June 6, 2022 - Velos

How Much Is a Boat or Yacht Survey? (Costs & How to Prepare)

Boat and yacht surveys have become commonplace in the nautical world, both for people buying boats (wanting to check the conditions) and for insurance companies.

Both insurance surveys and pre-purchase surveys are led by marine surveyors, who check every component on the boat applicable (for example, the engine, navigation lights, water systems, safety equipment, etc.).

Yacht surveyors will help to determine a more accurate purchase price and policy costs for your insurance company.

But, how much is a boat survey?

The prices of a pre-purchase survey and an insurance survey can vary from around £10 per foot to around £20 per foot, if not more.

The price will depend on the:

  • size
  • age
  • model of your specific boat
  • type of craft or vessel
  • as well as the surveyor you have chosen, their hourly rate and any travel costs for your/their location.

Let’s take a closer look at what you might expect on a boat survey day, and what else will influence the price.

How Much Does a Boat Survey Cost in The UK?

The cost of your boat survey will usually depend on the surveyors themselves.

Most marine surveyors charge per foot of the boat, while others have a set amount based on the general size and model of the boat. 

Some surveyors will charge you just over £20 per foot. 

Generally speaking, a boat survey can cost anywhere from about £450 to over £700, total.

That is why it is best to contact a few marine surveyors before making a final decision.

Their prices may not vary a great deal from one another, but if they are charging per foot of the boat, even a small difference in price could be significant.

In England and the rest of the UK, these are the fees you’re looking at for surveying boats

What About the Cost of A Yacht Surveyor?

Again, when it comes to the actual cost of a yacht surveyor, everything depends on the surveyor you choose, and the size and make of your boat. 

Some yacht surveyors will only charge you about £10 per foot, plus a baseline price, whereas others will cost you more (depending on their premium services, etc.). Once again – shop around.

Methods and Types of Boat and Yacht Survey (and how They Impact Price)

There are various types of boat and yacht surveys to choose from.

Most surveyors will need instruction from you about the specific inspections they need to carry out – based on insurance demands, etc. (Find out How to find good marine surveyors)

For example, they may be asked to do a full condition survey, which is common for buyers to seek before purchasing their boat and becoming a new owner. 

This ensures their future purchase is sound and ready to sail.

An insurance survey, meanwhile, will test an older boat and check its various components for the purposes of insurance coverage (as is obvious by the name!).

Ultrasound surveys, on the other hand, are useful for measuring the thickness of the hull platings. Rig surveys check rigging wires, and machinery and systems surveys check mechanical and electrical components in close detail.

Generally speaking, the most common boat surveys are insurance and full condition.

However, each survey carries a specific cost and fee.

Since full condition and insurance surveys thoroughly check multiple components of the boat, they tend to be the most expensive.

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How to Save Money on Boat or Yacht Survey Costs

Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that you save yourself a bit of money on your boat or yacht survey. 

  • Clean the boat thoroughly before the survey. Cleaning up before a survey will save you and the surveyor a lot of time, ultimately saving you money. 
  • De-clutter your boat. Taking non-essentials out of the boat before the survey will make it easier to clean and easier for the surveyor to access – saving time and money, too.
  • Ensure that the batteries are working. If your boat is onshore and the boat is connected to the power of the port, then ensure that it is well connected and does work as expected. That means no need for extensive work or survey time.
  • Service your engine before the survey. Ensuring that your engine starts easily during the survey will help a lot with time and with any potential issues that the surveyor could note!
  • Check the hull for any damages. The hull will need to be in the best condition possible as the surveyor will look for any noteworthy damages – and again, the more time they spend, the more money you spend, too.
  • Preparation for a sea trial – if you’re going on a sea trial (which is a key part of inspections), it may seem obvious, but if you haven’t turned on your vessel in a while, then it’s worth checking it still turns on and runs.

How to Instruct a Yacht Surveyor

Before hiring a boat surveyor, you must ensure that they are right for the job.

That means checking with your yacht insurance company about what they expect to be checked, what qualifications they expect the surveyor to have, and more. 

