SAMS Survey – The Different Types of SAMS Surveys

SAMS stands for the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors. The organization has about a thousand surveyors across the globe that adhere to strict standards and codes of ethics. To get a SAMS survey, a surveyor has to be SAMS accredited. There are various prerequisites a surveyor has to meet to become SAMS accredited. Those who fail to meet these requirements can either be surveyor associates or affiliates.

Now that you know who can perform a SAMS survey, let’s take a look at the type of boat survey services you can get from an accredited marine surveyor. They include the following.

Condition and valuation survey

This is a pre-purchase survey that is very thorough and done before the purchase of a watercraft is finalized. With this type of survey, the surveyor performs various tests such as operation testing of the equipment and systems while the boat is in and out of water. Keep in mind that a marine surveyor is not qualified to tear down an engine for a closer look. If anything other than basic analysis is required, the boat surveyor may recommend hiring a specialist for further inspection. At the end of the survey, you will be provided with a survey report that will help you understand the current condition of a vessel. The report also highlights necessary improvements or repairs that are needed as well as documents the market value of the watercraft.

Limited condition and valuation survey

This type of marine survey is done mainly for the purposes of insurance. It covers evaluations and tests of a full condition and valuation survey but is not as comprehensive. In most cases, the insurer will provide a list of items that need to be inspected during the survey.

Damage inspection

This survey is required after a vessel sustains damages due to grounding, severe weather, or collision. In this case, the SAMS survey works closely with a repair shop and boatyards to determine the cost of repairs as well as repair recommendations.


The purpose of this type of survey is to determine the fair market value of a boat. The survey is mostly requested by financial organizations when using a boat as collateral.

Sea trial

A boat inspection may include a sea trial. This is often offered as an additional service. It evaluates the handling, performance, reliability, and sea-keepings of a boat while it is afloat. The surveyor observes the vessel while it is running.

The above are just some of the services that are offered by a SAMS surveyor. Make sure you hire a surveyor that you feel comfortable working with.

SAMS Survey