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Yacht Surveyors

Let us tell you what we think a Yacht Survey is and what it does: “A yacht survey is a two part exercise intended to protect the interest of the instructing clients. A close physical examination of the vessel and or systems is converted into a written report of the findings that is the objective opinion of the surveyor.”` We are selling information about the condition of a specific vessel, its outfitting or its performance. The high quality of this information is directly related to the knowledge and experience of surveyors which is our distinctive asset. The reports are written in clear, simple English avoiding jargon but with appropriate nautical terminology. We consider it is our failing if we do not make ourselves understood to our clients, not the other way around. The objective is to identify good and bad features with practical recommendations for dealing with defects. We can undertake work on all current industry norm construction materials. In common with most surveyors we offer a wide range of standard services but we pride ourselves on being able to deal with unusual tasks provided they are within our area of expertise and of course, legal!

Tim Rowe

Tim qualified as a Shipwright with Appledore Shipbuilders in 1977. Now with over thirty years continuous experience in the marine industry and with tens of thousands of sea miles in yachts, he is well placed to provide professional services on a wide range of marine topics. Tim has built up a carefully earned reputation as a surveyor, problem solver and advisor. Working with a closely knit team of associates means services are available on a World stage.

Full Pre-purchase Condition Surveys

This is the most comprehensive pre-purchase survey and also satisfies of an ‘Insurance Survey’. The survey entails the examination of generally accessible areas of the vessel’s structure and gear. The report will refer to the general external condition of machinery, domestic, electrical or navigational equipment. The internal mechanical condition of machinery is not inspected and the seagoing function, operation or reliability of such items is not normally assessed.

Outline Scope: The vessel always has to be ashore for examination of the keel, bottom, topsides, rudders, sterngear and skin fittings. GRP / FRP hulls are sounded externally with a light hammer. Sample areas of antifouling are removed to expose laminate surface or applied coating and examined for blistering and osmotic conditions. Moisture levels are checked with an electronic meter. Steel and aluminium alloy hulls are sounded externally and ultrasound tested at the discretion of the surveyor or on specific instructions. Utrasound fees are in addition to survey fee. Wooden hulls are sounded externally and lightly probed where practical. Sample fastenings may be drawn, caulking tested and sheathing removed (as applicable) at the discretion of the surveyor after having obtained written permission from the owner. Skin fittings and fastenings are scraped and hammer tested. The internal structure is examined as far as accessible with the removal of normally portable panels and traps only. This may include the release and lifting of screw-fastened sole panels. Engine bearers are examined. Deck edge join is inspected where exposed. All hatches and closures are assessed for condition and function. Exposed fastenings including sea connections, sample hammer and or spanner tested. Mast, spars and rigging examined as presented, i.e. up to 2m above deck level if stepped but in more detail if un-stepped and laid out. Chainplates and rigging attachments are assessed. Anchors, chain cable and warps examined in situ or as presented. Windlass is tested if possible. Steering gear and hand operated pumps are examined and tested where possible. Sails usually sample inspected furled or partially withdrawn from bags. If suitable clean space is available a more detailed laid out inspection can take place by prior arrangement. Systems, tanks, electrics and machinery examined visually. Switch testing of electrical equipment may be undertaken if the batteries are charged. The system may not be tested if considered dangerous. Formal inspections and testing of 220v systems must be undertaken by accredited electrical engineers. LPG systems examined visually only. All work on gas systems must be carried out by competent personnel. All testing of LPG systems must be carried out by accredited gas engineers. Interior joinery and furnishings are assessed. If combined with a sea trial the vessel will be examined to the fullest extent.

Structure only surveys

This survey is identical to the Full survey on all external aspects of the vessel up to the deck edge. After that, the scope is very much reduced. Where a vessel is very new or still within warranty period this can be justified. The scope will normally satisfy the requirements of a Finance company but sometimes a valuation is required as well. It is worth checking in advance.

Outline Scope: The internal structure is examined as far as accessible with the removal of normally portable panels and traps only. This may include the release and lifting of screw-fastened sole panels. Engine bearers are examined. The deck edge join is inspected where exposed. Chainplates and rig attachments assessed where existing but no other part of the rig. All hatches and closures are assessed for condition and function.


An insurance or finance company will often require an Opinion of Value. A small additional cost is incurred if a request for Opinion of Value is included with a Survey instruction. At other times, a ‘walk-through’ type Inspection is required to gain sufficient information to submit an Opinion of Value. A more formal Valuation Certificate may be required for legal purposes.

Sea Trials

This will entail specific examination with the vessel underway on sea trial. The engines will be up to temperature and run for a minimum of two hours with a significant time at full throttle. Scope includes as appropriate: Performance and handling of the vessel, Engine & gearbox installation and performance, Engine starting & control, Engine instrumentation, Engine mounts, Cooling systems, Fuel systems, Lubrication systems, Exhaust systems, Navigation equipment and steering systems.

Damage surveys

Usually this is a very focused inspection of damage or emerging defect. The truest possible extent of the damage is ascertained so that repairs can be started from a suitable ‘base line’. We then discuss the remedial action with the yard or contractor often with an insurance company in the background. Any work is then monitored and an illustrated report produced on completion of the job to be held securely. This report will explain why work was carried out and demonstrate that it was under supervision. This may become very useful at time of sale, renewal of insurance or future survey and will robustly guard against devaluation and stigma.

Build and refit supervision

Machinery and Systems inspections

This is often carried out in a non invasive external manner during other surveys. There are times when a more in-depth assessment is necessary requiring one or more specialists. We will arrange and coordinate these inspections and provide a collective report on the findings and recommendations.

Oil Sample analysis

Oil sampling is commonly used as a diagnostic tool for wear and contamination of machinery. Unless there are clear symptoms of a problem a single sample has little value. It will however set a benchmark for future sampling so that trends can be observed after a period of service.

Coding for Small Commercial Vessels (SCV)

Any vessel used for commercial purposes has to comply with Codes. Code link to MSN here We are part of an MCA approved Certifying Authority nominated to undertake this certification of vessels up to 24m Load Line Length. Please contact for an easy guide to SVC Coding.

Tonnage Measurement

This is a measuring service required for the Part 1 Register. Click here for an Application Form.

CE Marking

New Build and Refit Supervision

During the construction of a large yacht or the refit of an existing vessel, there are real benefits in having an independent surveyor acting in the direct interests of the Owner and Project. Many parties are involved in bringing everything together including the Designer, Yard, Subcontractors, Interior Designers, Classification Societies, Charter Coding Inspectors, Flag Sates, Project Managers and above all, the Owner. The supervising surveyor’s role is to assimilate the requirements of this group, providing technical advice where necessary, and then help to make sure the collective requirements are carried out. In effect, constant quality control monitoring. We will keep an ongoing record with text and photographs that builds into a comprehensive ‘history’ of the build. Every visit is followed by a technical report that describes problems and defects with detailed recommendations on how they might be solved. Our experience has shown that the following services are highly relevant.

Compass Design website clients

Media services


Holidays and property

Mallorca services

Yachting Industry services

Tim Rowe - Consulting Yacht Surveyor • C/ Levant 4A 2B, 07157 Port Andratx, Mallorca
Tel. +34 609 97 87 02 • Email: info@rowesurveys.com Website credits