Survey Preparation and Limitations

In order to be able to undertake a thorough survey, it is necessary to prepare the boat.

Personal Effects

We do not move personal effects, or equipment from lockers. Therefore please ensure that the boat is as clear from personal effects as is possible before the survey. Particularly when large and heavy items are found, these will not be moved. Clothing will not be moved. In essence a clear and tidy boat will ensure that as much can be surveyed as possible.

Panels Sole Boards and Carpets

We will not remove stuck down carpet or remove panels or sole boards which need tools to remove. If you want us to inspect behind any of these, then please have them opened up prior to the survey.


Flat batteries are also an area which commonly causes limitations on what can be achieved in the survey. If the batteries are flat, even with a shore power charger running the likelihood will be that some of the electrical systems cannot be tested.

Lift and Hold

One hour lift and hold surveys will limit what can be seen of the hull, It is just possible to inspect the hull of a vessel less that 36ft in that time, but any problems that are found, particularly on the upper end of the size limit will extend the time needed. For boats over 36ft then longer times will need to be arranged with the boat yards. Some yards are very accommodating, but others will want more money to leave the boat in the slings for longer.

If just taken out of the water the moisture meter readings cannot be relied upon a the hull and paint will hold onto the moisture and result in raised readings. For boats with an epoxy coating it can take around 3 weeks for the moisture meter readings to settle. It will take at least several hours moisture meter readings for a boat painted with just anti-fouling paint to settle down to the underlying levels.


Something you will not have control over is rain and humidity. Note that if the ambient humidity is high moisture meter readings are likely to be unreliable. Significant rain on deck will indicate that the deck surface is wet – rather than determining the condition of the core. We will do our best to dry the areas being tested, but often this will become a limitation of the survey.

When it is cold we will not venture onto icy decks, particularly on small sports boats which are designed to shed surveyors overboard when slippy. This is purely a health and safety issue.