All Boat & Yacht Inspections, LLC

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What's In a survey report?

 

The front matter of the survey report identifies the purpose of the survey and the name of the client.  The subject vessel is identified by its year, make and model, physical dimensions, as well as unique data such as its hull identification number (HIN), registration number, name and hailing port.

 

The survey report includes a market value and a replacement value.  The fair market value is typically derived by comparison of the vessel with the average of recent actual sales data of the same model vessel of similar age found on Soldboats.com, which is a subsidiary of Yachtworld.com.  The average value is adjusted up or down for positive and negative issues found on the vessel.  Value reference guides such as BUC Research, NADA Appraisal Guide, and PowerBoat Guide may also be used.  The report will identify assumptions and limitations of inspection, such as a lack of suitable AC or DC power for testing of equipment. 

 

Insurance companies require replacement values be included in survey reports, although very few insurance policies provide for replacement cost if the vessel is a total loss (multimillion dollar mega yachts may be insured for replacement value). The replacement value is used mainly to determine a vessel’s relative worth by developing a ratio of current market value versus replacement cost.

 

The body of the report describes the construction of the vessel and identifies the installed equipment and systems.  The observable condition of each item is provided. If the report identifies a concern over the condition or function of an item, its condition is listed as “See Recommendations”.  All of the recommendations are contained in one section at the back of the report, which is the preferred format of insurance underwriters.  Recommendations are identified as being either critical or non-critical.  The report also contains photographs of the vessel, the hull identification number, and any areas that deserve special comment.

 

The survey report and its recommendations are developed using generally accepted boatbuilding standards as guidance.  This includes the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft; and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Protection Standard for Pleasure and Commercial Motor Craft.  Each vessel is evaluated for compliance with current standards as best as is practical.

 

The survey report is usually completed within one or two business days of the survey inspection and can be transmitted via regular mail, e-mail and/or fax.

 

Important: The survey report is the proprietary property of the person who pays for the survey.  In a pre-purchase survey, that would be the boat buyer.  For an insurance survey, typically it is the boat owner.  Occasionally, an insurance company may pay to survey a vessel that they insure.  This is typically done for older/larger yachts and commercial vessels.