Re: Survey say's.......
I'm a marine engineer with 40 years experience and I kind of have to agree with boatpoker. There are however some very good surveyors out there that I have a lot of respect for. If I were going to hire someone, I would want to know what their background is to qualify them as knowing what to look for, more than the certificate.
I usually only get involved when there is serious damage to a boat that I engineered in the first place. It usually involves a collision with another vessel or else a substantial immovable object. In those cases, I really wouldn't expect a surveyor to do anything more than document the extent of the damage.
However, the other time I often become involved is when the surveyor finds a "hidden defect" often with a moisture meter. The first thing I do is look on the inside of the boat where they got the "suspect reading". Half the time there is a water tank or a bottle of some kind of liquid there. They find "voids" in the laminate where it transitions from core to solid or where there is a stringer, floor, or bulkhead on the opposite side.
I think a surveyor should be able to accurately detect most problems in the hull and deck & rigging, check out the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. They should be able to tell you if more involved tests are warranted. If the report came up missing obvious problems and incorrect information, why would you pay them?