If you are looking purchase a yacht, then the primary reason that you will want to carry out a survey is so that you understand the overall condition of the boat before you make a purchase.
Deciding to purchase a yacht is a big decision, and as boats can be particularly liable to damage caused by general wear and tear from sailing, as well as deterioration from the sea, salt, and the sun, it's essential that you can determine the state of the boat before committing to a purchase.
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) strongly recommend having a survey completed before purchase. Mandy Peters, a legal advisor to the RYA quoted in an article published on the The Telegraph Online says that: "With regard to a second-hand boat, the onus is completely on the buyer to ensure that the boat he or she is buying is in a satisfactory condition, or that they are fully aware of the condition of the boat, prior to completing the sale."
However, this might be the first time you are considering purchasing a yacht and you may feel rather concerned that a comprehensive survey need to be completed before committing to a purchase.
So to help grow your understanding and awareness about yacht surveys, take a look at these five things that you might find useful to look out for when considering conducting a yacht survey.
1.Who should I hire?
This will probably be the first consideration you will think about. If you have never had to carry out a survey before, then how do you who is best to complete the survey?
One of the best pieces of advice to help ensure that you have a detailed survey completed is to do as much research as possible. Take a look at a range of companies and understand exactly what they specialize in and how they conduct the survey.
SouthEast Yacht Surveys specialise in a number of surveys, such as pre-purchase surveys, insurance surveys, valuation reports and damage surveys to name a few. Once you have determined the type of survey you require, have a look as to what the survey includes.
Once you have located a company that you are interested in, contact them and discuss their experience, and ask if they would provide you with a sample survey that they have carried out for a yacht similar to the one you are interested in, and also be sure to ask for references.
If you still feel at a loss, then try and contact other individuals who have also had a survey carried out on their boat, and ask if they have any recommendations or advice.
2. Prepare for the assessment
One of the ways you can help ensure that your yacht will be properly inspected is to do as much preparation as possible.
This is definitely a noteworthy point for the very reason that surveyors generally do not inspect specific areas that require the removal of panels using tools. Consequently, it is the responsibility of the owner's representative to ensure that any panels have been removed.
Another way to make sure that the yacht is properly and thoroughly examined is to clean the vessel as much as possible and remove any unnecessary items for the inspection. The cleaner and clearer the yacht is, the easier the inspection will be to carry out.
3. The sea trial
Yacht surveys generally include three aspects; the in-water inspection, the haul-out inspection, and the sea trial.
The sea trial is an important element of the survey when the vessel and engine are put to the test, however some of the major systems are also observed and tested during the trial.
The sea trial not only assesses the performance of the steering, controls, shafting engine mounts and exhaust systems but is also the opportunity for you to understand how the boat feels.
Conducting the sea trial on open water will give a better indication as to how well the boat performs. A good surveyor will usually recommend an open ocean trial unless the conditions are not safe enough in which you might then have to postpone the sea trial.
4. Read the report carefully and ask questions
When the survey report is eventually presented to you, it is fundamental that you go through it with a fine-tooth comb to so that you understand the final evaluation before making a decision whether to purchase or not.
Asking plenty of questions is a good thing, so if there is anything in the report that you are unsure of, or requires further clarification, then do not be afraid to contact the surveyor as they should be happy to go through it with you.
5. Consult other expertise
Even when the final evaluation is presented to you, you might still feel as though it would be a good idea to consult with other experts.
The expertise of surveyors may range rather widely, therefore having a fresh pair of eyes looking over your report, by, for example, an engine surveyor could help raise awareness for any other technical issues.
Hopefully you have found these five tips for having a yacht survey carried out useful. The decision to purchase a yacht will take time, however ensuring that you have a thorough examination of the vessel carried out will help raise awareness as to whether it the right purchase for you. Seeking the right expertise is important, therefore do not be afraid to ask for additional advice once the survey has been completed.