Phone Number: 01784 464 899

Mobile Number: 07860 254 369

The Complete Guide to Marine Surveys

Your boat or yacht is likely to be one of the more valuable possessions that you own. In many cases, it is held as a capital investment which is second only to your house. So it is sensible to have the boat inspected for any potential problems. A marine survey should be completed by an experienced and competent marine surveyor.

The Marine Surveyor

Boat surveyors Surrey offer a range of boat surveys for a variety of boats, yachts and trawlers. We are based in Surrey but travel to all waterways throughout the UK to conduct marine surveys.

We offer marine surveys for boats that are usually between 7m and 25m. We work with boats from the commercial and leisure sector as well as private or corporate clients.

marine surveys

Our boat surveys are tailored to the individual client. Each survey is completed for the specific purpose of our client's requirements. These can be Insurance surveys, pre-purchase surveys or accident damage surveys.

Whether it is a high performance power boat, sailing boat, timber craft, river cruiser, steel craft or house boat we can provide a survey to suit your needs. Our reputation and experience will ensure that you are confident in your investment. All communication and correspondence are treated in the strictest confidence.

  • Pre-Purchase Surveys
  • Insurance Damage Surveys
  • Insurance Renewal Surveys
  • Accompanied Viewings
  • Osmosis Inspections
  • Winter Layup & Prelaunch Inspections
  • Pre Inspection Viewings
  • Tonnage Measurements
  • Valuations
  • Hull and Deck Surveys
  • General Consultancy
  • Engine & Drive Inspections

Boat surveyors Surrey are members of the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). IIMS are the industry-leading professional organisation for marine surveyors.

We remain focused on our client's interests. We work to provide bespoke services to the highest standards within the industry.

We encourage our clients to keep in contact. We can continue to offer ongoing advice for your boat or yacht. Customers will find our company responsive, approachable and enthusiastic.

Work is carried out according to the IIMS Guidelines. We work independently of agencies and brokers. We also carry full public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

The survey reports are in-depth and objective. They are tailored to each customer and consider your needs. The survey is detailed with realistic advice that focuses on safety and serviceability.

Pre-Purchase Surveys

Our standard pre-purchase marine survey is tailored to the purchaser instead of the insurance company. We offer a reporting format that is easily understood by the expert and novice alike.

The items listed below are covered under a standard Pre-Purchase survey. This may vary according to the type of boat and the requirements agreed on before the survey is carried out.

Details of Vessel

  • General Description
  • History, Registration, Dimensions, etc.

Hull, Deck And Structure

  • Hull below waterline
  • Deck Moulding
  • Cockpit
  • Bulkheads and structural stiffening/internal mouldings
  • Keel
  • Topsides above waterline/rubbing strakes
  • Coach roof
  • Hull/Deck joint

Steering, Stern Gear And Skin Fittings

  • Stern Gear
  • Skin Fittings/Hull Apertures
  • Rudder and steering
  • Cathodic protection

On Deck

  • Main companionway
  • Windows / Ports
  • Other deck gear and fittings
  • Davits boarding ladders
  • Stanchions,  pulpit, lifelines, pushpit and jackstays
  • Rigging attachment points
  • Ground tackle and mooring arrangements


  • Sails & covers 
  • Running Rigging 
  • Spars
  • Standing Rigging 


  • Bilge pumping arrangements 
  • Emergency equipment and Lifesaving 
  • Navigation lights 
  • Fire fighting equipment


  • Fuel System
  • Engine and installation

Accommodation And Onboard Systems

  • Accommodation in general
  • Gas Installation 
  • Fresh water tanks/water deliver
  • Heads
  • Electronics and navigation equipment
  • Electrical installation
  • Heating and refrigeration


  • Summary Of Advisory Notes & Recommendations
  • Conclusion


  • Valuation
  • List of Safety Equipment
  • Photos of defects found

Insurance Renewal Surveys

An insurance renewal survey is carried out for the benefit of your insurance company. From this information, insurers can determine if the boat is an acceptable insurance risk. The insurance survey is not as comprehensive as the full pre-purchase survey.

insurance survey

It is known as a structural condition survey. It will focus on the structural integrity of the boat. The age and condition of the mast and rigging will be inspected. The fire fighting equipment, gas system, the hoses and seacocks will all be examined for safety.

Most insurance companies require a survey after the boat is fifteen to twenty years old. It will then be required again every five to seven years afterwards. The boat will need to be out of the water for the insurance survey. 

Tonnage Measurements

Vessels which measure up to twenty-four metres Load Line Length can be measured by I.I.M.S. and Y.D.S.A. This excludes Fishing Vessels. Tonnage is measured using the simplified method. This is calculated by measuring the depth, length and breadth.

