An insurance survey isn't as extensive as a pre-purchase survey, but it will help the insurance company decide whether the boat in question represents an acceptable risk. "This survey will also serve to document all of your systems so the insurance company knows what's in the boat," says marine surveyor Dwight Escalera. "The surveyor will also be checking for U.S. Coast Guard and ABYC compliance, so it's a good time to make sure all your safety gear is up to date."
Something else to consider is a separate rig and rigging survey or inspection. "It amazes me how many sailboats are purchased without a rig and rigging inspection or knowledge of the age of the wires or the last time the rig was pulled from the boat," says Wells. "Having a surveyor who will inspect the rig and rigging, or a professional rigger, do an aloft inspection can reveal problems that might have gone unnoticed dockside but could be catastrophic when offshore, which is good for your peace of mind. Some insurance companies may require a rig and rigging inspection on older boats or prior to embarking on significant ocean voyages. Even if not required, having this done shows the insurance company that you're serious and have done your homework." Other homework would include the preparation of your sailing resume, which should include any boats you've owned or operated, your sailing courses and certifications, prior voyages or passages and relevant experience such as medical training or diesel mechanics.