I agree with the other guys here that a previous survey can be very useful in deciding whether to move forward with looking at a boat (especially if you have to travel to see it) or making an offer, but you should always commission your own survey prior to closing. The previous survey can provide great detailed information about the boat, and it's better than having no survey at all, but you're still taking some risk.
For everybody there's some $$ threshold below which a survey just doesn't make sense in terms of cost/benefit, but I think you'd want to know for sure what you're getting into before dropping anything in the neighborhood of $15k.
Carolina Wind Yachting Center, Washington, NC
Charters * Brokerage * Pacific Seacraft * Zodiac
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Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little.