The Survey Process
Before the survey:

  • Please have the boat as clean and tidy as possible.
  • Remove unnecessary and unrelated equipment and supplies.
  • Remove floor coverings if possible to aid in access to bilge spaces.
  • Have the boat fueled and engine(s) in good working order if the boat is
    to be sea-trialed.
  • Have all proper safety equipment in order if the boat will leave the dock.
  • Try to resolve known problems beforehand to maximize the value and
    improve the presentation of the vessel.

The survey itself:

  • I examine as much of the boat as I possibly can. I get into small
    uncomfortable places in order to inspect fiberglass, through-hulls,
    plumbing and electrical systems; the fewer supplies that are stowed
    away the easier and quicker this process is.
  • I bring tools and I may take apart things like access panels to get into
    spaces that are less frequently seen.
  • I recommend that when possible, the engine(s) (and generator) will be
    run and tested in a sea trial - a sea trial will show performance of the
    boat, cruising speed, top end, engine vibration, and shifting.  This time
    will also be used to test out electronics such as speedometers, depth
    sounders, GPS, and radar.
  • If the boat is already in the water, it is recommended that the boat is
    hauled out during the survey in order to examine the underwater portion
    of the hull, the props and shafts, rudder(s), through hulls, and
  • If I have determined it is safe to do so, I can climb sailboat rigging. This
    will be at my discretion at the time of the survey. Please have halyards
    in good condition. I do not climb masts when a boat is on land.

Most common tools used:

  • Non-destructive moisture meter. This device uses a small electrical
    current to test for the conductivity of water that may be present. No
    holes are required, and it can test solid fiberglass and cored fiberglass.
  • Voltmeter, used to test AC and DC electrical systems, and can test for
    continuity of an electrical component, whether a wire, fuse, or light bulb,
    I also use it to test for proper grounding of electrical equipment.
  • Sounding Mallet. The tried and true plastic tool used to listen for
    changes in hull structure, de-laminated fiberglass or coring material,
    and voids.
  • Flashlight and inspection mirror.
  • Camera. I will take pictures in order to paint a more detailed picture
    when writing the report.
Located at:
1656 Homewood Landing Rd.
Annapolis, MD 21409