Hull Survey

PowellBride

Moderator
Staff member
Has anyone been required to complete the whole survey for insurance?. if so, do you have any sort of inside as to what the insurance interpretation of the survey was and they required you to do. We will be required to do a survey at the end of this year and I’m trying to figure out what I should expect.
 
I’ve had a survey done in the last three or so years. I could look up the numbers if you need me to but it cost a little bit north of $1000. He had us replace a blower fan that was squealing and better secure one battery, and make sure another battery was covered properly with those plastic covers. It has to be done while the boat is out of the water.

EDIT: mine was a “marine survey”
 
Last edited:
I'm not exactly an expert but are you asking about a General boat survey or a sonic hull thickness report? Hull thickness on older craft, especially steel hulls or pontoons is becoming an issue carriers seem to be focusing on more and more.
 
I’m looking for input on the hull thickness survey. We’ve done the general survey every 5 years for the last 15 or 20. This will be the first time we are required to do the hull thickness (Audio graph) test
 
I’m looking for input on the hull thickness survey. We’ve done the general survey every 5 years for the last 15 or 20. This will be the first time we are required to do the hull thickness (Audio graph) test
Yeah, OK. I think you said once that you have a Steel Pontoon boat, right? I've not dealt with a sonic test personally but I've heard some stories first hand, I wish I had better news to share. I've spent a lot of time in Boat Yards in the last few years and I'm on the board of the Lake Powell Yacht Club in Page where we own our own boat yard. The members who've had issues recently tell me that it's an expensive test ($2,500) and it's a ping about every square foot. I've seen the chalk all over the hulls and pontoons. They make their report about thickness of the material and send it in, it's quite clinical, not subjective, just the results mam. (Sgt. Joe Friday if you're old enough)

The reports interpretation and requirement's of maximum variance can differ by carrier but it's not just about thickness it's about variance in thickness. For those I've talked to even a small variance in thickness regardless of the depth of the material overall is enough to fail your hull or pontoons. In other words it's a percentage of the thickness, doesn't matter if it's a quarter inch thick material or and 1/8 inch, it's a percentage of deviation thinnest to thickest.(weird)

The newest steel boats on the lake are now 30 years old and their hulls are decaying if not outside in then inside out. (Steel and water) Last year at Wahweap Marina two steel mono hulls sunk on my dock, P dock. Seems within the last two years or so carriers have been taking more and more hits especially on old steel boats so they are requiring thickness tests and it doesn't seem like they are easy to pass.

If I were you I'd shop around to see if I could find someone to insure your boat who is not demanding the sonic test, a carrier who would offer you coverage on just a good out of water survey and pressure test, they might still be out there. Some members are reporting no problems with finding insurance after shopping around. So, I'd get my out of water survey and pressure test and fix things as requested. Then I'd go shopping for a yes with survey and documentation in hand but I'd leave it dry dock until I bound coverage just incase I had to go sonic. You wont know until you try, Best of luck!
 
Last edited:
We did the nose (front 1/4) but not the entire hull
I'd still get the full survey, comply with the list, save the documentation and go shopping. I'll just bet that you might not pass a sonic test even though it's thick steel. To me it's a CYA by the carriers, a way out. I could be wrong, I've been wrong before. We had a member of the Yacht Club cut up a boat and put it in dumpsters last year because Page Steel isn't taking them right now, not even for 10k. He chopped it up and I looked through most of the scrap, It looked very solid and thick but he had failed and since his boat was a 69 he could find no coverage at all.
 
Last edited:
we had to do an out of water marine survey in 2020 or so to renew the Markel Insurance
,Jeff Welker did it for about $1,000
We have a standard 2003 Summerset aluminum mono hull in Bullfrog
Jeff Welker 435-579-0511 www.amsurveys.net
He was very thorough, and we had to prove to Markel that we made all the repair suggestions.
He did not do any kind of sonic hull testing as I don't think that's required for our type of hull.
 
Skipperliners have a poor reputation for rusting from the inside out. Prior to the 2010 BK, they were already fighting owners on this issue with lawsuits.

I would view the insurance survey requirement as a positive thing to give you the confidence needed that all is good.

In regards to surveys, there are some excellent teams that will give you detailed reports on the exact condition of your vessel and this is good as it allows you to fix every fault for safety, and there are people that should not be in the survey business, selling surveys with minimal inspection. For me, I want to know that every got inspected and any issue requiring corrective action was completed per code.

