How to Find a Good Marine Surveyor? (and Where)
There is already so much to think about when purchasing a boat. From repairs, to mooring, to boat insurance and ongoing costs – there’s much to consider.
So, on top of it all, why should you have to think about hiring a certified marine surveyor for your insurance company? And how do you find a good one?
The truth is that having your boat surveyed by an accredited marine surveyor will do more than just benefit your insurance company – it will also help provide you with a lot of useful insight and confidence about your craft.
But, how do you find the right surveyor?
Thankfully, boat surveyor companies and one-man bands are rife – and you should be able to find plenty in your area.
The best thing to do is ask your insurance company directly about marine surveyors that they recommend to cut down on research time.
But, what exactly will a marine surveyor check for on your boat, what will you find in the report and what even is the point?
What to Look for in a Marine Surveyor?
- Their background and experience
- Areas of Expertise
- Familiarity with your model and make of boat or vessel
- Reach out and find out what they would look for on your boat while surveying
- Qualifications and are they accredited marine surveyors
- Cost of the survey
- Experience with your boat insurance company
- Duration of the survey
Where Can You Find a Good Surveyor?
When looking for a good marine surveyor, the best thing to do is to ask your boat insurance company about those they work with regularly.
However, many lenders won’t be too fussed as long as you use an accredited marine surveyor.
Still, essentially you are looking for someone experienced and qualified, with whom you can easily set an appointment sooner rather than later.
You can also find qualified, reputable surveyors through a local Google search.
It’s also worth looking into SAMS, the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors.
This is a directory of approved survey experts who are highly regarded in their field.
They represent many surveyors across the states – and hiring via SAMS means you’re generally guaranteed exceptional care and knowledge.
You could also ask other boat owners in your port for their opinions on marine surveyors they may have worked with in the past.
Forum reports are also worth checking for recommendations of inspection and surveys people have had for their yachts or boats.
Is a Boat Survey Worth It?
Not many people like the idea of a boat survey. It costs money, takes time, and what does it actually bring you? Quite a lot, actually!
Boat surveys help identify any potential issues that a boat may have. The truth is that it is not always about getting a more appropriate insurance policy.
For example, if you plan to buy a boat, then a reputable marine surveyor can identify issues you may not have spotted yet on the vessel.
This will be important when negotiating a purchase price and in helping you understand what, if any, modifications you will need to make to the boat before it is safe to take out onto the water again.
However, it is also true that marine surveys are indeed beneficial for insurance policies.
They benefit more than just the insurance company, as you will be able to update your marine survey when new repairs and modifications are made to your boat – thus, potentially adjusting your insurance policy rates, too.
What Does a Marine Survey Include?
Marine surveys are thorough investigations of boats led by expert surveyors.
Typically, they will check:
- navigational machinery
- your radio
- electrical elements
- air conditioning
- engine and other mechanical elements
- the structure of the boat
- any essential onboard materials
- and the general condition of the vessel or craft itself.
The idea is to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that there are no potential dangers on board – it’s a thorough examination of the different areas of your craft to make sure it’s safe for you to take to sea on your yacht or boat.
Depending on the size and condition of your boat, a marine survey on a small craft could take just a few hours or even an entire day for a larger yacht.
The marine surveyor will likely request to see the ship in action when surveying any boats, at which point they will want you to take them out on the boat for under or just over an hour.
Be ready for a quick trip!
Why Do You Need a Marine Surveyor?
Your insurance company will likely ask you to hire a marine surveyor to inspect your boat before they can set you the best insurance policies at the right price.
This is so they can determine how safe your vessel is and how likely it is to need repairs, get into accidents, etc.
If your boat is in a terrible state of repair, then the insurance company will have to create a much more comprehensive contract with you.
On the other hand, if your boat is in good condition and ready to go, then your insurance policies do not have to be as extensive or even expensive.
How Long Are Marine Surveys Good For?
It is a little difficult to determine how long the average marine survey will be good for.
While some marine insurance companies are happy with the same survey for up to five years, others will only permit it for up to three.
Generally speaking, the condition of the boat will determine how long the survey will be good for.
For example, if you have a boat that needs serious repairs and adjustments, then the chances are that your marine survey will need updating pretty quickly.
On the other hand, if your boat is in near pristine condition, then your marine survey will likely last a lot longer.
Whatever the case, if you do make any adjustments to your boat during the time that you have a marine survey, then it would be a good idea to get renewed.
That way, if any serious repairs have taken place to improve the condition and safety of the boat, the new marine survey will reflect that, and it will show in the cost of your boat insurance. How much does boat insurance cost though?
How Much Does a Boat Survey Cost?
It depends on the surveyor you choose, and the size and make of your boat. We
Yacht surveyors usually start at around £10 per foot, plus a baseline price, whereas others will cost you more (depending on their premium services, etc.).
Shop around until you’re happy with the value you’re getting for the extent of the service and hire that surveyor associate to carry out your inspection.
Beyond determining the value of your boat, there is a lot that you, as a boat owner, stand to gain from a good marine survey.
During the process, you can expect the marine surveyor to find any electrical, machinery, or structural issues that you alone may not notice.
This, for example, is especially important if you are investing in a used boat that could have underlying issues.
So, don’t be too concerned about your marine survey, and take it as an opportunity to get to know your new boat a lot better.