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  • Olivia Schneiderhan


Updated: May 23, 2023

Welcome to the exciting stage of the yacht selling process - the survey and sea trial! This is where all your hard work in preparing your yacht for sale pays off. The condition and performance of your vessel during this inspection will determine whether or not you can seal the deal. It's crucial to ensure that your yacht is in top-notch condition and ready to impress the potential buyers. So, get ready to showcase your yacht's best features and let the survey/sea trial do the rest!

Preparing for a Yacht Survey: Steps to Follow

Preparing for a yacht survey is crucial to ensure a positive outcome for your vessel, as well as to make the job of your broker easier. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare for your yacht survey:

Step #1

Step #2

Step #3

Gather Service Records

Check Your Systems

Run Your Boat

Collect all the service records that you have for your yacht. This will give the surveyor an idea of the maintenance history of your vessel, which can reflect positively during the survey. Additionally, locate your vessel’s title and/or USCG documentation and have them readily available to present to your broker.

Start at one end of your yacht and work your way forward, checking each and every system for functionality. Any defects should be addressed and fixed ahead of time to avoid any negative findings during the survey. Some of the systems that you should check include AC/Heat, Bilge Pumps, Shower Sumps, Windlass, Navigation Lights, Radar, GPS, Autopilot, Generator, Sea Cocks, and Entertainment Systems.

At sea trial, your boat will be tested 100% to ensure it meets the rated RPM under load and does not overheat. Address any issues with the boat's bottom or props, such as fouling or nicks, ahead of time to ensure that your boat is ready. Also, make sure that you have enough fuel to run the boat (at least 1/4 tank).

By following these steps, you can ensure that your yacht is well-prepared for the survey and that your broker can navigate the process with ease. Remember that proper preparation can help you avoid any negative findings during the survey, which can ultimately lead to a smoother sale process.


The Sea Trial

Sea Trial: An Important Step in the Survey Process

At some point during the survey process, your yacht will head out for a sea trial. This is a crucial step where all mechanical systems will be tested in a real-world environment. The engines, transmissions, motor mounts, generators, stabilizers, steering, and navigation equipment will all be put to the test to ensure they function properly.

If an engine survey team has been hired, they will perform additional testing focused on the yacht’s engines and generators, while the hull surveyor will focus on navigational and other systems during the sea trial.

Your yacht will be expected to run properly at all RPM band ranges, from idle to wide-open throttle. Failure to do so will be a cause for concern, and may result in post-survey issues for the buyer. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your yacht can make full RPM without vibrating or overheating.

Preparing your yacht for a sea trial is critical to ensure that everything runs smoothly during the survey process. It is essential to check all systems and address any issues before the sea trial to avoid any negative findings. By doing so, you can increase the chances of a successful survey and a smoother sale process.



After the survey and sea trial, the buyer will receive a comprehensive report from all inspectors involved in the inspection process. If oil samples were taken, the results will also be included in the report. This report marks the beginning of the acceptance phase of the boat deal.

On or before the acceptance date, the buyer will face one of three decisions.

Buyer Accepts Vessel As Is

Buyer Rejects the vessel

Conditional Acceptance of the Vessel

They are satisfied with the survey and are ready to move forward with the closing without any further repairs or price concessions.

If the survey or sea trial has been unsatisfactory for any legal reason, such as finding signs of damage or major component failure or being dissatisfied with the performance of the boat.

a negotiated agreement between the buyer and the seller based on the survey findings. This list will typically consist of either the repairs the buyer will require or a cash concession to the price in lieu of repairs. The seller has the right to negotiate this list or price concession. Once the buyer and seller agree on the post-survey conditions, the deal proceeds to close. If repairs are required, the buyer will have the right to inspect those repairs and sign a final clean acceptance that the repairs are to their satisfaction.

Questions about the process?


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