"I'm representing you and your boat to the insurance company,

so I don't normally comment on blemishes unless they distract from the value of the boat." ~ Brad Bolz

Review the following list to learn more about some of the most common deficiencies and frequent safety issues a marine surveyor finds while conducting an inspection.  

  • Fire Extinguishers need to be inspected and have a signed card.... even the hand held ones.  Hand held ones also need to be held in place by a marine style bracket.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors must power on.  I prefer that there are lithium battery operated detectors in addition to the built-in ones.  Manufacturers say to replace them every 7-10 years.
  • Smoke detectors are not required, but I will recommend installing them.
  • Flares must be current and up-to-date if on navigatable waters.
  • Batteries positive terminals must be covered to prevent accidental shorting which causes sparks near fuel fumes.  
  • Thru hull hoses should be sturdy and have 2 clamps on each end.  Manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every 10 - 20 years.  Since we can’t see inside the hose, where the action is at….. it’s a good idea to believe the manufacturer.
  • Wooden plugs should be available for the underwater thru hulls in the event the hoses break or come loose.
  • Blower hoses should be tied in place with their  ends open so the compartment air freshens and is without fuel fumes.
  • Trim tabs, prop shafts and rudders should have protection against galvanic corrosion and stray electric current.  Each water type has it's own metal that does the best job of protecting.... aluminum, magnesium or zinc.  Your mechanic will know which metal is best for the type of water your boat is in.
  • Hydraulic arms must be strong enough to hold up hatches.
  • Anchor rodes that are all chain bind you to the anchor no matter what.  Sometimes, anchors become stuck.  In a storm, you might not be able to get enough slack to unhook the chain from the eyelet.  I recommend the bitter end is rope so you could cut yourself away from the anchor using a serrated stainless steel knife. 
  • Waste systems with a Y valve that allow "poo" to be dumped directly overboard must be inoperable unless 3 miles off-shore. If your boat resides in an inland water way or lake, waste must be sent to a storage tank and pumped out.
  • No trash sign and No oil discharge sign must be displayed.
  • Navigation lights must power on and be bright enough to be seen for 2 miles.​

A MARINE SURVEYOR primarily looks for things that will cause your vessel


Established in 1964