Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I choose a surveyor?

Why should you have a vessel surveyed?

What are the three parts of a survey?

How do I prepare for a survey?

Who pays for what?

How long does it take?

Do you go aloft?

What is an engine survey?

What is our service area?

Why do I need a sea trial?

 How do I choose a surveyor?  Anyone can title him or herself as a Marine Surveyor and start a business. Certain marine surveyors are permitted to use a designation denoting membership in accrediting organizations that require members to meet strict professional, technical and ethical standards. Terry and Mike belong to SAMS (The society of Accredited Marine Surveyors).

Surveyors at All Marine Surveyors Inc. provide you with a professionally prepared report that can be accepted by your bank and/or insurance company. They use ABYC, NFPA and USCG standards in their surveys.  How much will the inspection cost? How long will the on-board inspection take? These questions will be answered on an individual basis.

A thorough inspection will not be rushed and will depend on the type of survey required based on vessel size, equipment and on-board systems. Well-conducted surveys can provide good information on the vessels' condition, but they are not guarantees. The surveyor reports the condition in accessible areas only as it exists at the time of inspection.

Back to top

 Why should you have a vessel surveyed? Most insurance companies and banks will require them on older vessels. They will need to know her condition and fair market value in order to finance and/or underwrite the vessel. Knowing her condition and fair market value before you purchase is also important. However, the most important reason to survey your vessel is for the safety of the passengers and crew.

Back to top

 What are the three parts of a survey? Surveys consist of three distinct aspects: 1) The static, in water inspection, 2) The haul out to inspect the underbody, and 3) The sea trial. No survey is complete without performing these three aspects. The sea trial involves not only performance testing the vessel and its engines, but is also the time when many major systems are checked out.  In addition to this, the surveyor will also check out the internal hull structures to make sure that all is as it should be.

Back to top

 How do I prepare for a survey? Arrange to present a clean, shipshape boat, and have all papers and miscellaneous gear ready. It is for this reason we may refuse to survey “Live Aboard” vessels.  If applicable, you will need to make arrangements with the marina to haul the vessel for bottom inspection, and retain a captain for sea trials. Lockers and cabin areas should be cleared of all miscellaneous gear.

Back to top

The surveyor should never be asked to prepare a boat for inspection. The surveyor may request minor dismantling of interior ceilings, headliners, flooring, etc. in order to gain access to the suspected areas. Random removal and examination of below-the-waterline fasteners on wood boats may be required. Any dismantling and re-installation of parts should be performed by qualified personnel and is the responsibility of the person ordering the survey.

Back to top

 Who pays for what? The buyer is responsible for the survey fee and the hauling charges. A boat with a very dirty bottom needs to be cleaned.  A pressure wash is typically the responsibility of the buyer. NOTE: Haul out fees must be paid at the time of hauling.  The seller is responsible for the cost of someone to operate the vessel such as a paid captain, as well as insuring that it has adequate fuel.

Back to top

 How long does it take?  We schedule enough time to complete the survey adequately.  Small boats are not necessarily easier to survey than larger ones. The same logistics are involved so that small boat surveys do not necessarily take less time. The fact is, we don't know how long the survey will take. The time involved is more a factor of the condition of the boat than anything else.

Back to top

 Do you go aloft?  The answer is yes, we always try to.  Depending upon logistics we will go aloft to inspect the mast, spreaders, running and standing rigging. 

Back to top

 What is an engine survey?  Clients will ask, "Do you survey the engines too?" The answer to this is yes and no. An exterior evaluation will be performed.  However, when it comes to diesel-powered vessels, diesel engines are more complex and the vessels usually larger. Most surveyors do not perform diesel engine surveys for several reasons. First, there is not enough time in one day to do both the hull and machinery. For reasons of economy, most surveys on yachts up to 60 feet are accomplished in one day. Therefore, it is highly recommended that an independent diesel surveyor be engaged for full diesel surveys. 

Back to top

On gas engines, we will perform rudimentary engine surveys. What this means is that not only do we performance test the engines, but will perform a complete visual inspection. While this may not seem like much, an expert can learn a lot just by observing the condition. Much will depend on the size, age and condition of the boat, and how much time the surveyor will have available.

Back to top

 What is our service area?  We provide condition and valuation surveys at competitive rates in the South Florida area. Our local service area is from the Miami River south to Tavernier.  We are happy to service locations outside this area, however we add a nominal mileage charge.

Back to top

 Why do I need a sea trial?  On the sea trial, not only is the engine and overall vessel performance evaluated, but we test the steering, controls, shafting, engine mounts and exhaust systems, but we also examine structural hull elements while under load. On sailboats, the overall sailing systems are tested and evaluated for condition and proper tuning. There are a lot of things that need to be looked at in a short period of time. Therefore, at the very minimum, we recommend that an open water sea trial be carried out for at least one hour's duration, but longer for larger yachts. Short runs in restricted waterways will not accomplish this objective.

We recommend open ocean trial runs whenever possible. However, when sea conditions are rough, we have to defer to the seller's discretion because of the liability risks that would be raised if we insist on going out in rough water.

Back to top