Originally Posted by Outrageous
A. Want to emphasize the advice given by Chef to JulieMor:
1. New boats cost a lot in depreciation.
2. New boats will have lots of issues initially - as many IMHO as well-maintained older boats.
3. There are statistics on the 'sweet spot' for buying a boat. Something 3-5 years old is likely to have the kinks fixed, the systems are still new enough to work, and the major depreciation hit has been taken.
If you can afford the 3-5 year old boat you want, that's a much better bet than a new one. But again - you're buying the owner(s) as well as the boat.
B. On surveyors: Your surveyor must go up the mast. S/he must be able to test electrical and engine systems. You must do a haul out. Even with all that, YOU should test that every aspect of the boat works (or that the price reflects known defects), inspect every turnbuckle, find and view the chainplates, etc. Surveyors do have limited time, but hopefully you only fully rely on them for expertise you don't have.
Every surveyor contract I have read says that they do not go up the mast and that engines and rigging are not covered other than basic inspection. Rigging and mechanical inspections are separate, and normally different people.