This is a comprehensive conditional survey conducted on behalf of a potential purchaser. An offer to purchase a yacht will often be made “subject to survey” and this survey provides the purchaser with an unbiased appraisal of the condition of the vessel before the final deal is struck. Detailed information concerning the vessel’s condition is provided in the survey report, allowing the purchaser to make an informed decision on whether to continue with the purchase, to withdraw from the purchase or to renegotiate the purchase terms due to issues found during the survey.
The survey will usually be conducted while the yacht is ashore and will include inspection of the hull, deck, internal structure, steering, propulsion system, electrics, electronics, domestic systems, interior fit-out and safety equipment. Additionally, for sailing yachts, keels, spars, rigging, sails and sail handling systems are inspected.
Moisture readings on the hull and deck are taken using the most sophisticated marine moisture meter available, the Sovereign Quantum. This meter is able to measure moisture both close to the surface and deeper within the laminate, the latter being ideal for assessing foam or balsa sandwich structures.
It is recommended that part of the survey be conducted while the yacht is in the water, to provide confidence in its water-tight integrity. Ideally this should be combined with a sea-trial, where the propulsion system, steering and other systems can be tested while underway.
This type of survey focuses on aspects of a yacht’s condition which are important to an insurer. These include: items which affect safety, items which may result in the yacht suffering a loss, the yacht's general condition and how the yacht is being maintained. The Insurance Survey report is used by insurance underwriters to decide if the yacht represents an acceptable risk and if so, the terms of insurance to be offered. In most cases, an insurer will also require a current market valuation for the yacht.
An Insurance Survey is typically less comprehensive than a Pre-Purchase Survey. Insurance surveys are therefore typically less expensive than full Pre-Purchase Surveys.
When an incident results in damage to a yacht, IMS Yacht Surveys can be called upon to assess the extent of the damage and to provide assistance in having the damage rectified. This may include the production of a specification for remedial work, selecting a suitable contractor, overseeing the work and surveying the completed job.
Damage surveys may be instructed by the vessel’s owner, by an insurance company or by a third party.
Insurers and yacht finance companies will require an independent assessment of the value of a yacht before the finance transaction may proceed. The valuation will take into consideration the condition of the yacht, its specification, inventory and how this compares to other yachts. An appraisal of similar yachts offered for sale will be conducted and using the surveyor’s extensive experience, a valuation will be established. Unless otherwise specified, the valuation will be on the following basis:
“The estimated value on the date of inspection that the yacht could achieve at sale, assuming normal market conditions, a willing buyer and seller, and where the yacht has been actively marketing for a period of at least 2 months”.
The purpose of a sea trial is to test all systems which can only be operated effectively with the yacht underway. It will include a full assessment of the performance of the yacht’s propulsion and steering systems, sail handling systems, its performance under sail and its general handling.
As an appointed RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) measurer, our principal surveyor is able to provide measurement and weighing services for yachts being raced under the International Rating Certificate (IRC) system. Details of IRC can be found here: www.ircrating.org .
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