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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Boat Buyers & Sellers Forum
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2012
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Well, if I were to sink $13,000 into a $5000 boat, then I have bigger problems than owning a crappy boat.
As I mentioned before anyone can call themselves a yacht surveyor, anyone. Granted like in any industry there are the good and the bad.
When I started asking around about a surveyor for a boat I recently purchased I found that peoples idea of a good boat surveyor was someone who will let things slide.
There seems to be four types of surveys, maybe more. One for the bank, one for the insurance company, one for the purchaser and one for the seller.
None of these surveys have any recourse of action in the event something goes wrong or was missed. If your boat was surveyed and two months later the keel falls off, your on your own. There is no recourse of action to take.
It's like giving someone your watch and asking them to tell you what time it is, except you get to give them money and they are not obligated to give you the correct time.
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Old 02-19-2012
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Yes, anyone can call themselves a surveyor and the accreditation isn't singularly meaningful. However, it isn't that hard to find a good knowledgeable surveyor. Folks ask for references here all the time.

That said, if you are truly capable of identifying the big stuff yourself (wet cores, keel joints, rudders, standing rigging, sails, motors, electronics, etc.) than you may be fine without one. You might get a head start by looking for a type club that would give pointers to common problems. Or, even ask here, as you didn't say what kind of boat it was.

In some sense, you are at a $5k max gamble, but that isn't exactly right. While I doubt you would put another $10k into her before you realized you made a mistake, the next buyer could realize she isn't worth the $5k you paid, if you tried to exit. In fact, if she needs $10k, she isn't worth anything and it will actually cost you money to have her scrapped. That's why there are so many abandon boats in boat yards.

Just be careful. If I were either comfortable with a $5k to $10k gamble or really felt confident in my skills, I would not get a survey. At the least, I would only have those things I wasn't confident in checked by a pro.
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Old 02-19-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Ship View Post
Every time I hear something about boat surveyors I bust out in laughter.
It's an unregulated industry that requires no training what so ever. Even an accredited S.A.M.S. yacht surveyor requires no education at all.
All you need to become an accredited boat surveyor is 3 years of experience running the till or scraping boat bottoms in a marina and complete a simple test. You only need to write the test to be accredited, it's not mandatory.
Not quite.

The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®, Inc. - (SAMS®)
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Old 02-19-2012
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It has changed since I last read it but the only difference is you need to have called yourself a surveyor for 5 years prior to testing. Again anyone can call themselves a surveyor.
You are still only required to have 3 years of related marine industry experience to write the test and become accredited.


1. Candidates must be currently practicing marine surveyors with at least five (5) years surveying experience, accumulated within the past ten (10) years, in the field of expertise which accreditation is desired. Credit of up to three (3) years of the five (5) years required may be granted for related marine experience. Acceptability of related marine experience shall be determined by the membership committee and/or Board of Directors.

2. Applicants must affirm that they will abide by the By-Laws Code of Ethics, Standards, official decisions and amendments to such of the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS®).

3. Candidates must complete an application form, supply a complete resume and submit for review a number of surveys as may be required by the Membership Committee.

4. Candidates must successfully complete a written and/or an oral exam on their selected field of accreditation as prescribed by the Testing Committee and conducted by that Committee or their designated representative. Cost related to administration of said examination shall be born by the candidates. Examinations will be reviewed by the Testing Committee and submitted to the Membership Committee.
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Well, if I were to sink $13,000 into a $5000 boat, then I have bigger problems than owning a crappy boat.
Depends upon the current market value of the boat. sinking $13K into a $5K Hinkley would put you well ahead, wouldn't it?
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As HPLou said: Most marinas and states require insurance, insurance companies require surveys . . . ergo . . .
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Old 02-19-2012
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Back in the 90's a friend did a survey on a $7500.00 "agreed price" for the boat. After the survey the owner gave him the boat on the agreement that he would pay the $450.00 yard bill.

So, in total $$, he got the boat for under $1000.00 (survey cost & yard bill) and put about 3k into fixing it, for a 4K total cost. This put him $3500.00 ahead of the agreed price before survey and $7500.00 ahead when you add back the 3K he had to spend fixing it anyway.

Seems crazy to do a survey on a 5k boat until you see someone get one for free, because of the survey...
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2012
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Getting a survey from a well recommended surveyor helps to "see" the boat from an objective point of view, rather than the emotionally irrational eyes of the "in just a couple of weekends and a few hundred bucks I can fix this thing up like new" potential new boat owner (a wife can generally do this also:-)). In short, it can save you from yourself for a small amount of money, and I've always learned something from each survey.
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Old 02-19-2012
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Would get a vehicle inspection on a used car? A home inspection? The latter is a bigger purchase, but the same principle.
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Old 02-19-2012
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I have no idea how it works in other places, but here in California, most (if not all) marinas require a recent survey prior to leasing one a slip. Additionally, most (if not all) marinas require that the boat be insured, with the marina named as "additional insured". And, of course, insurance companies also require a survey. So, unless one has a private dock or mooring (rare in these parts), one pretty much has to get a survey. Might as well do it pre-purchase.
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