Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, NY

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Serving: Buffalo, Niagara Frontier, Rochester, Syracuse, Finger Lakes, Western & Central NY, 1000 Islands

The Marine Survey:
A Marine Survey is not a "Pass or Fail" inspection. Rather it is a report of the condition of a vessel on the day surveyed. A survey is performed with ABYC (American Boat & Yacht Council), CFR (Codes of Federal Regulation), and USCG (US Coast Guard ) standards and regulations as a basis. The vessel is also surveyed for structural integrity and corrosion issues.

A Marine Survey is a non-destructive "observe and report" visual inspection of the following:
Hull and Super Structure
Propulsion Systems (Engine and Transmission) 
Fuel Systems
Steering Systems

Electrical systems (Both AC and DC)
Potable Water, Gray water and Sanitation systems
Auxiliary systems such as Air Conditioning, Heat, Water maker, Trim Tabs, Stabilizers, Thrusters
Mast & Rigging (on a sail boat)
Electronics and Navigation 
Condition of the interior (Cushions, curtains, Interior Cabinetry)
Galley systems 
Safety Equipment
Exterior Canvass (Dodgers, Bimini, etc)
Trailer or Cradle

Upon Completion of the survey, a report is written and issued to the client. The report will detail the overall condition of the boat. Any issues are brought out as "findings" and listed in order of importance with recommendations to remedy the issue. The report is then e-mailed to the client so they can proceed with the transaction.  Most used boats and some new boats have "findings" (issues). With a good survey, a client may decide to walk away from a deal if they feel there are more issues than they want to deal with. A client may also decide to renegotiate the final price based on the number and severity of the findings. 

On average a survey costs just 1-2% of the cost of a boat. That is one or two cents on the dollar to ensure you know the boat you are buying. If a client decides to walk away from a deal, consider that one or two cents  per dollar, money well spent to keep you from making a costly mistake.      

Preparing a boat for a Survey:

Marine Surveyors inspect boats basically as they find them and leave them as they found them. Most Surveyors charge a fixed rate to inspect a vessel. That rate does not include emptying lockers, lazarettes etc. If a locker is jammed full of gear the surveyor will note it as inaccessible. In order to get the most out of a survey, the owner is highly encouraged to empty the lockers and lazarettes and remove any equipment not meant for inspection such as water skis, swim tubes, sleeping bags etc. If the survey client is a buyer, they are encouraged to work with the boat owner or broker to ensure the boat is ready for inspection. An owner selling a boat should keep in mind that the final sale often hinges on the buyer's comfort level with the survey. A survey full of "could not inspect due to inaccessibility" may well lead the buyer to walk away from the deal. Conversely, a boat that shows well and is well prepared for survey may instill confidence in the buyer. 

A note to Sellers: 
Few things are more frustrating to a buyer than making an offer and having a survey  done on a vessel only to find items removed before the closing. If items such as Ships clocks, Barometers, Brass lanterns, etc. are not meant to be included in the sale, remove them before the survey. The Survey will note all equipment on board. 

While the Surveyor works for the client, in the case of a Pre-Purchase survey, a cooperative owner / seller shows the buyer he is not trying to hide anything and again helps build a comfort level between buyer and seller. 

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