The measurement procedure for boats under twenty-four metres is different. Metric measurements are now used to the nearest centimetre rather than the foot. The Tonnage calculation is as follows:

Length  x Breath x Depth x 0.16

Boat Valuations

A professional valuation allows an informed decision to be made by all interested parties who requested the valuation. The resulting report contains accurate information about the vessel. 

A boat valuation may be required for a range of reasons.

  • To insure the boat for the next year, at the current market value
  • To find the current market value of the boat
  • For Finance purposes
  • To use the market value to make an informed decision whether to sell the vessel
  • A Finance company may request an update of the market value to assist them in their decisions
  • Other reasons, understood by the interested parties
  • Valuations which are required by Insurance Companies

When you request a valuation, it is important to state who it should be addressed to. You should state what purpose the valuation is required for and to whom the invoice is to be addressed.

There is no point in insuring the boat for higher than the current market value. Although you may require it for an agreed amount stated within the Insurance policy. 

Boat Finder Survey

This is a brief inspection of a potential boat for purchase. An inspection can be carried out on a range of similar vessels so that you can reduce the selection before conducting a full survey.

Hull and Deck Surveys

We will comprehensively review the vessel. The standard of fixtures, fittings and finish is inspected and highlight what we deem to be acceptabl and what needs to be reviewed. We will usually take the boat out on a sea trial.

Following the survey, the marine surveyor will prepare a detailed report. This is based on the structure. The conclusion of the report includes our recommendations.

Hull, Deck and Structure

  • Details of Subject Vessel (General Description, Dimensions, Registration)
  • Topsides above Waterline including Rubbing Strake
  • Cockpit
  • Bulkheads/Structural Stiffening /Internal Mouldings
  • Keel
  • Hull below Waterline
  • Deck Moulding
  • Coachroof
  • Hull/Deck Join
  • Steering, Stern Gear, and Skin Fittings etc

Rudder and Steering

  • Stern Gear
  • Skin Fittings and other through Hull Apertures
  • Cathodic Protection
  • Accommodation and On Board Systems

Accommodation General

  • Gas Installation
  • Heads
  • Electronic and Navigation Equipment
  • On Deck
  • Fresh Water Tanks and Delivery
  • Electrical Installation
  • Heating and refrigeration

Main Companionway and other Accesses 

  • Ports Windows etc
  • Rigging Attachment Points
  • Ground Tackle and Mooring Arrangements
  • Davits and Boarding Ladders
  • Pulpit, Stanchions, Pushpit, Lifelines & Jackstays
  • Other Deck Gear and Fittings

Rig and Spars

  • Standing Rigging
  • Sails and Covers etc
  • Running Rigging


  • Navigation Lights
  • Firefighting Equipment
  • Bilge Pumping Arrangements
  • Lifesaving and Emergency Equipment


  • Engine and Installation
  • Fuel System

Insurance Damage Surveys

Damage Surveys are commonly required by an insurance company. This will assess the level of damage to a boat as a result of an accident. The surveyor will complete a thorough examination to produce a report on the boat's condition. The report will include repair recommendations, probable causes of damage and an estimated cost of the repairs. This will require liaising with repairers, boat yards, transportation specialists and the client.

insurance survey

Typical types of damage investigated in the survey include: 

  • Boat Trailer Accidents
  • Sinking
  • Leaking Fuel Tanks
  • Allision 
  • Collision
  • Groundings
  • Severe Weather 
  • Fire / Arson
  • Pollution Mitigation
  • Striking Submerged Objects
  • Mechanical Problems

A damage survey report typically includes: 

  • If no estimates, Preparation of a Damage Appraisal 
  • Reported circumstances of the damage
  • Opinion as to the cause of loss 
  • Identification and description of the vessel and its condition
  • Statements from owners, operators and witnesses 
  • Description of damages 
  • Pre-Loss and Post-Loss valuation of the vessel 
  • Review of repair estimates for reasonableness

Winter Layup

Some vessels may have sustained damage below the waterline during the season. This may only become evident following a layup and lift out.

The surveyor will examine the keel stern gear, engine and hull. They will create the report to include any work that may be necessary. The type of work required will be commented on. This will include the time and cost required.

Pre-launch checks

Many boat owners complete their own winterisation. However, they will usually require reassurance of the safety of their vessel for the forthcoming season.

A marine surveyor will give your vessel a safety check before launch. The areas that will be included are: 

Engine / Safety equipment / Running rigging / Bow thrusters / Propeller / Rudder / Stern gear / Bearings / Keel / Standing rigging 

A verbal report is initially provided. This is followed by a written one. This will confirm the details that may require attention prior to launch.

We recommend that this check is completed at least two weeks before launch. This will allow enough time to facilitate any work that is required.

Marine Surveys

We hope you have found our guide to marine surveys useful. If you require a boat survey in Surrey or the UK, Boat surveyors Surrey visit all UK waterways.

Are you looking for a boat surveyor near you. Follow the links below to contact our marine surveyor for Surrey and South England.