Yes, you definitely want to be present for the survey if at all possible.
Also, it wouldn't hurt to read up how to inspect a sailboat—Don Casey has a section on doing this in several of his books, and IIRC has a book specifically about this. That will give you an idea of what you're looking for, what you're looking at, and what the surveyor might have missed. Also, gives you an idea of what questions you might want to ask specifically.
One other thing is you might want to look at the boat model you're interested in buying in the Practical Sailor Boat Buying Guide. It has owner reviews and also mentions the known weak points and what to look out for specifically for different boats. Many boats have known issues that need to be looked at.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.