questions about surveys - Page 3 - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 28 Old 11-09-2006
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 121
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11

great post, good chuckles, sound information.

I cant understand, or want to, anyone who wants to buy a boat without a survey.
JakeLevi is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #22 of 28 Old 11-16-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Just went through this

I recently purchased a 1975 Tartan 44 and went through this entire process. I had done another survey on a Valiant 40, which pased reasopnably well (pre-blister boat), but had some issues that I was not comfortable with. On the Tartan and on the Valiant, I had really good surveyors, and did my own surveys totalling 14 hours of digging and prodding.

This being said, on the sail home on the Tartan, I put 10 gallons of diesel into the secondary/aft fuel tank, and halfway across the Strait of Georgia I had 10 gallons of diesel in the bilge. After a few more miles I had water pouring into the bilge from a failed water pump. And I had no working automatic bilge pump (known issue from survey), which was actually a blessing as dumping 10 gallons of diesel overboard would have been very bad.

I knew that the boat had been delivered from Australia a year earlier and had sat pretty much unused for a year. But neither of these things failed or had issues during the sea trial (the self furling main failed on sea trial however, and the price was adjusted accordingly). The surveyor found a bunch of other issues, most minor some more than minor, but nothing to break the deal. Once put to "real use" however, the gremlins do tend to show up.

Moral of the story: even with a great survey and lots of diligence, stuff happens. I don't blame the surveyor for the things that went bad (should he have requested that the fuel tanks all be filled up beforehand)? I take responsibility for those items, and thankfully the aft tank is fairly easy to remove and repair is not a big deal. So get a survey, and more importantly, check stuff out yourself as best you can and you will get MOST of the major issues identified, but be prepared for gremlins along the way. It's part and parcel with owning a boat.

trod44 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #23 of 28 Old 11-16-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 20
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Two other points

First, you should be aware that even a top surveyor won't catch everything. Second, and more significant is that the surveyors report can be used to renogotiate the price based on the cost of signficiant defieciencies. My survey revealed worn engine mounts and flex drive, among other items amounting to ~$2500, which the seller dropped off the purchase price.
drwill is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #24 of 28 Old 11-16-2006
Just another Moderator
Faster's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 19,122
Thanks: 153
Thanked 542 Times in 516 Posts
Rep Power: 10
It's very true that, while a survey - and even the brief seatrial - will point out many things good and bad, it's not going to catch it all. and it is usually during the first delivery that many things crop up.

After having been through several deliveries in the past few years, most of them involving bringing a boat from Wash state to BC, I've found the most common issue you're going to face is fuel quality. Boats that have typically been on the market for some time are likely to be overdue for filter changes, or simply have had old fuel go bad.

Prior to any extended delivery (and even across Georgia Strait can turn into a longish trip), I'd recommend changing fuel filters before you start. Two things: you give yourself fresh filters, and second, you figure out how to do it on your "new" boat at the dock so if you have to do it again in a seaway, at least you know the routine.

And make sure you have more spares!!
Faster is online now  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #25 of 28 Old 11-16-2006
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Long Is.
Posts: 329
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
Early in this thread it was recommended that you accompany the surveyor when he does the work. This is excellent advice, not to check on how he is doing his job, but to learn. Surveyors are usually old salts with a lot of experience. If you get them to talk to you while doing the survey - explaining what they are looking for and why (and spinning some yarns about the various disasters they have witnessed) you will learn a lot. If you end up buying the boat, you will have learned about this specific boat, not just generalities from a book. It takes a certain amount of sensitivity to set up the right relationship with the surveyor (some of their horror stories are about the client hiring them :-) but it can be very fruitful.
gc1111 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #26 of 28 Old 11-16-2006
Telstar 28
sailingdog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 16
I'd agree about being there for the survey. You will learn a lot, and often, the surveyor will have recommendations about things that might make the boat better for you, but aren't necessarily a problem. A good example of this I've seen was on my friend's boat, where the surveyor gave a recommendation for re-routing the hoses for the head, to minimize the amount of waste standing in hoses, to help elminate odors from the head area of the boat. The hoses weren't really a problem, but re-routing them made the head less smellly and easier to maintain.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #27 of 28 Old 11-17-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Here's my personal view of surveys, having bought and sold boats for over 20 years:

1. Yes, survey a new boat. The manufacturer's warranty is not enough. As someone else said, these are not cars; and problems with new boats can arise in two ways: manufacturing errors, and dealer set-up errors. I've had new boats where the transmission oil plug was left off, and where the forward/reverse label was backwards on the transmission lever. There can also be major errors in fiberglass lay-up, engine installation, and so on. The greatest bargaining power you have is withholding payment. Once you pay, enforcing the warranty can be like arguing with your spouse ("are you sure it doesn't work?" "well, Fred was just there yesterday and he said it worked"). Sure you can threaten suit, but gosh, this is supposed to be fun!

2. Not all surveyors are created equal. Some worked in boatyards for years. Others might have just taken a course. And be careful of somebody recommended by the seller.

3. The survey will not discover everything, not by a long shot. Do your own inspection before, and use a flashlight and a pocket mirror. Then accompany the surveyor, and ask "what's that drip mark?" "what's that stain?" and so on. Two sets of eyes are better than one.

Last edited by Bob1112; 11-17-2006 at 10:48 AM.
Bob1112 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #28 of 28 Old 11-17-2006
ModMMax's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 36
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I recently purchased a power cruiser in Florida. Hired 2 surveyers, one for the hull and one for the engines. The $2k was well spent. The owner spent $15k to keep the deal on track. We ended up with a great boat at a great price with lots of upgraded items.
ModMMax is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Systems Questions on 65' Roberts Motor sailor dsbentley Gear & Maintenance 0 10-08-2006 09:10 PM
Questions about trailers fade Boat Review and Purchase Forum 13 09-07-2006 01:10 PM
a few specific design questions jbarros Boat Review and Purchase Forum 5 10-02-2003 02:13 PM
couple of questions dc013 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 1 07-16-2003 03:40 PM
Free boat for me - lots of questions jiffy General Discussion (sailing related) 13 11-16-2002 07:28 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome