ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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I hired TWO surveyors, not associate surveyors, to look at the boat that I eventually bought (for a lot more than $1500). Their prices (in the northeast US) were over $20/foot to complete a survey. I was not impressed with EITHER of them, and they both missed things that should have appeared prominently in their report.
In the hope that you can learn from the education that I paid for; here are a bunch of qualifying questions that you can use to vet your surveyors before hiring any of them:
- Can you please send me an example survey?
- If the survey is halted by me, because of a serious defect, will you charge extra should I wish to continue/complete the survey after the defect is addressed?
- Do you charge for travel time?
- Will you inspect the standing rigging?
- In the event that the survey is halted, how would you expect to be compensated? (hourly / flat fee / other?)
- How far in advance of the survey should I request that it be preformed? (ie. What is your lead time?)
I would expect that the answer from a reputable surveyor to question 1 to be an emphatic YES, and to questions 2-4 would be NO. Questions 5 & 6 are just to help you understand.
I have to disagree about your expectations for NO for questions 2-4
Excellent surveyors are always busy, they set upfront billing practices that reflect how valuable their customers find their time to be. So you can expect to pay only by the full day, and to include travel time, and to pay the full day, regardless of whether the survey stops after two hours, plus another day if you want them back. If you don't want to pay them for a full day plus travel, no problem as wiser buyers will keep them busy...
So you can find the run-of-the-mill survey who will charge by the hour, no charge for travel, charge only for time used, etc. A classic example of penny-wise and pound-foolish. So you save $500 on the survey, which becomes chump change if even one problem is overlooked.
But I guess I am preaching to the choir here, as it sounds like I am only calling on your own surveyor experiences...
Certified...in several regards...
Last edited by sailingfool; 12-27-2010 at 11:43 AM.