marine surveyors in south floridamarine surveyors in south florida

When buying a pre-owned boat you want to know what your buying.

  • When performing an inspection survey on a vessel, one of the first things i like to look at is the hour meter. Then i want to look at the overall condition of the vessel to determine if what the hour meter states is reflected in the vessels overall condition. It is easy to change an hour meter or clear the computer on the engine of faults and other data.

  • The next step is to get an accurate compression reading of each cylinder. This should be done on a warmed up engine. I know this can get uncomfortable, but it is the best way of obtaining accurate results. All compression tests taken on a four stroke engine must be done with throttle at full open position.

  • If this is an electronically controlled system, a diagnostic service tool is required to read faults and check other operational functions and the number of times the faults have been generated.

  • Looking at the oil and dipstick can provide hidden clues as to the internal condition of an inboard or other four stroke engine. If a four stroke engine has ever ingested water, either by sinking or through a manifold failure, it will leave telltale signs. The oil may appear brownish in color instead of black and the dipstick itself, if made of steel will be dark brown or rusty colored. Although this does not constitute an eminent engine failure it does let you know the engine has ingested water and could be a problem in the future.
  • Inspect the transmission oil if present, it should be clean red oil which does not have a burnt smell. Also inspect couplings, damper plates and stuffing boxes. Outside the boat, you want to check the condition of the propeller shaft. Check for bent shafts, worn seals etc. You also want to check for signs of impact.
  • By running the engine and turning the steering wheel from full port to full starboard at about 1500 rpm you want to listen for roaring or other load noises which may indicate worn or corroded universal joints or gimbal bearing.
  • Turn on all available accessories and note the output change from the volt or amp meter to ensure proper operation of the alternator.
  • Check water temp, oil pressure, volt meter to see outputs within acceptable limits. Check operation of electronic components using the proper analyzer. Check batteries for swelling, cables for corrosion and zincs for electrolysis.

DC and AC Electrical systems:

  • Turn on each switch on the panel individually checking to see each items operation
  • Inspect any item that fails to operate to determine if it is a wiring issue, a circuit/fuse issue , or an item issue.
  • Inspect the condition of the wiring used to power the circuits. Are they the proper color code for 12V systems. Are the connectors in good, clean conditiion. Check to see that there are no more connectors in the circuit than are required to connect Power supply to accessory.
  • For 120/240 Volt systems, inspect wiring with power disconnected from shore power and generator off. Never test a live circuit.
  • For 120/240 Volt systems, inspect wiring with power disconnected from shore power and generator off. Never test a live circuit.
  • If any system is not operational check for available current using the proper equipment and safety procedures.
  • Check all terminals for corrosion, including those which make up the bonding or earth ground system

Steering and Hydraulics:

  • Ther are only a few hydraulic systems used on a majority of vessels. Steering systems, hatch lift systems and hydraulic trim tabs and engine tilt. trim and lift systems. Check for signs of leaks at the pump, cylinder and reservoir.
  • Leaks are generally repairable if the steel rod which acts as the ram, has no nicks or scratches.
  • Hydraulic lines should be inspected for crimps or other signs of weakness.
  • Look for corrosion on the electrical terminals, wiring and switches which operate the pump.

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Cool and useful boating information

Nobody knows your boat, better than your marine mechanic.;  Whether it is for routine maintenance or major repairs, you depend on us to get you out on the water and most importantly, to bring you safely back home.

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