Types of Survey

Pre-Survey Inspection

An inspection from which a brief report and a lot of photographs (typically 150 or so) are produced, in order to give the prospective purchaser a realistic up-to-date overview of the vessel’s general condition before committing to the time and expense of travel to see the vessel themselves for the first time – this service has proven very useful!  This is not a condition survey and any prospective purchaser is always strongly advised to have a Pre-Purchase Survey carried out in the event that they proceed beyond this initial overview.

Insurance Survey

Most insurance companies will require periodic surveys to ascertain the overall condition and value of an insured vessel in order to evaluate their risk; the period at which these are required varies so check with your insurer. Usually it is necessary for the vessel to be hauled for at least a short time in order to inspect the below-the-waterline areas, although this is not always the case so again please check with your insurer. If the vessel is already laid up ashore then the inspection can be done ashore without relaunching. A report is compiled with the inclusion of embedded photographs, along with a valuation and statement of overall condition.

Pre-Purchase Survey

A survey inspection of the vessel is carried out both in and out of the water, and a sea trial is performed. Attention is paid to structural integrity, hull and decks, electrical and other systems, propulsion and other machinery, steering, safety equipment, rigging (from deck level), electronics, cosmetic condition and so on. A comprehensive report is compiled with the inclusion of embedded photographs, along with a valuation and statement of overall condition. Highly recommended – should be considered essential – for anyone looking to purchase a vessel, and this type of survey will also satisfy insurance company survey requirements.


This not a condition survey but an inspection is carried out and a brief report is produced showing sufficient information to be used for financing purposes, estate matters or other legal reasons.

Charter Phase-Out

If a vessel has been in a charter fleet and about to be released back to the owner a survey will be required to determine current vessel condition and to recommend and list any remedial work (that is usually to be carried out by the charter company before the vessel is handed back to the owner). The inspection will include in-water and out-of-water inspections, and a sea trial; often crew and logistics are organised by the charter company so the owner’s presence isn’t necessarily required.

Frequently a separate report based on the same inspection information is requested to be used for insurance renewal purposes (at further cost, but more economical than two separate surveys).


In the event of an accident or other incident cause needs to be determined, and information sought with regard to extent of damage and recommended repairs and costs. This is often at the instruction of an insurance company.