My insurance company wants me to get a survey of my boat. Although I have had a number of surveys done on various boats with a view to purchasing or not, this is the first time I've owned a boat long enough for the company to ask for an insurance survey. Would there be any difference in the approach to the survey on the part of the surveyor? Is there likely to be specific things that the insurance company wants done or that I should pay extra care about? I'll be contacting the broker about this, of course, but would like to hear from other people on this. Is there anything I can do pre-survey to ensure that it is more likely to come out ok first time so that I don't have to deal with deficiencies post survey, like bring my flares etc. up to date etc.?
I have just gone through having my second Insurance Survey in 10 years which seems to be a common requirement for yachts more than 10-15 years old. The insurance survey is largely intended to establish a reasonable estimate of the value of the yacht; and, to ensure that there are no blatant violations of ABYC guide-lines or hazardous conditions aboard the boat that might lead to a claim. Among things to keep in mind are having the proper CG required safety gear and equipment aboard and in good order and up-to-date. This is particularly so with regard to Fire Extinguishers and the like which need current test/certifications or, in the case of dry chemical extinguishers, are no older then the manufacturers use date (also a good idea if one needs them in an emergency). Whomever you use for the survey, ensure that he/she understands the survey is for valuation purposes and ask them to skip the "it would be a good idea" comments which, if seen by one's insurer, can become a post survey requirement. I did not know about this aspect during my first insurance survey and had to spend rather a good deal on someone else's opinion as to "good ideas". In any case, insure that the yacht is in good order at the time of the survey, clean and with a dry bilge. Prepare a list of your equipment to be given to the surveyor before hand so that he can include it in his/her report. Surveyors generally will not do the kind of detailed inspection required in a pre-purchase survey and hidden equipment, such as a second refrigeration unit or a costly inverter/charger that are in lockers or difficult to access compartments will be overlooked.
Ensure that batteries are well secured, electrical connections on the backs of switches protected with cable boots or in another manner to avoid shorts etc., that cables are well secured and that hoses, particularly to thru-hulls are double clamped with good (not rusty) hose clamps and that the valves open and close easily and have appropriately sized soft-wood plugs attached to a lanyard secured to the valve so that they are immediately available if ever needed.
The list of advisable steps/measures continues but the foregoing should give you the idea.