I have followed this thread for awhile, and can appreciate and even commiserate with many of the posters. Probably don't need to add my opinion, but I have observed the following from the several pages of posts:
1. Surveys are typically a pain in the rear. I have had a couple of surveys, and been present for each one. learned a lot from all of them, and found them very valuable, but also frustrating. Remember, what is being surveyed is typically a 15, 20, 30, or more old sea-going vessel that has spent most of it's life in a hostile (to the boat material) environment - there are ALWAYS going to be problems.
2. Being present at a survey is essential. The last survey for my current boat, I drove 6 hours one way around Lake Huron to be there and follow the surveyor - invaluable.
3. Boating is not like medical malpractice (for Med sailor). I would challenge anyone to find a boat in perfect condition with no problems. That's different than saying a boat is not seaworthy (which, by the way, is on opinion, not a factual finding). In medicine (yes, I'm a physician too) we try to get everything right and always need to cover our asses, but with sailing, we try to do the best we can to keep the boat in as good a shape as possible and sail as safely as possible.
4. All the surveyors I have worked with have been professional, but it is there job to identify as many flaws or imperfections as possible, and then to document them.
5. Sailing for most of us is recreation or past-time (though sometimes full time as well). It makes sense to enjoy it, worry about the big stuff, and fix as much of the small stuff as we can. Anyone out their have a boat project task list without anything left unchecked? I don't.
So get out and sail, have fun, and let the insurance company try an prove that whatever problem you had must have come from some minor fault found on a survey of an old boat.