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  #11  
Old 11-08-2006
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The fairly recent improvements in digital photography have greatly enhanced survey reports - it's a cinch now for the surveyor to include detailed pics of the various things (good and bad) that were found.

In addition to a seperate engine/mechanical survey, having the rig inspected by a qualified rigger will add to your peace of mind, while lightening your pocketbook just a little more.

I agree with the idea of being present during the survey - can't really see how a confident and capable surveyor can object to that, and you do get first hand impressions and immediate feedback as well as the opportunity to learn from an expert.

In some cases, it may be possible to have the surveyor agree in advance to abort the survey if you come across something early on that is a deal-breaker. That could save you some money there however some surveyors may take the view that they booked the time slot for you - end of story.

On the other side of things, some boats are so inherently simple that the insurance company's insistence of periodic surveys doesn't make a lot of sense. We had a M242 - all glass dayracer, not a single thru hull, no fixtures, no machinery - the simplest boat in the world and had to have surveys done 3 times over the 15 yrs we owned her. The first pre-purchase one was a no brainer, but the others seemed a nuisance and unwarranted expense.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2006
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I had 2 surveys performed this summer. The first vessel, a Gulf32 failed. The second passed. I purchased the 2nd vessel. Boat US does not require a survey if the vessel is less then 10 years old, but my lending institution did. In my humble opinion, new boat or used makes no difference, they need surveying before purchase is considered. I have bought both new and used and post from experience. Estimated value of the vessel is given by the surveyor. Each survey was about $500.00. I will be glad to let you review either of my surveys performed this year.
The image provided is the day before the survey and sea trial. This Pacific Seacraft is a 1997 32' Pilothouse. Not to many made, not to many for sale, but it is exactly what I was looking for to extend the sailing seasons in this northern climate.

Last edited by RickBowman; 04-16-2007 at 12:33 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2006
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Exclamation Don't go without it!

I just had a survey done for an Island Packet 350 I have put an offer for in.
The boat is for sale by a privat seller, not thru a broker.

Besides the main survey I also had an engine survey done and I am happy I did. The total cost was ~ $500 for the main survey, same for the engine survey (incl. oil samples) and $260 for the haul-out. The reports came back with about 45 issues, mostly minor, but also some that needs attention right away. We are talking about a Radar that's not working but pulling excessive amperage, a pittet and leaking exhaust elbow, a dry-rottet exhaust hose, a loose strut between the keel and the rudder (according to the factory needs to be addressed at once!) and a failing bottompaint that's less 6 month old.

Because the engine on this 1998 boat had already more than 2800hr I felt it was needed to have the diesel mechanic to take a close look.

While all this things are not major,I felt the major issues described above needed to be addressed by the seller. I would take care of everything else incl. brocken brackets, failing hose clamps, unproper wiring, all (6) batteries that need to be replaced etc. While my offer was right there where the surveyer had put the fair market value, the seller don't want to do anything and so the deal will fall thru.

B.t.w. I didn't ask for a price reduction, just to have the major issues repaired before closing.

Still, I am glad a have spend this money and didn't just bought a $160K boat just from the looks ....

I guess, the search continues, but I have to be more careful with looking at the boat AND the seller before ordering the next survey. Next time I will make it very clear, that I will not except things on a boat that are not functioning or are just not right like a leaking mixing elbow in the engine room ...

The surveys are not only for the bank and insurance but also for the buyer's peace of mind and to put him into a position to make a informed decission.

just my 2 cents
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2006
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About the only 'contact' that I have with the new boat buyers is the location shots on CSI Miami. I relate to them about the same as I do shots of Mars. A whole different world.

Cam thanks for the link, its really helpful.
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  #15  
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
I posted this on another board, but I'll do it here as well....

I've said this before... if you grew up on boats, have webbed feet, owned more holes in the water than cars, don't have to finance it or insure it, can look beyond the impulse/heartflutter/firstgirlfriend impressions you have, and have a clue as to what repairs are going to cost,(in time and materials) you don't need a surveyor.

You're going to buy what you want to, pay what you think its worth, and live with your decision. You've got the experience you need. Good for you. I'm happy for ya. really I am. No, really!!!

However, when is the last time you bought a house for over 90k without having an inspection?

As far as brokers and surveyors go... there are always going to be bad apples. There are some brokers that won't call me ever again because I "chased away a buyer".

Oh well, maybe the broker should have known that the boat that he had listed as a 1999 had a diesel in it that was out of manufacture in 1985. (Nope, he "didn't know anything about a repower, hmmm, he'll have to call the owner about that") and the previous survey (in 2004) listed it as original equipment!

