Formosa 41/surveyor trouble - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-15-2007
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Unhappy Formosa 41/surveyor trouble

hello all,

i'm back with some more questions about the Formosa 41 i'm looking at. i had a surveyor lined up until this morning. when i called him to bring him up to speed on the engine survey [the ol' perkins passed quite well] and the rigging survey he told me he quit. he says he looked a the photos online; here's the link: YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

and considers the boat to be garbage. he told me that [and most of this i already know] these boats could possibly have issues w/the deck, cabin tops [and sides?] and the wood masts and this particular boat has a Paloma hot water heater installed [possibly one of the recalled models, but not sure yet]and therefore he doesn't want to be a part of something he feels will be a source of heartache and headaches nor does he want his name associated with the survey. his attitude today was very grouchy/defensive bordering on angry. mind you now that this is all weeks after i talked extensively with him about the boat and the type of boat that it was and with a very helpful and pleasant/friendly demeanor he agreed to survey the boat. the decks are good, probably not great, but better than most i've seen as the teak is removed and 'glass has been laid down. the cabin top felt solid. the masts have been removed and saturated in epoxy and painted white. the rigging is unknown as the current owner didn't replace anything other than the head stay and doesn't have any paperwork saying the rigging was replaced. i still haven't found a rigger in the seattle area yet with wood mast experience nor a new surveyor. today was very defeating and makes feel like throwing in the towel on this one, almost.

i'm just curious what others might think of this situation i find myself in, these Formosa 41 boats and the surveyors behavior. just to note, i am looking at the Formosa because of the size for money value as i am 6'3", have a dog and plan on living aboard. thanks again everyone.

stressed out today,
matthew
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Old 05-15-2007
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Certified surveyor?

Is this guy certified by one of the national surveyor associations (SAMS or NAMS)? Seems like a less than professional attitude. I suspect something else is going on here. From the pictures on Yachtworld, you cannot see anything bad! I'd forget about him and find another!
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Old 05-15-2007
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Get another surveyor and don't think twice about it. He works for you. If he does not want to work for you - his loss, your gain.
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Old 05-15-2007
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Chances are that there ARE problems with the deck/house unless the PO has addressed them already...but those issues are not visible from the pictures and your surveyor was totally unprofessional. If those issues DO exist, that is exactly why you need a surveyor...to tell you the extent and to guide you to either walk away or advise you how much it will take to fix them.
Hire another guy!
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Old 05-16-2007
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Matt-

Get a new surveyor, and try to find one that is recommended by a friend or someone else whose opinion you trust. Do not get a recommendation from the broker... who does not have your best interests in mind necessarily and may not refer you to a surveyor who will look out for you.

Many of the Formosas had problems with the decks and water getting into the core of the deck because of the teak decks the boats came with. A thorough survey is a necessity.
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Old 05-16-2007
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Boils down to an inexperienced surveyor who does not want to -risk- mistakes or potential liability in his survey of the boat. I went through this recently, but was not so lucky as to have the surveyor back out of the job. I basically ended up with a "Danger Will Robinson" survey that really was only written to CYA the surveyor on anything that might be of the slightest concern. I wanted a competent survey that pointed out any defects with the hull, topsides or rig; but I ended up with a laundry list of minor maintenance items, non-ABYC compliant dings (the boat was constructed prior to the formation of ABYC) and a valuation that favored the seller. The survey was not useful for the purpose of buying the boat or getting insurance, basically a wastebasket document.

So I suggest that if you like the boat you do a pre-purchase self-survey before you hire someone and convince yourself that the boat is in good enough condition to make an offer. Get a copy of Don Casey's book on surveying sailboats and read up on pre-purchase inspection. Find a surveyor who is competent at surveying older non-ABYC sailboats and is fair in his findings and valuation based on those findings.

If anyone would like to know who this so-and-so surveyor was I can let you know offline; he is working in California.
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Old 05-16-2007
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Hang in there pdx and yes, find a new surveyor.

I agree with KeelHaulin about the importance of a "user-friendly" survey. One problem I have seen with some surveys is when they put in boilerplate instructions like "reset deck hardware". It doesn't take much time or thought to put that in, but it can become a very expensive job, and in some cases unnecessary. Insurance companies want to see all issues from a survey addressed, so if there are a lot of broad recommendations it can become a burdensome document.

Finding the right surveyor is just about as important as finding the right boat. I don't really think those books can turn you into an expert on boat inspection or take the place of a trained surveyor.
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Old 05-16-2007
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update

thanks everyone,

i'm looking for/contacting another surveyor as i write this. if anyone has any recommendations for a surveyor [and a good rigger w/knowledge of wood masts] in the seattle area could you please let me know. i am starting to wonder if i should bother with this boat as it is in seattle, wa and i am in portland, or. i'm becoming concerned that even if the boat is found to be in good shape i know it will take a good deal of money in supplies/gear and to make her seaworthy enough to sail down here. i'm approved for the loan, so the purchase money isn't the issue, it's the all the cash i'll need after purchase. well, i have a lot of thinking to do so i'm off for now.

-matthew
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Old 05-16-2007
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PDX,

Given your comment that the boat is for a liveaboard, etc, I think you would be better off to find a production boat in that price range. Give the year that you will have to look at, you will likely need to avoid a Hunter, but a Catalina, Bene, or Jeauneau would be a good choice. It does not do you any good to get a boat that is inexpensive off the start, then costs you thousands out of pocket. Spend more money up front and on the loan (which is tax deductible) and can be written off over the next 20 years versus saving a buck a month and shelling out thousands. Penny wise and dollar short.

Believe me, even if you have a brand new tub, you will be spending more moeny that you imagined possible. Ask CliffL... he just did it.

Just my opinion... take it for what it is worth. I do like Formossas... but you are getting into a maintenance and expense nightmare with them (in my opinion). NO HATE MAILS!! I LIKE THE BOATS... for the right person with the right budget and mindset (like Bittchin).

- CD
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Old 05-16-2007
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i hear you. but, to tell the truth i wouldn't be caught dead in a Bene, Jeauneau or a Catalina. i think they are all an eyesore and i would be terribly unhappy. i'm a visual person so while i want good solid boat i also want it to look good, to me.
and to hear to you correctly [Believe me, even if you have a brand new tub, you will be spending more money that you imagined possible. Ask CliffL... he just did it.] it doesn't matter what boat i get as i'll probably be sinking a ton of money into it as do almost boat owners.

thanks for the reply though.
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