International Institute of Marine Surveying

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a boat survey?
"Boats are inherently complex in their systems and design. Buying a boat subject to survey allows you to find out if there are faults, that will allow you to negotiate on price or demand the owner fixes before the sale proceeds. A survey sets a good baseline for improvements. A survey is often needed in order to get insurance."

When should I get a survey
"Usually when dealing with a broker you will buy the craft subject to survey.  Obviously avoid buying a boat when the broker tries to sell the boat to you cheaper but as seen without a survey. Ask the question why would he do this ?  If buying privately a survey maybe negotiated before a deposits been paid.  This is generally advantageous to the buyer but he may loose out on the deal if another party offers on the boat."

Will you tell the owner/broker what you have found?
"No, you are our client and we only report to you. However it often advantageous for the broker or owner to be shown a previously unknown defect either by showing them on the boat ao by supplying the report (or part of) to them, we will seek your approval before presenting either of these options. The only exception being if something is found that puts the immediate safety of the craft or persons in danger."

Who pays for what?
"Typically you pay for the survey and the cost of lifting. The owner typically pays for the repairs within reason.  This is where a buying through a broker as appose to a private sale is advantageous."

Who organises the survey?
"You need to organise for the permission, keys and lifting. However we can help with this typically liaising with the broker/owner and yard."

Can I attend the survey?
"Yes of course useful information can be gained in context by the buyer during the survey. However for larger craft 36' plus, best results are achieved if we can examine the boat alone and you come near the end so we can discuss what has been found."

Do I have to be there?
"No we can examine the boat and write the report, then speak on the phone about what has been found.  The report will be the same whether you attend or not."

What is betterment?
"Simply this is an improvement whose cost should not be borne by the seller. E.g. if RP Marine Surveys find that a couple of sea-cocks need replacing but the others are old but still sound and functional. It would be nice to replace all of them at this point however the owner could not be expected to pay for more than the defective ones."

Who are the IIMS?
"An internationally recognised body that promotes professional boat surveying standards. RP Marine Surveys surveyors belong to the institute attend continuous professional development meeting and adheres to its standards."

How long before I get my report?
"Within 1-3 days of survey. We can get it you a little quicker by email (followed by a hard copy in the post)."

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