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Pre-Purchase Survey, Valuation Report, Damage Report, Appraisal of Recreational Boats and Yachts

Pre-purchase survey and Valuation Report

Would you like to purchase a yacht? Are you about to buy your dream yacht and have informed yourself in detail? However, you are not 100% sure, whether the asking price is justified or the condition of the boat is what it should be? If that is the case, you should get your boat checked by Aquila Sailing. An objective and professional's view on your boat will help you, to detect problems immediately, which quickly have serious consequences for your boat and crew. Aquila Sailing is happy to support you in this process. 

A typical appraisal process

For an appraisal with the full scope of testing, the appraisal usually lasts two days and always begins as soon as the yacht is craned out and put on dry dock. For the hull moisture measurement and the osmosis check, it is advisable to let the boat dry for at least 3 to 4 days to ensure appropriate measurement results.


The hull inspection usually kicks off the survey and includes an inspection of the underwater hull as well as all board passages/seacocks and the steering and propulsion systems. In addition, the hull is inspected for osmosis. With the help of a moisture meter the complete hull is mapped and critical moisture spots are marked. If bubbles are found on the hull, it does not necessarily have to be osmosis. There are several causes for bubbles in the gelcoat. However, there is something about an osmotic bubble that sets it apart from all other bubbles: the smell of the trapped liquid. When a chemical reaction occurs between water and the residue of the GRP manufacture, a slight acetic acid is produced and you can smell it! Litmus strips are used to determine the pH. For steel and aluminium yachts the hull inspection includes an analysis of the material thickness. For this the hull is divided into various sections where the material thickness is measured with an ultrasonic sound device. 



 The next step is to inspect the deck and superstructure, as well as all hardware in these areas - from the anchor stuff to the navigation lights to the railing. Special attention is also paid at this stage to the hull-deck connection, as this performs a particularly critical function for the structural load-bearing capacity of a boat.

A water hose is used to check the tightness of all deck hatches and the condition of the sprayhood and bimini.

Especially with used boats, the standing and running rigging should be closely examined. For this purpose, the surveyor will raise the mast in the boatswain's chair and inspect the quality and wear of all stays, shrouds, spreaders, mast track, etc. The surveyor will also check the condition of the mast. Furthermore, the condition of all sails on board is examined.

For yachts with teak decks, it is important to check the condition of the wood and the seals regularly. The repair or refurbishment of a teak deck is a very costly affair.


 Next, we move on to the heart of every boat: the engine system, including its peripherals. Routine checks include levels for oil in the engine and transmission, cooling fluids, filters, visual inspection of electrical connections, drive belt tension, impeller condition, etc.

However, the proper functioning of the drive unit can only really be confirmed by a sea trial. The drive unit is tested in various load situations to identify possible weak points.



 The next step is to inspect the entire interior and all comfort and cockpit systems:

These include the refrigerators and freezers, gas stove and oven (gas system), navigation systems and plotter, radio, AIS, radar, audio system including speakers.



If the boat is seaworthy up to this point, the sea trial follows. Here, a detailed schedule of various manoeuvres is established with the skipper to ensure that all critical systems are appropriately stressed to verify their proper functioning.

Of course, the schedule may differ from the described sequence from case to case. As a rule, however, this procedure has proved very successful, especially since it allows any deficiencies and suspicions to be identified in advance and then given special attention during the sea trial.

Damage report

When sailing, accidents happen. Sometimes on your own boat and/or on someone else's. The insurance claim is usually supported by an appraiser / yacht expert.. The inspection of the yacht and subsequent damage report serve as evidence for the insurance companies, determination of the cause for the damage, documentation (photos and other evidence) and calculation of repair cost.  The surveyor determines in cooperation with the repairing boatyard the proper procedure to repair the damage and calculates the repair cost.

Typical situations:

  • Boat is damaged during crane in/out

  • Boat  is damaged in a collision at a regatta

  • Boat is caught by a gust of wind and pushed against another vessel 

  • Boat touches ground

  • Boat and equipment are damaged in a storm or by lightning


As an active sailor, I see damaged boats and yachts every day. With the right insurance  and the involvement of a competent and experienced appraiser the problem is solved quickly and unbureaucratically.


Aquila Sailing investigates the incident and offers you an independent and professional survey for the claims settlement with the insurance and damage repair at the shipyard. Sometimes this can be quite complicated and time-consuming expecially when the incident occurs abroad. 

Our services refer both to liability claims (in Germany the damaging party pays the costs of the expert , the injured party has the free choice of an expert) as well as comprehensive damage on your own boat (the insurance company usually commissions the appraiser).

Yacht valuation

You have inherited a yacht or want to have the value of your boat determined? We're happy to help you. Based on an independent and objective appraisal we assess our boat, taking into account the current condition of the boat any on-board systems as well as the current time value at a specific date.

I have a M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering and information technology and MBA from the Technical University of Munich and have been certified by TÜV Rheinland as a yacht expert for the assessment of boats and yachts. Aquila Sailing works together with a number of international yacht insurance companies.


I have my sailing and skipper licence since 1999 as well as the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and offer year-round skipper training as well as sailing trips and expeditions on the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean. My vast sailing experience distinguishes me from almost all yacht appraisers on the market. In every project and assignment I use my experience as a skipper and sailor for your benefit.

As a member of the Royal Yachting Association and the Trans-Ocean Club we offer special conditions for fellow club members.

What can we do for you?

We look forward to a short message or call...

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