Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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extent of boat survey
The level of detail on a survey greatly depends on the particular surveyor and what you have negotiated with the surveyor and seller. In a technical sense, a surveyor is not supposed to disassemble anything without permission and some surveyors won''t disassemble things even with permission. A surveyor will not do any destructive testing without specific instructions from all parties and again, some will not do destructive testing even when so directed.
I have generally requested permission from an owner to disassemble anything that we feel might conceal a defect as long as we put it back together. I have generally gotten that permission. On most boats that I have purchased I personally did a lot of the disassembly and reassmbly, leaving the surveyor free to do what he''s paid for, i.e. survey the boat.
Surveyors vary greatly in the detail that the go into with regard to rigging, mechanical components and in the other aspects of examing a boat and even in the way that the report their findings. It is important that you really interview the surveyor to get a sense of their background and to have them describe in detail what they are going to do. When in doubt, I have asked to see a survey for a boat of similar complexity to the one I am buying. (Some surveyors will not show you one since they consider each survey as confidential.)