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Who is This Course Suitable For?

This course is for marine surveyors and people working in related areas that wish to learn about the specific issues that can be faced when surveying yacht and small boats. Ideal for the seasoned professional looking to update and have their knowledge recognised or the novice wishing to learn about his subject for the first time.

12 – 18 months

12 in total

Diploma: £2,950
Certificate: £2,150

Recognised by:
University of Portsmouth

About the Course

With this Yacht and Small Craft Surveying course you will develop and deepen your knowledge of Small Craft Surveying and learn the skills required to conduct a survey efficiently and effectively.

Module Subjects include a range of challenging topics such as surveying GRP yachts, valuation surveys and sea trials plus essential subjects such as accounting, law and insurance.

Course Structure

Level One – Diploma or Certificate

The course consists of 12 modules. All students are required to successfully complete and pass the module assignments. Diploma students will also be required to sit and pass a final examination.

Level Two – Practical

Surveyor’s Log Book (SLB)

Level 2 consists of a Surveyor’s Log Book (SLB) As a surveyor under training completes each task, he/she gathers evidence to support the experience and learning gained, in a structured manner, guided by the Log Book. Once completed, the Log Book will be submitted to MTA for review.

Peer Review

Leading to a CoC issued by MTA

The MTA Peer Review is a detailed oral examination lasting between two to three hours and is graded on a pass/fail basis. The three-member Peer Review Committee will ask a series of questions to test the students practical and theoretical knowledge of surveying in their chosen specialist field. Successful completion of the Peer Review is required to achieve the MTA Certificate of Competency in the Yacht and Small Craft Surveying.

1. An Introduction to the Yacht and Small Craft Industry and the Role of the Yacht and Small Craft Surveyor
  • The yacht and small craft industry
  • Yachting regulation and safety
  • The purchase of a yacht
  • The law and yachts
  • Health and safety for the marine surveyor
  • Surveys and survey organisations
  • The professional surveyor
  • The yacht and small craft surveyor in specialist roles
  • The yacht and small craft surveyor in practice
  • Organising the survey
  • What makes a good surveyor?
  • Types of surveys
2. The Essential Basics of Carrying out a Yacht survey
  • Types of survey
  • The survey process
  • The report and follow up
  • The surveyor’s bag
  • Risk assessments
  • Attributes of good surveyor
3. Report Writing for Marine Surveyors
  • Introduction
  • The basis of reports
  • Preparing for the report
  • Report types
  • Writing the report
  • Touch typing
4. Running a Successful Yacht and Small Craft Surveying Business
  • Running a successful yacht and small craft surveying business
  • The business plan
  • The value of your time
  • Marketing your business
  • Preparation – the swot analysis
  • Finance
  • Choosing your office
  • Time management
  • Challenges and solutions
5. Essential Law
  • Introduction
  • Legal concepts
  • Maritime law
  • Marine insurance and claims
  • Table of cases
6. Surveying GRP Yachts
  • Introduction
  • History
  • Basic fibreglass materials
  • Resin
  • Reinforcement
  • Sandwich construction
  • Building techniques
  • How is a boat laid up?
  • General nomenclature for FRP craft
  • Building defects
  • Failure modes of cored laminates
  • Keels
  • Osmosis
  • Moisture meters
  • Practical surveying of GRP craft
7. Surveying Steel and Aluminium Yachts
  • Steel
  • Aluminium
  • Aluminium and steel – a comparison
  • Design and fabrication of small steel and aluminium craft
  • Structure
  • Rudders
  • Boat fabrication
  • Corrosion
  • Anodes and cathodic protection
  • Protecting steel and aluminium
  • Stress and associated faults
  • Damage
  • Surveys and surveying methods
8. Surveying Wooden Boats
  • Introduction
  • Wood as a construction material
  • Wooden boat construction
  • Degradation of wooden boats
  • The wooden boat survey
  • Case study – investigation into the sinking of wooden vessel on the River Thames
9. Surveying Yacht Engines and Systems
  • Introduction
  • Types of engine
  • Engines
  • Drive systems
  • Exhaust systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Water systems
  • Fuel systems
  • Bilge pumps
  • Gas system
  • Electrical systems
  • Safety equipment
  • Limitations of a marine surveyor
10. Surveying Rigs and Sails
  • Introduction
  • A brief history
  • Rig types
  • Mast construction materials and fabrication techniques
  • Rigging
  • Health and safety in rig surveying
  • Common rigging faults
  • The surveyor’s tools for masts and rigging
  • The limitations of the surveyor’s role in rig surveying
  • Sails
  • History
  • Sail types
  • Sail materials
  • Methods of sail surveying
  • The surveyor’s tools for sail inspections
  • The limitations of the surveyor’s role in sail surveying
  • Rig and sail accessories
  • Deck hardware
11. Valuation Surveys
  • Introduction
  • Valuations
  • Aspects of value
  • Valuation methodology
12. Sea Trials
  • Introduction
  • Equipment
  • Engine tests
  • Steering tests
  • Information recording and reporting
  • Conclusions
Career Pathway

Career path:
No one defined career path but many yacht and small craft surveyors grow into the role through having an extensive involvement in small boats over an extended period of time.

From a low of £18,000 per annum rising up to over £65,000 depending upon location, experience and amount of time dedicated to work.

The inspection of and reporting on the physical condition of all aspects of yachts and small craft.

Meet the Course Director

Richard Cray

BEng (Hons), MIIMS, DipMarSur – Marine Surveyor, Precision Yacht Surveying

Richard has a wide range of surveying experience from small sailing and motor boats to the world’s most renowned superyachts. He believes that the fundamental surveying principles are the same regardless of the type of vessel.


On passing the Diploma, you will receive the above icon. Please use it on your business cards, LinkedIn profile and website(s)!

You can also use these letters after your name: MTA Dip YachtSurv


Online learning allows you to study in your own time, at your own pace from anywhere in the world. This saves on travel and classroom costs and allows you to fit your studies around your job and progress your career.


While the nature of distance learning is independent study, we recognise the importance of support. Students can contact us at any time during their course for assistance and our team of industry experts are always on hand for advice.


We have over 50 industry experts writing, developing and advising on our course material. We truly believe that allowing students to tap into their expertise and knowledge is of the utmost importance to fulfil your dream career.

If you would prefer to complete this as a classroom-based course, please contact us.


How long do the courses take to complete? What's the difference between a Diploma and a Certificate? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions below to find out the answer.

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