Can you trust a survey??
Like Jeff says, a surveyor is useful in pointing out what is reasonable to point out. He can''t know what isn''t apparent, and can''t know everything. I have seen a driveshaft that an owner says he purposely kept oiled to prevent rust. The surveyor thought it might indicate leaks in seals or gaskets. A surveyor we hired told us a boat we were looking had extensive, major moisture absorption problems in the core. We used common sense to question this -- if the boat''s core was so wet, why hadn''t that winter''s extremely cold freezing temperatures caused extensive delamination problems (the surveyor had found none). I got a second opinion from another surveyor. The second surveyor also had a moisture meter. When he placed it against the hull on the inside, where there was no paint, there was no moisture. When he placed it against the outside, which had bottom paint and awlgripped topsides, there was moisture. That was an expensive ($100?) ten minutes, but we''ve been happy with the boat ever since. Ask lots of questions, and try to be there to learn as much as you can when the survey is done. The surveyor always finds something.