Canal & Narrowboat Survey


As well as insurance surveys, we carry out pre-purchase surveys and shell construction pre-fit out inspections.

Many people are turning to buy Canal Boats, Narrow Boats and River Cruisers as their first or second home. It makes sense, getting on the property ladder is expensive, for the price of a deposit on a house you can 100% own your own boat.

If you buy a house, you get a survey and if you are like me,  most of the time you resent how little is reported in plain English. With a boat survey from Marine Surveys UK you will have a different experience, we will work for you to make sure you know everything you need to know about your potential purchase and possible new home. Go for a full pre-purchase survey, your insurance company may insist on it. Don’t be fooled into believing a Boat Safety Certificate is the same thing.  All boats on rivers and canals must have a Boat safety Certificate but this only covers certain aspects of the boat. What you need is a full Pre-purchase marine Canal, Narrow boat or River Cruiser survey.

The boat needs to be lifted out of the water, after all the hull is the most important part. If the boat is metal /steel or aluminium then the surveyor will carry out thickness testing using an ultra sound meter. This tells him (or her) how much of the original metal is left and if what’s left is enough or if it requires patching up. This is called doubling.

If the boat is made from FRP (Glass fibre to you and me) then the surveyor will check it for moisture problems.

In both cases the River boat surveyor will carefully inspect the hull in great detail, accessing the inside of the hull where it is possible. The surveyor will check the rest of the structure. Most important of all he will check the down flooding points. These are the points on the Narrow boat (or canal boat or river boat) where if the boat started to go low in the water for reasons explained later, the water would rush in. Think about it. Your boat is moored up and you are out, heavy snow fall or rain sits on the boat or in the patio areas and pushes the boat down. If all is well the boat will pop up again like a sealed plastic bottle in a bath. If though, all is not well, and someone has put a ventilator or similar in the wrong place, and this extra weight puts that hole under water, your pride and joy, your home, starts to sink. So knowing where these points are and making them safe is critical.

At Marine Surveys UK we check everything we can physically get to. We crawl into lockers, under floors and find any problems. We pay particular attention to anything that affects your safety. We then write up the report in plain English. We will find out from you your experience and write the report so you understand every word of it so you continue your purchase with your eyes wide open and us holding your hand if you want it.

Please have a look at what our customers have said about us and if you let us carry out your canal, river or narrow boat survey for you, then contact us.

If you are buying just a shell, we can dye penetrate test the welds for you, check the continuity of the welds and the water integrity of any hull breaches. call for more details

In Touch

Matt West Boat Surveyor
Tel: +44 (0)7798 55 45 35

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