Boat condition reports: What goes into your boat checks?

Boat condition reports: What goes into your boat checks?

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If you are someone who loves spending time out at sea, ensuring that your boat is in tip top condition is absolutely vital for the safety of anyone on board.

Many people often take for granted that their boat will be ready for their next trip, failing to realise that boat deterioration may occur in the months that your boat sits away in storage.

In order to ensure that you're ready to set sail, one of the best things you can do is to schedule a boat motor service or boat inspection.

In today's article, we have a look at exactly what goes into your boat checks, so be sure to keep on reading before your next journey out at sea!

What Is a condition report?

A boat inspection or condition report is a detailed assessment of your boat's condition at any particular given time and date. This is similar to getting your car checked at a local mechanic to ensure that it is road-worthy.

When it comes to a boat condition report, a professional marine inspector will examine the safety and functionality aspects of your boat before preparing a report of their findings.

This report is designed specifically to ensure that you are aware of any faults that require attention before your next trip out to sea.

The cost of a condition report will vary depending on the size of the vessel and the number of engines it has fitted.

How often should a boat condition report be prepared?

When it comes to how often you should get your boat inspected, we recommend that recreational boaters have a professional yearly condition report performed on their vessel.

You should also ensure that you perform a basic check prior to setting sail each and every time, even if you have recently had your boat inspected.

Any defects that may be highlighted in the report and the appropriate action can and should be taken to rectify any potential hiccups on your next journey.

What goes into a boat check?

There are a number of key components that get checked during your boat inspection, some of which include:

  • The condition of your marine batteries - state of charge, damage, reliability and security;
  • Throttle and gear controls;
  • Tilt and trim system;
  • Safety equipment such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares and their expiration dates;
  • Steering system;
  • Lighting and electrical systems;
  • Engine conditions - indication oils, fluids and starting system;
  • Trailer components such as wheels, tyres, brakes, bearings, electricals, lights, springs, rollers and ball weight;
  • Condition of hull - integrity, damage and moisture in the transom;

Is a pre-purchase inspection the same as a condition report?

One common misconception is that a pre-purchase inspection of your boat is the same as a condition report.

A condition report is designed to identify any potential faults that may exist in order to allow you to rectify them before your next journey.

On the other hand, a pre-purchase inspection is designed to assist you in understanding the condition of a vessel in order to make an informed purchasing decision. Both of these reports/inspections are as important as the other and should always be prioritised, regardless of how often or infrequently you set sail.


There is absolutely no substitute for the regular maintenance and servicing of your boat. Unlike pulling up to the side of a road when you encounter a flat tyre, it is important to remember that breaking down in the water is a much more uncomfortable and unsafe experience that you want to avoid at all costs.

We hope that this article has given you some valuable insight into what a condition report is and why you need to get on top of yours before your next journey out at sea!

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