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Marine Survey Content

The main reason to get a survey done is to find all the potential or existing problems of the vessel and to ensure that the boat is safe to use. Surveyor can't vouch for design of the boat and its performance but any comments based on experience will be helpful in ensuring safety. Marine surveyor should make a report with detailed description of the boat, recommendation of any replacements of the equipment that should be done and also evaluate safety equipment and its condition.

Surveying report should include Title page, Vessel data sheet, General description and Survey findings and recommendations.

marine survey contentTitle Page

Include the clients name, boat name, boat model, location and date of survey, surveyor's name or company.


Vessel Data Sheet

Summary data should be included and contain the following vessel information:

1.       Boat name

2.       Type

3.       Builder

4.       Model

5.       Hull colour

6.       Deck colour

7.       LOA (length over all)

8.       LWL (length on the waterline), Note: Check actual waterline mark based on sediment and discolouration

9.     Beam

10.   Draft

11.   Displacement

12.   Hull number, documentation number, registration number and expiration date.

13.   Propulsion engine model and serial number

14.   Transmission/drive model and serial number

15.   Engine hours

16.   Engine fuel type

17.   Basic dinghy and trailer information should also be included when required.

General Description

Marine Surveyor should note the general description of the boat including intended operation. He or she should also note any conditions that limited the survey (lack of electrical power, engines removed, etc.). Surveyor should state any techniques used during the survey. If survey is done based on visual and sound inspections, this should also be noted in the report.

Survey Findings

The survey report should be divided into sections as indicated on the Survey Checklist (i.e. exterior hull, interior hull, deck, etc.). Each section should start with a general description of the area investigated, which includes material and construction. Following this discussion, report observed problems and conclusions under a subsection entitled Findings, wherever possible, a general conclusion of the feature or system's condition. For example, 'The exterior hull is in good condition.' This could be concluded even if there was crazing and small gouges. These problems would, of course, be individually identified in the Findings section. Serious problems would preclude a favourable conclusion on the exterior hull and would be addressed in the Required Repairs section. If no problems are observed, report 'No defects found.'


After the Survey Findings are reported, a Recommendation section should be added. Here, specific courses of action are recommended. This section can be broken down into

1.       Essential Repairs, Replacements and Changes

2.       Maintenance Recommendations

3.       Suggested Repairs, Replacements and Changes.


The boat manufacturer can be contacted to help with the recommendations.

The Essential Repairs, Replacements and Changes sections should list items that must be corrected to ensure that the boat is safe and can operate in the intended manner. Required changes may include rectifying such things as hull and rigging damage that affect structural integrity or missing mandatory emergency equipment and warning labels.

Maintenance Recommendations should highlight items that are most likely to fails, especially those outside the scope of normal maintenance. For example, a kinked or abrading fuel line would be listed here because the survey could identify the part of the hose most likely to fail.

Suggested Repairs, Replacements and Changes can list all minor problems. This section should also include delinquencies in non-mandatory emergency equipment and warning labels.


The following should also be included with the survey report:

-          A legal disclaimer should be included to cover and liability concerns.

-          Signature and date

-          A summary listing of the surveyor's qualifications.

-          A package of mounted photographs illustrating specific problems as well as an overview of the boat.


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