Is a Marine Survey Worth It – Used Boat Caveats

Shopping for a used boat can be a lot of fun. This is because the market is filled with all manner of vessels. You can start your search online and then contact the most promising sellers for a sea trial. However, as you shop around for a used boat, you have to consider working with an experienced surveyor to help with the initial inspection. But is a marine survey worth it? The answer is yes and here are the top reasons why.

Be wary of unknown brands

When shopping for a boat, you will come across less-known boat brands. You must be very careful when considering these brands. The reason for this is that less-known brands are not too concerned with the reputation of their brand. They can offer poor-quality workmanship and still manage to remain in business thanks to dealing with unsuspecting clients and offering low prices. Before you settle for a boat brand you have never heard about, you should consider getting a professional Cape Coral marine survey. An experienced marine surveyor will be able to help you know if the boat is a worthy investment or not. The surveyor will further help you dig up any dirt on the vessel and give you an estimate of the repair costs. You can use this information to determine whether to go forward with the purchase or not.

Beware that in preparation for the sale, some boat owners install home-built engines. While they may work perfectly in the first few weeks, these engines might fail on you. An experienced surveyor will help you know if the boat has a home-built engine and what the condition of the engine is.

Beware of signs of neglect

Most sellers make their vessels more attractive by doing some cosmetic work. The cosmetic work may include waxing or polishing the boat. Before you settle for a used boat that seems to be in perfect condition, take a step back and allow a surveyor to inspect it. The case is the same when the price is too low. Chances are the seller is not targeting a quick sale but simply trying to get rid of a piece of junk. It is only with the help you a boat surveyor that you will be able to know if the boat is in good condition or not.

The older a boat is, the riskier it is

With age comes risk. Some older boats will have been sitting on a trailer for months. It may have taken in water and may require major repairs. It is only with a professional survey that you will be able to determine the suitability of an old boat.

Hopefully, the above points have answered your question about is a marine survey worth it. Simply put, working with a surveyor is the best way to avoid spending money on a doomed vessel.

Is a Marine Survey Worth It

What is the Cost of Hiring a Boat Surveyor Cape Coral?

There are many reasons why you may want to hire a boat surveyor Cape Coral. The most common reason is to get a comprehensive evaluation of the boat you plan on buying. Surveyors perform a thorough inspection of a boat and provide a report that includes major and minor issues on a vessel as well as the cost of getting them repaired. Another reason you may need to work with a surveyor is when you want to know the actual value of your boat. In this case, you will need an appraiser. An appraisal is also needed when you want to use the boat as collateral for a loan and when you need insurance cover.

Whatever the reason is for wanting to hire a boat surveyor Cape Coral, the first question people ask is how much it will cost to hire a surveyor. There is no simple answer to this. So many things influence the cost. Let’s take a look at the main factors that affect the cost of getting a boat survey.

Rate charged by the surveyor

When hiring a marine surveyor, you should be ready to pay either a flat rate or a per-foot rate. With the flat rate, the surveyor charges a single fee for the survey. This rate is offered mostly when you are buying a smaller or simpler boat. The per-foot rate is charged depending on the length of the boat. The average rate ranges from $18 to $25 per foot. Some surveyors will also charge part of the per-foot to cover the time of travel to and from your boat’s location.

Location of the boat

The location of your boat will have an impact on the overall cost of working with a marine surveyor. This is for the simple fact that the surveyor will charge you for the time and money spent getting to and from the location of your boat. If the location is too remote, you can expect to pay more. Remote locations are not only harder to get to but also lack the equipment a surveyor needs to do their job.

Age of the boat

It goes without saying that older boats take more time to survey than newer models. At times the surveyor has to improvise in order to access systems on an older boat. In addition to charging more for older boats, some surveyors will refuse to survey really old boats.

Services required

A surveyor only observes and listens to determine the condition of a boat. However, if you need additional services such as a haul at a boatyard, you can expect to pay more.

