Pre-purchase Survey

The Pre-purchase and Condition Survey, sometimes referred to as a Pre-purchase Survey is by far the most common marine survey. In most cases, it is the most detailed and in-depth survey, where the Customer is often a first-time buyer with little or no previous knowledge in this field and has total reliance on the Surveyor's expertise.

Press here to view sample Pre-purchase Survey reports

This survey is normally but not exclusively required by the Owner or prospective Owner of the craft for the purpose of obtaining insurance, finance or as security for a loan, or indeed just for the Owners use. Fieldhouse Yacht Surveys will discuss your requirements prior to agreeing to perform the survey in order to fully understand any concerns that the customer might have. Contact us to discuss your requirements or for free advice regarding your prospective purchase.

If we are asked to survey a sailing vessel and the craft is afloat, we will be happy to climb the mast to perform a thorough visual inspection of the mast and fittings. In order to do this safely, we ask that a competent individual is on-hand to hoist our surveyor up the mast. The mast inspection will be performed at no extra charge.

For tips on buying a new or second-hand yacht, go to this page of the International Institute of Marine Surveying

Mast inspection during pre-purchase survey

Mast inspection during pre-purchase survey of X-yacht in Ancona, Italy

Scope of Pre-purchase Survey

Listed below is a non-exhaustive list of the main items that are inspected during a pre-purchase survey:

Hull Exterior

  • Material & Details of Construction
  • General Appearance
  • Topsides
  • Hull Below the Waterline
  • Evidence grounding damage
  • Evidence of past repairs
  • Fibreglass delamination
  • Hull distortion
  • Hammer testing of hull below the waterline or ultrasonic thickness testing on steel hulls
  • Moisture Readings
  • Keel/s
  • Rudder & Steering
  • Through-Hull Fittings, Valves and Seacocks
  • Anodes
  • Bow Thruster

Hull Internal Structure

  • General Appearance
  • Ballast
  • Stiffeners
  • Internal Moulding (Egg Box)
  • Bulkheads
  • Engine Beds
  • Keel Bolts / Studs

Deck and External Fittings

  • Hull / Deck Join
  • Deck Moulding, Cockpit
  • Chain Locker & Bulkhead
  • Deck Covering
  • Hatches, Ports, Windows and Ventilation
  • Deck Fittings and Equipment
  • Grab Rails, Guard Rails
  • Boarding Ladder, Davits, Radar Arch
  • Tender, Outboard Motor

Rigging and Sails

  • Mast, Boom, Whisker Pole, Spinnaker Pole, Kicking Strap
  • Bowsprit
  • Shroud Chain Plates, Forestay & Backstay Chain Plates
  • Jib Furling Mechanism
  • Standing Rigging, Running Rigging
  • Winches, Jammers, Travelers, Cars
  • Sails & Canvas


  • Engine & Transmission
  • Fuel System
  • Stern Gear
  • Sail Drive Leg including diaphragm seal

Systems and Services

  • Anchor and Chain
  • Anchor Windlass
  • Fresh Water System
  • Grey Water System
  • Heads
  • LPG Installation
  • Galley
  • Electrical System
  • Navigation Lights
  • Navigation Equipment
  • Radio Communications
  • Windvane Steering
  • Lightning Protection
  • Space Heating System

Safety Equipment

  • Anchor and Chain
  • Jackstays
  • Lifeline attachment points in cockpit
  • Bilge Pumps
  • Detection Equipment
  • Fire Fighting Equipment
  • First Aid Kit
  • Lifejackets
  • Man Overboard Recovery Equipment
  • Navigation Equipment
  • Pyrotechnics
Failed valve, Pre-purchase Survey of Beneteau yacht

Failed valve of engine cooling intake, found during pre-purchase survey of Beneteau sailing yacht