Marine Survey: What It Is and Why It Matters


If you are a boat owner or in the market to purchase a boat, you may have heard of a marine survey. A marine survey is a comprehensive inspection of a vessel, typically conducted by a professional marine surveyor. In this blog, we will explore what marine surveys are, what they look for, how much they cost, the differences between marine surveyors and boat inspectors, the importance of a marine survey, and why they matter.

What is a Marine Survey?

A marine survey is an inspection of a vessel that is conducted by a professional marine surveyor. The surveyor examines the vessel from bow to stern, looking for any potential problems or issues that could affect the boat’s safety, performance, or value.The surveyor will evaluate the vessel’s structural integrity, equipment, electronic, electrical and pumping/plumbing systems, and overall condition, and provide a detailed report of their findings.

What do marine surveys look for?

Marine surveys look for any potential problems or issues that could affect the vessel’s safety, performance, or value. This includes:

  1. Structural Integrity – The surveyor will examine the vessel’s hull, deck, and superstructure for any signs of damage, corrosion, or weakness.
  2. Equipment – The surveyor will inspect the vessel’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, including the engine, steering, pumps, and bilge pumps.
  3. Systems – The surveyor will evaluate the vessel’s navigation, communication, and safety systems, including the GPS, radar, and life-saving equipment.
  4. Overall Condition – The surveyor will assess the vessel’s general condition, including the cleanliness and maintenance of the boat.

Our Marine surveyors assess engine systems with our propriety diagnostic tools and most of all experienced set of eyes. This is a service that normally requires a separate contractor.

How Much Does A Marine Survey Cost?

The cost of a marine survey can vary depending on the size, type, and location of the vessel, as well as the level of detail required in the survey. On average, a marine survey can cost between $30 and $40 per foot of the vessel’s length. However, it is important to note that the cost of a marine survey is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your vessel is safe and seaworthy and is often mandatory prior to receive insurance on your boat.

What is a marine surveyor or boat inspector? And what are the differences?

A Marine Surveyor is a professional who is trained and experienced and professionally insured to conduct marine surveys. They have extensive knowledge and expertise in vessel construction, design, and safety standards.A Boat Inspector, on the other hand, is typically a mechanic or technician who has experience working on boats. While both marine surveyors and boat inspectors can evaluate a vessel’s condition, marine surveyors are more specialised and can provide a more comprehensive and detailed assessment.

SeaWorthy Inpector

What are the differences between marine surveys and boat inspections?

While marine surveys and boat inspections share similarities in evaluating a vessel’s condition, there are some key differences.Marine surveys are more comprehensive and involve a more detailed inspection of the vessel’s structural integrity, equipment, systems, and overall condition.Boat inspections are typically focused on specific systems or on the general condition of the boat and its components, such as the engine or electrical system. Surveyors use specialist tooling to understand the condition of the hull and systems below the visible layers.

The importance of a marine survey/boat inspection

The importance of a marine survey or boat inspection cannot be overstated. A marine survey can uncover potential safety hazards, mechanical problems, or other issues that may not be visible to the untrained eye.By identifying these issues early on, boat owners can take the necessary steps to address them and ensure the safety and seaworthiness of their vessels.Additionally, a marine survey can provide valuable information for buyers or sellers, helping them make informed decisions about the purchase or sale of a vessel and discover pending costs on necessary repairs.


In conclusion, a marine survey is an important investment for any boat owner or buyer. By providing a comprehensive assessment of a vessel’s condition, a marine survey can help ensure the safety, performance and most of all give you the best chance to not regret your purchase or worse not make it back safely to port.

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