Top 5 Tips for Selecting a Marine Surveyor

As an accredited marine surveyor with a boat buildering/shipwright background with more than 17 years’ experience in the marine industry I do not profess to be an expert on all aspects of every vessel, nor would any marine surveyor say otherwise with a straight face.

A marine surveyor is someone with a broad knowledge of marine craft who uses this knowledge, experience and training to inspect a boat or vessel in order to provide the client with a survey report which identifies any pertinent information found depending on the survey scope.

If you are currently looking for the services of a marine surveyor for your recreational craft or privately owned vessel, the following tips will assist you in finding the most appropriate surveyor for your vessel.

“in most cases, your marine hull insurer will not accept pre-existing defects or faults which means all the osmosis on the hull bottom your surveyor missed is now your problem, goodbye 30,000.00 dollars”

Find a marine surveyor who is accredited or certified by your countries national body or regulator, in Australia the most credible bodies are the Australian Institute of Marine Surveyors (AIMS) or Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

By being part of such an organisation, the surveyor has established his experience, training, and knowledge with a pledge to ongoing professional development.

Tip 2:

Make sure your surveyor has experience in recreational marine craft and boats, many surveyors come from the shipping, naval and commercial sector which may not give them the essential skills required to survey and inspect recreational powerboats and yachts.

Your pre-purchase marine surveyor should have experience in the recreational boat industry, most would have a background in one or more of the following: Shipwright, Naval Architect, or possibly Master skipper/engineer.

Tip 3:

Ask your surveyor about their qualifications, do not be afraid to ask this question. Your surveyor is always happy to brag about their boating knowledge. This will also give you more information about Tip 2.

This area of marine surveying is not regulated, so it is important understanding the surveyor’s qualifications and professional certifications will give you peace of mind. Generally, you will be trade qualified with a diploma of marine surveying as a minimum.

Tip 4:

Request a survey sample, I am surprised I do not get asked this more often as the surveyor’s fee can often be compared with the final report.  Your surveyor should give you a previous sample report similar to the vessel he is surveying whether its for a pre-purchase or insurance survey or other.

Don’t always be led by the surveyor’s fee, another surveyor might be $100 or $200 higher or more but the information contained in their report could be much more detailed and comprehensive which may save you $1,000.00 later on and a lot of headaches.

Tip 5:

This is very important, ensure your marine surveyor is suitably insured with Public Indemnity and Public Liability at a minimum. This is something you do not generally check until “it” has hit the

Remember, this area of the industry is not regulated and obtaining insurance for marine surveying is very costly and hard to obtain. More importantly, in most cases, your marine hull insurer will not accept pre-existing defects or faults which means all the osmosis on the hull bottom your surveyor missed is now your problem, goodbye 30,000.00 dollars.


The above tips are the minimum points to consider when selecting a surveyor which should help you find someone suitable, particularly for the novice boater or first-time buyer.

The above was written by a marine surveyor, however, I have tried to be as impartial as I can be and hopefully you found this information useful. Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions, I am more than happy to assist. To summarise, the top 5 tips are as follows

TIP 1: Are they a member of an industry association or regulator.

TIP 2: Do they have recreational boating industry experience.

TIP 3: Is your surveyor marine trade qualified and tertiary educated.

TIP 4: Request and review sample survey.

TIP 5: Check they are suitably insured with PI and PL insurance



Spread the love

No Replies to "Top 5 Tips for Selecting a Marine Surveyor"

    Got something to say?

    Some html is OK