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VOL. 9 NO. 1
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Survey says

7 tips to get the most from a marine survey

Survey says

Hiring an accredited marine surveyor to inspect your potential dreamboat is often the first step after finding it. BoatUS has seven tips on how to get the most from a marine survey:

  1. The only good survey is a current one. Relying on an old survey is a bad idea. The marine environment isn’t nice to boats, and sometimes a “little” maintenance issue can quickly turn into a more serious problem. If you need to have the boat insured, you’ll usually need a survey less than six months old.
  2. Don’t miss your own survey. Attending and asking questions will reap reams of information about the boat you’re buying, and most surveyors are happy to talk about what they find and what needs to be done to fix things.
  3. Experience trumps price. Don’t select a surveyor on price alone. It’s important to find one who has experience on your type of boat and can tell you what you need to know. Surveyors who are members of the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors or the National Association of Marine Surveyors are wise choices as these professional organizations have certification processes and provide educational training.
  4. It’s not pass or fail. A survey is only a guide to determine if the boat is acceptable to the buyer. An insurance company may also use it to provide a list of corrective actions needed to provide coverage.
  5. Boats are a series of complex systems. Even brand-new boats sometimes have change recommendations from a surveyor. The difference is that with new boats, corrective actions are often taken care of through the builder’s warranty.
  6. Use the survey to negotiate. Surveys include an approximate fair-market value for use by lenders and insurance companies. If the numbers warrant it, there’s also nothing wrong with using this value in an attempt to negotiate a better deal with the seller.
  7. A survey gives you a great punch list. A survey can guide planning for upgrades and repairs and help you prioritize. 
For a list of surveyors and more boat buying information, go to boatus.com/surveyandseatrial.
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