A certified marine surveyor is a professional who checks the condition and marketability of a boat or ship. The job is similar to a home or vehicle inspection, but it has to conform to the demands of watercraft. If you're planning to hire a marine surveyor, you can expect them to do these things.
Supply an Independent Perspective
Foremost, a marine surveyor is an independent professional. They won't conduct a survey for the purposes of representing any particular party's interests. It doesn't matter whether you're keeping, acquiring, or selling the vessel. The certified marine surveyor will give the same assessment regardless of your interests in the craft.
Notably, it may still be wise to hire a marine surveyor even if another party already has a recent report in hand. At worst, you'll end up with a second opinion.
Inspection of Physical Condition and Repair Needs
No one wants to deal with a craft that could have serious issues. The worst-case scenario is that the vessel might sink or have a fire while underway. Consequently, a marine surveyor will check the integrity of the hull, engines, propellers, and other functional components.
Typically, they will do this at a location where they can raise the craft out of the water. This allows a survey to walk around the vessel, take photos, and make notes.
Assessment of Market Value
Private owners and companies both often need to know the market value of a vessel. Someone selling a boat for personal use may do so for the same reasons a person selling a house would.
Businesses often need valuations on vessels for sale, tax, and financial reporting purposes. A company may need to assess the value and condition of a vessel for the sake of depreciation, for example. These figures often end up in quarterly or annual reports of assets. Many financing arrangements also require valuations.
Similarly, both individuals and businesses have insurance needs. The valuation of a boat or ship will dictate how much they want to insure the vessel for. Likewise, they may need to document the condition of the craft to avoid liability issues in case of an accident.
Ultimately, a certified marine surveyor will provide a detailed report of their findings. If you need to repair something, they'll note what the issue is and where they found it. Many will also provide photographs to support their reports and help their clients.
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