The last thing anybody wants is a bad survey. Remember that a survey is a snapshot of the condition and value of the vessel on the day of inspection. The easiest way to avoid a negative survey is to check your boat over before the surveyor does. Here are some common finding that are easily avoidable.
Fire extinguishers: Make sure they are in good condition, in date, charged, and in the correct location. Click for specific details.
Sound Making Device: Should be operational.
CO Device: Should be operational and in date (if expiration date present).
Smoke detectors: Should be operational and in date (if expiration date present).
Flares must be in date and onboard.
Adequate life jackets should be in acceptable condition and accessible in case of an emergency.
The Inland Waterway Manual is present for all boats that require it.
Batteries should be properly stored in a correct box and secured.
Positive terminals should be covered.
GCFI (ground circuit fault interrupters): they should be installed where needed and operational.
Check your packing glands for leaks.
Check the condition of your hoses for cracks and fuel hoses should be in date.
Check that your bilge pump and automatic switches are operational.
Check that all seacocks are operational.
Check that all nav lights are operational.
Placards required by federal law are properly displayed.
A high-water bilge alarm is highly recommended.