Recreational vessel inspections




Paul Stock, inspector/surveyor, has 35 years of experience in the marine industry; in boat construction, design, project management, and reporting. He is able to gather and clearly communicate the info that you need to make decisions about vessel sales, purchases, insurance and finance.

Wainui Marine is based in central in Auckland, five minutes from Westhaven Marina, and within easy traveling routes to all of Auckland’s marinas and haul out yards. We aren’t limited to Auckland and travel as required, often North to the Bay of Islands.

Report examples are:

  • specific issues,
  • detailed pre purchase/sale report,
  • report for insurance or finance.

Non destructive survey techniques include:

  • visual examination
  • digital photography (a digital photo folder is included with each pre purchase report for reference)
  • substrate moisture testing using marine moisture meter analysis
  • percussion (hammer tap) testing

Contact us for a no obligation chat about your inspection/survey requirements.

Paul Stock

021 747 687

FAQs about boat inspections/surveys

How do I choose an inspector/surveyor?

An inspector/surveyor should be familiar and experienced in the vessel construction type. They are usually qualified boatbuilders with experience in the material type. Inspectors have broad experience of vessel use, maintenance, and vessel systems.

Choose an inspector/surveyor who is independent of the seller and if applicable, broker.

How much do boat inspections/surveys cost?

It varies, the per metre of length rate that is usually used may increase on large vessels due to the size of the vessel and complexity. Some inspectors charge a minimum rate for small vessels. Some inspectors work on an hourly rate.

Hull-only inspections typically cost less than full pre purchase inspection rates.  Check with your insurer before commissioning a hull only inspection as some insurers require a full survey.

The report detail, time it takes and cost will vary between inspectors/surveyors.

What is osmosis?

Moisture permeates the boat’s skin and finds it’s way into pockets of uncured polyester resin which reacts to form an osmotic fluid mixture. Blisters form and increase in pressure till eventually they burst. This is more common on older vessels however it can also occur on newer vessels. Blisters will sometimes be in an area where resin may not have been mixed properly, or for various other reasons. See Mike Menzies’ description of Osmosis here for a more in depth explanation.

What is the difference between a survey and an inspection?

“Survey” is for commercial vessels but the term gets used in pleasure boats to mean “inspection” – usually for pre purchase purposes.

What certification/qualification is required for boat inspectors/surveyors?

Pleasure boat inspectors are almost all very experienced boatbuilders/designers/boat users, however some professional organizations – mostly offshore based – offer membership in categories depending on candidate experience. Some inspectors/surveyors are members of one of those organisations.

Maritime New Zealand accredits commercial vessel surveyors who typically work in the commercial vessel area doing initial and periodic safety inspections of commercial vessels. Some surveyors are accredited to do design approvals (these are often Naval Architects).

Does the boat need to be hauled out as part of the inspection?

Usually, in order to assess the outside of the vessel. In-water inspections are accepted by some insurers.  Check with your insurer before the inspection to ensure that their requirements will be covered by the scope of the survey.

I just need an insurance survey – what does that involve?

Check with your insurer, requirements may vary with age and boat type. Older vessels may require regular surveys every few years for insurance, or when they reach a certain age.

What are the haul out options in the area?

Boat inspections/surveys haul out areas include:

Auckland – Westhaven:  Floating Dock; Pier 21 travel lift; Orams travel lift

Auckland – Orakei /Half Moon Bay – Trailer/cradle on ramp

Westpark (Hobsonville) – Travel lift

Half Moon Bay – Travel lift

Gulf Harbour – Travel lift

Pine Harbour (Beachlands) – Travel lift

How long will it take?

A lift and hold usually requires a minimum of an hour although much more time may be needed for large boats. The interior, systems and structure assessment time ranges from 3-4 hours to days for large vessels. Average pre purchase boat inspections/surveys usually take most of a day + reporting.

What’s the contents of a pre purchase inspection report?

Inspectors vary in their report presentation. Our reports list vessel components and their condition, rated either good, fair or poor along with a description of the issues so that work required and repair cost an be estimated.

Report length varies from only a couple of pages, while most have more detail and some may include a photo folder to show the issues (as do our reports) .

How do I estimate how much repairs will cost?

The best way is to get quotes or estimates from boatbuilders.

What is a star crack?

Gelcoat is thick pigmented polyester resin that forms the outer coating of fibreglass vessels. It shrinks a lot when it cures and the shrinkage sets up a  tension in the skin that when impacted often causes cracking that sometimes resembles a star type pattern. It can be difficult to tell if a backing laminate behind a star crack is fractured, sometimes tapping will indicate a fracture. Generally star cracks that are not related to a fracturing of a backing laminate are not structurally significant.

What is required for gas installations on boats?

Note: The Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010 have been in effect since July 2013 and require that any gasfitting work done after that date comply with the requirements of the Regulations. This usually means having a certifying gasfitter do the installations and issue a certificate for the gasfitting work. New and altered installations are affected.

Some insurers may require older gas installations to comply with the Marine Gas Regulations. To find out more see this article.


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