Surveys and Sea Trials

A survey inspection of the boat prior to purchase can either make or break a deal.

A professional marine surveyor is an expert who should be well versed in boat construction, as well as safety and manufacturing laws, requirements and practices. Surveys cost an average of $10-$15 per foot, depending upon the size of the boat and region. The boat should be inspected in and out of the water. Although hiring a surveyor is an added cost, consider it a good investment against buying an unsafe boat or one that needs expensive repairs.

If you spend $1000 on a survey that reveals $3500 worth of damages to the boat, you can decide whether the boat is worth owning.

A surveyor’s report can be a bargaining chip when it comes to negotiating with the seller. You can use the problems identified in the report as a way to lower the price or get certain items taken care of before purchase.

Remember, though, a surveyor’s report is not a guarantee against defects in the boat but the opinion of a professional.

If you do renegotiate the sales price or if the seller agrees to make repairs following the surveyors inspection, make sure these changes and a detailed list of the repairs are written into the purchase agreement.