Saturday, May 28, 2011

Buying a New Boat: Getting a Boat Survey and Mechanical Inspection

When we purchased our Bellingham boat from Geoff at Lake Union Sea Ray, we knew the seller and the maintenance records for the boat. Wayne and I trusted the boat we were purchasing was in good condition and free of any major defects. For that reason, and because our U.S. insurance carrier didn't require one, we opted not to get a boat survey.

With our new Bayliner 3058 Motoryacht, we didn't know the seller or the boat broker, and there were no maintenance records. For those reasons, and because our Canadian insurance carrier required one, we chose to get a boat survey.

Geoff also recommended that we get a mechanical inspection of the engines and legs to make sure they were in good operating order. The Foghorn (as in Foghorn Leghorn) has been moored in the fresh water of the Fraser river for several years, but before that it was in salt water and that can be quite corrosive.

Wayne and I met Geoff at the Skyline Marina in Richmond, BC, where the boat is moored. Geoff helped us find an independent survey company and mechanic. During the morning, both inspectors crawled all over the boat looking at the construction, systems, engines and condition. Then Geoff took us out to test the boat in action.

The final stage of the inspection was a haul out at the marina so both inspectors could see the bottom of the boat and the stern drives. The Skyline Marina has a 30 tone boatlift, so we used that. Now that was quite an experience. All I could think was, "Don't drop it!"

After both inspectors finished, they gave a verbal summary of their findings. The written reports followed two days later so we could make our final purchase decision. But the initial report was good.

Both inspections plus the haul out were a bit expensive, but the peace of mind it gave us with an unknown boat was worth it. You can bet when we get ready to sell our 2350 Bayliner it will come with a lot of records for the prospective buy to review. -- Margy


  1. Good ideas, Margy — getting the survey done, and then providing records for the next buyer.
    Looks like a nice boat, though!
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Wow, that is a lot of work, but as you said, well worth it. Oh what fun you will have on such a beautiful boat. Bet you and hubby can not wait to finally have it moored at your place. It's a beauty.

  3. Even with a survey, there are things that need to be repaired. At least we knew that the engines and legs were in good shape. Those would have been the most expensive to deal with. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy