UK Yacht Surveyors is experienced in surveying sailing, motor, commercial and canal boats of all materials except ferrocement (which can be arranged), up to 200GT. This includes wood (classic and modern), FRP/GRP, composite, aluminium and steel.


This is a thorough investigation into every aspect of the vessel using the latest non-destructive testing techniques with the vessel ashore. A detailed report is presented within 48 hours of the survey which includes practical recommendations for correcting items found that affect seaworthiness and insurability, as well as further suggestions for improving vessel condition.

The Scope of Work for a Pre-Purchase Survey follows the BMSE Extended Checklist. BMSE is an organisation of surveyors that have graduated from the world-renowned Small Craft and Practical Surveying course at the International Boatbuilding and Training College, Lowestoft. For sample Pre-Purchase Surveys by UK Yacht Surveyors click on the following links: Motorboat PPS, Sailing Boat PPS.

The survey report forms the basis for acceptance or rejection of the vessel. Most commonly the vendor will adjust the purchase price to take into account defects found.

The investigation covers the following:

1. VESSEL DETAILS - RCD compliance, CE plate.

2. KEEL - keelstuds and backing plates, keel reinforcing webs and frames, deflections, condition, damage, weeps/stains.

3. HULL BELOW WATERLINE - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking.

4. TOPSIDES - damage, cracking, distortion, type of construction, voids, delamination, rubbing strake.

5. DECK MOULDING - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking.

6. COACHROOF - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking, damage/cracking near load-bearing fittings, mast step, handrails, ports and windows.

7. COCKPIT - type of construction, moisture readings and related defects, voids/delamination, stress cracking, damage/cracking near load-bearing fittings, sole boards, drainage arrangements, lockers and hatches for security and seals, wheel pedestal.

8. HULL/DECK JOINT - type, security, fastenings.

9. BULKHEADS AND STRUCTURAL STIFFENING - frames, floors and stringers, bonding, cracking, mast compression, engine bearers.

10. RUDDER AND STEERING - moisture ingress, splits, security, top and bottom bushes, rudder tube, corrosion, wire type and condition, emergency arrangements.

11. STERNGEAR - prop nut security, P-bracket security, shaft condition, coupling and prop security to coupling, cutlass bearing, rope cutter, trim tabs, sterndrive, saildrive.

12. CATHODIC PROTECTION - anode type and condition, continuity, electroisolator.

13. SKIN FITTINGS - hammer, operate, test security, fixing bolts, hoseclips, siphon breaks, emergency plugs.

14. MAIN COMPANIONWAY and accesses to accommodation - security and condition, ability to secure from below, Downflooding height, gaskets, hinges, leaks, cracking.

15. PORTS AND WINDOWS - security, panel strength, metal frame corrosion, gasket condition, crazing.

16. PULPIT, PUSHPIT, STANCHIONS, GUARDRAILS, JACKSTAYS - security, lashings, weld fractures, attachment points.

17. RIGGING ATTACHMENT POINTS - security with crowbar, articulation, corrosion, stress dissipation.

18. GROUND TACKLE AND MOORING ARRANGEMENTS - suitability, shackles, swivels, chain, snubber, windlass, anchor stowage, cleats, bollard, warps, fenders.

19. OTHER DECK GEAR AND FITTINGS - tracks, cars, jammers, winches, security, wear.

20. DAVITS AND BOARDING LADDER - security, extension below waterline, stress cracking.

21. SPARS - corrosion, anodising, extrusion, column, boom, spinnaker and jockey poles, chocs.

22. STANDING RIGGING - condition, corrosion, swages, terminals, toggles, talurits, pins, shackles, security.

23. RUNNING RIGGING - condition, completeness, kicker.

24. SAILS AND COVERS - sample, stitching, UV strip, inventory.

25. NAV LIGHTS - compliance, operation, compass light, radar reflector.

26. BILGE PUMPING - adequacy, condition, strum box, siphon break, float switch operation.

27. FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT - adequacy, type, condition, fire blanket, expiry dates.

28. LIFE-SAVING APPLIANCES - adequacy, expiry dates, condition, pressure.

29. ENGINE - beds, bearers, installation, mounts, engine hours, access, leaks, hoseclips and belts, exhaust system, chafe, siphon break, waterlock, oil condition and level, cooling system, air intake, blower, controls and indicators.

