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Preparing for an Insurance Survey

Having at least one Insurance Survey during your boating life is inevitable. Depending on the age, value and insurance company that you are with, the frequency of this will vary.

As a Yacht Surveyor, I thought it would be useful to make a list of all the things to do (and don't do) in preparation for the survey.


1) Location:

For an insurance survey to take place, the vessel will need to be out the water for an amount of time. This is so the yacht below the water line can be checked thoroughly. The yacht does not have to be in the water for the survey if it is already on the hard.

Ideally, the yacht will be in the water for the first part of the survey to check skin fittings and to run the engine properly. The vessel can then be lifted out for and hour to check the underside.


2) Equipment:

To determine an accurate valuation of the vessel, which insurance companies require, it is preferred that the navigational equipment, sails (if applicable), upholstery, and other equipment that is sometimes removed over winter, is in place for the survey. If all the equipment is removed, I cannot confirm whether it is working correctly and in a good condition.


3) Paperwork:

It is always a good idea to create (if you haven't already) a folder containing all the paperwork that you have with the vessel. As a surveyor, I am most interested in seeing any paperwork regarding the age of the standing rigging, any service history for the engine(s), a gas check certificate, an old survey report if you have one , and anything that has been performed structurally to the vessel.


4) Pre survey checks:

So that your vessel looks in the best condition it can, make sure that all the batteries are charged up, all the seacocks are able to be opened and closed and the bilges are clean and dry.

Finally, it is very helpful for me if all the bilges and cupboards are in the most part free of "stuff", so that I can easily insect all areas of the hull. There is nothing worse than spending hours moving bits in and out of cupboards to check what's behind.



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