Pre Purchase

Before purchasing any boat a pre purchase survey is always advisable. The survey is designed to give a clear opinion of the overall condition of the surveyed vessel, together with a detailed breakdown of any defects found.

Frequently the cost of the survey is recovered by the reduction obtained in the purchase price as a result of negotiations following the survey.

A pre purchase survey report is a comprehensive document which can be easily followed. It will identify defects and give recommendations for the remedial work required to repair these defects. All reports carry digital images to illustrate any problems found (if required).

SeaTech can carry out surveys on vessels constructed from GRP, wood, steel, aluminium, ferrocement and epoxy composites. A comprehensive Pre Purchase report covers the following areas:

  • Hull & Deck (Percussion testing for delamination & moisture content) GRP
  • Hull & Deck Hammer & spike testing (wood)
  • Internal structure, bulkheads, frames & reinforcements
  • Chainplates
  • Keel
  • Ballast
  • Skin fittings and seacocks
  • Ground tackle
  • Stanchions
  • Hand rails
  • Jackstays
  • Mast
  • Sails
  • Spars & rigging to eye level
  • Gas installation checked for condition, functionality and compliance
  • Refrigeration
  • Heating
  • Fuel
  • Fire fighting equipment
  • Bilge pumps
  • Water installation
  • Toilet installation
  • Electrical installation
  • Machinery: a visual inspection of the engine installation, including hoses, pipes and fittings
  • Fuel tank and stern gear
  • Electrical: A general examination covering installation and functionality.The equipment is switched on but not actually tested

For a pre-purchase survey it is necessary to have the yacht either lifted out of the water, or dried out, to allow a proper inspection of the hull.

Multi Boat Package

Pre-purchase package for boat buyers.

When buying a boat, it is usual for a purchaser to consider several vessels. SeatTech offers a pre purchase package which covers the inspection of up to three boats within a reasonable locality.

This inspection of each boat identifies points which may compromise the safety and integrity of the structure, and gives an opinion on the overall condition and the potential costs involved in bringing the boat up to the required standard.

This information allows the purchaser to make an informed decision about which of the three boats will be most suitable for his or her requirements, whether pleasure cruising, racing, blue water sailing, etc..

The fee for this service is calculated on the type and size of vessels being considered. By taking advantage of this service, a considerable saving can be made on the cost of carrying out 3 full surveys. If we are commissioned to carry out a full pre-purchase survey, a percentage will be deducted.

Pre Launch Checks

Most boat owners will carry out their own winterization but would like reassurance that their boat will be safe for the forthcoming season. SeaTech will give your boat a safety check prior to launch. The items covered are: engine, rudder, stern gear, propeller, bearings, bow thrusters, keel, standing rigging, running rigging and safety equipment. An initial verbal report is given followed by a written one to confirm the points that may need some attention prior to launch.

We recommend this check is carried out at least two weeks prior to launch to facilitate any work that may be required.

Winter Lay up

Additional packages offered are a winter lay up inspection and/or a pre launch check.

Our winter lay up package is designed to give the boat owner an indication of any work that will be required over the winter period. Some boats may have sustained some damage below the waterline during the season which will only become evident during lay up.

The surveyor will examine the hull, keel stern gear and engine and will compile a report on any work that may be required. Comments will be made as to the type of work required, the length of time this may take and an idea of the overall cost. An end of season schedule of work will be compiled which will include winterization of the engines, checking safety equipment and a report on the findings.

Insurance Surveys

Insurance companies wish to assess risk when taking on new clients and to this end an insurance survey will frequently be required.

This type of survey is not as comprehensive as a full pre-purchase survey. It is termed a “Structural survey” and will concentrate on the major parts of the craft. It covers the integrity of the hull, the condition of the keel, deck and supports and the lower parts of the standing rigging. A valuation of the vessel is given as part of the Insurance survey. This valuation will reflect the overall condition of the craft and also consider the type, construction and it's popularity.

Some boats, for example production boats, have a generally recognised value on the market, within the constrains of condition, age and inventory, whereas others may have a particular following and the value may well be higher than other boats of simlilar size, age and construction. There are also boats for sale whose origins are more obscure and will take some research and the skill of the surveyor to produce an accurate valuation.

Damage Surveys

Damage surveys are usually commissioned by the insurance company following a claim made by an owner. The purpose of the survey is to establish the amount of damage sustained, and to determine the cause. The insurer or underwriter will want to know the approximate length of time the repairs will take, costs, and if it is financially viable to repair the vessel within its market value.

The damage survey will identify the extent of the damage sustained, the type of repair required, estimate the amount of time expected to complete the repair and provide an overall costing, including replacement of any damaged items.

The surveyor normally oversees the repair work at various stages, thus ensuring that the quality of work is to the industry's standard and that the agreed schedule is maintained.

Engine Inspections

Most inspections carried out during a normal pre-purchase survey are visual: this will identify any patent defect that may be present. A report is compiled covering these points.

On some craft however, the engines form the greater percentage of the value and it is imperative the engines are checked more thoroughly.

SeaTech provide a thorough engine check. The engines will be run up to operating temperature, and the water and oil pressures are checked against the manufacturer’s specifications. Defects such as excessive smoke, noise or unusual rattles can be identified.

Any suspicious areas will be reported, indicating further investigation may be required.

Oil sample analysis can be a useful tool in the investigation of engine wear. This can be arranged as deemed necessary.

A report is compiled together with any findings and comments about the overall condition of the engine. This report includes digital images to illustrate the findings. The full examination of an engine will be costed on engine size and type

“© Ian Heywood, SeaTech Marine Surveyors Cornwall”