30. FUEL SYSTEM - material, security, pipework and hoses, fill, shut-off valve, filters, generator.

31. ACCOMMODATION AND ON-BOARD SYSTEMS - general condition, linings, furniture, upholstery, ventilation.

32. GAS INSTALLATION - storage, drainage, low-pressure circuit, high-pressure circuit, regulator, tubing support, flues, gas alarm, isolating tap.

33. FRESH WATER TANKS AND DELIVERY - tank material, hoseclips, pumps, operation, fill, calorifier, grey water tanks.

34. HEADS - holding tank, hoses, siphon breaks.

35. ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION - batteries voltage and condition, security, DC circuit condition and protection, AC circuit condition and protection/fuses, RCD, galvanic isolator, sockets.

36. ELECTRONICS AND NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT - operation, magnetic compass, infantry.

37. HEATING AND REFRIGERATION - flue, condition, ventilation.

38. DINGHY AND OUTBOARD - named, serial number, condition, type, kill cord.


This is commissioned separately by the seller to the same scope and format as the Pre-Purchase survey. The purpose is to identify defects and give the seller the opportunity to either remedy or disclose them to the buyer. This can help avoid costly price reductions as a result of the buyer's survey. The survey requires the vessel to be ashore.


The MCA requires all small vessels (up to 24 m) operating commercially to comply with the Small Commercial Vessel Code. This is known as MCA Coding and must be carried out by an authorised surveyor on behalf of a Certifying Authority. UK Yacht Surveyors is authorised by the YDSA and MECAL Certifying Authorities to conduct these surveys.

It is quite simple to transfer between Certifying Authorities; please use the contact form to contact us and we can make all the necessary arrangements for your Coding Survey.


These are designed to assess the structural integrity of the vessel including the hull and deck, keel, steering system , stern gear, skin fittings and sea valves. It should be noted that this does not include on board systems and is less thorough than a Pre-Purchase survey.


Most insurance companies require the owner to commission a survey prior to renewing a policy once a vessel is 20 years old, and then at five yearly intervals. Check the small print!


Most new vessels have defects. An Acceptance Survey will identify these prior to delivery, reducing costs and hassle associated with post-delivery warranty items.


This is commissioned by the insurance company following damage to the vessel.


A limited inspection to provide a value, often required by insurance and finance companies.


We can save our clients time and money by interpreting ideas and shortlisting vessels, carrying out Preliminary Surveys and assisting in all aspects of purchase and ownership.


This is required for British Part 1 Registration and is a calculation based on measurements taken.


We undertake yacht deliveries around Europe and further afield using qualified and experienced staff. Our aim is always to deliver the yacht in a better condition than when setting off by meticulous preparation, sailing conservatively, safeguarding the yacht and crew and attending to maintenance issues. Many of our skippers are also qualified surveyors and will hand over a condition report on completion of the passage. Our quotes include all provisioning and crew travel.

  • ‘I was stunned when I read your survey report. It is the best I have ever seen both in terms of content and presentation, at a completely different level to anything I have seen before and sets new standards for yacht surveyors’.
    - Paul Stevens, Fellow of YBDSA, Lead Instructor Practical Yacht Surveying Course IBTC Lowestoft, founding member of BMSE.
  • ‘The report is a masterpiece. A key feature is the clarity of the matters requiring immediate attention and those that are recommendations for the future. The whole report is succinct, detailed, and easy to refer back to because of the index and hyperlinking key sections’
    - Douglas Knowlden, Rival 41A owner.
  • ‘An example to us all…the hyperlink for recommendations and suggestions is brilliant… the appendices are very informative and completely relevant … you have gone more than the extra mile for your clients…’
    - Martin Evans, Fellow of YBDSA
  • ‘I have never seen a report like this before!! It is totally comprehensive and beyond what I was expecting’
    - Douglas Knowlden, Rival 41A owner.
  • 'A comprehensive and very timely report that gave me the overview I was looking for to make a decision on the purchase of my first boat with confidence and a solid basis for immediate repairs and future improvements. A very prompt and professional service.'
    - Steve Jones, BEng(Hons), MIET
  • ‘Jonathan produced the most thorough and professional survey report that I have seen. Every issue had a suggested solution, carefully thought through and categorised. A pleasure to deal with.’
    - Steve White, skipper Toe in the Water 2008/09 Vendée Globe
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