Pre Purchase Yacht Survey Sail

Pre Purchase Yacht Survey

Full Condition Survey

A pre purchase yacht survey for sailing boats involves a close examination of everything that is accessible, and trying out the working items as far as is reasonable. It is a static and non-destructive inspection.

The scope covers, in bare outline:

  • The hull and deck structures and the connections between them.
  • The hull fittings, with particular attention to the ballast keel and its bolts, the steering gear and so on.
  • The deck fittings, where working items such as winches and windlasses are tried out to ensure they are in working order.
  • The interior joinery, furnishings, and linings.
  • Installed systems and equipment, where seacocks, hoses, and safety devices on electrical systems, are particularly examined. Electrical equipment is switch-tested. I do not test or certify gas systems, but will usually try them out and comment on any obvious defects.
  • The engine, gearbox, and stern-gear (or sail-drives). That includes all the tanks and engine-room ancillaries. I may start engines if I have permission, they are in-commission, and the circumstances allow.
  • The masts, spars and rigging are inspected from deck-level, or however they happen to be at the time. The safe working life of the standing rigging is considered in the industry to be about 10 to 12 years, but it does depend on its type and size, and some sets last safely for much longer. Stainless steel wire looks good almost to the end of its life, but there are tests and techniques that can be used to find out its state. I therefore sometimes recommend getting a competent rigger to make a specialist survey of the rigging.
  • The sails are inspected as far as conditions allow. If they are in bags, I will open them out if there is a clean space large enough to do so without risk of damaging them. If the sails are still on the spars when the yacht is ashore, they will not be unfurled for safety reasons. If it is afloat, the wind is settled and light, and the yacht is heading into it, they may be unfurled. Again, I advise getting a sail-maker’s report if conditions prevent me opening them out, particularly where the sails are of high value.


Partial Structural Survey

Unless the yacht is quite new, or you know it well, it is better to have a full survey. However, if you are content with a limited scope, I am prepared to survey only those areas which you specify. The cost is two-thirds that of the full survey. A partial structural survey would be limited to:

  • The Hull – exterior and interior surfaces and the attachment of the main reinforcement members only
  • The Hull Fittings – all external hull fittings, the keel bolts, and the steering gear
  • Decks – exterior and underside, and the hull to deck joint where accessible
  • Engine – just the engine mountings and the stern gland security.

To read more detail on the process for particular construction methods, please look at the pages on Materials.




Call 01929 480064 or email Anthony Byrde to discuss your own requirements further