Kristoffer A. Diel SAMS® AMS® | Principal Marine Surveyor | (504) 236-8151 |

Pre-Purchase Survey Logistics & Scheduling

A brief description of the basics of a pre-purchase survey, including responsibilities of the owner & the prospective buyer

A broker usually makes arrangements for the Pre-Purchase Marine Survey; however, in a “By Owner” sale situation, the Owner (Seller) is responsible to make sure all necessary requirements are met to complete each of the three aspects of the survey. The Prospective Buyer may choose the haul-out site and is responsible for all haul-out fees, payable at the time of the haul-out. Buyer and Seller must agree on possibly changing the zincs, and who pays for a power wash down of the hull underbody. After re-launching the vessel, either the Owner or his Captain must be available for the sea trial. The optimum schedule includes an early morning in-the-water inspection, 1130 haul-out, and 1400 sea trial.

I schedule a full day for the survey, even if it is a 24-foot boat. Small boats are not necessarily easier to survey. Apart from the similarity of logistics, inspection time is more a factor of the boat’s condition than anything else. The average 36-foot vessel takes 6 – 8 hours on the vessel. Another 12 – 18 hours of research and report writing is required after the inspection.

I do not conduct engine surveys. This is a highly technical field and involves experience and specific training. I inspect the exterior of the system for signs of leaks, for loose and/or worn wiring, hoses and belts; and general condition of the engineering spaces.

During the sea trial, the survey notes the rpm of the engines at specific throttle settings. I recommend that a factory trained marine diesel or gas engine mechanic be retained. The cost of an engine survey is substantial, but so are repairs. Diesel engine repairs often cost up to four times as much as gas engine repairs. This is especially true of newer high-speed diesels.

Oil Samples are another area I do not generally inspect. Possibly more technical than engineering or mechanics, a great deal of training is required to analyze the results that come from a modern laboratory. In some instances of prior recorded sampling, or to form a baseline for future tracking of engine conditions, I can take samples and send them to the lab. But I would refer my client to an engine mechanic for interpretation of any results.

Click here to read Pre-Purchase Survey Basics.