You should also always check that the boat surveyor that you hire has a professional indemnity insurance cover. 

If you’re worried, reach out to your insurance provider as soon as possible – they know what they’re doing and can tell you what to look for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions on a boat survey or yacht surveys:

Do I Need a Survey to Buy a Boat?

You do not necessarily need a boat survey to buy a boat.

Most insurance companies ask for boat surveys on vessels that are over 25 years old, although some might ask for surveys on newer models, too. 

However, if you are buying a boat, hiring a boat surveyor for yourself is highly recommended for most people.

They will be able to see any underlying issues that the ship might have, which helps to give you a better idea of what price you should be paying – and what investments and repairs you may have to make in the boat in the future. 

How Much Does a Narrowboat Survey Cost in The Uk?

Much like a survey for any other boat, the cost of the survey will depend on the size of the narrowboat and the surveyor you have chosen. 

Generally speaking, you will pay between £10 and £14 per foot for a narrowboat inspection.

Summary

Seeking out a marine surveyor or boat survey expert shouldn’t be a hassle.

Whether your insurance carrier needs a survey completed, or if you’re paying the above fees to gain assurance on a future purchase, surveying offers fantastic confidence.

Their report will show all their important findings and their inspection may uncover a red flag you wasn’t expecting. This makes the fee well worth it.

Keep a close eye on fees payable, surveying scope, and do your best to get your vessel up to code – getting someone to inspect your boat is great value for your protection and peace of mind.

If you need any advice, contact us. We’ve been a boat insurance broker for over 20 years and will be happy to help give you any independent advice on the process and what you need for your vessel’s intended use.

You can also find qualified surveyors here

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How to Find a Good Marine Surveyor? (and Where)

There is already so much to think about when purchasing a boat. From repairs, to mooring, to boat insurance and ongoing costs – there’s much to consider.

So, on top of it all, why should you have to think about hiring a certified marine surveyor for your insurance company? And how do you find a good one?

The truth is that having your boat surveyed by an accredited marine surveyor will do more than just benefit your insurance company – it will also help provide you with a lot of useful insight and confidence about your craft.

But, how do you find the right surveyor? 

Thankfully, boat surveyor companies and one-man bands are rife – and you should be able to find plenty in your area.

The best thing to do is ask your insurance company directly about marine surveyors that they recommend to cut down on research time.

But, what exactly will a marine surveyor check for on your boat, what will you find in the report and what even is the point?

What to Look for in a Marine Surveyor?

  • Their background and experience
  • Areas of Expertise
  • Familiarity with your model and make of boat or vessel
  • Reach out and find out what they would look for on your boat while surveying
  • Qualifications and are they accredited marine surveyors 
  • Cost of the survey 
  • Experience with your boat insurance company 
  • Duration of the survey 

Where Can You Find a Good Surveyor?

When looking for a good marine surveyor, the best thing to do is to ask your boat insurance company about those they work with regularly.

However, many lenders won’t be too fussed as long as you use an accredited marine surveyor.

Still, essentially you are looking for someone experienced and qualified, with whom you can easily set an appointment sooner rather than later. 

You can also find qualified, reputable surveyors through a local Google search.

It’s also worth looking into SAMS, the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors.

This is a directory of approved survey experts who are highly regarded in their field.

They represent many surveyors across the states – and hiring via SAMS means you’re generally guaranteed exceptional care and knowledge.

You could also ask other boat owners in your port for their opinions on marine surveyors they may have worked with in the past. 

Forum reports are also worth checking for recommendations of inspection and surveys people have had for their yachts or boats.

Is a Boat Survey Worth It?

Not many people like the idea of a boat survey. It costs money, takes time, and what does it actually bring you? Quite a lot, actually!

Boat surveys help identify any potential issues that a boat may have. The truth is that it is not always about getting a more appropriate insurance policy. 

For example, if you plan to buy a boat, then a reputable marine surveyor can identify issues you may not have spotted yet on the vessel.

