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What is a Hull Survey

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  • 17-11-2020
What is a Hull Survey

The Hull Survey is used to evaluate the hull's condition. It is vital when you are considering to purchase a boat, and it covers the hull's integrity, against the probability of sinking. This type of survey is useful when you only need to know the hull's condition, if any repairs are required, or solely out of curiosity.

The hull survey consists of the external (out of water) hull inspection; the hull is checked for osmosis and visual damage, on all the underwater attachments. The osmosis inspection is carried out by measuring the moisture levels of the hull. If the boat is almost new, and the buyer doesn't have any particular concerns, often only a hull inspection is carried out. The hull inspection includes all the underwater attachments, such as; keels, rudders, extended skegs, anodes, bow thruster, shaft brackets and more.

Insurance companies may require the assurance that the vessel is worth the risk. Depending on the insurance company, the hull inspection might be more or less extended. In many cases, the hull survey will suffice, but if the vessel is older, the insurer might also require a pre-purchase survey report. 

For a steel hull, this can also include, an additional ultra-sound survey of the hull, to determine plating thickness. Which can be done in the water, but we will make further recommendations, if necessary.

Inspection for wooden hulls

The inspection for wooden hulls includes; 

 The Tramex moisture meter readings
 Pricking (making small holes) at any questionable surfaces or features
 Hammer testing
 The internal scantling inspection (which can be done with additional instructions and an extra fee)

Hull inspections - Range of information

The information covered below cis detailed for GRP composite hulls, but a similar range of information also applies for wood and steel constructions. When the survey is completed, we will report to you, face to face or over the phone. You will also be sent a cd with photos, 72 hours after the survey is carried out.

The details of the survey are usually not provided to the broker or seller. If requested, it can be done, but it is not advised. We would be happy to discuss this with you if required. The report is intended only for the client, and the legal responsibility does not extend to any third parties (future owner, etc.). When choosing amongst the options of the pre-purchase survey, you can select the hull survey solely.

This survey is solely external, and is the minimum, that a potential buyer should consider. No matter the age of the vessel. A complete pre-purchase survey also includes the evaluation of;

The engine
...and more

At the same time, boat safety examinations can be done, but are subject to separate terms and negotiation.

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