Re: 10K$ boat --- Are Insurance and Survey REALLY mandatory?
There are insurance companies out there that will give you liability without a survey. I believe that Progressive does not require it. Generally some non marine insurance companies don't require it. If it is a trailer sailor, some get coverage under there home owners. I have heard others getting just a generally liability coverage sometimes with an out of the water photo, so you can see the whole keel. Keep in mind you boat may not be worth much, but others around you are. That is why liability is important. And if your boat sinks, even a small trailer sailor will cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover and re-mediate depending on where it happens.
As for shady deals, yes they are out there. I don't think they are the majority, but in the lower price range it seems to happen more often. It may not be intentional either. As for needing a pre-purchase survey for me around $10,000 is close to what I would be willing to spend. Remember it will only take one of the big items to cost about what the boat is worth. Certainly a new motor (if inboard) will cost at least $10,000 to have replaced. Rigging is going to be at least a couple of thousand, and sails more than that. While some of these can be done for less. It takes some knowledge to do it successfully. So if a $500 survey prevents you from from buying money pit it could save you a lot.