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The Boat Insurance Survey (for your information)


Typically a Boat Insurance Survey is used for Insurance or Financing purposes. This type of marine survey, which is sometimes called a condition and value survey, is not as comprehensive as the Pre-Purchase marine survey and focuses on the overall condition and value as well as the safety aspects of the boat or yacht. Most often during the Boat Insurance Survey a marine surveyor will examine* the boat or yacht in a static non-operating condition to determine the general overall condition.  The survey report will contain a summary statement and an estimate of the present Fair Market Value.  


Occasionally your insurance company may ask the marine surveyor to perform a Loss Prevention Survey on your vessel which is similar to the survey above but in this case the surveyor is working directly for the insurance company.


A Boat Insurance Survey sometimes does not include any examination of wetted surfaces and underwater machinery nor does it include a sea trial.  Sometimes, the engines and generator will not be operated. If the insurance company specifies that a hauled survey is required to inspect the underwater surfaces please notify the surveyor in advance so that arrangements can be discussed.


The overall condition of the vessel is usually determined using the marine grading system of condition as developed by BUC Research.  This condition rating will then be used with other factors to determine the overall Fair Market Value of the boat or yacht on the date of the marine survey.


The “Fair Market Value” is the most probable price in terms of money which a vessel should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus.



The following is the accepted marine grading system of condition:

“Excellent (Bristol) Condition” is a vessel that is maintained in mint or Bristol fashion – usually better that factory new - loaded with extras – a rarity.

“Above Average Condition” has had above average care and is equipped with extra electrical and electronic gear.

“Average Condition” is ready for sale requiring no additional work and normally equipped for her size.

“Fair Condition” requires usual maintenance to prepare for sale.

“Poor Condition” substantial yard work is required and devoid of extras.

  “Restorable Condition” enough of the hull and engine exists to restore the boat to useable condition.


*Note:  The marine surveyor will examine the boat or yacht using American Boat and Yacht Council Standards and the Code of Federal Regulations as guidelines without removing any paneling, planking, fittings and without opening up to expose parts normally concealed and without any destructive testing of any kind.