This will be important when negotiating a purchase price and in helping you understand what, if any, modifications you will need to make to the boat before it is safe to take out onto the water again. 

However, it is also true that marine surveys are indeed beneficial for insurance policies.

They benefit more than just the insurance company, as you will be able to update your marine survey when new repairs and modifications are made to your boat – thus, potentially adjusting your insurance policy rates, too. 

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What Does a Marine Survey Include?

Marine surveys are thorough investigations of boats led by expert surveyors.

Typically, they will check:

  • navigational machinery
  • your radio
  • plumbing
  • electrical elements
  • air conditioning
  • engine and other mechanical elements
  • the structure of the boat
  • any essential onboard materials
  • and the general condition of the vessel or craft itself.

The idea is to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that there are no potential dangers on board – it’s a thorough examination of the different areas of your craft to make sure it’s safe for you to take to sea on your yacht or boat.

Depending on the size and condition of your boat, a marine survey on a small craft could take just a few hours or even an entire day for a larger yacht. 

The marine surveyor will likely request to see the ship in action when surveying any boats, at which point they will want you to take them out on the boat for under or just over an hour. 

Be ready for a quick trip!

Why Do You Need a Marine Surveyor?

Your insurance company will likely ask you to hire a marine surveyor to inspect your boat before they can set you the best insurance policies at the right price. 

This is so they can determine how safe your vessel is and how likely it is to need repairs, get into accidents, etc. 

If your boat is in a terrible state of repair, then the insurance company will have to create a much more comprehensive contract with you.

On the other hand, if your boat is in good condition and ready to go, then your insurance policies do not have to be as extensive or even expensive. 

How Long Are Marine Surveys Good For?

It is a little difficult to determine how long the average marine survey will be good for.

While some marine insurance companies are happy with the same survey for up to five years, others will only permit it for up to three.

Generally speaking, the condition of the boat will determine how long the survey will be good for.

For example, if you have a boat that needs serious repairs and adjustments, then the chances are that your marine survey will need updating pretty quickly. 

On the other hand, if your boat is in near pristine condition, then your marine survey will likely last a lot longer. 

Whatever the case, if you do make any adjustments to your boat during the time that you have a marine survey, then it would be a good idea to get renewed.

That way, if any serious repairs have taken place to improve the condition and safety of the boat, the new marine survey will reflect that, and it will show in the cost of your boat insurance. How much does boat insurance cost though?

How Much Does a Boat Survey Cost?

It depends on the surveyor you choose, and the size and make of your boat. We

Yacht surveyors usually start at around £10 per foot, plus a baseline price, whereas others will cost you more (depending on their premium services, etc.).

Shop around until you’re happy with the value you’re getting for the extent of the service and hire that surveyor associate to carry out your inspection.

Summary

Beyond determining the value of your boat, there is a lot that you, as a boat owner, stand to gain from a good marine survey.

During the process, you can expect the marine surveyor to find any electrical, machinery, or structural issues that you alone may not notice.

This, for example, is especially important if you are investing in a used boat that could have underlying issues. 

So, don’t be too concerned about your marine survey, and take it as an opportunity to get to know your new boat a lot better. 

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Does Boat Insurance Cover on Water Towing? (is the Vessel or Person Covered?)

So, you have an insured boat, but do you actually know what that insurance covers? You could need all kinds of assistance on your vessel, including towing.

But does your insurance have towing coverage? And what type of towing coverage are you entitled to?

For example, are you covered in the case that you need a tow vehicle on the water, or are you and your boat covered when you are towing it on dry land? 

Generally speaking, boat insurance does not cover on-water towing or off-water towing. That being said, there may be some fine print in your insurance that covers “other boat accessories” – which could include your trailer.

So, let’s take a closer look at what your boat policy will likely cover, and what additional coverage you should be looking at.

Does Your Boat Insurance Cover Towing or On-Water Assistance?

If you tow your boat in and out of the water, then it is important to know where exactly your boat is covered. 

In many cases, boat towing on the water will be included in a basic policy.

