Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Coast Ontario
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one
My experience with surveys, as the owner of a 23' fiberglass sailboat, a 25' wooden powerboat, and the research I have done as a tireless underpaid blogger:
1. surveys on modern era fiberglass construction production boats are charged out by the foot, based on customer specification.
2. surveys are for one of the three purposes-
a) purchase survey: to determine if what you have contracted to buy is substantively as the seller has listed. any deficiencies are material grounds for reworking the purchase price or bailing from the deal if egregious enough. By their very nature, it is in the buyer's best interest to have the most intensive and rigorous purchase survey performed. The cost of the survey is often recouped in a reduction of the purchase price based on undisclosed deficiencies. or...
b) an insurance survey is often necessary, to insure a boat, unless it is less than 25' and 10 hp. if you are going to have a boat covered by a rider on your homeowner's policy, as is likely the case with a 22' boat, a survey is likely not required. But, if your insurance company DOES require a survey becasue you are not insured under a home insurance policy, an insurance survey can be a more cursory evaluation to meet the needs of the insurance company. it can be a more superficial inspection of the vessel and a thumbnail impression of it's current market value. it gets you insurance, it may not get you much peace of mind.
c) under 25', and under a price point that you can cut a check for the purchase without need ing bank financing, you are well-advised to learn to do an inspection yourself. There is a good sticky here on "inspection trip tips" Check it out.
The survey conducted is based on the survey parameters specified. If a buyer asks for an lower-cost, less intensive insurance survey, then bitches when deficiencies are noticed after the fact that would have been uncovered by a more intensive purchase survey, well, you get what you pay for. Ther are lots of boatyards though who will make you fele better by blaming the surveyor, while happily taking your money to repair stuff that you wouldn't have to pay to repair, because a more extensive survey would have steered you away from the boat, or at least given you a heads up regarding what was involved.
All of that being said, if you are a KNLNWBTEG (Know Nothing, Learned Nothing, Wet Behind the Ears Greenhorn) it behooves you to have a professional purchase survey done. yeah, it might cost you $3-500 (shop around, and tell the surveyors you need a purchase survey- a wise surveyor like boatpoker will understand what you need and want and will give you a fair quote.), but it will likely save you more than that.
Good luck, and get sailing!
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Last edited by bljones; 11-02-2013 at 12:29 AM.