You should be prepared to pay for all the services offered on the day of the survey. This includes the cost of a short-haul and the fee of the boat surveyor Cape Coral. Understand how the surveyor wants to be paid before the big day. Some boatyards and surveyors prefer to be paid using a check rather than a credit card.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral – Frequently Asked Questions on Boat Surveys

If you are planning on buying a used boat, the first professionals you should reach out to is a boat surveyor Cape Coral. The role of the surveyors is to inspect every inch of the boat you are considering and make recommendations on how much you should pay for it and how much you should expect to spend on repairs. In this post, our focus will be on the most frequently asked questions.

Why do you need a boat survey?

The first point you should note is that a marine survey is not mandatory. This is unless it has been requested by a lender or insurance company. When buying a boat, you can complete the purchase without getting a marine survey performed. This is, however, a terrible idea. The whole idea of working with a boat surveyors Cape Coral is so that you can get a comprehensive and objective review of the boat you are buying.

You should get a boat survey for the following reasons:

  • A survey gives you an assurance of the boat’s true condition and not just what the seller told you.
  • It is easy to miss significant issues if you don’t know what to look for. A marine surveyor has experience and training needed to spot issues easily and make recommendations.
  • The survey report you get after a survey has been done contains carefully researched information on the market value as well as the replacement value of the boat. This is information not available to the general public.
  • A survey is required by insurance companies and lenders.

Who pays for the boat survey?

The person who requests a marine survey is the one that pays for it. If you are a boat owner and want to know how much your boat is worth, you will pay the surveyor. However, in most cases, buyers are the ones who request a boat survey. While there are some variations on payments, in most instances the surveyor is paid by the person who hires a surveyor.

The case is the same when it comes to the haul out. The person who requests for a haul out pays for the service. 

How much does a boat survey cost?

The amount you pay will depend mostly on the boat surveyor Cape Coral you hire. The cost is also influenced by the following:

  • Size of the vessel
  • Hull construction; is it cored or solid fiberglass
  • Hull material; steel, fiberglass, wood, aluminum or ferrocement
  • Age of the vessel. Boats constructed pre 1970s tend to cost more to survey

Working with an experienced marine surveyor is the best way to ensure you are investing in the right vessel. You must, however, not that the surveyor will not disassemble components. If there is an issue that requires a component to be dismantled to look inside, the surveyor will recommend you to another professional, probably a mechanic.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral – Methods Used in a Yacht Survey

When hiring a boat surveyor Cape Coralfor a yacht survey, you have to keep in mind that not every surveyor will be able to give you the thorough inspection you need. This is for the simple fact that surveyors have different specialties. You also have to keep in mind that the methods used in a yacht survey will depend on the materials the vessel has been built from.

Steel or aluminum yacht

If you are targeting an aluminum or steel yacht, the boat surveyor Cape Coral will need to pay more attention to the actual plate thickness. This is often done using a hammer and ultrasound. The boat surveyor will also look for pitting to the plaiting along with an inspection of the welding. This means the surveyor will go through the internal framework and check the internal plate condition as well as welding.


Another popular material used to build yachts is laminates like fiberglass. If your target boat is built using fiberglass, you will need a surveyor with a different discipline. The surveyor should inspect the high load areas, the physical structure as well as pay attention to the moisture levels. The surveyor will also need to check for indications of groundings or damage.


If you want to go old-school and get a wooden yacht, you will be spoilt for choice. However, when it comes to the surveys, you will need a surveyor that is experienced and understands how wooden crafts are built and where problems start. It is imperative that the surveyor you choose have an understanding of the correct timber selection as well as the types and materials that are used for fastenings.

Bearing in mind how important the building materials are, you need to select a surveyor who has worked on boats built using the same materials as your boat. The last thing you want is to bring in a boat surveyor who specializes in the inspection of aluminum boats to inspect your wooden yacht. While he may be thorough, he will miss significant issues related to the materials your boat is built of.

You also need to make sure that the boat surveyor Cape Coral does not just focus on the external hull. A yacht has so many components. In addition to inspecting the structure, a good surveyor will go through all the components on your boat. Make sure the surveyor will perform both in and out of water inspections.

