Boat Surveyor Fort Lauderdale – Guide for Buying a Boat from a Private Party

Thousands of used boats change hands every year. The market is thriving because used boats offer the cheapest way of becoming a boat owner. However, this does not me you go into it blindly. In addition to retaining the services of a boat surveyor Fort Myers trusts, there are many things you must do when buying a boat from a private party.

See the boat in person

While this point might seem obvious, many people skip to bargaining long before they have a chance to see what they are buying. This is more so when the ad is posted online. You must never trust everything the boat owner tells you. More often than not, sellers will only stress the good and ignore the bad altogether. Seeing the boat in person helps you determine if it is what you want and gives you a chance to assess it personally before spending money on a boat surveyor Fort Lauderdale recommends. Boats are listed in many places, including the local newspapers. Make sure you get the seller’s contact information and make arrangements to see the boat before doing anything else.

Get a thorough inspection

Most boat owners will work on the aesthetics when getting ready to sell. They will fix up minor damages and cover up the serious ones. At first sight, a damaged boat can seem like a good investment. However, it takes a trained and experienced eye to spot major problems. That is why you should bring in a marine surveyor in Fort Myers. Always select your surveyor and not the one recommended by the seller.

Marine surveyors can spot major problems that a vessel might have. They will also help with valuation and check the paperwork. The input of a surveyor can give you the points you need to negotiate a better deal with the seller. A surveyor will also keep you from making a bad investment.

Sea trial

Although not all boat surveys involve a sea trial, if the vessel you are buying is in good sailing condition, you need to test how it runs. Having your surveyor on board will be great because the sea trial will help spot additional issues that may not have been determined any other way. Make sure you ask questions during the sea trial to know how everything works. Make sure everything is tested.

Draw up a purchase agreement

Just because you are buying a boat from a friend does not mean you trust them blindly. In addition to getting an inspection done by an experienced surveyor of your choosing, you have to draw up a purchase agreement. The agreement should list everything you have agreed with the seller. There are templates available online. Having an agreement signed by both parties gives you leverage in case there is any disagreement in the future. 

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers – Why Should You Buy a Boat in Winter?

When it comes to buying boats, whether used or brand new, the warmer spring and summer months are the most popular time. This is when people are more comfortable staying outside and planning for the sunny days. The high demand for boats causes the prices to go up. It is, thus, better to start shopping in the colder months when fewer people are buying boats and when sellers are more desperate. There is also a low demand for surveyors, as a result, finding the best boat surveyor Fort Myers trusts will be easier.

Boat prices are high in the summer months

It feels strange to buy something you will not use for several months. For example, most people don’t shop for swimwear in December because they will not use them for months. The case is the same in the boat market. Most people don’t go shopping for boats in the off-seasons. What you should note, however, is thanks to the low demand of used boats in winter, the prices are very low. Winter is the low season of boat buying. It is the best time to get boats at unbeatable prices. However, to avoid surprises later on, always let a boat surveyor Fort Myers affirms inspect the boat before buying. Sometimes the prices are too low for reason.

There are more choices during winter

When the demand for boats is high, there is more competition over the same product. When more people vie for the same type of boat, the prices go up. During this time, you can find yourself making compromises on features or models in order to secure a boat. There is less demand for boats during winter. Consequently, you have a better chance of finding a boat with all the specifications you want. The low season further gives you time to think, get a comprehensive boat survey, look around at comparable models and be certain you are choosing the best boat. This is unlike the high season where you are pressured to buy before someone else closes the deal.

Spend the off-season getting the boat ready

Most used boats will have issues you have to fix before you can put them on water. There is plenty of free time during the winter months. There is also less pressure on shipyards. You can use this time to leisurely get your boat ready.

There is no good or bad time to buy a boat. Winter, however, offers the best freedom. Before making the final decision on a boat, make sure you work with a boat surveyor in Fort Myers. The surveyor will help you learn about all the issues the boat has so that you are not blindsided.

