Buying a boat requires proper investigation so that you know what you are paying is worth it. So, even if you know all about boats, it’s a great idea to take professional services for a more reliable deal.
In my opinion, a boat survey is quite critical and equally important if you want to avoid any mishaps in the future.
Because boat surveys are optional and there are no binding laws, many boat enthusiasts often ignore this process. Some of them would regret their decision because there is always a risk of problems such as shorts in boats, unforeseen maintenance, etc.
In the case of financing and insurance, a survey is a must. If you have heard of pre-purchase, it’s boat insurance.
So, even though it’s not obligatory, it’s always better to survey your boat to get the best deal. If you don’t know what goes into a boat survey, this article will help you.
Let’s find out, how much does a boat survey cost?
Who’s In It?
When you’re buying a boat, there are more than just two parties involved. For instance, the surveyor, the broker, the seller, and then there’s you, the buyer. From the buyer and the broker’s perspective, they want the deal to go smoothly.
Often, brokers refer clients to the surveyor. The seller may also seek the same surveyor for their next purchase. If the broker is reluctant to go to any other surveyor, there are chances of a conflict. However, regulatory bodies monitor and recommend such practices, so you shouldn’t worry much.
The Process Flow of a Survey Job
Whether it’s a yacht, ship, or any fishing boat, the survey process is well-defined for all. Therefore, the surveyor doesn’t have to do more than following the given instructions. Generally, boats come with a worklist.
When the surveyor does their job, they will prepare a report about the findings. So, when you’re there during the inspection, you mustn’t exaggerate a problem because of two reasons:
- It will not have a significant effect on the price
- The same report goes to the insurance company, so you may receive a list of pricy work jobs before getting the policy for your boat.
What Should a Buyer Do?
As a buyer, it’s always better to be there throughout a boat survey. I don’t believe in relying on third parties and getting someone else to handle things on your behalf. So, you must show up every time. When you know everything personally, there are lesser chances of deception.
Unless any laws require you a professional buyer, you are best suited for your boat’s purchase.
While doing the mechanical parts surveys, request your surveyor first to examine the conditions through questions. If the situation isn’t right, you won’t need to pay for their checking, and you can skip on to the next task. It saves both time and money.
How Much Does a Boat Survey Cost?
Boat surveys may seem like a one-time job where you ask the surveyor to visit, prepare a report, receive their dues, and leave. However, there are several other variables to address. It’s one of the reasons why new buyers often hesitate from surveying a boat. Nevertheless, it’s quite simple, and I will explain why.
The primary parameter for a boat survey is the boat’s length. The average price for a survey is around $18 to $25 per foot. Some well-known surveyors may charge even more, but I suggest you prepare a budget within the limit I just mentioned for an average survey. Moreover, some bigger boats may prove costly.
Some of the other factors that affect the survey price are:
- Age of the vessel
- Vessel material
- Additional setups and systems on the boat
- Geographical location
It also depends on where you want to survey the boat. For instance, if the ship is in water and you want to survey it on the ground, hauling your boat will cost you an additional $20 per foot or so.
Also, if it’s a small fishing boat or a pontoon boat that is relatively low power, it’s much cheaper than a sophisticated cruise or yacht. It’s because of the advanced engines that need careful inspection.
So, if you are dealing with a relatively advanced engine, it can cost you an additional $300 to $600. However, engine inspection is a must if you are buying a high-power boat.
Signs of a Good Surveyor
If you’re getting your boat survey for the first time, it’s essential to know what your boat surveyor should do during the inspection. For instance, your surveyor should inspect the boat on the ground. This way, he can survey the underwater gear and the hull.
Moreover, the survey should follow top to bottom format. Usually, the deck and hull may have rotten spots that can be identified by using a hammer.
Secondly, the electrical systems are the most critical of the elements. The surveyor should at least carry a multimeter to verify the working of these systems. After that, the plumbing, fuel systems, controls, steering, and safety equipment checks need to be performed.
Reporting the Findings
The U.S. Coast Guard regulates the report formats and the details found during a boat survey. So, the surveyor should enter all the details as per the format. Also, the NFPA and American Boat & Yacht Council monitor these regulations.
If your surveyor is good, they will mention the potential problems in the report. It’s useful when applying for insurance.
In any case, the surveyor doesn’t recommend or stop you from buying a boat. Their sole job is to survey and give you the findings to help you make a better decision.
A boat survey cost can vary for several reasons. Therefore, it’s impossible to give a specific number for it. However, with the information you have now, it’s easier to plan a budget for the boat purchase and the types of features you want in your boat.
In any case, I suggest new buyers get their boats surveyed because it saves them from plenty of financial problems in the future.