Time and additional expense can be saved by preparing the vessel for inspection and making her more accessible.
Once you retain the surveyor, he or she works only for you and reports to no one else. The professional marine
surveyor is there to protect your interests! They work for you, but speak for the boat.
The surveyor should never be asked to prepare a boat for inspection. The surveyor may request minor dismantling of interior ceilings, headliners, flooring, etc. in order to gain access to those areas.
The owner should arrange to present a clean, shipshape boat, and should have all papers and miscellaneous gear
ready. Lockers and cabin areas should be cleared of all miscellaneous gear.
Random removal and examination of below-the-waterline fasteners on wood boats may be required. Any dismantling
and re-installation of parts should be performed by qualified personnel and is the responsibility of the person ordering
the survey (typically the buyer).
Written authorization from the owner may be needed to board and/or to remove part of the vessel or for the surveyor to perform any type of destructive testing.
The buyer should advise the seller/owner (or the yard) not to start or run the engines before the Marine Surveyor arrives on the day of the survey. They will want to check the oil when the engine(s) are cold and do a "cold start"as part of the mechanical inspection.
The Marine Surveyor will need to check-out the boat prior to the sea trial. They will be checking the hull construction and outside areas (through-holes, outdrives, shafts, etc.) on the boat while it's out of the water as well as checking the engine's oil. Typically, this will take an hour to two
hours, depending on the size of the vessel. Therefore, the seller/broker does not have to be present during this work. The buyer may want to be present.
After the completion of the hull inspection,
and providing the boat is sea-worthy, the yard can put the vessel back into the water for the sea trial and/or for the surveyor to complete their inspection.
The most desirable schedule would be to provide time for the Marine Surveyor to complete their inspection of the topside
and interior of the vessel prior to the sea trial.
The advantage to the buyer in allowing this time is that the surveyor will be able to provide a verbal summary of their findings after the completion of a thorough inspection and sea trial. The buyer should consider this when scheduling all parties for the sea trial.
All parties should be present for the sea trial or as a minimum the buyer, the surveyor and the owner or a licensed operator for the vessel. Depending on the location of boat/yard to open and deep water (i.e. time to reach deeper water) the sea trial itself can take another one to two hours.
The Marine Surveyor will then meet with the buyer, and the seller if the buyer desires, to provide a verbal finding of their findings including major concerns on structural or safety issues.
The written Marine Survey Report, including any photographs taken during the survey, will usually be faxed to the buyer with a hard copy sent in the mail. If there's a priority need, the report will be faxed to the buyer within 24 hours and the report sent priority mail.
At this point, the Marine Surveyor's
job is completed.
The buyer then should discuss any recommended repairs or safety defects discussed in Marine Survey Report with a qualified yard and get an estimate of any costs associated with fixing the items listed in the recommendations to use in your negotiations with the seller.
If the buyer elects have the repairs done after the sale is completed, Maritime Vessel Surveying, Inc., as your selected surveyor, would be willing to work with the buyer and the yard in detailing-outlining the necessary repairs to ensure that the work is done properly to satisfy the Survey's findings.
On safety or major defects, the lending institute and/or insurance agency will require notification when the defects that were discovered during the survey are completed.
This is provided for the buyer's information only for the purpose of this article. A professional Marine Surveyor
does not get involved with the negotiation of the vessel between the buyer and seller.
All boats for sale should have a detailed list outlining the boat's specifications and equipment. Be certain the owner provides you with a written list of equipment noting dates along with descriptions of original and replaced equipment. Be certain you are aware of the equipment included and excluded in the sale. This list should be part of the purchase and sale agreement.
It is in the buyer's best interest to make sure a "condition" of the sale agreement is one that clearly shows (is written into the agreement) that the "closing is contingent on the survey not showing any major repairs or safety concerns" on the boat.
If major repairs need to be done on the boat you will have to re-negotiate a fair price with the seller and sign an amended sales agreement. You may have trouble getting your deposit back without this condition!
Do not allow yourself to be rushed into a closing by the seller or their broker!