How to prepare for marine survey

Marine survey sea trial

We find a surprisingly high amount of vessel owners or brokers don’t know how to prepare for a marine survey. It should be in the interest of the seller to present his or her yacht in the best possible way. The preparation to make a ship ready does not take too much time and is crucial for a successful outcome of the survey and the subsequent report. It just does not look good when it says “Vessel was found cluttered” or “The bilges were littered with debris” etc.

Here are some suggestions we send to the boat owners prior to conducting our surveys:

  • Vessel owner, captain or engineer in attendance.
  • The Vessel connected to shore power with battery chargers on.
  • Do not run engines and generators prior to the survey. Engine space should be cool.
  • Air-conditioning turned on OR windows & hatches open. Deck awnings in place.
  • All interior and exterior lights turned on.
  • Clean and un-clutter the vessel, including bathrooms.

Vessel documentation:

  • Registration.
  • Crew certificates.
  • Builder’s certificate.
  • Owner’s manual.
  • Insurance documents.
  • Inventory.
  • Receipts for recent repairs and upgrades.

Vessel’s systems:

  • Make sure everything works OR is marked “not operational”.
  • Make sure the batteries are charged.
  • Check fuel, machinery oil- & coolant levels, fan belts, etc.
  • Do not run any machinery just before the survey.

Safety equipment:

  • Easy to find. No treasure hunt.
  • Deck equipment uncovered.
  • Stored equipment laid out in one place.
  • All fire extinguishers lined up.

Sail wardrobe:

  • Sail inventory showing brand, material & year.
  • Working sails raised during the sea trial.
  • Stored sails inspected on deck or dockside.

Tender & outboard:

  • Inflated & fueled up.
  • Stored for easy deployment, NOT inside the vessel.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • Do install the speed log transducer before the sea trial.
  • Don’t start engines and generators just before the survey.
  • Do try to keep the vessel interior cool, including the engine space.
  • Don’t bring children and other non-essential personnel along.
  • Do bring a good supply of drinking water.

Since every boat and survey has unique circumstances and scope, we will provide a customized “How to prepare for marine survey” checklist prior to your survey.