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What is a Pre Purchase Survey

In Water - Out of Water - Sea Trial

A pre-purchase survey is broken down into three areas. Most surveys start in the water with the vessel afloat. It will enable the systems to be reviewed, such as shore power or the hydraulic bathing platform, the windlass to be operated and the mast to be scaled. If the boat is ashore, the two sections start to combine as the out of water sections or wetted areas can also be inspected simultaneously. 

Once the in-water section has taken place the focus shifts to the out of the water section. The vessel would normally have to travel to a yard to be lifted for inspection and therefore a sea trial could be concluded on route. As the majority of operating systems are covered by the first two stages, traditionally the sea trial is the last stage of the preoceedings.

What's the aim of a sea trial?

A sea trial is to ensure that the mechanical side can perform to its intended range under power. A performance trial. It is also to ensure as with a sailboat, it can sail!

Usually, if no other discrepancies have arisen from the first two parts of the survey, this is the final stage but yet there are still items to be tested at sea. 

What if the vessel is ashore?

The survey will still go ahead, but you can postpone a sea trial until the report has been finalized. Ask the broker for the best plan of attack but remember that you do hold all the cards which should always be played to your favor. 

Can I start in any order?

Yes is the answer, but we do what we do in a certain order for a reason. It is your survey. Out of water some times comes first to evaluate the overall hull condition. Clients who recognize that osmosis can occur and do not want to own a vessel with osmotic blisters may make this the primary objective.

Others may make their priority the functionality of the interior.

At any stage, the survey can be stopped. The deal can we nullified for reasons un-given and you can walk away.

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