How to select a surveyor? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-25-2002 Thread Starter
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How to select a surveyor?

Looking for a surveyor as I think I am getting pretty close to striking a deal on a boat.

The boat is out of the water currently.

Have a few names (in Connecticut). How do I interview and select one? Any words of wisdom
will help.

What are reasonable charges. Is it strictly per foot or other factors are involed?


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post #2 of 4 Old 04-25-2002
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How to select a surveyor?

Word of mouth is likely as good information as you''ll get about any surveyor. They operate in a pretty tight circle of marine repair/marine insurance/marine purchasing people, so surveyors with good reputations will get mentioned often if you ask around, and surveyors in less good standing will get mentioned less. It being a tight circle, there may be some people with axes of differing sizes to grind, so take it all with a grain of salt, check several sources, and perhaps some references as well. We used Sound Survey, of E. Hartford in the purchase of our J/36 and were quite pleased with how thorough Mr. Smith was. Another surveyor, Hewitt Schlereth, has written a very good book on buying used boats. He had moved to Maryland last I heard, however. The best thing to do, whoever you get, is to be present at the survey and ask as many questions as you dare. (If you ask too many questions and the survey takes twice as long, he might charge you for the extra time.) It is amazing how much you can learn from a good surveyor. Even if the boat has few or no "issues", finding out why he thinks this is so would be a good education.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-26-2002
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How to select a surveyor?

Make sure that your list includes surveyors recommended by persons other than your broker. (He / she may not like you choosing someone that they have not recommended - but an independent opinion is what you are after. When going through this myself recently, my highest criteria (after personal recommendations from people I could trust) was whether the proposed surveyor knew the class of boat. I believe that this allows the surveyor to focus some attention on things that typically "go wrong" with that class. Try to talk with each proposed surveyor for abot 10 to 15 minutes to get some feeling for how "open" he/she is to discussion - if you don''t get a warm feeling on this (when the surveyor in theory is trying to "sell" you his/her services, its likely that they will be more less inclined to discuss anything post-survey. Also, in your case, with the boat out of the water, you ned to discuss "post-splash" follow-up to cover those things that could not be assessed during the main survey (engine, transmission, sails, fresh-water system, heads etc). You need to find out whether a second visit will be charged for. (IMHO it would be reasonable for the surveyor to charge for travel time, but not for inspection time on the second visit, as in theory, time spent on the out of water inspection would be reduced)
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-27-2002 Thread Starter
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How to select a surveyor?

I spoke to Hewitt Schlereth, he is still in Connecticut. He is now doing only insurance surveys. As he put it, "..after 65 it''s too demanding to do a purchase surveys". I signed a contract for a Sweden 38. It''s a complex boat and requires work to check all the systems properly.

I spoke to two guys Jim Dyers (recommended by another surveyor) and Buddy Hitchcock (broker''s reccomendation), in Connecticut. Stiking difference in prices. Jim $29/foot with full engine checkout, Buddy $18 but without the full engine checkout (just putting the engine through it''s paces)

The price difference does not scare me much but unfortunately I do not know people to independently confirm.

Have not made the final choice yet, but will soon.

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