Marine Surveyor Staffordshire the Midlands

Boat Safety Scheme Examiner

Iain Jones

DipMarSur.(YS)     Assoc. IIMS     MABSE


Types of Marine Surveys in Staffordshire


We stopped undertaking boat surveys from September 2021



The Most Common Types of Marine Surveys Commissioned:

  • 'Pre-Purchase Survey' - when you are considering buying a pre-owned boat.
  • 'Insurance (hull) Survey' - your marine insurance company will ask for an 'Insurance survey' periodically once your boat is approximately 20 years old.
  • 'Valuation Survey' - this can be required by a finance or insurance company, or your own peace of mind.
  • 'Damage Surveys'  - you may be asked for this type of survey by your insurers following a collision or other damage to your boat.

For more details about each type of marine survey, please scroll below. To learn more about marine surveys in the Midlands direct from us, please call.

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Pre-Purchase Surveys 

This is the most comprehensive survey. The client may be a first time buyer, or already a boat owner who is looking for a replacement boat. The client may not have an engineering background, or not be familiar with boat construction, or the various systems found on modern day narrowboats and therefore relies on the expertise of a marine surveyor.


Bringing the Boat Ashore for the Survey

As previously mentioned the boat will need to be brought ashore into a dry dock, or onto a slipway etc. Once ashore the hull plating and welds will be visually checked for damage and defects; followed by hammer sounding and ultra-sonic thickness testing of the plates to assess their thickness. The steering gear, stern gear and weed hatch assemblies, plus any sea cocks and sacrificial anodes will be examined for damage and defects. 


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Detailed Inspection of Machinery, Cabin Systems etc

A detailed inspection will be carried out of the propulsion machinery, and any generating machinery, (both non-invasive), fuel, electrical, gas, water, sewage, heating and any other domestic, or service systems. The cabin superstructure, decks, doors, hatches, windows and ports etc. are similarly inspected, as are the internal fit out, appliances, overall condition.  Safety equipment and general compliance with the Boat Safety Scheme are also checked during the inspection.


Survey Report

Following the inspection a detailed report will be produced, usually within 3 to 4 working days. The report informs the client of any defects found during the inspection that may, or will need rectification works prior to purchase or to negotiate the previously agreed purchase price; plus recommendations and suggestions about the rectification works.

The report also provides the client with much more information about the boat than that usually provided by the vendor/broker.  The report also highlights areas of the boat, it's machinery and systems that will need to be addressed as part of an on-going maintenance schedule to maintain the boat in a satisfactory condition.


Limited Scope Pre-Purchase Surveys

A tailor-made pre-purchase survey can be commissioned by a client, this may be due to financial constraints, or where the client has a good technical or engineering knowledge from prior boat ownership.
PLEASE NOTE - The 'limited scope' survey will only cover the areas of the boat as agreed in the commissioned survey.
'Limited Scope' surveys can included the under-water hull, stern and steering gear. The engine installation could also be added. Similarly a Boat safety Scheme examination could be added.  Please contact JMS for details and advice. 




Insurance Surveys

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You will most likely have 'comprehensive insurance cover' on your boat, however when your boat reaches a certain age your insurance company will normally ask you for an 'Out of Water Insurance Survey', if you wish to continue with this level of insurance cover.   

How Often Will This Be Necessary?

Typically this will happen when your boat is approximately 20 years old and then approximately every 5 years thereafter.



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An 'Out of Water Insurance Survey' will normally also be required if you wish to upgrade the level of cover on your boat to 'comprehensive insurance cover'.
Your insurers will will want to know about the physical condition of the vessel and whether it it remains an insurable risk.   

Areas of concern to the insurers are the hull, stern and steering gear, skin fittings, weed hatch, fuel, gas, electrical systems and an indication that the vessel is being maintained to a reasonable standard.

Bringing the Boat Ashore 

For the 'Insurance Survey' to take place your boat will need to brought ashore into a dry dock, or on to a slip way for the inspection. To reduce docking, or haul out fees most boat owners arrange for a hull survey to coincide with a biannually scheduled hull blacking. 

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You may also be asked for a 'valuation' update as well as the 'insurance survey' both of these can be normally carried out on the day of the inspection.
Following the survey you will receive a detailed report on the condition of the boat. Dependant on the condition of the boat the report may contain 'recommendations' of any remedial work that is required and suggested time frames in which any remedial works should be addressed. 




Valuation Surveys

This survey is a visual assessment of the external and internal condition of the boat, including the boats machinery and equipment inventory. A valuation survey is normally requested by:

  • Marine insurers - prior to offering 'fully comprehensive' insurance cover.
  • Finance houses - when marine finance assistance is required in the purchase of a boat.
  • The owner - for peace of mind, especially during an internal 'fit-out' or after an internal 're-fit' to ensure a sufficient level of cover.

Carrying Out the Survey

This can be done with the boat afloat on a mooring.
The purpose of a 'Valuation Survey' is to establish the correct 'market value' of the boat in the event of a full or partial loss. The surveyor's experience and knowledge base will then allow a comparison of similar specification/condition boats in the same geographical location being offered for sale to establish a realistic market value of the boat.


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Have any questions about our service or need advice?

Talk to us and we can advise you on which of the marine surveys would be appropriate for your boat's particular situation. We operate out of Burton on Trent, but we take requests from many people across the Midlands including Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Shropshire.


Give us a call on 07860 119476


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