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Pre Purchase Surveys

Pre Purchase Surveys, also known as Full Condition Surveys, are holistic, thorough surveys inspecting all areas of a yacht and its various parts. This survey is vital prior to the purchasing of a yacht to understand in great detail the complete condition of the vessel, and any issues that may be present which affect its seaworthiness, safety, functionality, useability, and value.


The best marine surveys involve extensive testing. Testing every part of a vessel where possible allows better objectivity of the part's condition, quality, strength and/or suitability. This results in factual, quantifiable surveys, and eliminates subjective opinion and assumption. This gives the buyer a greater insight and more holistic understanding of the vessel.


 This inspection includes, where applicable, detailed inspection and testing of:

  • The hull(s) and all reinforcing members

  • The keel(s) and all reinforcing members

  • The rudder(s) and all associated constructions and steering gear

  • Full and partial bulkheads and tabbing 

  • Hull to deck join

  • The deck, cockpit and superstructure

  • Through hull fittings and seacocks

  • Spars and compression posts

  • Standing and running rigging

  • Sails

  • Sail covers, UV strips and lazyjacks

  • Winches, cleats, blocks and jamming cleats

  • Chainplates

  • Anchoring arrangements

  • Guard wires and stanchions

  • Jacklines

  • Engine(s) and engine installation

  • Fuel tanks and plumbing

  • Propeller(s) and drive shaft(s)

  • Stern gear

  • Navigational equipment

  • Electronics

  • Electrical installation

  • Batteries

  • Gas installation

  • Cooking facilities

  • Bilge pumping arrangements 

  • Firefighting and other life saving equipment

  • Heating and cooling appliances

  • Heads

  • Plumbing and drainage

  • Tankage

  • Portholes and hatches

  • Sprayhood, bimini and dodgers

  • Interior fit out and security of fittings

  • Onboard appliances

Having a survey carried out by a qualified, independent expert provides the client with a detailed understanding of the vessel they are considering purchase of, and gives a detailed insight into how to conduct and/or manage work that is required to bring the vessel to an acceptable standard for the clients' needs. Furthermore the survey can save the client money when serious structural defects are highlighted in the survey report. In which case the client doesn't purchase an unseaworthy vessel, or has the qualification to request a reduction in the vessel's advertised sale value.


Theo Wakefield Marine Surveys completes pre purchase surveys and other inspection surveys and marine services in southern Spain. Based in Malaga, daily operations are undertaken in locations such as Fuengirola, Marbella, Gibraltar and Almeria. As a result of a positive record of work, recommendations, and testimonials, surveys are regularly commissioned further afield including in northern Spain including Galicia, the Balearic Islands, and Portugal.  

Defects discovered during Pre Purchase Surveys highlighted in the photos below.


Cracked Chainplates


Damaged Hull from Keel Impact


Rotten Bulkheads

Damaged Hull Laminate

For a Pre-Purchase Survey the vessel must be hauled out of the water to allow full access to the hull(s). Ideally stores and other contents should be removed as far as possible to allow complete inspection of the hull and structural members.

As a guide, a 40' (12m) sailing yacht will take a full day to survey, and the report typically takes 2 days to complete. The highly detailed report will be sent to the client via email in PDF format usually within a week of the final survey date.

The cost of a Pre-Purchase Survey depends on the type, material, size, and complexity of a vessel, as well as the location and accessibility of the vessel requiring survey. Typically this will be between 80-100 euros per metre for a typical 40' monohull vessel. The price increases as the vessel increases in size and complexity. It is important to note that a cheap survey will offer limited insight and will often be completed by an unqualified, uninsured, and/or inexperienced surveyor.

If you are purchasing a vessel which is expensive relative to you, or with a wish to go sailing around the world, then it is paramount that you are holistically aware of the condition of the vessel before you purchase it, and it is the job of the professional yacht surveyor to give you complete clarity into the condition of that vessel, as well as where servicing/replacements are required, how to complete them, and how much it will likely cost.

If you would like to see an example survey report contact us to request it. You will see the written and photographic detail of our yacht survey reports is unmatched.

Please take a look at our testimonials to see what our customers have had to say about our work.


To get in touch, call directly, email, or send a message in the contact section. We look forward to speaking with you.

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