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Old 11-30-2001
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concerning surveyors

The free survey your broker offers may be worth $500, or it may be worth what he charges for it.... $0.00. Or it may cost you several thousand to fix things hs fails to find problems with. Having worked as a broker, the offer, however well-intentioned (or not!) seems unethical.
A note on surveying... After getting out of brokering, I had a surveyor I knew was reliable check out a boat I was interested in buying. He determined from his moisture meter that the hull core appeared to be saturated with moisture all over, and though he found no delamination in the ''glass, he suggested we get out the proverbial 10 foot pole and keep away from it. I couldn''t believe that such a wet hull had no delamination, since we had had a really cold winter. The freezing moisture should have caused delamination all over too. A second surveyor I asked about this came by and put his moisture meter on the inside of the hull, instead of the outside. The second surveyor''s readings showed everything dry. It seems the moisture was in the outer layers of paint-- awlgrip and Micron CXC -- not the hull. Five years later, we''ve done some work on the boat, but the hull seems to be holding up ok. The upshot: No one''s perfect, you get what you pay for, and boats are too complex for anyone to know everything. You can learn a lot from a surveyor, however, even after you''ve done your homework as suggested in posts above. The "extra" cost is an investment in your education, and it''s well worth being present as the surveyor goes around. He or she can point out things that don''t make it into his written report and you can ask questions that occur to you on the spot which would never occur to you from reading a terse written document.
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