Understanding Safety Surveys

A boat safety survey is a detailed vessel inspection carried out by a qualified marine surveyor for the purpose of assessing its overall condition and seaworthiness. The goal is to confirm that the boat can safely be used for its designed purpose and identify what repairs or maintenance work may be needed, either immediately or in the near future.

There are different times and reasons for arranging a safety survey:

  • Pre-purchase period. When you’re thinking about buying a new or used vessel, its condition and operation should be reviewed by a marine surveyor. This safety inspection includes the boat’s structure, propulsion system, electrical systems, navigation equipment, and other machinery, in addition to a sea trial.
  • Applying for financing or insurance. In this case, a safety survey can advise the bank or insurance company whether or not the boat is an acceptable risk. Insurance companies will often insist on a safety survey if the vessel is older.
  • Routine maintenance. Some types of vessel have unique requirements or recurring problems. A marine surveyor who is familiar with the boat type can advise you on its long term suitability for the intended purpose, as well as what measures need to be taken to keep it in good (and safe) working order.

Even if you’ve bought and sold many yachts over the years, you may not have the qualifications and experience to conduct a thorough evaluation or, if you are, an impartial second opinion is always beneficial. You will have a better idea of what you are getting into and learn what needs to be done in terms of repairs and maintenance to keep your loved ones safe and protect your investment.

Being out on the open water is relaxing, but it can also be a dangerous place, especially if unexpected weather conditions arise. If your boat has any safety deficiencies, the outcome can be catastrophic. Arranging for a safety survey when you plan to acquire the boat can make its ownership a consistently enjoyable experience.

If you buy the boat after a positive survey and intend to purchase and document it, the Marine Documentation Division at Howard S. Reeder can ensure that all required paperwork is prepared and filed in a timely manner. We are a full-service solution for all facets of marine documentation, from recreational vessels to charter fleets and commercial fishing vessels. For more information please contact us today.

Written by Howard S Reeder Inc

Howard S. Reeder, Inc is a family-owned business which has been in operation since 1940 when Howard S. Reeder Sr. founded our customs brokerage company and began helping importers bring products into the United States. Now on our third generation of ownership, both our company and our areas of expertise have greatly expanded over the more than 75 years since our inception.