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Yacht surveys

There does not seem to be any particular qualifications for a marine surveyor, although membership of the professional bodies is preferable. Some suggest that experience of surveying, using, maintaining and even designing yachts is more important for a surveyor that qualifications.

You should always get a survey for the boat you are looking at, and be aware of the implications. Yachting Monthly (October 2004) carried a story of a buyer who received a survey that highlighted osmosis. This blistering of the hull can be extremely serious and expensive to rectify. However they thought little of it, and purchased the boat. A couple of years later expensive repairs were needed.

Surveys are also performed to establish the general condition of a yacht, to assess damage, to check for osmosis, to confirm compliance with regulations, to establish a valuation, to satisfy insurers or if new to monitor the quality during the building process. An experienced surveyor can survey any yacht built from GRP, FRP, steel, aluminium, traditional wood construction, wood-epoxy or plywood.

It will usually take at least half a day to carry out an inspection of an average sailing yacht, plus a further day and a half to prepare a full written report. The cost of a survey will vary depending on the size of the boat, but will be money well spent if defects are discovered before the vendorís price is paid. It is not unusual to hear of someone who had already had a provisional offer accepted on a secondhand yacht then negotiate a further reduction of the purchase price after a survey reveals problems with the boat.

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