In most cases, your boat will be insured only when it is in the water.

So, when it is on your trailer going home, it will not be covered by your boat insurance. 

But, what happens if you get in an accident on the road or just out of the water, and your boat is damaged? 

As an ‘element’ on your trailer, the boat may be covered on your car insurance. However, that is not guaranteed either. 

Therefore, it is essential to check with both your boat insurance policy and your car insurance carrier about whether or not towing expenses are covered.

Does Boat Insurance Cover an Accident While Hauling Your Boat?

Again, if you are hauling your boat out of the water, then no, your boat or yacht insurance will not cover physical damage or accidents.

Boat insurance policies cover any accidents that could happen while your boat is in use, i.e. when it is in the water.

Out of the water, your boat isn’t as likely to run into another boat, sink, or incur marine damages! So, why would your boat insurance cover it? 

That being said, you will need to check your car insurance / roadside assistance cover for damages that could occur to belongings that are being towed.

If your car insurance does cover such aspects, then it should cover your boat while it is on the back of your car.

However, it is always best to check with your insurance company before assuming anything, as accidents do happen everywhere, and not every policy is very clear. 

What’s more, it may be that you will need to pay extra for coverage on your trailer specifically, as it may not automatically be included in your car insurance coverages. 

Does Added Sea Tow cover the Vessel or The Person (or Both)?

While some boat insurance companies will have additional sea tow cover, it’s usually best to get specific sea tow membership for peace of mind.

In the UK and surrounding waters, a Sea Start membership covers your pleasure craft.

Membership costs between £145-£165 depending on the type and size of the vessel.

The Sea Start membership generally covers the boat, rather than the owner.

In the US, if you have a membership with Sea Tow, then your basic package should cover the vessel and the person involved. 

Sea Tow are the people you call when you have run out of fuel, your engine has broken down, you’ve run aground, the list goes on.

The towboats will then come and get you safely back to your port.

You can easily call them via radio for instant boat towing support.

However, non-members can end up spending a fortune, with certain towers costing around $250 per hour! 

Sea Tow provides various membership options to choose from depending on where you take your boat.

Memberships typically cost between $100 and $200 per year.

Summary

Be careful out there – as even the best boat insurance policies have limited coverage when it comes to towing and off-water haulage.

We don’t tend to think of getting a boat insurance policy to cover physical damage that could happen to our vessels on dry land – but, in fact, it is an essential part of owning a boat.

While your vehicle is towing your vessel, you could incur any kind of damage to your boat.

You could also be found liable should the boat trailer or boat itself cause any damage to someone else’s personal property or even injuries that will require medical treatment. 

That is why it is so important to discuss your auto insurance, boat insurance, and any other coverages that you have with your insurance company. 

Liability coverage is also a must if you’re running a commercial boat or fleet of boats.

You should also ensure that you have separate coverage for any towing expenses that could occur. Think of it like roadside assistance.

In fact, car insurance or auto insurance may cover this. Check your boat policy

You hope as a boat owner that you will never need it, but it will save you a fortune and a lot of time if you have the right coverage for it.

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Do I Need Insurance on My Boat Trailer? (Is it Covered by Other Insurance?)

Finding the right insurance coverage for any new boat can be a nightmare. It can all get confusing between marine surveys and repairs, too In the confusion of it all, many forget to insure their trailers!

If you have to tow your boat in a trailer, then it’s crucial to look carefully at your boat insurance policy.

  • Is your trailer actually covered by your boat’s insurance policy, your homeowner’s policy, or even your auto insurance?
  • Or, is your trailer completely uncovered, thus leaving you vulnerable to accident, physical damage and more?

Regardless, yes, you do need boat trailer insurance. Any manner of damages caused by your boat trailer could happen while towing your boat. Whether it be in a parking lot, at the port, or even on the road, you could easily cause, or be subject to, bodily injury or damages.

Don’t take your boat trailer anywhere until you’re covered.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Boat Trailers?

In many cases, boat insurance will cover damages to boat trailers, both in and out of water. 

