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FritzN 06-03-2007 10:19 PM

Should I Be There During Survey?
I live in Colorado, and am buying a Mason 44 in northern Wisconsin. I'm bringing in a highly-regarded surveyor (from Minneapolis -- 4 hours away) this Wednesday to survey the boat on the hard (where it's been all winter). The boat won't be in the water until the 8th, shortly after which I'll fly in to test sail it with another (local) surveyor.

I have a conflict on Wednesday, so my question is "how important is it for me to be there for the survey on the hard?" (The broker will be there.) The surveyor comes highly recommended and will produce an 8-9 page report describing the boatís construction, appraising the boat, and detailing any deficiencies found. I've discussed in detail the scope of the survey -- with particular emphasis on hull & deck moisture Ė- and believe that the surveyor will do a thorough job.

If all goes well in the survey and the test sail, the boat will be trucked to San Francisco for the summer -- where I will familiarize myself with the boat and refresh old skills -- then Iíll sail it to its new home port in Ensenada, Mexico (60 miles below the US border).

saurav16 06-03-2007 10:21 PM

Question how much do you know about sailboats? Did you look at it before you hired this surveyor? If so you prolly know significant problems if there are any. Sooo you might not need to be there. If it were me I would want to be there since I like to know whats going on with the boat immediatly and not have to wait for the blasted survey report.

sailingdog 06-03-2007 10:29 PM

Yes, you should be... since you can learn a lot about the boat during the survey. Who recommended the surveyor? If it was the broker, you might have a problem, since the surveyor should be working for you... and if he was recommended by the broker, may not have your best interests at heart.

Sailormann 06-03-2007 10:31 PM


"how important is it for me to be there for the survey on the hard?" (The broker will be there.)
I think it's a really good idea to be there. The broker is interested in closing the sale, so he is at best a neutral party to the process.

When you get your nine page report, there are going to be things in it that you may not understand. There are almost certainly going to be recommendations regarding upgrades to current ABYC standards. Some of those are important and some of them are not as important, but your surveyor is not likely to differentiate between the two.

As well, he may note things that you do need to take care of, and sometimes it is difficult to grasp what he means unless he actually shows you. Particularly as it looks like you are going to be using a different surveyor for the sea trial (why ???). The initial surveyor may have questions about something that can only be answered when the boat is in the water, but the only person who is going to know what to look for is you.

Unless you are 100% confident that the boat is in great shape, and are willing to roll the dice, you should attend.

FritzN 06-03-2007 10:41 PM

I spent about four hours on the boat. I looked in every locker & under every floor board. (The engine and generator look brand new.) I've carefully examined the bottom & thru hulls.

The boat is a 1999 model. It has only 500 engine hours on it and less than 100 generator hours. The interior and exterior of the boat look like the boat just came from the factory. It's always been in fresh water, and spent six months a year (the winter) on the hard. The owner and his wife have no kids and the interior woodwork reflects it. Itís obviously been lightly used.

It's owned by a person who can afford to have all work professionally done, and it has been maintained immaculately.

bestfriend 06-03-2007 10:48 PM

Fritz, if you can't make it, expect that there will be things that you will find that do not work or need replacing. Even if you are there, I would expect that, but just more so if you don't. Make a list for the surveyor of things you want him to check. Make sure he turns everything on, and that ALL systems are functional. I was there with the surveyor, but I made the mistake of not staying with him and making sure he looked at everything.

cardiacpaul 06-03-2007 10:49 PM

personal opinion: If it were MY money, I'd want to be there.

FritzN 06-03-2007 10:55 PM

The broker recommended a local surveyor, but I chose to pay twice as much and bring into this highly rural area a Minneapolis surveyor with a big reputation. (I have to pay $65/hour for his drive time -- thus doubling the cost of the survey.) I found him through a Mason 33 owner, who lives in Minneapolis, but keeps his boat in the same Marina in which the Mason 44 is located. I wasn't comfortable with the potential conflict of interest involved in using the local surveyor who might be beholding to the broker because of referrals.

sailingdog 06-03-2007 11:01 PM

The boat is eight years old, and has less than 100 hours on the generator and 500 hours on the engine. What kind of maintenance schedule were used for servicing both?

Just because the person can afford to have it maintained professionally, doesn't necessarily mean that it was maintained properly. The engine and genset could both be badly maintained, if they were maintained according to a schedule of hours run.

km2x 06-03-2007 11:06 PM

Ah must be in bayfield WI... It is in my stomping grounds..


Duluth Mn

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