Preparation for a Survey

Your marine surveyor needs access to the engine, steering components, battery banks, bulkheads, stringers, etc. Be prepared to remove equipment from lazarettes and storage compartments.

An out-of-the-water inspection is highly recommended for pre-purchase surveys and is included with the cost of the survey. Insurance companies may require an out-of-the-water inspection. You will need to make arrangements with a nearby boatyard to haul the vessel out of the water. We will recommend a boatyard but you need to make the appointment. The cost of the haul out is paid to the boatyard and is not included with the cost of our survey.
A sea trial is also highly recommended for pre-purchase surveys and is also included with the cost of the survey. A marine surveyor will not operate the vessel during a sea trial. Make sure you, the owner, a broker or a hired captain is available to operate the vessel.

Paperwork can be time consuming. Make sure the ship’s USCG Documentation, the state registration and receipts for upgrades are all available to view.

Some areas of the vessel may be obscured by cabinetry, panels or various covers. Make sure all areas available for access are opened or will be opened during the inspection. This is considered destructive testing and access to these areas cannot be opened by your marine surveyor.

A Work Order will be provided by your surveyor to detail the marine survey process, costs and confirm your contact information. This Work Order needs to be signed and returned to your surveyor before a report can be provided.

Survey and Consulting Options

  • Pre-Purchase Surveys

    A pre-purchase marine survey is an in-depth examination of the vessel you wish to purchase. Usually, an offer is made and accepted on a boat subject to the “outcome of the survey.” This is where we will provide you a with a detailed report that outlines the exact condition and value of the vessel so you can make an educated decision on its purchase. Our detailed marine survey report will likely provide you with an excellent re-negotiation tool.

    Many surveyors will provide a report that outlines the equipment on the vessel without mention of the condition of the various systems. We will conduct an extensive systems analysis of the boat. This necessitates a visual inspection within all cabinets and access ports of the vessel. A percussion test should be conducted to the decks, cockpit and cabin top. A thorough survey will evaluate the condition of the engine(s), rigging, wiring, plumbing, tanks, electronics, pumps, through-hulls, etc. In addition, it is important that you have your marine surveyor inspect the vessel out of the water to assess the condition of the boat’s wetted surfaces and running gear. We will supervise a thorough sea trial in order to examine the performance of the boat underway. We can then take oil samples once the engine(s) have been properly warmed and loaded. You need to hire a conscientious surveyor who will take the time to fully investigate the vessel. Your safety and large amounts of money are at stake. Ask to see examples of your surveyor’s reports. You can download our sample reports on the next page.

  • Insurance/Financing Surveys

    An insurance or financing survey is usually required by your existing or potential insurance or financing company. It depends on the insurance company but usually, every five years, they will require you to submit an up-to-date survey on your vessel. Yes, this is an unwelcome expense, but it is also an opportunity to have a professional spot potential problems on your boat. Don’t jump to hire the surveyor who is the cheapest in town. Even if you are the most meticulous of boat owners, a good surveyor will always catch something of potential concern on your vessel.

  • Rigging Surveys

    Your standing and running rigging should be inspected by a qualified rigging surveyor. Our rigging reports will detail all rigging systems so you and your insurance company will be assured that a thorough inspection was performed. Normally, a marine surveyor will not go aloft to thoroughly examine your standing rigging. It is hard to find a surveyor who will ascend the mast, but it is essential to have your entire rig surveyed, especially if you race, frequently sail offshore or are setting off for an extended cruise. Keiser Marine will perform an in-depth examination of the entire rigging system (where accessible). Shrouds, stays, chainplates, hardware, and fasteners will be inspected to find possible metal fatigue or crevice corrosion. A report will then be written with recommendations to correct any deficiencies.

  • Consulting Services

    A consulting survey is a specialized inspection of a vessel with or without a report. Many times a potential buyer will find a listing for a vessel that is out of state or even in a different country from which they reside. Perhaps, an inexperience boater wants a professional to look at a vessel prior to committing to a full pre-purchase survey. In this case, a consultation survey may be the best option. A consulting inspection can be performed for a vessel at an hourly rate to establish if the vessel is indeed in the represented general condition reported by the seller or broker. We will be your advocate to represent the true general condition of the vessel in order to save the cost of a full pre-purchase survey if the boat is misrepresented. An email with written descriptions and photographs of the general condition of the vessel will allow the potential buyer to know if this boat is worth pursuing. Generally, just an hour of inspection is needed to establish the general condition of the vessel and identify potential expensive repairs. An estimate with hourly rates will be provided before each consulting inspection.

  • Pre-Cruise Survey

    A pre-cruise survey is a great investment, not only in peace of mind but also in the enjoyment of your voyage. Even a seasoned cruiser will benefit from fresh, professional eyes examining the systems of the boat. If you are new to cruising, it is essential to have your boat thoroughly checked by an experienced cruising surveyor before going to sea.

  • Warranty Surveys

    When you purchase a new boat, and the manufacturer will generally give you a one-year hull warranty. Then problems arise just after the warranty expires. A warranty survey completed a month or two before your warranty will expire provides you with a list of work the manufacturer will legally need to perform at no cost to you. Often manufacturer flaws won’t show up until it’s too late. A timely vessel survey is prudent and in your interest.

  • Damage Surveys

    The Damage Survey will assess the extent of the injury to your vessel. Perhaps it is damage sustained by another vessel and you want documentation to establish damage for insurance companies. Perhaps it is damage sustained from an accident and you want to make certain that all damage will be correctly addressed by a boat yard or a private repair technician. It is also the job of the Damage Surveyor to ascertain the reasonable cost of repairs. With or without insurance, it is a very good idea to hire a surveyor to officially establish the extent of damages and what needs to be repaired to make your vessel whole again. A good surveyor will know which repair facilities can be relied upon and insure you will pay a reasonable price.

  • Appraisals/Valuation Surveys

    There are several circumstances that require an appraisal of your vessel. A bank will require an appraisal to borrow against your assets; estate settlements need a current value assessment of boats. Non-profit organizations will provide an excellent tax write-off for appraised vessels, and many legal cases, including divorce and bankruptcy, will require a current appraisal.

  • Sailing Lessons

    If you are discovering sailing for the first time or just want to gain more confidence on your vessel, Keiser Marine can help you through the entire process of becoming a confident and safe sailor aboard your vessel. Perhaps you are interested in sailing in the heavy Sumer winds of the San Francisco Bay, or long-range cruising to tropical destinations; We will assess your experience and customize a set of sailing lessons to help you become comfortable with your boat and confidently approach the type of sailing you wish to master.