James Sanborn Sr., SAMS® AMS® | Principal Marine Surveyor


Role of the Surveyor

The surveyor works exclusively for the person requesting the survey. The surveyor provides a comprehensive evaluation of the vessel and a list of findings and recommendations for deficiencies noted.

Surveys are confidential and no information will be released to anyone other than the client . In most cases, the written survey report will be completed within three (3) business days after the physical survey inspection. You will be assured prompt service, a detailed inspection, plus a clear and understandable report with color photos of key areas related to the survey.

Once you retain a surveyor, he/she works only for you and reports to no one else.

The surveyor is there to protect your interest!

Pre-Purchase Survey

This is the most comprehensive type of inspection and is strongly advised before agreeing to purchase any New or Used vessel. Many Insurance companies will normally not provide Boat Insurance without a current marine survey. Many clients also request a Pre-Purchase Condition & Value survey when they want to sell their boat so they can find and correct any known problems before listing the vessel for sale. The condition and overall operation of the entire vessel is thoroughly inspected including such items as structural integrity including the bottom and underwater machinery (if hauled), the superstructure, electrical systems, propulsion and fuel systems, steering, navigation and miscellaneous on-board systems like generators and air conditioning units, electronics, safety gear and interior portions accessed in a non-destructive manner. Moisture and/or delamination checks are made on the vessels hull, top deck and stringers.

The final report will reference compliance with United States Code of Federal Regulations, US Coast Guard, American Boat and Yacht Council and National Fire Protection Association standards. All recommendations are clearly defined. Fair market value, replacement cost and general remarks regarding the overall condition of the vessel are always included.

NOTE: It should be noted that it is highly recommended that the vessel be hauled out for complete bottom and underwater machinery inspection. The haul out yard charges are separate and not a part of the survey fees.

Condition and Value Survey

Condition & Value survey is for current owners who have changed Insurance Companies or have been requested by their Insurance Co to obtain a current Marine Survey. This inspection is necessary for the insurance company to determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in parts of the vessel related to structural integrity, safety and suitability for its intended use. High-risk systems related to fuel, ventilation, exhaust, and steering are some examples of inspected areas. Electronics are noted with serial no’s if available but are not tested for insurance surveys. A sea trial normally is not required and the report is very similar to the pre-purchase survey. Most insurance companies require a survey on older boats and will also want to know the vessels fair market value and replacement cost.

You should check with your insurance company as many insurance companies will request a haul out to have the bottom and underwater machinery inspected. The haul out yard charges are separate and not a part of the survey fees.

This type of survey should not be misconstrued as being a more detailed buyer’s pre-purchase condition survey and is not intended to be assumed as such.

Appraisal Survey

An appraisal is 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. The equipment on board, general maintenance, overall condition, same vessel selling prices and the current economy are all considered when determining the fair market value.

Pre-Survey Inspection

This inspection is not a marine survey as such, but is simply a quick look at a vessel for a potential buyer who is located a long way from the boat. The purpose of the inspection is to determine if the vessel is as advertised and described by the seller/broker.

There is no written survey report, but the surveyor will report verbally to the purchaser his general impressions of the vessel and forward a number of digital pictures so the purchaser can decide if the boat is worth his time to travel to see it.

The cost of this service is nominal, usually about $100.00 plus travel time if applicable. This $100.00 fee will be subtracted from the survey fee (for the same vessel) if indeed a proper survey is performed at a later time.

Oil Sample Analysis

Includes engine start and warm-up or following the sea trial costs $75 for the 1st engine- then $50 for subsequent engine(s)/transmissions. Boat owner or representative must be present to prepare and start engine(s).

Engine Surveys

We recommend North Atlantic Marine Services for engine surveys. They also teach classes in repair.

Damage Survey

A damage survey is usually performed for an Insurance Company or a owner, to assess the extent of damage to the vessel, recommend repairs, assess estimated repair costs and if requested, the probable cause.

Fuel Polishing

Are You Aware?

  • In the Northeast, a typical winter will cause untreated diesel fuel to slush up and render it useless when you need it the most.
  • Statistics show over 80% of diesel engine problems are from contaminated fuel.
  • A single drop of water finding its way into an injector can blow the tip off.
  • No matter how meticulous about fuel you are, dirt, water, and microbes will accumulate at the bottom of the tank.
  • Today’s diesel fuel can degrade as much as 20% in a month.
  • Diesel fuel readily absorbs water.
  • Water and heat in the fuel causes algae and microbe growth, resulting in sedimentation of the tank.
  • Fuel polishing and treatment needs to be part of your regular scheduled maintenance program.
  • Adding the proper fuel additives can extend filter change intervals, reduce the chance of engine shutdown, control water, rustproof the fuel system, and prevent microbial growth and sediment buildup in your fuel tanks.

Would You like to know more?

Our fuel technician is available for consults, one-time and regular service plans are available. Please call or e-mail any time for more information.

Contact Us

Jim’s Marine Survey
122 White Oak Trail
Centerville, Massachusetts 02632

James M. Sanborn, SAMS® AMS®
Principal Marine Surveyor

Cell: 508-737-4420
Fax: 508-778-0784

Email: jimsms8@gmail.com

Jim’s Marine Survey performs marine surveys in cities and towns of Cape Cod.