Vessel Survey Q & A
A qualified Marine Surveyor can provide you a realistic indication of the condition, fair market value, and associated risks of a particular classed vessel. This becomes especially important upon transfer of ownership and is often required by most insurance companies and financial institutions in order to underwrite and/or finance a vessel. However, the most important reason for having your vessel surveyed is to ensure the safety and security of your crew and guests.
Anyone can title themselves a Marine Surveyor and start a business.
Surveyors should provide you with a professionally prepared report that can be accepted by your bank and/or insurance company. A thorough inspection of your vessel should not be rushed and could take several hours or days depending on the size, complexity (i.e. several main engines), and operation of the vessel.
Pre-purchase Survey: This is a comprehensive type of inspection and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and the overall operation of the vessel should be examined. This includes such items as structural integrity, out of water inspection, sea trial, electrical systems, propulsion system, fuel system, machinery, navigation, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, and overall maintenance.
Insurance Survey: This inspection is performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in structural integrity and safety for its intended use. Most insurance companies require a survey on older vessels. They also desire to know the fair market value of the vessel.
Appraisal Inspection: This survey is performed to gather enough information to justify or determine the fair market value of the vessel. This is normally needed for financing, estate settlements, donations, and legal cases.
Damage Inspection: This is performed to assess the extent of the damage, recommend repairs, estimate repair cost, and if requested, the probable cause.
Audio gauge testing: This is conducted to determine deterioration or “wastage” in aluminum and steel shell plating, structure/members, and tankage.
Arrange to present a clean, shipshape boat. Have all of the vessel documentation and miscellaneous gear (i.e. anchor line) ready for inspection. If applicable, you will need to make arrangements with the marina to haul the vessel for bottom inspection, and a captain for the sea trial. Lockers and cabin areas should be cleared of all miscellaneous gear. The surveyor should never be asked to prepare a boat for inspection. The surveyor may request minor dismantling of interior ceilings, headliners, flooring, etc. in order to gain access to suspected areas. Random inspection of fasteners on wood boats below the water line and chainplates on sailing vessels could be examined for condition.
Any dismantling and re-installation of these parts should be performed by qualified personnel, which is the responsibility of the person ordering the survey. Written authorization from you may be required to board and/or to remove any part of the vessel.
Offshore Marine Inspection:
Release & Indemnification:
The customer/client, for himself, herself, itself or themselves, their personal representatives, successors and assigns, now and forever release, waive and forever discharge the Releasee, his or her or their or its personal representatives, successors and assigns, of and from any and all manner of actions, causes of action, liability, including without limitation any liability arising out of the negligence or carelessness on the part of the Releasee, interest, late charges, attorneys' fees, and demands whatsoever in law or in equity, which the undersigned and his or her or its successors and assigns, heretofore ever had or now has or may have, on or by reason of their agreements and their business dealings specified below:
Business Dealing: Vessel Surveying & Inspection Services including Trial Runs.
Releasee: Jones Marine Surveyors and Consultants Inc. & Offshore Marine Group, LLC dba Offshore Marine Inspections.
Further, the customer/client shall hold harmless, defend, and indemnify the Releasees specified above who, through negligence or carelessness or otherwise might be liable to Releasor (or Releasor’s heirs, personal representatives or assigns) from and for any and all damages and claims, and all expenses, fees, and damages related thereto. The terms of this Release are contractual and not a mere recital.
Terms, Conditions, and Limitations:
Offshore Marine Group, Limited Liability Company (LLC) dba Offshore Marine Inspections (OMI), agrees to undertake the work requested by Customer only on the following terms and conditions which shall apply to all work done by Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor and all reports relating to such work:
EXPENSES: In addition to the fees set forth and agreed upon by the Customer. Customer shall pay all costs, including but not limited to travel, hotel, meals, telephone/fax relating to work requested.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES: Any additional work requested or authorized by Customer, either verbally or in writing, or any work is undertaken prior to the execution of this work order shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this work agreement. In addition to the fees set forth and agreed upon verbally or in writing. The customer shall pay OMI for all additional work performed beyond that work initially requested at OMI’s normal hourly rate.
PAYMENTS AND INTERESTS: Payment of all fees, expenses, and additional services shall be due upon demand by OMI. All payments, if unpaid when due, shall bear interest at the rate of 10.5% per month from the due date until paid in full.
LIEN: If the work requested involves a vessel, the Customer grants OMI or the individual Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor a lien (including a maritime lien) on the vessel and its equipment involved in this agreement until the fees and expenses under this agreement have been fully paid. OMI shall retain all other legal rights he/she may have, whether provincial or federal until the fees and expenses have been paid. Customer, including the vessel, and/or the person directly contracting OMI for this work remains separately responsible for the charges until fully paid. The person(s) ordering this inspection warrants that he has authority to bind all such parties to these fees and expenses.