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers – What is Involved in a Pre-Purchase Survey

Getting a survey performed on a boat is not only prudent but also required by lenders and most insurance companies. This is more so when buying an older boat. The important point to remember when choosing a boat surveyor Fort Myers is there is no accreditation that is needed to become a surveyor. Anyone with a little knowledge of boats can print business cards and claim to be a qualified marine surveyor. To ensure the surveyor you hire is truly knowledgeable, you need to ask around about him and take a look at his track record. It is only with a competent marine surveyor in Fort Myers that you will get the most comprehensive boat survey report.

As you get ready for a pre-purchase survey, it is good that you understand what is involved. That way you will not second guess the actions of the boat surveyor Fort Myers. Here are the three key things that take place.


After finding your dream boat and making the necessary arrangements with the seller, your marine surveyor will provide you with a complete checklist of everything that will be covered. The surveyor may start by learning about the history of the boat. This includes finding out how many previous owners there have been. The surveyor will also find out where the boat spent most of its life, the sort of bottom paint it has and any construction details. Documentations will also be checked to ensure everything is in order. After this, the real inspection starts.

Scrutiny of structural and support systems

A pre-purchase survey involves thorough scrutiny of all the structural and support systems onboard. The surveyor will ensure everything functions properly. The hull-to-deck joints will be examined and signs of corrosion or damage will be noted. If there is a problem that cannot be verified without taking components apart, the surveyor will request that you bring in a mechanic or electrician for a closer look. To confirm that everything is working properly, a sea trial will be done.

Hauling the boat

For a complete boat survey, the vessel needs to be hauled. Doing so gives the surveyor a chance to check out the underbody. The surveyor mostly looks for blisters and other problems. The thru-hulls will also be examined for corrosion and hairline cracks. The shaft, propeller and cutlass bearing will also be examined. The distance from the waterline to the bottom of the keel will be measured if you are worried about being stuck in the mud.

A full pre-purchase survey typically takes a whole day. You will be provided with a survey report a few days after the inspection. 

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers

How to Vet a Boat Surveyor Fort Myers

With so many marine surveyors working in Florida, one of the most difficult and critical components when buying a used boat is vetting a boat surveyor Fort Myers. The wrong surveyor will give you poor, incomplete surveys that miss critical defects and flaws. It is your job to make sure you find the best surveyor from whom you will get a thorough and painlessly survey. But how do you do that? Here are some important things you must do when vetting a surveyor.

Word of mouth

The best source of information about a boat surveyor Fort Myers is people who have worked with a surveyor before. This includes family, friends and other boat owners. Boat owners’ groups and web forums will also be a great source of information. By reaching out to people who have worked with surveyors, you will be able to find the complaints clients have about a specific surveyor. The respondents will also share tips that will help narrow down your list of potential marine surveyors. The important rule is to not rely on recommendations from one respondent. People can be biased. However, if several people recommend the same surveyor, that is a good sign. 

Local boat yard manager

Boatyard managers work with all manner of boat surveyors. They also read many survey reports in the course of doing their job. Reaching out to a high-volume yard manager will help you find a competent surveyor faster. It is, however, important to remember that any source of recommendation might be biased or flawed. Some surveyors pay people to give positive reviews. As you get recommendations, keep in mind that this will be a case of ‘buyer beware’.

Your insurance underwriter or broker

Insurance providers have vested interests in ensuring you get a thorough survey. They don’t want to take on bad risks. As a result, chances of getting a good recommendation on a surveyor from an insurance underwriter or broker are pretty high. These professionals will also recommend surveyors whose reports they accept. Additionally, even after finding the best surveyor, it is good to contact your insurance company to know if they meet the insurer’s special requirements.

Check credentials

Recommendations will help compile a list of promising surveyors in Fort Myers. The next thing you must do is narrow the list further down. You can do that by looking at the credentials of a surveyor. Does the surveyor have any professional memberships? Keep in mind that membership in an organization is not a prerequisite and doesn’t guarantee competency. Take note of the surveyor’s experience, and the types of vessels he/she surveys.