Or, on another boat, perhaps he should have informed the owner about the salvage title BEFORE I got there.

Or, why another partcular boat was said to be in "bristol condition".... Yes, the brightwork was lovely, you could see yourself in the toerails, the cabin had candles and incense, light jazz on the 1000.00 stereo. Engine and room were **** and span. The deck was freshly scrubbed, and teck & holly sole was as shiny as a new penny... when I reached under the hull/deckjoint and pulled out a handful of rotted wood, that survey was over.

Each one of these instances were with a client that was brand new to purchasing a boat. Each one had spend weeks if not months on other peoples boats, looking at the listings, narrowing their choices.

I also know enough about what to "include" so the client can get his policy and or financing. If I list every gelcoat crack around every stanchion, They'll all have to be repaired. Of course, if I don't point them out, the purchaser can come back to me and say "this boat is junk, you should have told me about these crazings..." (even if they are cosmetic only) thats why I like for the buyer and owner to be there. I don't care if the broker sells a boat. I don't really care if that particular client buys that particular boat. I don't make a dime either way. What I do care about is quite simple. Is this boat going to be safe, what is its history, what is its current condition, and what is likely to bite the puchaser in the behind in the future. If I don't know about a particular chrome plated tittilator valve, I'll say so. I'm not that good. I can't BS with a straight face.

There are some surveyors that specialize, thats fine. I don't know diddly squat (thats a technical term) about those baja/fountain/cigarette things. Don't want to, don't need to, and will steer clear of any thought of a survey concerning one. I'll do "some" larger motorized pleasure craft, but not many. I'm a sailor by heart. There are some fine fellows that will survey a 19ft sea-ray listed for 5500.00.

I'm not one of them. If that floats, and the engine doesn't knock, the transom isn't falling off and the outdrive steers and doesn't sound like moms blender in the bathtub, buy the darn boat, you'll be fine. If however you're looking at a 30-65ft sailboat, and have no idea what you're looking at and know it, call a surveyor.

In water vs out of water:
I know hauling and sitting on the hard is expensive especially if you in the "looking" phase.
Look at doing an "in-water" first. If the boat is already in the water, and you have it hauled, you're only going to get minimal return for the first blush. A moisture meter on the hull won't help much unless its been on the hard awhile. Yes, you'll see blisters if they're there. It will help to see the "smile", how many times it may have been grounded and how well its been repaired, the general condition of the bottom, rudder, prop, cutlass, and adnodes... (while I'm at it, unless the boat is a rare bird, its going to have some blisters. get over it. ymmv) A plastic hammer is going to give me a better idea than a moisture meter.

True story.
A few years back, I surveyed a 40 footer. nice boat, deal was done, eveybody was all smiles.
Three weeks time passes and theres a knock on my door from the local constable. I've been sued. It seems the fellow that bought this boat rammed into the dock, caused damage to the dock and two other boats. He sued me because of my "gross negligence". I failed to inform him that because of the prop size on his 30,000lb boat, it would not be able to stop from a speed of about 3 knots within the 50 ft of his finger pier. Silly me.
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  #16  
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Gotta add this...
One guy asked me about a "discount" because he was looking at a rather large boat, and it was going to cost him a little over 600.00 for the survey. Man, I love this... he's looking at peeling off 100k on a boat and he wants a discount? Sure, I say, which part of the survey do you want me to leave out...funny, didn't hear back from him...
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2006
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Thanks, Paul, I figured you'd weigh in here at some point. Nice summary.

BTW - how did the lawsuit thing turn out?
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  #18  
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
One of the Barristers from my O&E insurance company wrote a well-worded letter to the other parties barristers basically saying "you can't fix stupid", and you certainly shouldn't sue to try.
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  #19  
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I agree that a survey is a must. These people are paid to do a professional job just like other professions. They can find things that you might just miss. I just had a survey on a 36' catalina and used a surveyor that was recommended by several people. When I recieved the survey it was very detailed. Even more so than I imagined. Other sailors that saw it said he was very picky. I like that. Now I own it as of 2 days ago. And with the survey I have my own personal list of what to fix. Now I will make a copy and start crossing off things as I go. I think it is a great tool to have. Helps make an educated decision.
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2006
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LOL... I think I know who you're talking about... penny-wise, pound foolish.

There are often very pretty boats that were cleaned up for sale, and if you look in the nooks and crannies, you'll see that the boat wasn't maintained or kept in anywhere near the condition you would be guessing from its current appearance. Look in the deep corners of the bilge, and under the deck, inside cabinets...etc. You'll often find the real story in those places. Surface appearances don't generally mean jack.

You really can't do much about stupid though.. there's far too much of it running around.
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