Asleep at the wheel
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: Going to look at a boat
I agree. I have Progressive. They didn't ask for a survey for our Catalina - we were only seeking to insure it for $4,000 ("book" for it was closer to $6-8,000), and paid $1000 for it. I wanted a survey on our Allmand because I knew we were paying a lot less for it than book value and wanted to insure it for closer to its book value, but I suspect we may not have needed one for this boat, either. If LakeMI isn't paying much for the boat (a few thousand) then a survey probably won't be needed.
Now, whether a survey is prudent is another idea entirely. They aren't cheap, especially as a percentage of the cost of the boat when you're in our range, but surveys can be very good for peace of mind. A good surveyor will help you establish a list of "must-do" and "good-to-do" things, and that's very helpful when first starting out. That alone can be worth the $350-500 for the survey.
Another 2 options to consider before hiring a surveyor for a formal survey: 1) post here asking if anyone lives near you/the boat and would be willing to come help you go over it, and 2) ask the surveyor if he/she offers a "sanity check" quickie survey. Mine did. Basically, he spent about 30-45 minutes aboard her one day looking for all of the really glaring things that would tend to make someone walk away from a boat. Things like cracked thru-hulls, rotting chainplates, soft spots in the deck, etc. He even took moisture readings at several places. I think he charged me $100 for that, and gave me $50 credit toward the full survey. To me, the $50 extra that I paid was insurance. I could have walked away from the boat and I'd have only been out $100.
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15
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