Marine Survey
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Pre-Purchase Surveys

Viking Yachts Factory – New Gretna, NJ


Engine compression testing is not included in the above power boat rate, but can be done as part of the survey process. Note that we compression test gasoline engines only.

OUTBOARD ENGINES: $100 per engine

INBOARD ENGINES: $150 per engine


While deck-level rigging is inspected as part of the sailboat pre-purchase survey, going aloft to inspect the rest of the rig is priced separately.


The Pre-Purchase Survey

The most comprehensive of all marine surveys, the pre-purchase survey is performed on behalf of the prospective boat buyer before money is exchanged.

When buying a boat, it should first be understood that every single boat will have issues. Every. Single. Boat. I’ve inspected brand new boats straight off the manufacturing line with punch lists two pages long. That’s just the nature of a boat. There are many systems that are asked to perform many funtions and at least a few are bound to have problems. The key is finding these problems before you’re on the hook for addressing them.

I am frequently asked what my pre-purchase survey includes. But since every boat is different, the best synopsis I can come up with is, “We inspect and test every accessible inch of the boat’s structure and every accessible system.”

Depending the the vessel type, age and equipment, the following systems that are inspected and tested can include, but are not limited to:

  • Hull, Deck & Superstructure
  • AC and DC Electrical
  • Fuel System
  • Steering Gear
  • Plumbing & Marine Pumps
  • Deck Level Rigging & Sails
  • Aloft Rigging
  • Drivetrain & Running Gear
  • Haul-Out & Bottom Inspection
  • Sea Trials
  • Engine Compression
  • USCG & Safety Gear
  • Thermal Imaging

Haul-Out at Ross Marine, Johns Island SC

Not only is the most vulnerable part of a boat below the waterline, it is also the least seldom checked. This is why the haul-out, aka “short haul”, is a critical part of the survey process.

Center Console Sea Trial in the ACE Basin

Sea trials are also a must-do part of a thorough pre-purchase survey. A boat may look great sitting still at the dock, but how does she perform? How’s the steering? Do the engines perform like they should? Does she list? Any abnormal vibrations? The only way to know is to put the boat through its paces and ask the boat to do everything it’s meant to do.