor's opinion of the vessels Fair Market Value and Replacement Cost.

The surveyor's inspection of a yacht or other small craft will normally require a full working day on board. Preparation and submission of the report will require a further full day of the surveyor's time.

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