The type of marine survey report you get will depend on the method used by a boat surveyor. Making sure you understand all the services that will be offered and how the surveyor will get everything done will help you know if you are dealing with someone that understands your needs or not.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Working with a Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

The biggest piece of advice when buying a boat is to work with a boat surveyor Cape Coral. The surveyor will look into every nook, sniff every corner, turn every knob, feel every thru hull and turn everything inside out. It is the job of a marine surveyor to give you a detailed review of the boat you are thinking about buying. In the end you will get a survey report that lets you know the exact condition of the boat and recommendations on repairs. Even so, there are a couple of things you have to do before hiring a surveyor.

Hire someone with experience

The mistake most people make is that of hiring the first surveyor that is recommended to them. What you have to understand is that experience plays a very big part in the competence of a boat surveyor Cape Coral. This is more so when you consider the fact that boat surveyors never take components apart to determine their condition. They simply observe and listen. If they determine a piece of equipment doesn’t operate properly, they will recommend further examination be carried out by a specialist. Being able to listen, observe and determine if there is a problem requires a lot of experience.

Get a written contract with the surveyor

Another very important thing you must do is establish a written contract with the surveyor. The contract has to be written in plain English and must include all the details regarding what the boat survey will cover as well as how much the service will cost. With a written contract, you will be able to know precisely what you will get for your money.

If you need a survey done for insurance purposes, it is imperative that you contact your insurance company to know about the information that has to be included in the survey report. You also need to make sure that a report from your selected boat surveyor Cape Coral will be accepted by the insurance company.

Know what will not be included

While a survey should include a thorough inspection of the interior, you also need to know what will not be included. For example, most surveys don’t include the condition of engines. If the operation of the engine is not normal, the marine surveyor will recommend that you get it inspected by a professional marine mechanic.

Be present

Last but not least, you need to be present for the survey. That way you will be able to ask questions during the survey as well as help the surveyor around your boat. After the survey, the surveyor will sit down with you to go through the defects he or she discovered.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral – Steps in a Boat Survey

If you have never bought a boat before, you are probably unfamiliar with the benefits of working with a boat surveyor Cape Coral. While it is easy to trust what a seller says and inspecting the boat on your own, you will be safer working with an experienced surveyor. The marine surveyor has the equipment, training and experience needed to know when there is a problem and how to document issues accordingly. Moreover, financial and insurance companies only accept survey reports from reputable surveyors.

Now that you understand why you should work with a boat surveyor Cape Coral, let’s focus on the process that is involved during a typical boat survey. Here are some of the things you should expect to do when buying a boat.

Choose a boat

The work of a surveyor is not to help you find the boat that best meets your needs but rather to let you know if you are making a sound investment or not. It is your job to complete research on the boat you want. If you do not understand the paperwork on a boat, reach out to somebody that does. After finding a boat that impresses you, it is time to get a signed contract. You will then need to make a deposit so that a boat survey and mechanical inspection can be organized.


A contract of sale is made before a deposit is made. This has to be written up as well as agreed to by both the seller and the buyer. It is normal practice to include a clause that states how much deposit is to be paid as well as when the balance will be paid if there is a satisfactory boat survey. The boat survey has to be completed within a set period of time and sea trial has to be undertaken. If issues are discovered by a boat surveyor Cape Coral, the buyer and seller cannot agree on fixing it or negotiations, there should be a clause that states a full refund of the deposit. The contract also includes sufficient time for the problems to be fixed as well as ample time for a boat surveyor to be found and a survey to be conducted.


In most cases, you will be required to pay a deposit of 5% to 10% of the total cost of the boat. The deposit has to be made before a survey is done. A deposit has to be paid to prove to a seller that a buyer is serious about buying the boat. Needless to say, a marine survey is a lot of work that involves inspecting, testing, slipping and sea trialing.

Organizing a survey

Once the deposit has been paid, a marine survey can now be done. Most surveyors include mechanic inspections while other use imaging equipment to look inside components without dismantling them. You will get a survey report within a few days.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral – How to Prepare for a Marine Survey

Getting a comprehensive inspection from a reputable boat surveyor Cape Coralis advised before agreeing to buy a used boat. Many boat owners also want to get a pre-purchase condition as well as value survey before they sell their old vessels. A survey helps identify any issues a boat has and also helps with pricing. Whether you are getting ready to sell your boat or planning on buying a used one, there are a few guidelines you must follow when getting ready for a marine survey.