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers – How a Sailing Yacht Survey is Done

Yachts are recreational ships or boats. The term comes from the Dutch Jacht which means ‘hunt’. These vessels were defined as light fast sailing vessels that were used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates as well as other transgressors. It is not until it was chosen by Charles II of England that it became known as the vessel for conveying important persons. If you are thing about buying a used yacht, working with a boat surveyor Fort Myers is one of the best things you can do. The surveyor will give you a comprehensive inspection of the vessel to help you know if it is a good fit or not. Here are some of the things a boat surveyor will do. 

Hull inspection

It is the duty of a boat surveyor Fort Myers to make sure that the body of the vessel is in good condition. Oftentimes, a hull inspection requires the yacht to be placed in a dry-dock or slipped away. The marine surveyor then inspects the keel, stern frame, stem, rudder and the outside and bottom of the vessel. The surveyor makes sure the body is in satisfactory condition. If repairs are needed, the surveyor will inform you.

All openings to the sea

Every opening to the sea has to be examined. This includes the sanitary and overboard discharges. The surveyor will also take a look at all the valves that are connected. If the vessel is made of aluminum, insulating materials in the joints of the shell connections and between dissimilar metals will be examined.

The surveyor will also take a look at the following items:

  • Hatches
  • Superstructures
  • Skylights
  • Companionways
  • Ventilator and air pipe coamings
  • Openings in the yacht’s sides including the freeing ports
  • Flush deck scuttles

Steering gear

To ensure the vessel is in good operating condition, the boat surveyor will also inspect all the accessible parts of the steering gear. This will include every associated equipment as well as a control system. The steering gear must be tested operationally. The key is to ensure everything is in satisfactory condition.

Other areas that will be inspected include:

  • Anchoring equipment
  • Aluminum or steel yachts have to be gauged in line with the regulations
  • Decks, casings and superstructures must be examined
  • Interior of the vessel may be opened out by removing ceiling, lining or portable tanks
  • Fastenings must be hammer-tested to evaluate their soundness.
  • Wood decks/sheathing must be examined and caulking be tested and re-caulked.

A lot goes into a yacht inspection. This post barely covers all the areas that will be inspected. Sitting down with a surveyor to understand what will be done is the only way to know what will be done. Find a boat surveyor with a good reputation.

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers – Do You Need a Boat Survey to Sell Your Boat?

A boat survey will help you determine the overall condition of your boat and also helps establish its actual value. This information is quite important when getting ready to sell your boat thus the reason you should work with a boat surveyor Fort Myers.

Buyers know that an old boat survey is worthless. This is because a survey report is a snapshot of the condition of a boat on the day the survey was done. As a result, boat buyers make arrangements to get an independent survey done. One thing you can be sure of is that the boat surveyor Fort Myers of the buyer will uncover most of the flaws your boat has. To avoid selling at a loss, it is good to get ahead of things. The right way of doing this is to get your own survey done before putting up a ‘for-sale’ sign.

Getting a boat survey is not mandatory. It is, however, essential. While you can resolve to inspect the boat yourself, your lack of experience and the right tools will always cause you to miss things. For example, if you don’t have infrared imaging equipment, you will not be able to know if the noise from a specific component is serious or not. When the surveyor of the buyer uses special equipment to look into the equipment, they may find an issue that may scare off a buyer or cause them to demand a huge discount. Getting a professional survey helps you know your boat inside and out. The survey report will help work on flaws that may be detrimental to the sale. You can fix the major issues in order to boost the selling price.

Condition and value survey

The type of survey you need when selling a boat is known as a condition and value survey. Getting this type of survey on a larger and older boat is essential when selling a boat. With this survey, the marine surveyor will complete a visual inspection of the boat. The surveyor will also use special equipment like a moisture meter to better evaluate the boat. If you need the bottom to be inspected, something a buyer may request when conducting a pre-purchase survey, you will need to make plans for haul-out.

When compared to how much you will end up saving at the end of the day, working with a boat surveyor Fort Myers is a worth investment. The survey report will help you get ahead of things and get the best value for your boat. Always enlist the help of an experienced marine surveyor; someone that has surveyed boats that are similar to yours.

Boat Surveyor Fort Myers