Here's how to get the most useful survey for your money:
Let the surveyor know why you need a survey. If it’s to purchase a boat or to fulfill an insurance requirement, you need a Full Condition and Value (C&V) survey. This report will estimate the current market value for the boat today, the cost to rebuild the boat today, and provide a detailed description of the construction and condition of the hull and major systems (i.e. electrical, fuel, machinery, rigging, etc.).
Some surveyors offer abbreviated one or two page opinions, which they'll often refer to as an insurance inspection. This brief format may not be sufficient for insurance underwriting purposes since it omits the details necessary to accurately analyze the risk. Check with your insurance company to determine what they need.
Make sure the report indicates the boat was also inspected for compliance with the current boating safety standards set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.), the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), as well as U.S. Coast Guard standards.
If you are selecting a surveyor in order to obtain insurance through the BoatUS Marine Insurance Program, please note the following:
- Generally surveys completed by individuals directly associated with boat yards, marinas or brokers will not be accepted for insurance due to the potential for a conflict of interest.
- Surveys done by insurance company personnel may not be accepted if they lack the required detail.
- Older boats, or those made of wood, steel, or aluminum may need to be hauled in order to be properly surveyed.
The National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) are professional organizations having rigorous examination programs for their membership. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program will accept value surveys or pre-purchase surveys from surveyors with a SAMS designation of "AMS" with a specialized classification of "Y-SC" (yacht and small craft) or NAMS designation of "CMS" with a specialized service code of "A" (yacht and small craft).
It’s appropriate to ask the surveyor you select for a copy of a resume, as well as a sample survey of the type that you are requesting.
Please note that BoatUS does not endorse or guarantee the performance of surveyors. No warranties expressed or implied are intended or created by this directory. Any questions regarding the scope of a surveyor's inspection, their cost or the content of the reports should be discussed with the surveyor.