Back to advice

What you need to know about boat surveys and valuations

Boat survey in progress

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced boater, getting a second opinion before you make a purchase is crucial.

Buying a boat is a big, and often expensive, decision — so getting it right matters. Paying for a survey and valuation may seem daunting or even unnecessary, but ensuring your new boat is fit for purchase, and identifying any issues in advance, could save you money in the long run.

There’s currently no requirement for privately owned, British registered yachts under 24 metres to be surveyed. But, as a marine mortgage lender, they are necessary to help us identify any risks.

Here are three things you need to know about boat surveys and valuations.

1. Benefit from peace of mind and in-depth knowledge

Like buying a house, car, or other long-term investment, you want to know what you’re getting. Is it good value for money? How much should you budget for making changes and improvements? And, most importantly, is it safe?

For the first time used boats are appreciating in value. Now more than ever, it’s vital to ensure you’re buying a boat that’s worth what you’re paying for it. A survey or valuation will uncover any potential problems, which enables you to negotiate the price, embark on work to fix these issues, or withdraw your interest.

Equally, if the inspection finds the boat is in good condition, you can purchase it with confidence. Plus, you’ll be armed with a list of improvements to increase the value and quality of your vessel to be made at your leisure.

2. It’s important to select the right type of boat survey — and surveyor

There are a number of different surveys to choose from — each with its own advantages. As a buyer, the ‘full condition’ survey will likely be the most valuable to you. This will include an inspection of the vessel’s exterior, engine, control system, safety equipment, and more, to identify any damage, and ensure the boat is fit for purpose.

When it comes to selecting the right surveyor, be sure to choose an accredited company or individual. Accreditations include, but aren’t limited to the International Institute of Marine Surveyors (IIMS), Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveys Association (YBDSA), MECAL, and Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

Conduct research, read reviews and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.

3. Boat surveys offer a safety net and expert opinion when buying from private sellers

The majority of boat purchases take place privately, which means there is little to no legal protection, even when using a broker. Paying for a survey or valuation provides you with extra protection before you make a purchase. And, it can put you in a better position if you eventually decide to sell.

Similarly, a number of insurers and marine finance lenders require customers to get a survey before agreeing to insure or finance the vessel.

In summary, surveys and valuations provide you with information, expertise, and protection you otherwise won’t receive. At Promarine Finance, we want your boat buying experience to be simple, seamless, and enjoyable. Our expert team always recommends investing in a pre-purchase survey.

Promarine Finance is a leading provider of marine finance. To find out if you’re eligible, get a quote today.