How to Choose a Marine Surveyor

How do you choose a Marine Surveyor in 2021?… First things first, don’t get hung up on Association Acronyms. Many of them mean little or nothing on their ability to fully inspect a complicated boat, (most of those guys have never worked on a boat in their lifetime). Insurance Companies and Finance Companies/Banks DO NOT REQUIRE SURVEYORS BELONG TO ANY SPECIFIC ASSOCIATION….

Before you hire any marine surveyor ask 1 simple question—- DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON BOATS? (If they answer no, Run do Not walk Away,) Many surveyors today get online certified in systems and topics, Wouldn’t you rather have someone who Installs and Repairs, Engines everyday and Installs and Repairs A/C Systems, Plumbing Systems, Electrical Systems, Survey your purchase. 

The best surveyors in our experience, have been people who understand how boats are built, what repairs are common, the stress loads that occur over time from continuous pounding of the seas, the corrosion issues, and most importantly, What Typically Breaks over time on that Specific MAKE, MODEL and YEAR boat.  Typically the best marine surveyors are MASTER MARINE SURVEYORS.

Think logically, If you were buying a used Ferrari or Mercedes, wouldn’t you want a mechanic or the builder to check over the used vehicle? Wouldn’t you want someone who has a list of Typical Issues with that specific MAKE, MODEL and YEAR boat??? Why wouldn’t you get a Surveyor who is also a Repair Professional to Survey a used boat?

Tip 1-Hire someone who works on boats every day and knows what to look for!

Tip 2-Hire someone who is familiar with that Specific MAKE, MODEL and YEAR boat and has a list of things that typically break on that exact boat model.

Tip 3-Stay away from the “We Only Do Surveys” guys, (they have probably don’t work on boats everyday)

Tip 4-Try to get a list of the “Common Issues” that may occur on that Make, Model and Year boat so when you and your surveyor go to inspect boat, you can have him fully evaluate the possibility of these common problems occurring in the future.

Tip 5-Get service records from previous owner Prior to viewing the boat. If he doesn’t have full records of any major repairs, be very weary.

Tip 6– Make sure a Fuel Tank review is conducted. Many used boats have tanks that are aluminum and after only 5 or so years these tanks can start to corrode and may even begin to leak fuel. 

Tip 7-Deck Soft Spots, hull and core issues and hull blisters are many times overlooked by surveyors who do not work on these specific repair areas.

TIP 8  (MOST IMPORTANT) -When you call a potential surveyor, ask them when you first speak with them DO YOU WORK ON BOATS EVERYDAY???    Then Ask them to list all the Typical Issues that may happen and need to be inspected on that Specific MAKE, MODEL and YEAR boat.  If they can’t answer, then they probably have No Experience with that boat model.  Hang up and call another surveyor!! Try

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