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Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Angry at my surveyor....

For myself and I think most surveyors use a good bit of common sense. For a 30 year old boat if it does not meet every standard in the latest Book that is ok but I am going to want it to come close on some things like AC wiring and fuel systems. These are things that kill. I am not going to write it because it does not have a high water alarm which is now required. I might suggest that but not in the recommendations.

Most surveyors will not use the word "seaworthy" as that is a law suit waiting to happen, using the word "cruising" is a bit tricky as well. It has gotten to the point where I can't use the expression "sea trial" anymore, it now has to be "water trial" unless I take the boat to sea meaning 3 miles offshore. Why? because like Mcd's and the coffee someone got sued. This is why some of you may have vague wording in your reports. Blame the lawyers.

I used to survey boats for a major manufacture, would do every boat they built starting in lamination and finishing with the sea trail before delivery. I would have at least 2 pages of write ups on those boats. On a 30 year old I will not nit pick it anywhere near that extent.

This is why an insurance company cannot send out a agent with a 3 week training course under his belt to look at your boat. There is a lot of judgment used on the part of a surveyor, a balance between safety and not making the boat look like a wreck better left for the scrap heap. Most surveyors look to protect their clients from major problems and general safety issues. I read the forums and it sometimes surprises how little some owners know about things like AC power and why it has to be grounded. I am not putting them down you cannot expect everyone to know everything about their boats that is why they hire us to point these things out.

So most surveyors are not out to make life hard but rather help the owner better understand their boat. The sad truth is we often have to be careful because we know there is someone out there just waiting to sue us because we worded something wrong.It is a balancing act for sure some are better at it then others.

This has been an interesting discussion and I have enjoyed seeing just how some owners see us surveyors. hopefully some of my input will help some understand it from the other side.
Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS

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