I view insurance asking for sonic testing as a scream to get into a non-steel boat.

Wishing you good luck.
 
I just called a company that did a Skipperliner for me in 2017, Acuren Inspection Co. They are located at 1018 W. Center St., North Salt Lake, UT. 84054. Phone 801-292-4444, I talked to a guy named Ryan, they still do those ultrasounds. Boat was at Offshore and blocked up when we had ours done. They gave me a detailed report on the thickness of the hull at multiple places on the hull. If just an inspection is needed Jeff Welker, Advanced Marine Surveys located in Kanab, UT is the one we have used, 435-579-0511, email [email protected].
 
Last edited:
Thanks for all the input, but let me clarify my question.

1. I know an audio graph /hull test next fall as part of my every 5 year out of water survey.

What we are wondering is whether Markel will insure after the test and what standard they are applying

I’ve heard second hand of a boat that had a “successful” test with one small exception that the owners corrected but insurance was dropped anyway
 
Easy… hire a pre team on your dime to ping the hull and get all concerning issues corrected before the official survey ping test is performed - the results of the official survey test is sent to underwriters, not your pretest.

Insurance companies are looking for every excuse to cancel coverage on older hulls, the better you look on first glance then better. I would shoot for 100% with no small exceptions.

You may even consider hiring the survey team as a consultant to pre inspect your entire boat and flag all issues - this gives you time to fix 100% everything before it is formally documented and stamped and forwarded to underwriting.

The clock is ticking for every steel hull boat…
 
Curious if anyone knows if insurance companies are only focusing on steel hulls and pontoons or if they are also requiring these tests on monohull aluminum boats as well? I read above @TracySpeer mentioned there was no hull thickness test on their boat inspection by Jeff Welker in 2020.


Does anyone have any knowledge of this being required for aluminum monohulls in 2024? We have a marine survey coming up. Jeff Welker will be doing our inspection as well. Boat is currently sitting on the lot at OffShore. Nothings been mentioned about a hull thickness survey but wanted to be sure we weren’t blind sided by this if requested.

Thank you
 
Curious if anyone knows if insurance companies are only focusing on steel hulls and pontoons or if they are also requiring these tests on monohull aluminum boats as well? I read above @TracySpeer mentioned there was no hull thickness test on their boat inspection by Jeff Welker in 2020.


Does anyone have any knowledge of this being required for aluminum monohulls in 2024? We have a marine survey coming up. Jeff Welker will be doing our inspection as well. Boat is currently sitting on the lot at OffShore. Nothings been mentioned about a hull thickness survey but wanted to be sure we weren’t blind sided by this if requested.

Thank you
About 4 years ago I had purchased a 1988 aluminum monohull Three Buoys houseboat. After presenting Merkel with a current out of water survey I was offered the liability and recovery policy that met the marinas requirements to get a slip. Merkel told me that to get a full coverage policy I would be required to have a sonic thickness test. I had never heard of that with an aluminum boat. Merkel told me that it was required because of the boats age. I didn't pay a lot for the boat and not wanting to deal with getting a sonic test I took the liability and recovery only policy.

I sold the Three Buoys boat and bought a 1998 aluminum Jamestowner. When I applied for insurance on that boat I was offered a full coverage policy without being required to get a sonic test. That policy is not with Merkel it's with Karl Norgen and American National out of St. George.
 
Curious if anyone knows if insurance companies are only focusing on steel hulls and pontoons or if they are also requiring these tests on monohull aluminum boats as well? I read above @TracySpeer mentioned there was no hull thickness test on their boat inspection by Jeff Welker in 2020.


Does anyone have any knowledge of this being required for aluminum monohulls in 2024? We have a marine survey coming up. Jeff Welker will be doing our inspection as well. Boat is currently sitting on the lot at OffShore. Nothings been mentioned about a hull thickness survey but wanted to be sure we weren’t blind sided by this if requested.

Thank you
We have a 1988 aluminum monohull and are required to have the audio gauge this year before it hits the water or we risk losing our policy. 30 years of age was the threshold we were quoted where they are required.
 
We have a 1988 aluminum monohull and are required to have the audio gauge this year before it hits the water or we risk losing our policy. 30 years of age was the threshold we were quoted where they are required.
Who is your insurance through? Merkel
 
Back
Top