What should I expect from the survey?

The right marine surveyor can give you more than just the minimum requirements necessary to satisfy the marine insurance underwriters and marine financing companies. 

The survey report you will receive from First Class Marine Surveys will be detailed and include digital images. We use standards set by the US Coast Guard, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC). In addition to the requirements of the marine insurance underwriters and marine financiers, our survey report will:

  • Create a picture of your yacht or boat as it is on the day of the survey
  • Inform you of conditions on your vessel that will need to be addressed
  • Be a valuable tool in tracking persistent problems
  • Give you a detailed history when it comes time to sell your boat.

The findings in our reports are divided into three categories to show the most important issues with a boat while still being able to provide a list of smaller issues that may be important to the owner/buyer.

The survey is limited to easily accessible areas of the vessel and time constraints. Inaccessible areas behind screwed panels, tacked carpet, locked areas, or any other like areas are not generally inspected.

Many times, a survey will consist of an in-water inspection, sea trial, and a haul-out to inspect the bottom and submerged equipment. In order to fully assess the condition of the vessel it is advisable to perform both in-water and out-of-water inspections. It is helpful for the owner/buyer to make arrangements for the haul-out. The owner, agent of the owner, or captain should be present to operate the vessel on the sea trial and transport the vessel to the boat yard for the haul-out. During and after the survey the surveyor will discuses their findings with the client. The final report will generally be e-mailed to the client within 24-48 hours of the survey.

What do you look at on a survey?

We evaluate all the major systems including the structure, mechanical systems, electrical systems, fuel systems, and water systems. The inspection is limited by access to all the parts but we make every effort to determine the condition and operation of all the systems and components.

Do you preform mechanical surveys?

We do not evaluate the internal mechanical parts of the engines and transmissions. We will comment on the operation and condition of the external parts of the engines and transmissions. It is a good idea to hire an engine surveyor who regularly works on the type of engines that are in the vessel to evaluate the internal workings of the engines and transmissions (highly recommended for diesel engine applications).


How do I choose a marine surveyor?

It is never too early to start looking for a qualified marine surveyor. It is important to find a surveyor with the appropriate background, qualifications, and professional relationships such as the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC). 

It is also important to find a surveyor who you are comfortable working with. The more comfortable you are with your marine surveyor, the more you will get out of the survey. Unfortunately, most people wait until the very end of the process to start a relationship with their surveyor. 

Of all the people involved in the purchase process, your marine surveyor is the person working for you, providing objective information about your boat. 

What should the owner do so prepare for the survey?

The owner should make an inspection of the vessel prior to the survey to ensure the vessel is clean and orderly and to identify problems such as:

  • Low batteries
  • Difficulty starting the engine(s)
  • Condition of seacocks
  • Fuel hoses, fittings, and leaks
  • Required safety equipment and expiration dates

Lockers should be emptied to allow thorough inspection of all spaces. Additional equipment and papers should be readily available for inspection. 

What should the buyer do so prepare for the survey?

We understand that the process of buying a boat or yacht is complicated, and do our best to be flexible to accommodate the needs of our clients. However, it is important to understand that when a surveyor commits to a date and time for a survey, they are turning down any other requests for surveys for that specific date and time. When scheduling a survey make sure:

  • The boat yard can schedule your haul-out (we can help/accomplish if needed)
  • The owner or the owners agent (broker) is available to allow access to the vessel
  • A qualified person is available to operate the vessel
  • The vessel is in operational condition
  • Shore power is available

Do you accept credit card payments?

We accept all forms of payment. If you would prefer to pay with a credit card there is a link at the bottom of our home page that will take you to Pay Pal. You do not have to sign into Pay Pal to pay with a credit card.