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Why Get A Survey?

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 Why Get A Survey?
                            Written by Captain Stanley G. Konz, A.M.S.
 
Download DOC:  Why Get A Marine Survey
 
You've probably already had your broker, your insurance underwriter or your financial lender (or all three) ask you:
 
 "Has the boat been recently surveyed?"
 
Therefore it not uncommon that the first question we are asked by someone who has never bought a boat before is:
 
   "Exactly what do you do in a survey?" 
 
You already know a survey is an important step in purchasing a boat or all of those people wouldn't be asking for a report!  It is not an easy thing to answer your question in twenty words or less so it is hoped the below explanation of what a professional marine surveyor does will be helpful to you.
 
Most insurance underwriters and banks will require a thorough survey on older vessels. They will need to know her condition and fair market as well as replacement value in order to finance
and/or underwrite the vessel. 
 
The Marine Survey Report establishes
the current value of your vessel for both the financial institution and insurance underwriters. Knowing her condition and fair market value before you purchase is also important.
 
First of all, the typical full survey on a vessel typically will take an entire day to accomplish and involves examining every aspect of the vessel as possible to ensure the boat is suitable for it's intended use, does not have any major structural, electrical or safety issues and that all of the "features" re-presented by the seller are functional and in good condition.  In other words:
  • Provides the buyer with the confidence that they  are getting what they are paying for and
  • Provides the lender or insurance representative the boat is valued for the amount loaned/insured
    and is suitable for its intended use.
Anyone can title him or herself as a Marine Surveyor and start a business.   Only 
professional  marine surveyors are 
authorized to use a designation denoting membership in accrediting organizations that require members to meet strict professional, technical and ethical standards. 
 
This can be ascertained by asking the surveyor if they are members in good standing with any of the professional marine surveyor societies such as the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS), International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI), Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers (SNAME), U.S. Surveyors Association, National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS)and Marine Career Institute (MCI), etc..
 
Surveyors should provide you with a professionally prepared report that will be accepted by your bank and/or insurance company. (See Marine Survey Report  for a sample report.)

If you are unable to consider Maritime Vessel Surveying, Inc. for your survey needs, please be sure you ask any other  prospective surveyor:
  • What does the survey include and what type of reporting format is used?
  • Do they use ABYC, NFPA and USCG standards in their survey
  • How much will the survey cost and what will it include?
  • How long will the on-board inspection, haul out and sea trial take? 

A thorough inspection will not be rushed and will depend on the type of survey required based on vessel size, equip-ment and on-board systems.

There may be additional services available such as engine surveys, oil analysis, galvanic and stray current corrosion testing, ultrasonic testing, moisture testing and other non-destructive tests.   These services may have additional charges and will only be recommended if the surveyor feels further investigation is needed based on their initial findings.
 
Well conducted surveys can provide good information on the vessels' condition, but they are not guarantees.  The surveyor will report the condition in accessible areas only as it exists at the time of inspection. This is another good reason why the boat must be hauled for a survey.
 
However, the most important reason to survey your vessel is for the safety of  yourself,  your passengers and crew!
 
Remember, according to The Society Of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc. SAMS there are three primary classes of
membership:
 
Accredited Marine Surveyors
 
Our Accredited Marine Surveyor (A.M.S.) members must have a minimum of 5 years experience and must pass a written examination by our testing committee in order to earn his or her title.  They must also meet continuing education requirements in order to maintain that title.
 
Surveyor Associates
Members using the title of Surveyor Associate (S.A.) are practicing marine surveyors who have not yet met the
prerequisites for acceptance as accredited members.
 
Affiliate Members
Affiliate Members (AFFILIATE) are individuals and businesses providing a product or service relative to the marine industry who are not actively engaged in the profession of marine surveying.
 
It's your investment; ask your surveyor which class they belong too!
 
 
 
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
 
Captain Stanley G. Konz, A.M.S.
Maritime Vessel Surveying, Inc.
1-800-576-9116
 
 
For permission to use this article, please email: Capt. Stan