True Heading Marine Surveying and Consulting | 111 Channel Cove Stafford VA 22554 US | 571-277-6945

Types of Surveys and Fees


The main types of surveys are a pre-purchase survey, a financing survey, and an insurance survey.  If you are buying a vessel, a marine survey is like a home inspection - giving you the the general condition of the vessel, its options, and the fair market value.  A pre-purchase survey can assist you in deciding whether or not to purchase and could prevent you from making a very expensive mistake.  It is a wise idea to make a survey from a qualified marine surveyor a contingency in any contract to purchase a vessel of any size or condition.  An insurance survey is one your insurance provider may request prior to insuring your boat and is used for condition and valuation for underwriting purposes.  A financing survey is one that is required by your lender to ensure the vessel is worth what is being borrowed for it.  Below is an explanation of the different types of surveys and the fees for the different types of surveys. 


Pre-Purchase Survey -   This is the most comprehensive type of survey and is strongly advised when purchasing any vessel.  Condition and overall operation of the vessel is examined.  This covers structural and hull integrity, electrical, propulsion, and fuel systems.  Other aspects that are surveyed include other machinery, navigation equipment, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, electronics, safety equipment and overall maintenance.  Thermal imaging is included as part of the survey.  It is recommended that the vessel be inspected out of the water. It is also recommended that a trial run be conducted to evaluate performance and handling.


Insurance Survey -  This survey is performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessels is an acceptable insurance risk.  The insurance company is generally interested in the in structural integrity, mechanical systems, safety features for its intended usage, overall vessel condition and repairs made or needed, if necessary.  The insurance company will also want a market valuation and replacement cost.


Financing Survey - This type of survey is basically an appraisal.  It is performed in the same fashion as the insurance survey and may require addional information if major upgrades have been made (or in the process of being made) that would affect the overall valuation of the vessel for financing or refinancing purposes.  This type of survey report may also be required for estate settlements, donations, and court cases.


Marina Safety Survey -  This is the survey required by some marinas before you can get a lease to keep your boat there.  The requirements vary from marina to marina, but this is a survey designed to make sure your vessel is in a sound and safe condition that will not cause any loss or safety issues for the marina or its occupants.


Damage Claims Survey -  This type of survey is conducted on behalf on an insurance company after a claim has been submitted.




Survey Pricing

(All pricing is per foot.  Vessel length is as listed by the manufacturer.)


  • Vessels up to 25 feet - $20 per foot


  • Vessels 26 feet to 50 feet - $18 per foot


  • Vessels over 50 feet - Call for pricing


  • Financing, Refinancing, or Insurance Renewals - $16 per foot (all vessel sizes)


  • Trial Run - $100.00 flat fee regardless of vessel size


  • Email Copies of the Final Report in PDF Format - INCLUDED


  • Photos from Survey sent Electronically - INCLUDED


  • Travel within 50 miles of Stafford, VA - INCLUDED

(Travel fee outside of this area is dependent on vessel location, travel arrangements, and travel conditions.)



Payment is due upon completion of the survey inspection if client is in attendance.  Payment may be made by major credit card, personal check, or cash.  Payment is requested via credit card one day in advance for clients who do not attend the survey.  For international clients, payment is required at the time of scheduling.