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Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Older Boat Insurance

If you have just purchased a house you would know this.
No bank/lender is going to give you a mortgage on a house that has (a) asbestos, (b) bad septic system, (c) crumbling foundation, (d) decomposing structure etc, etc.
The lender will require a survey before they sign off on lending the money. It is in their own interest. Building codes have also become much more stringent over the last 50 years which means that a "C or O" is much more rigorous these days then it was back when.
The home insurers do not need a survey because they know that the Banks involved have already done some due diligence to make sure that the house actually exists and is mostly up to code.
Buying a house these days is much more complicated then buying a boat. With the housing market everyone has their hand in your wallet. It is really not so different with boats actually. Once you have purchased your dream boat then, and only then must you begin to pay monthly, yearly fees just to own it. Then there are incidental expenses...

A new car has a title which is supposed help to cut down on fraud. Boats and cars made before 1973 do not have titles and as such are not as highly regulated.

While I agree with smurphny that you should be able to survey your own boat the reason for 'marine surveyors' is so that the insurers do not have to take your word for the fact that your boat is worth $750,000. What they are trying to do is cut down on fraud (that perhaps only a few commit but the rest of us get to pay for).

If you want insurance at all, then it is their sandbox and you have to play by their rules or save up for your own sandbox ($1M + in bank for self-insurance).
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