Pre-purchase survey
Pre-purchase survey

Pre-purchase surveys and sea trials

Compass Marine Yacht Surveys offers a range of services including comprehensive pre-purchase surveys. We survey yachts with hullls made from GRP, FRP, steel, aluminium or wood.


Our pre-purchase surveys include:

  • a thorough inspection of all accessible parts of the yacht
  • detailed report on the current condition of the yacht
  • advice on any specialist investigations required
  • a summary of any repairs or maintenance work needed (ranked according to their urgency)


The areas of the yacht inspected (and structure of a report) can be seen here.


A full rigging survey is included for no additional charge if the mast is unstepped and laid out so it is accessible for inspection (if the mast is stepped, we can only inspect to head-height and are unable to fully inspect for damaged wire).


For steel hulls we complete an ultrasonic thickness survey using an ultrasonic thickness gauge and dye penetrant testing when necessary.


We also have the means to test for duplex steel and low grade stainless steel (eg a propeller shaft).


We are qualified to complete surveys of wooden boats.


We want to maximise the usefulness of your survey. To achieve this we do the following:

  • discuss all aspects of your yachting plans to ensure our survey is tailored to your needs 
  • take steps before the survey to maximise access to all necessary parts of the yacht and so minimise the number of times we have to say we could not inspect a certain part because we could not gain access
  • offer you additional survey options see below
  • use a range of tools and non-destructive testing equipment to maximise the amount of useful factual information contained in the report and minimise the need for speculation
  • avoid highly technical language
  • use a balanced and practical approach to any defects found and their repair
  • spend time assessing the cause or causes of defects to help you stop it from recurring
  • inform you of minor defects that might get worse in the future
  • rank defects according to the urgency of their repair
  • discuss the report with you on the phone


The cost of a pre-purchase survey and other services and options can be seen here. If the vendor of your new boat has had one of our pre-sale suveys, we can convert the results to a full-pre-purchase survey after a second visit and a new report for a modest additional fee.


Alongside the main survey we offer the following additional options:

  • Valuation a balanced opinion on the market value of the yacht
  • Oil Analaysis an engine oil analysis (useful if it has been done previously or will be repeated)
  • Sea trial

Sea trials provide useful additional information, especially about the engine, sails and rigging and if the boat has been stored ashore, inspecting her while afloat will also provide useful information.


If you'd like more detailed information, to discuss your requirements or book a survey please contact us +44 (0)7714 340 487  or

Split rudder blade The rudder is parting, very wet and the top and bottom bearings are badly worn.
marine surveyor, brighton Exhaust looks OK from here. But not from here (below).
marine surveyor, brighton The keel has hit something and the hull is cracked at both the fore and aft end of the keel.
Survey Najad yacht Hamble Point Marina Najad 390 loaded for transport
Survey of aluminium yacht Allure 44 Isle of Wight - Aluminium and GRP
Survey on Oyster 55 Oyster 55, Brighton Marina
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