We are a marine surveying business settled in Saint Martin, French West Indies, since 2005.
St Martin Marine Surveyors

Survey Process

Pre Purchase and Condition Surveys


Included in the in the water survey is a comprehensive inspection of the accessible areas of the hull and deck structure. Small panels will be removed, where easy access is possible, to inspect both the hull & deck. No destructive testing or dismantling of cabinetry or equipment is undertaken. All systems and equipment are inspected, documented and operated where possible. Water tanks, hatches, ports and windows are tested for leaks when dockside water facilities are available. A full inventory is not taken during the survey, however all safety equipment is checked and documented.


The vessel is inspected during a short ‘lunch time’ haulout. This cost is not included in the quoted survey fee. If the hull is badly fouled there will be an additional power washing cost. The wetted surface area of the hull is inspected for osmotic blistering, damage and repair work. The keel, drive gear, rudders and through hull fittings are also inspected at this time. The hull is inspected for blisters when it is in a wet state, shortly after being power washed. Any osmotic blistering will be easier to detect at this stage. A thick build-up of antifouling paint could however make the detection of small blisters difficult. Moisture meter readings of the wetted surface area of the hull are not possible during the ‘short haulout’ as the bottom paint retains moisture offsetting any readings taken. A sounding of the wetted surface of the hull is undertaken to help determine if any delamination exists in the hull structure.


A visual inspection of the standing rigging is done at deck level and aloft. The age of the standing rigging, its design and its general condition is taken into account when making recommendations. The surveyor will be looking for corrosion, broken wires and cracks in the mast, spreaders, rigging terminals, swages, toggles and chainplates. Joints in the mast, repairs, the attachment of spreaders, masthead equipment and navigation lights are inspected. No dismantling of equipment takes place. Rod rigging ‘cold head’ terminals, rigging covered with plastic or furling gear foils & drums are areas not accessible for inspection.


Sea trials are completed under sail and power, when possible. The machinery and drive gear are tested under loaded conditions. The manufacturer, age and engine hours are taken into consideration when making comments. The engine survey is a visual inspection of the engine(s) in static and loaded conditions. There will be a general inspection of the engine and associated equipment. Comments will include surface corrosion, coolant, fuel & oil levels and condition, detected leaks, abnormal noises, vibrations and emissions, engine mounts, fitted compressors & alternators, hoses, V-belts, the gearbox, shaft couplings, alignment, stuffing boxes / shaft seals, control cables and wiring. The vessel will be sailed, when possible, to enable the surveyor to check the deck hardware under load and to inspect the general condition of the sails. Spinnakers and storm sails will not be rigged.


The survey report will be a comprehensive report created on a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file (as per your request) with color digital photos in jpeg format and will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours of completion of the survey, when possible. The size of an average report will be approximately 1MB. We understand the confidentiality of our reports; therefore they will not be forwarded to any third parties without your approval.