Boat Surveys


A narrowboat is probably the second largest purchase that most people will make and as you wouldn’t buy a house without having the relevant checks completed first, the same should apply for narrowboats.

Swanley Brokerage always recommend that you have a pre purchase, out of the water survey, completed as this will give you peace of mind. It may highlight areas that need attention or even make suggestions for future maintenance/modifications.

If you make the decision to have a survey completed we can help locate a surveyor for you or you can make the arrangements direct yourself if you already know of one. All surveyors are totally independent and will work on your behalf.

Most surveyors offer two types of survey, a hull survey and a full survey. Both need to be carried out on dry land to check the thickness of the steel and structural soundness of the craft. A hull survey is normally around £350 to £600 and a full survey is anything from £450- £800. Every surveyor is different so we advise you speak to them directly and discuss what options they offer and establish what they charge in advance.

If the narrowboat is in the marina then you will incur a slipway charge of £130 Inc VAT to move the vessel onto our purpose built yard ready for the survey.  Alternatively if the vessel is stored in the marina, on our brokerage hard standing, you will only incur a movement charge of £54 to move the boat.

If you are booking a surveyor yourself, you will need to liaise with us closely to enable us to fit any movements into our weekly work schedule.

Once the survey has been completed your chosen surveyor will give you a comprehensive written report of his findings normally including photographs.This can take a few days dependent upon the surveyor. The document will then be sent to you directly from your surveyor. However if you’re available to be on site on the day of the survey your surveyor will normally be happy to give you a verbal run down of his findings and this can speed the process up slightly.

We can also help you to understand the report expalin any recommendations noted in the survey. It’s important to keep in mind that a survey is meant to find everything on a vessel therefore some items will be more important than others and some will be easily solved and some will be recommendations. For example, the surveyor may make certain maintenance recommendations such as blacking, anodes, engine service etc. These are seen as recommendations only and as such would not be included in any re-negotiation of the price. We can then arrange to get you quotes from independent and qualified marine engineers as necessary. Once we have all the quotes we will discuss with both you and the vendor how best to proceed.

At this point we can also help with sourcing independent tradesmen for any additional work or modifications you require.

To keep the buying process simple, through Swanley Bridge Marina we are able to offer slipway services to allow for marine survey inspections.

We are open 7 days a week and Andy & Malcolm will be delighted help and they can be contacted on 01270 524855.