Smack, i agree that noone knows everything and that even the most competent surveyor could miss some things or under estimate the cost to repair. Not at issue. Not what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the order of business. In the boat buying world it is offer - disclosure. It should be disclosure - offer. How can you bid on something without knowing it's true condition? Bidding on something without knowing it's true condition is bidding in the blind. In some arena's like bidding on foreclosed homes bidding in the blind is the way it's done. Step up, roll the dice. Usually placing uninformed bids is a formula for financial disaster.
This is not the way it is done in other arenas of large ticket sales. From EBay to the Manheim Auto auction it is full disclosure up front. (BTW, dealers who misrepresent or omit material facts about vehicle condition at Manheim are sanctioned up to and including being barred. Ebay does the same) Buyers are reasonably assured as to the condition of the items they are buying. Bids are made relying on that information. IOW, disclosure then bid, not the other way around.
The problem is that the seller cannot disclose what he does not know.
It takes a professional such as a surveyor, rigger or diesel mechanic to find certain types of problems.
TJ, no offense, but how long have you been around boats? How many boats have you bought/sold?
When I sold my last boat, the surveyor found (minor) things that I was not aware of. In fact it is very, very unusual for a survey to come out entirely without findings.
You should not be too pissed off on spending $1K on a survey that made you walk, how much would it have cost you in the end if you had bought the vessel?