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Typically there are five steps to the survey as follows:


Consultation between the surveyor and the client. At this stage it will be decided what sort of survey is appropriate (condition and value, pre-purchase, etc), the schedule will be established, discussion of the client’s participation (ie: will the client be aboard during the survey) and any areas the client would like the surveyor to pay particular attention. If the vessel is to be hauled for an underwater inspection or launched for a sea trial, now is the time to confirm arrangements with the boatyard. 


The boat should be tidy and free of extraneous gear that may hamper inspection. Lockers and other storage spaces should be as empty as possible. Keep in mind that photos will be taken of all spaces and these will accompany the written account that will serve to represent the condition of the vessel. If there are areas that require dismantling for inspection this should be accomplished in advance. Proper preparation will ensure you get the best value from your survey. If you are a buyer you will want to be clear with the seller (or broker) about what you expect from the survey.


This is the core of the survey. Typically a half day aboard will be required depending on the vessel size, condition and survey type requested. It is recommended that the vessel be available for the entire day as a contingency. If additional services have been arranged more time will be required. In the case of a pre-purchase survey, ideally the vessel will be out of the water for the initial inspection, followed by a launch and sea trial. Please see what is included for a detailed list of what will be done during your survey.


After the on-board information is collected. The surveyor will generate the report. This process will take from 3-6 days depending on the condition of the vessel. The more unique the vessel, and the greater the number of deficiencies or out of the ordinary circumstances discovered, the longer the report will take. When the survey is contracted a completion date will be agreed upon.​


When the report is complete a draft version will be shared with the client for comment and discussion. Occasionally revisions may be necessary if the client has further information to share. Commonly the inventory of spares will need to be revised, or some detail of recent work on the vessel can be provided. When the surveyor and client are satisfied that the survey is complete, accurate, and comprehensive the final version will be delivered to the client. This step can be quite quick or can extend for several days depending on the client’s availability to review, discuss, and provide information if necessary.

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