Marine Surveys and Pre-Purchase Inspections

Before purchasing any boat of any size, it’s important to hire an experienced marine professional to inspect the boat and verify that it has been accurately represented by the seller, that it is seaworthy, and that it does not need extensive repairs.

For anyone interested in purchasing a used boat, there are two important steps in the buying process. First, interested buyers should perform a pre-purchase inspection to verify the vessel is in the condition that was advertised.

Once the vessel has been verified as advertised and the buyer remains interested, the next step should be a full marine survey.

Pre-purchase Survey

It’s easy enough to use pictures taken when the boat looked it’s very best to advertise or represent a vessel that is at it’s very worst.

Instead of taking the seller’s word for it or assuming the photos are accurate, a pre-purchase inspection will verify the boat’s true condition BEFORE a buyer moves forward with any purchase plans.

A pre-purchase inspection involves a visit to the vessel as your representative to verify that the boat is in the same condition as advertised. A pre-purchase inspection will provide the potential buyer with current pictures, videos, and an unbiased opinion of the vessel’s condition and value.

Marine Survey

Once the buyer and seller have agreed on a price, the next step is a full marine survey. A complete survey is a much more in-depth review of the boat than a pre-purchase inspection.

A marine survey involves an extended examination of the hull and structure, engine and drivetrain, rigging, electrical and plumbing, electronics and accessories, and any other systems or gear that will be included in the purchase price.

To clarify – a pre-purchase inspection will confirm the boat you see in the advertisement is really the boat you’ll get in exchange for your hard-earned cash. A pre-purchase inspection will provide the potential buyer with photos, video, and a short report with the surveyor’s opinion of the boat’s condition and value.

A full survey will inspect the boat for hidden structural issues, engine problems, and other trouble spots that can lead to unexpected and costly repairs after the purchase, or even prove the vessel to be unseaworthy.

Inspection Results

Both the pre-purchase inspection and full survey results can be used to negotiate a better price or to abandon the purchase altogether. For that reason, the full survey should be performed before negotiations begin.

Hiring a Professional

If you are interested in purchasing a boat that’s currently in or near West Michigan but you do not live in the area, a nearby professional can be retained as your representative to inspect the boat and then hired to perform the complete survey.

A professional will provide an unbiased report that is not influenced by either the buyer or seller. A professional surveyor will also know the unique issues common to certain makes, models, and model years and what impact those issues may have.

How I can Help

I have been inspecting and surveying boats for more than 35 years. After 35 years in the marine industry with extensive experience as a professional captain, marine mechanic, rigger, salesman, and more I have seen just about anything and everything in the marine industry you can think of.

Working for dealerships during much of my career, I was responsible for inspecting many of the trade-ins taken in for resale. It was my job to review boats before the dealerships agreed to make a deal, and then inspect the boats for necessary repairs or improvements once a boat was traded in.

I also worked as a professional marine mechanic for more than 35 years. I worked as a professional marine mechanic for most of my marine career and hold several marine industry certifications including Mercruiser Master Technician. My extensive marine education and experience cover structural, electrical, plumbing, drivetrain, electronics, and any other system onboard.

If you are interested in purchasing a boat that’s currently in or near West Michigan but you do not live in the area, I can be retained as your representative to inspect the boat and verify it’s been accurately advertised by the seller.

Once you are satisfied that the vessel is one you wish to purchase, I can be retained to perform a complete marine survey. Once the survey is complete, you will receive an in-depth report covering the condition and any issues that affect ownership costs, uncover hidden repairs, or create threats to seaworthiness for the new owner.

Contact Me Today

For more information, please visit the Contact page to discuss your potential purchase and pick a time to give it a look. Let me put my love of boats and lifetime of experience to work to help protect you from costly repairs or dangerous situations and ensure you enjoy the Great Lakes boating season!