Marine Surveys / Pre Purchase Survey

Our Marine Survey – Pre Purchase Survey is a comprehensive out-of-the-water inspection (see scope) and is recommended to protect your investment when purchasing any ocean sailing yacht, motor cruiser, sports boat, canal narrow boat or broads cruiser etc.  A pre purchase marine survey will almost certainly be required by your marine insurance company for older vessels, and in addition an insurance valuation may well be required.

A marine surveyor is a trained professional who acts as your eyes, ears and agent / adviser in any assessment, survey, contractual situation or accident investigation. He is someone who makes sure that accurate information is gathered professionally, efficiently and impartially

Marine surveys are usually required at the setting up of a new marine insurance policy and thereafter at regular intervals.

  • As in all our survey reports we highlight and detail all items inspected and defects found and make recommendations.
  • Recommendations being graded from ‘improve maintenance’ to  ‘implement (action) without delay’
  • Optional – Market Valuation for insurance / finance purposes.  Additional Fee Applies
  • Optional – River / Engine Trials.  Additional Fee Applies


A Pre-Purchase Survey (out-of-the-water) covers the major structural, engine installation & propulsion, steering, fuel, batteries, windows and safety issues (and much more besides) required by buyers and insurance companies alike. We do not comment on such as canopies, soft furnishings, white goods & domestic installations etc. as we believe that you have already formed an opinion on these.

Engines & Stern Drives are expensive to repair – EMS are not qualified marine engineers and therefore we always recommend a comprehensive inspection by a qualified engineer or alternatively an engine oil sample analysis from which inherent ‘engine problems’ may well be determined in advance – tells you plenty about the engine’s internal condition

As marine surveyors, not qualified electrical or electronic engineers, we are unable to report upon electrical, electronic or navigation systems being ‘fit for purpose’ or their satisfactory installation

We undertake a Navigational / Electrical equipment  ‘Switch Function Test  ie.  On / Off ‘  and make comments accordingly. However the equipment is NOT operated and we are therefore unable to guarantee or provide an opinion that such equipment is ‘fit for purpose’

We always recommend inspection by a duly qualified electrical / electronic engineer prior to purchase should there be concerns

River / Vessel performance trials: As most inspections are conducted out-of-the-water it is also strongly recommended that vessel performance & engine trials are undertaken prior to completing any purchase, allowing the client to satisfy himself as to the satisfactory operation of installed systems, propulsion, steering, electrical, electronic and navigation equipment, domestic plus water and waste installations and deck equipment etc etc.   EMS offer a river / sea (vessel performance) trials service – Additional Fees Apply

We take between 200-300 photographs of every inspection, a limited number being included in report as considered necessary.  All photos being retained on file for future reference

See below for Pre-Purchase Scope – Principal items being included in our Pre-Purchase Survey

Your professional Marine Surveyors for the Norfolk Broads, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, Cambridgeshire & Lincolnshire and throughout the UK & Europe – We travel Anywhere at Any time


European Marine Services Ltd / European Marine Surveys – Are delighted to welcome William Kirby as a new Marine Surveying Associate.

Will will undertake Marine Surveys on GRP vessels of less than 50ft


  •  IIMS Diploma in Yacht & Small Craft Surveying.    Qualified in 2004/05.
  •  Gas Safe Registered. Previously CORGI Registered.
  •  Boat Safety Scheme Examiner since 1999.
  •  Member of the Association of Boat Safety Examiners (ABSE)
  •  Full PI Insurance Cover with EMS Ltd

Will will undertake all EMS Ltd Boat Safety Scheme Examinations

1 Vessel Identification From sellers / brokers / agents supplied information & builder’s HIN
2 Hull  (GRP) Non Destructive Testing (NDT) Capacitance Type – Moisture meter readings (sample areas) Testing of substrate, Hammer (tap) testing, Voids – Examination for Osmotic conditions
Accident Damage, Visual examination, Hull / Superstructure bonding,
2.1 Anodes, cathodic protection Quantity & Condition, visual wiring (not tested)
2.2 Centre Line / Keel(s) Keel bolts (as applicable), Extended skeg, Grounding damage
3.0 Superstructure Accident & impact damage / Osmosis / Moisture Levels
3.1 Windows, Portlights & Hatches Inspection – Frames, Leaks & linings moisture readings, Seals, Accident damage, Visual examination only
3.2 Guard & Hand Rails, Stanchions Inspection – Deck mountings, Security, Accident damage
4 Internal Internal structure, scantlings & visible / accessible stiffening
4.1 Linings Moisture meter levels beneath windows
5 Engines & Propulsion Installation, Visual damage, Oil leaks, Corrosion, Engine Mountings, Suspect Areas. Shaft, Stern tube / Shaft log, Stuffing Gland,
5.1 Stern Gear / stern drive Propellers, A/P Brackets, Skegs, Cutlass bearings, Anodes,
5.2 Seacocks / valves Satisfactory operation, installation & security
5.3 Exhaust system Installation & security
5.4 Fuel Installation & System To – BSS Recommendations *             See Our Appendix A
5.5 Engine oil sample analysis Optional – Additional Fee Applies
5.6 Bilge & Pumping systems Operation – Auto, Manual Bilge Pumps
5.7 Bow Thruster / Trim Tabs Installation, Operation & Security
6 Steering / Rudders Installation & Security, Bearings, Pintles, Rudder blades, Hydraulics, Tie Bar, Steering Arms, Hydraulics, Wires
7 Batteries Installation, Location, Hydrogen Gas Ventilation, Terminal Protection, Vented / Sealed Type
7.1 Electrics / switches ‘Switch Function Check’  of  principal switches / electronics    See Our Appendix D
7.2 Navigation systems & Instrumentation ‘Switch Function Check’   No warranty as to ‘fit for purpose’    See Our Appendix D
8 Systems Visual condition (non testing) of:
8.1 Toilet / waste systems NA
8.2 Fresh water NA
8.3 LPG Installation & Systems To – BSS Recommendations *              See Our Appendix B
9 Ground Tackle NA
10 Yachts – Mast / Rigging Inspection at deck level  –  Tabernacle / deck support, shroud plates, standing rigging, stem head fittings etc
 Sails are NOT inspected
11 Fire / Safety Equipment To  BSS Recommendations *                    Life Rafts
12 Miscellaneous This section covers any items viewed of concern that are not covered / detailed by one of the above headings
NB: Out-of-the-water-survey, engines are NOT run
13 Valuation Optional – Market Valuation for Insurance / Finance – Additional Fee Applies