Surveyor -  C. David Sandford SAMSŪ AMSŪ

991 Ridgemount Blvd. Oshawa Ontario L1K2K7

    Phone: 905-449-2176


              Condition and Valuation Surveys for Pre-Purchase and Insurance - Consultations - Appraisals - Accident Investigations - Underwater Accident Investigations and Salvage Supervision       



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Performing Your Own Mini Survey

        Ok so you have found your next potential "dream boat". What should you do next? Even before your initial personal inspection you should educate yourself on the history of the vessel in question and  look into the history of the manufacturer. The Internet is a very good source of information from manufacturer's web sites to owner's groups. This type of research could lead you to potential problem areas that you should pay close attention to on you initial inspection. 

      On the initial inspection in addition to a thorough visual examination of the vessel, it's equipment and systems be sure to watch closely for any evidence of water leaks at relevant areas. These include all hatches and ports, hull to deck joint (where accessible) and deck fittings. Fresh water incursions will leave identifiable stains. The picture below shows an example of leaking port lights in a vessels cabin. It also shows the result of a previous bad repair.

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    Open the engine compartment. Observe the general condition of the power plant. Is it clean? Are there any apparent fluid leaks, worn cables, hoses etc? The presence of oil or rust on the exterior surfaces usually indicate poor maintenance.

      Walk on the deck and cabin top. Look for signs of gel coat cracking or bubbles. As you walk feel for movement or soft spots that could indicate problems such as water migration into the fiberglass laminate and core. The picture below shows an extreme example of gel coat cracking and the deck also showed high moisture content in that area.

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      Look for unrepaired holes etc, in the deck. These are areas that can allow water intrusion into the deck laminate and cause structural deterioration. The picture below shows an example and the resulting high moisture readings on the moisture meter.

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If the vessel is on the hard this is a good opportunity to examine the hull both above and below the waterline.

       Above the waterline look for nicks and abrasions in the gelcoat. if any are found they may be good clues to the vessel's previous care and usage.

       Below the waterline check the condition of the anti-fouling paint. Excessive build up will show flaking and if it has reached this stage stripping and re-coating may be necessary. This may be a good time to consider Barrier Coating. The pictures below show examples of excessive bottom coat build up.

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      Also look for any evidence of gelcoat blistering. Blisters appear as protruding bumps in the gelcoat surface. They can range in size from as small as 4-6 mm in diameter to 50-100 mm and larger. If evidence of blistering is seen then its probably time to consult with a professional surveyor for advise. The pictures below show examples of gelcoat bistering.



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