Get The Right Surveyor
You wouldn't hire a plumber to rewire your house; the same goes for surveyors. Finding a qualified marine surveyor or a specialist is a matter of knowing where to look.
- Marine surveyors are not regulated or licensed, so virtually anyone can call himself a surveyor, and many unqualified people do. A good indicator of competence is a surveyor who has professional affiliations with the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), plus either the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) or the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS).
- Choose a surveyor who is familiar with the type of boat you're interested in. Some specialize in power, some in sail, others in wooden or metal boats. " A surveyor should have absolutely no affiliations with boat brokers, dealers, boat repair shops, or others whose living depends on the sale or repair of boats — especially the one you're about to buy.
- Don't rely upon a survey prepared for a previous owner, even if it was done recently. A survey is a snapshot in time and a boat could have run aground or suffered other unnoticed damage since the last survey.
- Engine surveys are typically performed by someone with vast experience in repairing gas and diesel engines. The best bet is to hire a certified technician who works for an authorized dealer. That way, they'll be able to research the boat's warranty and dealer service work, too. Hire an engine surveyor with experience on the make and model of the engine you need inspected.
- Rigging surveyors tend to be a little harder to find, but most marine surveyors can recommend one. They typically make their living building and repairing masts, booms, and associated rigging.