This thorough survey is performed on behalf of the potential buyer of a vessel. It includes the physical inspection and inventory of the vessels equipment, moisture meter testing of the hull under body and deck areas, percussion sounding of the under body, verification of the operating condition of the engine(s) and electrical equipment and the condition of all the vessels various systems (plumbing ect.). A sea trial may also be part of the inspection if the customer requests it and conditions permit. A current market retail value of the vessel is also researched and included in the report. Keep in mind that any defects found by the survey may influence the eventual purchase price of the vessel. The price of a survey inspection is very minor when compared to the overall price of a used boat and could potentially save you thousands of dollars in surprises and head aches down the road. In a small percentage of cases it could save your life.
Insurance companies periodically require a survey inspection of their policy holders boat in order to ascertain the condition of the vessel and it's current market value in order to assess risk. How often an insurance company will require a survey varies, but most insurance companies are now requiring a current survey on their policy holders boat every three to five years. An insurance survey should provide the same level of inspection as a pre-purchase survey and most good surveyors will not differentiate between the two.