Marine Surveyors


marine surveySurveying is one of the most important processes of buying a trawler. When buying a trawler you are responsible for the survey, hauling out and cleaning the bottom. All together your looking at about $30.00 to $50.00 per foot. It is the best investment you will make. No one has a crystal ball except your surveyor, he will roll up his sleeves and survey and sea trial your boat, it normally takes 6 to 8 hours.

Find and pick your own surveyor if you are buying from a broker or a boat dealership, never take a recommendation on the sellers surveyor, no matter how good he may be. This is a conflict of interest, take no part of it. Just google the marine surveyors in the area where you are buying your vessel. Talk to a few and pick the one you like the best.

Your surveyor will have enough knowledge to do a general engine survey. First he will start the engine, if it starts right up you have good compression, he will then check the smoke out of your rear exhaust and wait a couple of minutes to see if she clears up. Always have him do an oil analysis on your engine, generator and transmission. He will check your engine under sea trial with a heat gun and check your rpm’s with the speed your trawler is doing. If anything is wrong he will recommend an engine surveyor and that will run about $1,500.00 to $2,000.00. You may want to walk away or tell your broker the seller must pay for this if he wants the sale to continue, or you can pay for it.

When making an offer on your trawler you must keep $5,000.00 cash in your pocket for repairs after the survey. You will have a list of around 50 deficiencies to take care of. Please remember you are buying a used boat! If it comes up with 75 deficiencies or is over $7,000.00 you may want to walk away. Anything over $3,000.00 needs to be addressed. I would have the seller repair and prove the item in question. Deal breakers would be a complete blister job, soft and spongy decks or replacements on a teak deck, these are just a few timely & costly repairs.

At the end of the survey your surveyor will pull you aside in private and go over his findings. You should know if the trawler is ok. He will email you your survey in about 48 hours. Sit down with your broker and go over the deficiencies. At this time he may suggest someone to work on the boat at a more reasonable price than a marine repair yard. You must either sign an accented or rejection letter within 24 to 48 hours after your surveyor checks your contract. If not addressed, it would be construed as an acceptance and now your deposit is at risk.
Never survey a trawler out of the water, if it has blisters they will be dried up. Put it in the water for a day or two and have it hauled. Do not dive under the boat to look at blisters, haul the boat out. Never buy a used survey from a broker at a big discount even if it was done yesterday. Have your own done and be on board.

This article is just to help you along with surveying your trawler. The prices quoted are just that, you may want to do things differently.

I have written many blogs, you can find them on my site. If your looking to buy a trawler or want to try ours for a few days more information can be found on

Thank you,
Captain Bob


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