Buyer's Survey


Basic Survey Scope Summary
Note: not all vessels have all systems, this abbreviated list is not all inclusive of all items checked in the course of a typical survey, surveyor will vary according to needs, conditions, and constraints.

Condition & Value Summary



Bulkheads: Attachment, condition
Stringers: Type, number, dimensions, deficiencies in attachment, core damage
Floors: Type, dimensions, condition, deficiencies in attachment
Tabbing/Bonding: Visual inspection of all accessible area for tearing, cracking, debonding, deformation
Deck: Percussion sounded for delamination or internal damage, moisture meter checked for wet core, general deck condition
Cockpit: Percussion sounded for delamination or internal damage, moisture meter checked for wet core, general deck condition,
Coring: Percussion sounded for delamination or internal damage, moisture meter checked for water intrusion, location and type determined as possible
Keel: Type, mounting, movement, corrosion, fastener condition, grounding damage check
Hull/Deck Joint: Type, condition where accessible, possible problems
Metal Hulls: Weld condition, construction, deformation, cracks, corrosion, doublers, etc.
Wood Hulls: Material, fastener type & condition, frame type & dimensions, frame damage, leaks, rot, delignification, fairness, cracks, cupped-split-sprung planks, scantling suitability, etc.


Tank Condition: Corrosion, cracks, seepage
Tank Installation: Method, base condition, securing measures
Fuel Distribution System: Type, installation, support, routing
Fill & Vent Systems: Installation, traps, location, vent water prevention loop
Filtration System: Installation, accessibility, durability
Standards Compliance for all above items (CFR’s, ABYC, good marine practice)
Installation Safety
Standards Compliance: shielding, ventilation, controls, mounting, exhaust, fuel supply
Installation safety
Standards Compliance
Mounts: Condition, installation, fasteners & locking devices, potential problems
Hoses: Cracks, leaks, chafe, resiliency, deformation, attachment, clamp condition & location
Fluids: Levels, type, visual inspection for intermix-break down-burning-dilution, coolant recovery system, pressure cap condition
Wiring/Plumbing: Damage, wear, support, chafe guard, type, suitability
Alternator: Type, exterior condition, mounting, operation, noise, drive, alignment, belt condition & adjustment
Starter: Installation, operation, exterior condition, cabling, noise
Block/Manifolds/Heads: Cracks, leaks, corrosion
Exhaust: Condition, routing, securing, sizing, safety, engine protection from water reversion, dry exhaust condition and safety, dry exhaust chase condition and air flow, hose and wiring separation from wet and dry exhaust system components
Gauges: Type, operation, readability, location
Shaft/Strut/Log/Prop: Installation, condition, corrosion, securing, visible damage
Trim-tilt: Operation, condition
Steering: Attachment, operation, power steering fluid leaks, cable condition
External Components: Corrosion, gimbal bearing wear, steering shaft wear, bellows condition, fluid level and condition, leaks, water hose condition, prop condition
Corrosion Protection: Paint system, anode type-number-type-condition, impressed current system, ground jumper wire & clip system integrity
Prop: Type, condition
Prop Shaft: Inspect for bending, nut tightness & securing
Drive Controls
Operation, friction, play, feel
Rudder stops
Bearing play
Component integrity
Condition: Oil, waste, debris, accessibility
Dewatering: Bilge pump type, number, automatic operation, manual operation, installation, hose size-type-condition-securing-installation, efficiency, accessibility, switch operation-location-labling
Nav Lights
Switch compliance, operation, & labeling
Size, rode, type, suitability for expected use
Handling equipment
Bitter end retention
Shackle pin retention
Cleats: Number, size, location, backing
Fenders: Size, quantity, condition, securing
Standing Rigging: Type, size, tuning, chain plates, turnbuckles, damage, weaknesses, wear, potential problem areas
Running Rigging: Type, size, line condition, line leads, operation, effort, weaknesses, labeling, convention, sheave & block condition & installation
Mast & boom: Condition, installation, damage, corrosion, rot-splits-glue debonding-warpage-etc. (wood), size
Step: Type, condition, placement, movement
Sails: Type, suitability, limited condition inspection
Cockpit Drains
Size & location
Hose condition, suitability, installation/securing
Through hull condition
Sea cock condition, accessibility, operations
Hull Penetrations
Above Water Line: Type, construction, condition, suitability
Below Water Line: Type, construction, condition, suitability, sea cock provision, sea cock operation, sea cock accessibility, hose type-condition-suitability


PFD’s: Type, condition, location, suitability, accessibility
Re-boarding: Type, location, condition, suitability, standards compliant
Nav Lights: Type, operation, condition, visibility, installation
Extinguishers: Quantity, mounting, condition, certification, suitability, accessibility
Signaling Devices: Type, application, certification, accessibility
Fuel: Tank installation, hose type and condition, hose installation & clamps, vent, fill, distribution, valves, pumps, leaks, standards compliance
Electrical, AC & DC: Safety, installation, materials, compliance, operations, suitability, wiring & connector condition, dangerous conditions, required notices
Heating: Installation, type, standards compliance, operation, suitability, labeling, controls, signage
Propane: Locker and tank compliance, installation, leak test, operation test, required safety devices and signage, hose and tubing installation, appliance installation and safety
Lifelines, stanchions, pulpits, grab rails: Type, size, height, condition, deficiencies
Helm: Visibility, control compliance for operation and strength
Carbon Monoxide: Separation of engine spaces from accommodation spaces, CO detector, required warning notices, installation and operational integrity of all CO generating machinery and appliances
Notices: Posting of applicable notices for: MARPOL (garbage & plastic disposal), oil pollution, propane locker, propane appliance, heating appliance, 110VAC, fuel sight glass valve operation, carbon monoxide, and garbage plan
Propulsion: Neutral safety operation, engine kill switch operation




Resources: Internet listings, ABOS,, NADA Guides,, Powerboat Guide, surveyor’s files, brokers, builders
Methodology: Standardized, systematic techniques, repeatable
Supportability: Documented source records and methods, established reputation