Why you need to employ the services of a Marine/Engineer Surveyor
Yachts and motorboats are complicated pieces of equipment, they are expensive to build and maintain.
If the vessel you are choosing to purchase has had little or bad maintenance, apart from endangering the vessel crew and owner’s life, it may well end up very expensive to rectify. Also, it may adversely affect your ability to obtain insurance cover for the vessel.
We can help you navigate through the potential pitfalls of buying a pre-owned Yacht or Motorboat, so you have peace of mind when making your purchase.
By drawing of our extensive understanding and knowledge of the industry coupled to many years of hands on experience we can point out dangers and hidden problems that may just save your life, or at the very least may save you a fortune in repair bills.
Beware, most other surveyors only report on the condition of the vessel and in the small print they recommend getting a marine engineer to check the engines. Why you may ask?
It’s because they do not have the experience or qualifications to perform such a task this is NOT A FULL SURVEY only a hull survey.
NorthStar Marine Yacht Surveys always recommends a full pre-purchase survey.
We also offer hull only and insurance only surveys.
So what exactly is a pre-purchase survey?
It may at first sound a daft question, but many new to yachting have only a basic idea what the survey actually is.
The purpose of a full pre- purchase survey
Is firstly establishing and relaying the true condition of the vessel in question on the day of inspection and survey.
Usually we include a fair market valuation relating to the vessel, the year of build, condition and location are all taken into account.
Some surveyors offer different types of surveys, hull only or hull and deck our advise is if you are about to purchase a used yacht or motorboat have a full survey including engines transmissions generator and all machinery.
Why a full survey?
Because just to inspect the hull is a false economy, the hull may or may not suffer from Osmosis may or may not have had previous damage, if the hull is considered ok thats great but what about the engines and gearboxes bow thruster, steering. fuel tanks, hydraulics stern gear, the propellers outdrives, fuel tanks, galvanic protection etc ?
If these are worn or at the end of their service life the costs of repair or overhaul may well cost thousands to put right so a cheap look look round may turn out to be a very expensive mistake and remember when buying a yacht or motorboat its a case of BUYER BEWARE as you have no comeback on a seller it’s up to you to know exactly what your buying !
The second purpose of a survey is for insurance purposes.
When NorthStar Marine Yacht surveys puts its name to a survey we state the condition of the vessel at that time and date.
If you are unfortunate enough to have to claim on your insurance they may well ask to see the survey and ask if any repairs, maintenance or recommendations have been carried out and by who, so if on a vessel we recommend that all sea cocks need servicing or replacing and sometime in the future the vessel sinks the insurance company will want to read the survey and check this work has been completed.
GRP and Osmosis
GRP and Osmosis I could write a short book on this subject but basically it’s caused by moisture passing through the gel coat into the glass strands and resin this turns into at first small rash like spots on the hull, and if in a slightly advanced stage a vinegary smelling fluid builds up and produces blisters. Also osmosis can be caused by the moulding having glass strands penetrating the Gell coat and sucking up moisture resulting in a high moisture content and Osmosis, this called wicking.
We use a specialist Marine moisture meter to establish the true condition on the day of survey.
How long will a survey take to prepare
Well that depends on the location, size and complexity of the vessel.A typical 40ft motor yacht say a Princess 420 usually requires a full day starting around 9am finishing sometime in the late afternoon, this assumes the boat is out of the water,
Then the boat needs to be launched and a a good sea trial can commence.
We prefer to see the engines run up from cold as this is a good starting point.
A sea trial can take a few hours so we never put a time limit on a survey as all yachts are different and cannot be rushed.
The next day is devoted to preparing the survey report including photos as necessary this process can easily take 8 to 10 hours to complete , I then send the document to be bound in a folder and sent out by 1st class post.
So a survey is at least two full days work to prepare properly sometimes more.
As a yacht owner myself I understand that buying and running a yacht today is a costly exercise so at NorthStar Marine Surveys will always try to keeps costs to a minimum.Please feel free to call for a no obligation chat about your new yacht or motorboat.
Most buyers find our fees very reasonable and often recover the the cost of survey on a price reduction.
As a buyer you normally pay the costs the lifting in or out of the water . The owner is responsible for getting the vessel ready and providing a skipper for sea trial this could be the owner or the broker involved.
Lastly many surveyors claim to offer a full survey but conveniently ignore the engines WHY ?
Well unless they are a fully qualified marine engineer with years of experience they are simply unable to inspect and evaluate the engines & their condition and a survey that ignores the engines is not a full survey no matter what excuses they say.
Remember when buying a yacht it’s a case of BUYER BEWARE.
John Estall Marine engineer/ Surveyor