Once you settle on a boat surveyor Cape Coral, there are a few things you will need to do in order to get the best experience during a survey. Here are a few guidelines you should follow.

  1. The boat will be hauled out to inspect both the hull and the running gear. You must, therefore arrange for this before the surveyor arrives. You can leave the boat hanging in the slings overnight so that the surveyor inspects the hull first before you relaunch the boat. If hanging in the slings overnight is not possible, you can get the boat hang in the slings while people go for lunch.
  2. Clean the bottom of the boat first. When it is dirty, the surveyor will not be able to understand the precise condition of the boat. Needless to say, the work of the surveyor is simply to observe and listen. It is not his job to clean the boat for you or open things up to get a better look.
  3. Ensure all compartments and storage areas are empty. This will allow the marine surveyor to perform a more thorough inspection. If the compartments are locked or not emptied, the survey will take long since the surveyor will have to wait for you to open and empty the compartments. The general rule is to remove all the unnecessary items out of the boat before the surveyor arrives.
  4. Make sure there is plenty of room around the bottom. A clearance of 2 inches is needed around each side of the boat to make it easy for the surveyor to inspect the freeboard of the boat.
  5. Empty the bilge and sponge it out if possible. This is crucial during sea-trials.
  6. Make all the documentation and paperwork on the boat available. The boat surveyor Cape Coral will ask for them. Include engine and maintenance logs.

Marine surveys are usually both non-intrusive and non-destructive. The surveyor will not examine any area that requires to be dissembled. Getting the boat ready for the evaluation is the job of the boat owner.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral – Various Types of Marine Surveys

If you are considering buying a used boat, boat surveys are something that will definitely come up. When buying a boat or trying to choose between a used and a new boat, a boat surveyor Cape Coralwill be the best professional to talk to. The surveyor will perform a thorough evaluation of your target boat and help you know if you are making a sound decision or not. There are several types of surveys that a marine surveyor can perform.

Condition and Value Surveys

Most people consider the help of a boat surveyorCape Coral so as to get either a condition or a value survey. These are the two most common types of surveys performed. These boat surveys will help you find the perfect boat to buy. The surveys involve a comprehensive inspection which includes checking the whole boat, its propulsion systems, electronics and everything that is on board. For large sailboats, rigging surveys may be performed.

It is important to note that a marine surveyor will not take components a part to see if they are working properly. A surveyor simply inspects the components visually and listens to determine their condition. If there is a serious issue, you may be advised to bring in a mechanic to evaluate a component further.

Insurance Surveys

Insurance surveys are a lot like condition and value surveys. The only difference is that these surveys are done solely for insurance purposes. They are also less comprehensive and only focus on a list of specific items that the insurance company wants to be checked. In this case, you should contact the insurance company for a list of the items that will have to be examined and also to know if the boat surveyorCape Coral you plan on using is approved by the insurance company.

Appraisal Surveys

These surveys are exactly what they sound like. They are surveys performed to identify the fair market value of a boat. In most cases, these surveys are needed in estate settlements and in cases of divorce. When financing a boat, a lender may also require an appraisal survey to be performed.

Damage Surveys

These are surveys performed to determine the extent of damage to a boat. They are usually necessary after a storm or accident. The surveys also help calculate the cost of repairs. Insurance companies often request these surveys after an accident.

New Yacht Surveys 

These types of surveys are necessary for large, expensive marine vessels. They can be performed for a custom-built yacht and can take place over a period of time with the marine surveyor visiting the manufacturer at different stages of the boat construction.

The above are the main types of surveys performed by a boat surveyor Cape Coral. It is always good to find a surveyor that has experience offering the services that you need.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral – Guide on How to Hire a Boat Surveyor

After finding the perfect used boat, the first thing you should do is find a reliable boat surveyor Cape Coral. This is for the simple fact that there are so many structural and mechanical components that a vessel has. Involving a surveyor will help you be more confident when considering a used boat. A boat surveyor will offer you and your bank an extra layer of protection before purchasing a secondhand boat. Let’s take a look at how a boat surveyor works.