TERMINATION: Customer may terminate the work requested upon giving written notice to OMI. Customer shall pay OMI for all work performed, at OMI’s normal hourly rate, and all expenses incurred prior to termination including any travel expenses necessary for Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor to return to his office.
REPORT: Any report, notes, or writings issued by OMI regarding the work or inspections requested shall be subject to these terms and conditions.
OPINIONS: Any oral or written report given by OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor in connection with the work requested constitutes only statements of opinions and are not to be construed or considered as representations, warranties, or guarantees. Additionally, Surveyor disclaims any expertise regarding insurance coverage or insurance policy conditions and terms. Any oral and written statements made by Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor are not to be construed or considered by Customer as in any way bearing on the existence or non-existence of insurance coverage.
BEST EFFORTS: OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor will use the skill and care practiced by professional marine Inspectors/Thermographers/Surveyors to perform the work requested and to commence said services on the date specified. The work requested will be performed with that skill and care: however, OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor make no promise or representations as to when the work will be completed.
LIMITED LIABILITY: Surveyor shall not be liable to Customer for any claim, loss, cost, penalty, or damages of whatsoever kind or nature arising out of, in connection with, or incident to the work requested, except that as may be caused by the direct and sole negligence of OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor. OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor shall not be liable in any event unless written notice of a claim relating to the requested work is received not later than three months from the date of the inspection and if OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor declines or denies liability unless suit is brought with one year of the date of this agreement. OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor DISCLAIMS THE MAKING OF ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, OTHER THAN IS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 8 OF THIS AGREEMENT. THERE ARE AND SHALL BE NO LIABILITIES FOR BREACH OF ANY WARRANTIES (WHETHER OF WORKMAN-LIKE SERVICE, OF MERCHANT-ABILITY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR OTHERWISE). AS NO SUCH WARRANTIES EXIST AND THE CUSTOMER HAS RELIED ON NO SUCH WARRANTIES. OMI AND THE INSPECTOR/THERMOGRAPHER/SURVEYOR SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY ON ANY BASIS OTHER THAN A FAILURE TO USE THE DEGREE OF SKILL AND CARE PRACTICED BY PROFESSIONAL MARINE SURVEYORS. OMI and the individual Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor’s liability for each incident or series of incidents giving rise to a claim or claims shall never exceed a sum calculated on the basis of two times OMI’s and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor's charges.
INDEMNITY: Customer agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Surveyor, officers, agents, and employees, from and against any and all suits, claims, actions, losses, costs, penalties, and damages of whatsoever kind and nature and asserted by third parties or strangers to this contract in any fashion arising out of or in connection with the work requested by this work order.
NOTICE, CLAIM, TIME LIMITS FOR SUIT: Should Customer fail to give written notice of any claim within three months of the date of this instrument, or, having given timely written notice, then fails to commence suit within one year of the date of this instrument, then OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor is discharged forever from all liability to Customer for any basis.
ENTIRE AGREEMENT: This work agreement constitutes the complete agreement between OMI and the Inspector/Thermographer/Surveyor and Customer, and may not be modified or altered except by further written agreement, signed by both parties. The use of any report, letter, email, or verbal consultation acknowledges agreement with this Disclaimer, the Terms, Conditions, and Limitations, and Release & Indemnification which are posted at https://www.offshorenola.com.
Jones Marine Surveyors & Consultants, Incorporated:
Terms, Conditions, and Limitations:
The surveyor(s) and all employees of Jones Marine Surveyors & Consultants, Incorporated (Inc.) will exercise reasonable care in conducting a visual inspection of the vessel. All details and particulars in the report or letter are believed to be true but are not guaranteed accurate. All judgments, conclusions, and recommendations are expressions of opinion based upon skill, training, and experience after a routine examination of the vessel. No part of the report, letter, or verbal consultation will be issued as an expressed or implied warranty of the condition of the vessel, of the value of the vessel, or of the cost of any repairs. Unless specifically stated otherwise in the report or letter, the surveyor(s) will not remove any fasteners, fixed structures, or equipment, and will not disassemble any part of the hull or machinery for inspection or testing; therefore, inspections do not cover latent defects not readily discovered without such removal or disassembly.
It must also be understood that many areas are not accessible for inspection and therefore defects may not be discovered. The attending surveyor(s) and any employees of Jones Marine Surveyors & Consultants, Inc. shall have no liability for consequential damages, no liability for personal injury damages, no liability of property loss or damages, and no liability for punitive damages, all of which shall be deemed to have been knowingly waived upon the use of any survey report, letter or verbal consultation. In no event shall the legal liability of Jones Marine Surveyors & Consultants, Inc. ever exceed the quoted amount paid by the requesting party for the issuance of a report, letter, or verbal consultation, regardless of whether under the theory of tort, contract, warranty, products, outrage, or otherwise. Use of any report, letter or verbal consultation acknowledges agreement with these Terms, Conditions, and Limitations.