I had a harder time buying my new (to me) boat than I did selling my old one. A large part of the challenge was trying to extract information out of the brokers. With a couple notable exceptions, most brokers were very, very vague on the details of the boat and the boat's condition.
I came to the conclusion that this was intentional and designed to get me out there to look at the boat. No big deal with a boat in the general area, but extremely frustrating when a visit to the boat meant 2 days of travel.
One tactic that worked was to ask the broker to take specific photos - some weren't willing to do so, but it did let me know more about the boat than the listing disclosed. In one case it led to an offer and a weekend trip out of town for haulout and inspection (too bad I didn't ask the broker to take a picture of the bottom of that boat).
To answer your question though, yes, some surveyors will examine a boat and give you a general condition report without the detail and expense of a full survey.
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