Pre-Purchase Surveys

UK Yacht Surveyors is experienced in surveying sailing, motor, commercial and canal boats of all materials except ferrocement (which can be arranged), up to 200GT. This includes wood (classic and modern), FRP/GRP, composite, aluminium and steel.


This is a thorough investigation into every aspect of the vessel using the latest non-destructive testing techniques with the vessel ashore. A detailed report is presented within 48 hours of the survey which includes practical recommendations for correcting items found that affect seaworthiness and insurability, as well as further suggestions for improving vessel condition.

The Scope of Work for a Pre-Purchase Survey follows the BMSE Extended Checklist. BMSE is an organisation of surveyors that have graduated from the world-renowned Small Craft and Practical Surveying course at the International Boatbuilding and Training College, Lowestoft. For sample Pre-Purchase Surveys by UK Yacht Surveyors click on the following links: Motorboat PPS, Sailing Boat PPS.

The survey report forms the basis for acceptance or rejection of the vessel. Most commonly the vendor will adjust the purchase price to take into account defects found.

The investigation covers the following:

1. VESSEL DETAILS - RCD compliance, CE plate.

2. KEEL - keelstuds and backing plates, keel reinforcing webs and frames, deflections, condition, damage, weeps/stains.

3. HULL BELOW WATERLINE - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking.

4. TOPSIDES - damage, cracking, distortion, type of construction, voids, delamination, rubbing strake.

5. DECK MOULDING - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking.

6. COACHROOF - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking, damage/cracking near load-bearing fittings, mast step, handrails, ports and windows.

7. COCKPIT - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking, damage/cracking near load-bearing fittings, sole boards, drainage arrangements, lockers and hatches for security and seals, wheel pedestal.

8. HULL/DECK JOINT - type, security, fastenings.

9. BULKHEADS AND STRUCTURAL STIFFENING - frames, floors and stringers, bonding, cracking, mast compression, engine bearers.

10. RUDDER AND STEERING - moisture ingress, splits, security, top and bottom bushes, rudder tube, corrosion, wire type and condition, emergency arrangements.

11. STERNGEAR - prop nut security, P-bracket security, shaft condition, coupling and prop security to coupling, cutlass bearing, rope cutter, trim tabs, sterndrive, saildrive.

12. CATHODIC PROTECTION - anode type and condition, continuity, electroisolator.

13. SKIN FITTINGS - hammer, operate, test security, fixing bolts, hoseclips, siphon breaks, emergency plugs.

14. MAIN COMPANIONWAY and accesses to accommodation - security and condition, ability to secure from below, Downflooding height, gaskets, hinges, leaks, cracking.

15. PORTS AND WINDOWS - security, panel strength, metal frame corrosion, gasket condition, crazing.

16. PULPIT, PUSHPIT, STANCHIONS, GUARDRAILS, JACKSTAYS - security, lashings, weld fractures, attachment points.

17. RIGGING ATTACHMENT POINTS - security with crowbar, articulation, corrosion, stress dissipation.

18. GROUND TACKLE AND MOORING ARRANGEMENTS - suitability, shackles, swivels, chain, snubber, windlass, anchor stowage, cleats, bollard, warps, fenders.

19. OTHER DECK GEAR AND FITTINGS - tracks, cars, jammers, winches, security, wear.

20. DAVITS AND BOARDING LADDER - security, extension below waterline, stress cracking.

21. SPARS - corrosion, anodising, extrusion, column, boom, spinnaker and jockey poles, chocs.

22. STANDING RIGGING - condition, corrosion, swages, terminals, toggles, talurits, pins, shackles, security.

23. RUNNING RIGGING - condition, completeness, kicker.

24. SAILS AND COVERS - sample, stitching, UV strip, inventory.

25. NAV LIGHTS - compliance, operation, compass light, radar reflector.

26. BILGE PUMPING - adequacy, condition, strum box, siphon break, float switch operation.

27. FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT - adequacy, type, condition, fire blanket, expiry dates.

28. LIFE-SAVING APPLIANCES - adequacy, expiry dates, condition, pressure.

29. ENGINE - beds, bearers, installation, mounts, engine hours, access, leaks, hoseclips and belts, exhaust system, chafe, siphon break, waterlock, oil condition and level, cooling system, air intake, blower, controls and indicators.

30. FUEL SYSTEM - material, security, pipework and hoses, fill, shut-off valve, filters, generator.

31. ACCOMMODATION AND ON-BOARD SYSTEMS - general condition, linings, furniture, upholstery, ventilation.

32. GAS INSTALLATION - storage, drainage, low-pressure circuit, high-pressure circuit, regulator, tubing support, flues, gas alarm, isolating tap.

33. FRESH WATER TANKS AND DELIVERY - tank material, hoseclips, pumps, operation, fill, calorifier, grey water tanks.

34. HEADS - holding tank, hoses, siphon breaks.

35. ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION - batteries voltage and condition, security, DC circuit condition and protection, AC circuit condition and protection/fuses, RCD, galvanic isolator, sockets.

36. ELECTRONICS AND NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT - operation, magnetic compass, infantry.

37. HEATING AND REFRIGERATION - flue, condition, ventilation.

38. DINGHY AND OUTBOARD - named, serial number, condition, type, kill cord.