Ramrod Key Key West Marine Surveyor
Marine Surveys in the Florida Keys Since 2004
Key West, Florida

Captain David E. Ghidoni, SAMS® AMS®,
Principal Marine Surveyor
305-797-4325


FAQ's Concerning a Boat Survey

SELECTING A SURVEYOR
Premier marine surveyors are permitted to use a designation denoting membership in accrediting organizations requiring members to meet and adhere to strict professional, technical and ethical standards. Captain David Ghidoni has met all of those requirements. Accredited through SAMS , The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, and using the ABYC, NFPA, USCG standards for surveys, you will be provided with a survey accepted by both lenders and insurance companies. Your inspection will be thorough and provide you with detailed information regarding condition, performance and value of your vessel.

WHY SHOULD YOU PURCHASE A SURVEY?
In order to purchase insurance, most companies require proof of fair market value and current condition. A survey will provide you with this necessary information. The same can be said if financing is involved. A survey will provide the lender with the appraisal they need to approve the loan. Perhaps however, more important than both the lender and insurance company, a survey will provide you the purchaser, with an in depth look at the condition, both interior and exterior, and mechanical so you have the ability to make a decision that is best for you. It has been said that a survey is the most cost effective insurance policy you can buy if it prevents you from purchasing someone else's problem.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A SURVEY
The surveyor does not prepare the vessel for a survey. That will be the responsibility of the owner/purchaser. The vessel should be clean and free of any debris or clutter so that a clear look at the structure is possible. If a 'bottom inspection' has been requested, the owner will need to make arrangements with a boatyard to have the vessel hauled out of the water. The bottom should be cleaned so any defects are visible. When a 'sea trial' has been ordered, it is the responsibility of the owner to retain a captain for operation during the survey. The surveyor cannot run the boat while inspecting it. All of these things need to be coordinated prior to the inspection date and all parties informed in order to ensure a smooth and thorough survey.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT
The party ordering the survey is responsible for payment which is required prior to the survey commencing. The 'haul out' and captain's fee are also the responsibility of the person requesting the survey. These arrangements need to be made and confirmed between the owner/buyer prior to the inspection date.

HOW LONG DOES A SURVEY TAKE
Each survey is unique and there are many variables involved such as location, size of the vessel, condition and a host of others. Generally the inspection portion is completed in hours with minimal inconvenience to either party. This is a question for the surveyor during the initial consultation.

HOW THE PROPULSION PACKAGE IS SURVEYED
Typically putting a boat through a sea trial and visual inspection will be enough for most surveys. Belts, hoses, mounts, stringers, pumps and overall condition will be assessed however we are not engine surveyors. If an engine survey is requested it will be up to the person requesting the survey to hire a qualified technician certified by the specific engine manufacturer. They will bring proprietary tools and knowledge to the survey that most surveyors may not have. Specialized compression testing tools needed to conduct tests on various types of motors are usually not part of a surveyors toolbox. We do offer oil sample spectro-analysis at a reasonable price and those results are usually available next day. These oil tests can speak volumes about the condition of a motor or gear.

DO I NEED A SEA TRIAL
If you are requesting a survey for a boat which you already own, you may not need a sea trial. If you are purchasing a boat it is highly recommended a sea trial be conducted. During a sea trial the motors will be asked to perform under varying conditions. Typically back down tests, wide open throttle tests, control tests and function of all engine monitoring systems will be conducted. Much information about the condition and maintenance can be learned during a thorough sea trial. Highly recommended.

WHAT ABOUT TRAVEL EXPENSES
We are based in Key West however we will provide both national and international services. Normally we will split travel costs with our clients depending on distance and time required. This should be discussed during the initial consultation.




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