Sailboat Survey Checklist

A comprehensive marine survey of a sailboat typically will include inspection, evaluation, and possibly testing of the following:

Not Normally Included In A Marine Survey

The construction techniques and materials used in construction of yachts make it impossible for surveyors to examine every part of the boat. Wire and plumbing runs are hidden from view; bulkheads and other structural components block access to various areas; and in general the surveyor is simply unable to see or otherwise evaluate various elements of the boat. The professional marine surveyor should make clear what parts of the boat and its systems he was unable to inspect.

Additionally, weather conditions, mechanical breakdowns, boatyard delays, or other factors may prevent the surveyor from completing all of the factors that would normally be surveyed. These items should also be noted by the surveyor in his report. Most surveyors will not make a return trip to survey such items, unless special arrangements are made.

Marine surveys typically will not include the following, unless special arrangements have been made with the surveyor and/or the owner:

Boats do not "pass" or "fail" a marine survey. Rather, the surveyor provides a detailed report of the boat's condition, its systems, and any defects found, and provides recommendations for repairs and an evaluation of the boat's fair market value, based on the surveyer's expert opinion. The buyer who commissioned the boat survey then decides if he wishes to proceed with the purchase, cancel the purchase, or re-open negotiations with the seller for price concessions or repairs based on the survey report. The surveyor also does not make insurance or financing decisions; the insurance companies and lending institutions make their own independent decisions about boat loans and boat insurance, based in part on the survey report. The lender or insurance company may refuse to insure or finance the boat, or they may require that certain repairs or replacements be performed before they will issue the boat insurance or boat loan.