However, this policy addition is not guaranteed. Some boat insurance companies will focus their policies solely on the boat itself and only when it is in water. 

Conversely, those that do consider the trailer as being an accessory to the boat and who will cover it may not even give you comprehensive coverage.

For example, your trailer may be covered in the case of damages, but there may not be any liability coverage.

So, if your trailer causes damage or injury, you could end up having to pay a fortune. 

So, how can you find out what your boat trailer is covered for, if anything? 

Get in touch with your boat insurance company, or be sure to read through the fine print in your policy.

It would also be wise to contact your car insurance company, as the trailer could fall under your auto cover.

It may even fall under homeowners insurance, though dedicated boat trailer coverage is most useful as part of a marine policy.

It is essential to check for any eventualities such as damages, injuries, and where they could happen (i.e. on land or in the water). If you’re using a trailer commercially,  it’s also crucial to consider your liability insurance and commercial boat insurance, too.

Should Boat Trailers Be Insured?

Boat trailer insurance rules may vary from territory to territory.

For example, no trailers have to be insured in the UK, so you are not obligated to have your boat trailer insured. 

That said, in the US, it’s worth making sure your boat trailer is protected.

What’s more. if you do get in an accident with your trailer that causes any damages or injuries, then you will be liable to cover the costs. That is why it is definitely wise to have your boat trailer insured – regardless of legal compulsion.

You could check with your car insurance company to see if your policy extends to your trailer. If not, then it would be wise to add a clause for it, just in case.

Will Insurance Cover Boat Falling Off Trailer?

Watching your boat fall off a trailer can be a nightmare scenario! Sadly, in some cases, it only takes one mistake for your boat to slip free and fall onto the road.

If your boat falls off a trailer while transporting, it will likely get damaged in the process.

Your boat insurance should cover any damages that happen to the boat – however, it is wise to check with your boat insurance company to ensure that your insurance policy caters to accidents that occur out-of-water.

But, what happens if you have injured someone, or caused damage to another’s property?

Do I Need Insurance on My Boat Trailer blog post

Your boat insurance company may cover you for damage caused by the boat itself – but if the trailer’s at fault, things can get complicated.

To avoid all doubt, check your auto insurance policy / car insurance policy – as well as your boat carrier – and if an insurance agent can’t give you much advice in this regard, it’s worth hunting down separate coverage.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Does Car Insurance Cover My Boat Trailer?

In some cases, car insurance does cover trailers – including boat trailers. They are considered to be accessories to the vehicle and therefore fall under your standard insurance policy. 

However, not all car insurance companies follow the same standards. It could be that your car is covered for accessories that do not include a trailer, for example – in which case, it’s time to add on separate trailer coverage with the provider, or to look elsewhere.

Always ensure that your trailer is covered, at least when it is on the road.

This is especially important as your boat insurance is not likely to cover your trailer once it has deposited your vessel and left the water.

Summary

Having to take out extra boat trailer coverage may seem like a pain, but it could be your saving grace at any point. 

On the bright side, you could have coverage for your boat trailer already under your homeowners’ policy, boat insurance policy, or car insurance policy. 

If you’ve not already pored through your fine print, you may find your insurance covers you for a lot more than you expect!

If not, then it’s time to get in touch with an insurance representative to get your limited coverage extended.

Most people assume that they will never need it, but whether it is for roadside assistance, if a tree falls on your trailer, or your boat falls off or hurts someone, you must be able to protect yourself – and to cover physical damage financially.

Unfortunately, none of us are truly psychic in this regard!

Regardless of where you tow or take your boat, always protect your interests – and your assets – with appropriate insurance.

Paying for damages caused or for physical harm can be seriously costly – and for just a small amount of money each month, you have a safety net in place.

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How Much Is a Boat or Yacht Survey? (Costs & How to Prepare)

Boat and yacht surveys have become commonplace in the nautical world, both for people buying boats (wanting to check the conditions) and for insurance companies. Both insurance surveys and pre-purchase surveys are led by

June 6, 2022 read more