Didn't recommend this because not everyone has a video camera, and some people freak out when they see video cameras, but are perfectly fine with regular cameras. Also, still cameras are generally smaller than video cameras, and many newer ones have limited video capability as well.
I would like to add one tip to the list:
Bring a video camera.
It has been invaluable to use during our search, we have a small Sony with 40GB har drive and you can shoot a lot of video, which really contains more info than still pictures and give you a better sense of 3D. We have watched and re-watched the videos we took during the search many times during our deliberations. It also allows you (of course) to add verbal comments as you go along an reduces the need to take written notes.
If you don't have access to the boat due to distance, things become a bit more complicated, unless you have a person that is local to the boat that you trust. If hiring a local surveyor makes you nervous, you can always bring in one of your own, though this is only recommended for very high-end boats, due the increased expenses of doing so.
Your inspection 'thread' is brilliant and I've printed it out as I go off today to see my first boat.
Question..what if you are buying a boat lying in another country? I assume you have plenty of exchanges with US owner prior to making a commitment...but can one rely on a boat surveyor in say, Panama? So if satisfied with owner's answers, do you go ahead and make a deal, subject to inspection and survey, like a house? Or is it best to get a broker involved (there isn't one now).
Any input appreciated.
Glad to help...that's why I started the thread.
What a fantastic post.
That is a really helpful list.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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