These are some good comments. Although marine surveyors do not do compression checks and turn screws on engines, as a marine surveyor myself, during pre-purchase surveys I do the following to check the engines:
1. Check wiring and make sure the engines and generator are properly grounded
2. Check for signs of galvanic corrosion on the engines, shafts, and anodes
3. Conduct oil samples or engine oil (which are sent to a lab for analysis)
4. During sea trial record engine temperatures, run the engines at WOT, and check for leaks, loose engine mounts, over heating issues, etc..
5. Check exhaust and overboard discharge for unusual smoke or discolor in the discharge water
6. Check all other fluids on the engine for foriegn substances or sea water.
7. Be sure engine parts are proper and all componenets are within USCG standards.
So engine speaking, in a regular pre-purchase marine survey, a good surveyor will cover alot with the vessel's engines. An engine surveyor I recommend for older vessels (20 years or more), when a problem is suspected or for better piece of mind before making the purchase.
To find a good engine surveyor, I recommend word of mouth is the best reliability from people that have used their services in the past.
Capt. J.B., Marine Surveyor
Last edited by SuenosAzules; 07-04-2011 at 12:31 PM.