Investing in a boat of any kind, whether new or even used can be an expensive purchase. After you’ve shopped around and found the boat that takes our fancy, the next step is to give the vehicle a proper check and consider all the important things to look for when inspecting/surveying a boat. This should eventually be done by qualified marine surveyor just before you make the purchase.
You should give as much importance to the hull and deck as well as the onboard systems. The general appearance and condition of the boat needs to be looked at for any dents or scrapes. Also check out how the boat was housed as this can be a good indicator of its general maintenance as well. Dents and scrapes can be fixed, but will affect the price of the boat.
Water tends to seep into the rudder with minor cracks, so ensuring the rudder is in decent condition is also important. This is because the water that enters the interior will eventually freeze and melt, causing the swelling to fracture the fibreglass. This impacts the rudder and must be repaired. A certain type of steel is often used in the rudder, but this can also cause rusting.
The deck should be checked for any soft areas. This may sound basic, but it is one of the important things to look for when inspecting/surveying a boat. The reason for this is that the deck could possibly have soaked up water which would have caused the deck to lose its strength. An extremely basic initial check is by way of dropping a screwdriver on the deck handle side down from as high as only one inch. If the screwdriver bounces on the handle, the deck looks like it’s in a good condition. If however, it doesn’t bounce, then it’s a sure sign that the deck area is in need of repair work.
While you’re checking the deck, it’s important to inspect the chain plates. If the chain plates go through the deck, take a look at the fibreglass around them. It should be smooth without any cracks. A raise or slight bump by the chain plates is a sign that the chain plates are moving. To ensure the chain plates are firmly secured, the bulkhead and structural member will need to be checked out as that is what secures the chain plate below decks.
Before the Marine Surveyor is called in, the last of the important things to look for when inspecting/surveying a boat is to check the bulkheads and partitions for movement. In fibreglass boats, bulkheads are usually held together by fillets, which is a form of fibreglass tape. If you see that the fibreglass has separated anywhere, then the boat could well be damaged.