Surveying Fiberglass Boats During the Winter Months

Surveying fiberglass boats during the winter months poses some difficult issues. When the ambient temperatures are below freezing any moisture contained in fiberglass structures, such as boat hulls and decks freezes as well. During the freezing process crystallization of the substance occurs adding small air pockets which make electronic moisture detection virtually impossible. Also because the substance is frozen it becomes very hard rendering percussive sounding tests useless as well. It is for these reasons that I do not recommend surveying of fiberglass boats when the ambient temperatures are below freezing. Any surveyor who claims that their inspections are valid under these circumstances is in my opinion simply not being truthful and should be seriously questioned.

Prepare Your Boat for a Survey Inspection

In preparing for a marine survey inspection be sure that your boat is clean and in shipshape condition. All cabinets, lockers and storage areas should be clean and cleared of all  gear. Consider the general appearance of the vessel. It is important to give the surveyor the impression that you are proud of your vessel and have taken good care of it.

    Have all paperwork and relevant documentation ready to present to the surveyor. This includes all ship’s registration papers and owner’s manuals for the vessel and all included equipment. Also be prepared to present to the surveyor any maintenance records which describe previous repairs and servicing with the dates in which these were performed. This can assist in inspiring a buyer’s confidence

     The vessel will have to be hauled for bottom inspection so be sure to pre-arrange this with your marina or yacht club.

    All gear and equipment included with the vessel should be made available to the surveyor for inspection and inventory. Any items not included should be removed.

    Written authorization will be required if the surveyor is required to dismantle the vessel in any way for access to components or systems.