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Old 09-08-2003
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Picking a surveyer

Ditto the comments to not rely on a broker''s recommendation - like house inspectors, there is a wide divergenge in skills and expertise amongst surveyors, and a broker will sensibly recommend "good" surveyors, but not necessarily "tough" surveyors.
When buying a boat you want to be as well informed as possible, as it''s very easy for a "good" surveyors to get a lot of details, but miss big things. Out last "good" surveyor missed a leaking fuel tank, bad engine mounts, and the tired state of the diesel, needed repairs found after purchase, amounting to about 40% of the purchase price.
To find a "tough" surveyor, I had contacted several local top-end yacht firms ( Hinckly, Little Harbor, etc.) and asked who surveyed their big boats. I came up with a small number of area names - surveyors who operated at this level are special, expensive, and hard to schedule. You may have to pay them for the day, plus travel expenses, as they know thier value and can demand such compensation.
Unfortuantely, none could schedule our survey in less than two weeks (because they are so in demand!), so we went with a "good" local surveyor.
Big mistake. Pay extra and get the most capable surveyor (someone who is trusted with $1MM+ boats) and it will be the best money that you spend on your boat.

Good luck.
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