Our Services, Marine Surveys by Andy Lowe

Pre-Purchase Survey

This is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. The standard PRE-PURCHASE SURVEY is an extensive inspection which includes a non-destructive visual inspection of the structural and cosmetic condition of the vessel and system installations noting whether or not the systems are installed in compliance with current industry standards governed by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), and the United States Coast Guard. All equipment is tested and a sea trial is conducted to check the function of the engine(s). The pre-purchase survey is the most common type of marine survey. Click here to read our blog post on what to expect on the day of your pre-purchase marine survey.

Prior to the sea trial, we visually inspect the engine(s) including checking the engine mounts and all the systems associated with the engines such as the cooling, exhaust, fuel and electrical. We also visually inspect the fluids for condition and level. If it is an outboard powered boat we can connect a laptop to download the ECU data from the engine’s computer for most Yamaha, Mercury, Suzuki, Honda and Evinrude/Johnson engines. We can also connect to Mercruiser inboard motors. During the sea trial, the engine(s) are operated at cruise rpms and once the engine(s) reach normal operating temperature, the engine(s) are operated at wide open throttle under load to check engine performance and condition as per the engine’s rated rpms. We do not do compression tests, connect any specialized gauges or other test equipment to the engines. On sailboats, we will inspect the working sails if they are installed. If the inventory includes several sails, we recommend having them inspected by a sail maker. An out of water bottom inspection should be included and is included with the pricing. The surveyor does not normally operate the boat during the sea trial other than to check the steering system and the function of the engine controls. Usually the broker or the current owner operates the vessel.

The survey report includes a repairs and corrections section divided into three categories to facilitate in evaluating and prioritizing the needed repairs and corrections. Deficiencies noted under ”FIRST PRIORITY/SAFETY FINDINGS” should be addressed before the vessel is next underway. These findings could represent an endangerment to personnel and/or the vessel’s safe operating condition. Findings may also be in violation of U.S.C.G. Regulations, ABYC Voluntary Safety Standards & Recommended Practices or NFPA Codes & Standards. Deficiencies noted under ”SECONDARY PRIORITY/FINDINGS NEEDING TIMELY ATTENTION” should be corrected in the near future, so as to maintain and adhere to certain codes, regulations, standards or recommended practices(and safety in some cases) and to help the vessel to retain its value. Deficiencies noted under ”SURVEYOR’S GENERAL FINDINGS, NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS” are lower priority or cosmetic findings, which should be addressed in keeping with good marine maintenance practices and in some cases as a desired upgrade. For pricing please call us or request a quote.

*Note: If it is not possible to test some or all of the equipment or to conduct a sea trial, we can come back at a later date. Depending on the circumstances, an additional fee may be charged for the second visit to the boat. No adjustment will be made to the initial survey fee unless discussed prior to the survey inspection.

Insurance Survey

This survey, often referred to as a Condition and Value Survey, is usually conducted on the request of an insurance company or for the boat owner to obtain insurance. This survey includes inspecting for the general structural condition of the vessel and system installations noting whether or not the systems are installed in compliance with current standards. Only safety equipment such as bilge pumps and navigation lights will be tested. No sea trial will be conducted. The survey report includes only our heading of “REQUIRED” items of repair based on the USCG requirements and volunteer guidelines set by the NFPA and ABYC in addition to structural or maintenance items that could make the boat unsafe for navigation. The vessel’s fair market and replacement values are included in this survey. For pricing please call us or request a quote.

Corrosion Inspection/Survey

Galvanic corrosion and stray-current corrosion can cause significant damage to the underwater metals of a vessel if not monitored and inspected regularly. Whether you are looking for a routine inspection or you are having corrosion problems, we can perform a complete analysis of your bonding/electrical system, shore power system, and determine the cause of corrosion or suggest improvements to the vessels cathodic protection system. I am an ABYC Certified Marine Corrosion Master Technician and can provide you with a full analysis of your vessel, including inspections for poultice corrosion on aluminum tanks, deposit corrosion, impingement corrosion, or any of the other many types of corrosion that affect boats in salt water environments.


This inspection is usually conducted on the request of the boat owner to examine specific items and to make recommendations on repairs. Insurance companies and finance companies will not accept this type of survey report.

Pre-listing Consultation

This inspection is intended for the boat owner planning to sell his/her boat. We will give you an overview of the condition of the boat and point out major problems that may come up during a pre-purchase survey. This will allow the owner and/or broker to disclose any problems to potential buyers or to make repairs prior to the sale of the vessel. The letter of consultation does not include a repairs and correction section. Read more here about Pre-Listing & Sale Surveys.

Appraisal/Valuation Survey

This inspection is intended for the boat owner that would like to know the value of his/her vessel for the purpose of re-finance, partner buy-out, listing the vessel for sale, estate dispositions, charitable donations, or litigation. For pricing please call us or request a quote.

Oil Analysis

This test includes a spectroscopic examination of the oil to determine the levels of metals, additives, and possibly coolant. The test will also measure viscosity and the percentage of solids in the oil. The test report will include possible causes of any irregularities.

Marine Surveyor in Ft Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Vero Beach, Jupiter, and Jensen Beach, Florida

We will travel anywhere in Florida for your marine survey, travel expenses may apply. Our home territory with no travel expenses includes the Treasure Coast area of Florida with Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Indiantown, Okeechobee, Hutchinson Island, and Jupiter, Florida. Call today to schedule your marine survey.