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  #1  
Old 05-18-2006
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Marine surveyor

Should I get a surveyor to look at a boat I might buy even if it is under US$5,000? Is it still necessary or even worth it?
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Old 05-18-2006
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it really depends on how important $5,000 is to you and if you have serious concerns about the boat.

a $600 investment in a surveyor can save you thousands in potential required repairs...

any ask sailor - the purchase of the boat is just the beginning of your spending...

Boat = A hole in the water that you pour money into.

Last edited by administrator; 05-18-2006 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 05-18-2006
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You may have little choice

If you are financing or insuring the boat, you may well have no choice, as a survey will be insisted upon by the bank and/or the insurer.
Sometimes it does seem a bit over the top, especially if it's a very simple boat - i.e. - no through hulls, no inboard engine, etc.
But unless you are experienced enough to see what you are getting into, the objective opinion of an expert will set your mind at ease, or, as pointed out, prevent your wasting most of the $5G.
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Old 05-18-2006
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Ditto the advice. Once you have agreed on a price, get the survey...I have never had a surveyor cost me more than the $$ they saved me by pointing out flaws that either made me walk away or allowed me to obtain further price reductions.
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What if the boat is currently in the water? Is that a problem? I would think a surveyor would want to examine the hull. But again, I could be wrong.
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Old 05-18-2006
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The boat must be hauled for a complete survey. An essential part of a marine survey is sounding the bottom with steel & plastic hammers, to detect potential structural deficiencies, voids & delamination of gelcoat.

A moisture meter is also used to detect water intrusion into the hull. However, this requires the boat to be hauled at least the day before the survey for dryout. The cost of haulout is normally paid for by the buyer, costing 6.00 per foot LOA at my marina, plus pressure washing.
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 05-18-2006 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 05-18-2006
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You will definitely need to take the boat out of the water. There are some serious potential problems that can only be found while the boat is out--blisters, keel bolt problems, etc. It's worth the money get it hauled.

Surveyors get away with charging ungodly amounts of money, so do your homework and NEVER pay any more than $15 a foot. If you're going with BoatUS for insurance, I've found that a lot of surveyours will give you a BoatUS discount.

Good luck!
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Thanks, everyone. You've give me some good info to go on.
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Old 05-18-2006
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It Depends

Hello,

The first boat I bought, a 1981 Catalina 22, I did not have surveyed.
The boat was on a trailer so I could examine everything, was very
simple (outboard motor, porta potty, no galley, etc.) was clean and
well cared for, and the owners were very nice and seemed honest.

The boat was exactly as they presented it and I don't regret not
getting a survey.

I did get a survey for my next boat, a 1986 Newport 28. That boat
was way more complicated (inboard diesel, through hulls, complete
MSD, pressure hot and cold water, wheel steering, etc.). The
surveyor did a great job, but didn't help at all regarding a price
break (the boat was as presented so the agreed on price stayed,
and I didn't mind at all).

IMHO, if you have some mechanical aptitude and a good eye, a
survey is not needed on a small simple boat. For a bigger boat
with complicated systems, it is a good idea.

Good luck,
Barry
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