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Today, and more than ever, the expert plays a key role in the valuation of the multihull you buy. In addition to the general visual condition to be checked, the boats have today become sophisticated, with electrical, electronic, sometimes very complicated technical points ...

Make sure also to name a surveyor who has some experience of the multihull : the behavior, the structure, the construction, the historical issues on some models, will allow him to better understand the possible problems.

The Haulot

A haulout will be imperative with 2 possible options :

- leave the catamaran under straps for a few hours to check the possible impacts, shocks, cracks, osmosis bubbles, deformations on the hulls sides, play in the rudders and parallelism, condition of the propellers and shafts, absence of electrolysis, condition of thru hulls .. A taping with a hammer will also detect possible takeoffs not always visible to the naked eye.

- If the boat is rather old, it should be taken out of the water a few days before, so that the hull dries enough ; Hydrometric records are carried out by the expert with a device adapted to the type of construction of the boat : sandwich, resin, carbon .. Indeed if the boat is just out of water, the readings can be distorted by a high external humidity.

The visual and functional

Rigging is of course a major element to control and the expert must climb to the head of the mast to check head holder, capelage, welds, fasteners and guying. He will also check the general condition of the bridge, martingale and front beam to verify that there are no traces of abnormal forces, the fasteners of the davits or rear platform

Except that specific points are mentioned prior to the survey by the owner or crew as non-functional, everything must be operational and tested : lighting, air conditioning, all on-board equipment, chargers, boilers, showers, water circuit, fridges, entertainment, bilge pumps, toilets ..

We will check possible deformations of bulkheads, doors, possible cracks under the floors, sometimes normal : a multihull is a rather flexible and will naturally deforms when navigating under the stresses especially of the rigging. The surveyor will be able to detect a normal crack, due to age and use, or rather abnormal.


The sea trial will only last a few hours and will allow to check the general operation at sea : condition of the sails, furlers, winches, maneuverability of the helm, general behaviour of the boat, absence of abnormal noises or squeaks, vibrations in the rudders or propellers.

The engines will have to be tested at different speeds, and among other things at highest rpm ; the crews are not always very fan of this delicate moment. They will be reminded that it is essential from time to time to disengage their engines and to mount them in ..

We will end with an anchorage to check the windlass, the test of the tender, the platform, boarding plank and the watermaker ; we avoid to test them at the harbour !

In conclusion : a survey i essential !

A survey is essential whatever the age of your multihull ; we are not always told everything, and especially it will serve you to value your boat with insurance and resale.

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