we put in a purchase offer sight unseen, we saw lots of pics though. We looked at about 100 pics of the boat and the previous owners survey, and a detailed list of inventories. I talked to the PO and them seem ok, and they were using a reputable broker. Talked to the broker and he seemed like a nice guy. We put an offer in contingent on the boat being dropped in the water, it floating, the engine running, and the inventory all being there. It worked out fine.
Buying a boat is a crap shoot, a surveyor doesn't reduce risks, and if there is a problem down the road they will be no where to be seen. The only reason to survey a boat is to get insurance, and no one will insure you anyways.
Be diligent where you can be, and take a chance. Oh and lowball, making an offer on a boat that won't be gone over by a surveyor or need a test sail, and is being done quickly with cash, holds value for the seller.
If you take all these courses and trips you'll never have enough money to go cruising.
Life's a dream, live it!
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