A boat surveyor Cape Coral is a professional trained and experienced in performing certain inspections on a boat. They have a strong boating and/or mechanical background and better understand a boat than an average boater.

Bearing in mind buying a boat is a huge investment, hiring a marine surveyor will give you peace of mind before moving forward. Surveyors use special tools like moisture meters to get a better look at the mechanics of the boat. They will also be able to uncover issues you would otherwise not notice. Moreover, if you plan on financing the purchase, lenders will be more inclined to give you a loan if you have a survey report from a reputable surveyor. Here are some of the most important things you should do when getting ready to hire a surveyor.

Know the type of survey you need

Marine surveys fall into four categories depending on what you need. The most common type of survey is a pre-purchase survey. This survey is meant to help you understand the condition of a boat before purchasing. Other types of surveys include insurance surveys, damage inspection, and appraisal inspection. When hiring a boat surveyor Cape Coral you must ensure the surveyor you consider offers the type of boat survey you need.

How much will the service cost

Another important thing to do is consider the cost of the survey. On average, boat surveyors charge between $18 and $25 per foot. They may also include out-of-water inspections, sea trials, test all the systems, and perform a full survey report. The costs and range of services you get vary from one surveyor to the next. Make sure you find a surveyor whose service fees are within your budget and one that offers all the services you need.

Consider the reputation of the surveyor

Offering the services you need and at a price you are okay with is not enough. You still need to confirm that the marine surveyor can deliver on their promise. That is why you need to research the surveyor to ensure they have a good track record. Too many negative reviews are a red flag.

How thorough a marine survey is will depend on how competent a boat surveyor Cape Coral is. Don’t just hire any surveyor that comes your way. Find a surveyor you feel comfortable working with and one that offers excellent services.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral – How Do You Price a Boat for Sale?

While the input of a boat surveyor Cape Coralwill help you set an appropriate selling price for your boat, the price you set can make or break the deal. Setting an appropriate price requires more than setting an unbeatable price. There are many considerations you have to make including the current condition of the boat and the prevailing market climate.

A lot of people tend to overprice their secondhand boats. The common mistake made when setting a price for a boat is using the historical trends to determine the current value of a boat. At some time, a boat may maintain its cash value. However, as it ages and the market climate changes, the value will go down. Moreover, unlike real estate, chances of the value of a boat appreciating are close to zero. High inflation can, however, mask the depreciation of a boat price.

In the last 10 years or so, the demand for boats built in the 1970s and 1980s has dropped significantly. This is because these boats offer accommodation that is way too cramped for comfort. If you have an older boat, it is always a great idea to involve an experienced boat surveyor Cape Coral to help with both valuation and pricing.

Determining the asking price

When pricing your boat, taking a look at the prices set on boats that are similar to yours is the best guide you can use. There is, however, a major catch; how the boat has been maintained. A boat that is well prepared and hasn’t been advertised for long will get more attention than one that is poorly maintained. How you advertise your boat for sale will also matter. The more people see your advert the more offers you will get and the higher the chances of selling for a great price.

Working with a broker will also determine how much you manage to sell your used boat for. Brokers enjoy better advantage over private sellers. This is because they have better access to the data relating to boats and will already have potential buyers already in their contacts. Your boat surveyor Cape Coral can give you a few contacts of promising brokers in your area.

You have to consider your location when determining a selling price. If your boat is in an inaccessible harbor, you will have to give potential buyers a good reason for them to invest their time and money to view it. If the harbor is too inaccessible, you may have to lower the asking price in order to win potential buyers over. The case is the same if you are in an area where there are too many boats being sold.

Tips to help boost the value of your boat

  • Save all maintenance records
  • Wash and polish at least once per season
  • When not in use cover the boat up.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance schedules and winterization
  • Get a professional surveybefore setting a price.

Setting a selling price is not as straightforward as you may think. Involving the services of a boat surveyor Cape Coral will, however, give you a better chance of setting the best price.

Boat Surveyor Cape Coral