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Old 02-19-2008
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Price Point for A Survey

Is there a price point below which you would not get a survey on a used boat?

Thx.
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Old 02-19-2008
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Whatever amount you aren't concerned with throwing away.
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Old 02-19-2008
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Wjile I concur with PB's comment as a baseline consideration, there is also the question of what value you place on the lives of friends and families, which could tend to out-weigh the purchase price involved , no matter how large or small, in most sailor's minds.
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Old 02-19-2008
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There are may factors which influence the purchase of a survey. The boat's age, the skills you have to do the repairs, the money/time you are willing to invest into the boat. If it's a labor of love and you've no interest in the ballance sheet, there's almost no point. If you are on the edge of your finances, then you better get one, but don't be silly. If you are looking at a 30 year old boat you can almost afford, it'll have problems, and the survey will be a waste of time, most likely. Better a smaller cheaper newer boat well within your means than an older, bigger, dream boat with "issues". What's the point of a survey anyway? It's for barganing. If you're looking at almost identical boats, like Catalina 30's, then it could make a diffrence. If you think the boat has problems anyway, go ahead and offer 1/2 the asking price. Makes the survey kind of pointless if the price is, say, $15,000 below the average on yachtworld. At that kind of savings, you could rebuild the thing. In this market you just might get it. What'cha looking at? That kind of information really will help you more than someone's opinion ( like mine ) on what is a vague sort of question.
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Old 02-19-2008
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I was planning to get a survey for my next next boat (something in the 27 foot range for cruising around Lake Erie and Ontario) but not for my next boat which will most likely be an 18-foot dinghy (Buccaneer 18, ideally). My reasoning is that on the dinghy most of the problems will be things I can fix without going broke and I'm hoping the boat will be cheap enough that I'm not as worried about the money. For the second boat, given I'd be spending a good bit of money on something I want to keep for a long time, I would definitely get a survey.

Edit -- furthermore, on the dinghy the risk to life and limb if something breaks is much lower since the forces at play are pretty small and I don't intend to do more than daysailing it in decent weather.

Just my rather uneducated opinion

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Old 02-19-2008
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The cost of the boat plus the cost of disposing of the boat should it be not worthy of salvage. Trashing a boat is expensive - altho for a small one a you can (under 22 ft in maryland) cut it up with a saws all and haul it to the dump.
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Old 02-19-2008
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The other angle (mentioned elsewhere in similar threads but not here yet) is the unavoidable fact that if you intend/need/desire to insure the boat, the underwriter will require a survey.

We've been hearing stories lately of some insurers refusing to insure boats beyond a certain age.... if that's the case then you're back to the points mentioned above.

Also agree with SFs point about the unseen costs of a potential disaster if you dispense with the survey and find yourself at sea with a strong sinking feeling......
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomandKarens34 View Post
,,,,. If you think the boat has problems anyway, go ahead and offer 1/2 the asking price. Makes the survey kind of pointless if the price is, say, $15,000 below the average on yachtworld. At that kind of savings, you could rebuild the thing. .....
I think this very bad advice, $15K won't go very far in a boatyard, for a 30 footer, maybe replace the engine and instruments...for some boats taking the boat for free may not be a bargain.

You need to remember in a sale the owner has close to perfect information about the boat and what repairs it may need.

If it needs little work, the owner will laugh at your offer, and wait for a more thoughtful buyer.

BUT if the boat has some real problems, then the owner will snap up an offer even as low as $15K below "market" and go to the bank with a big smile on his face, leaving you with a real pig in a poke...My opinion is the more below market you pay for a boat, the more likely it is you are going to get hosed financially unless you know exactly what you are doing.
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Last edited by sailingfool; 02-19-2008 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 02-19-2008
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Also, a very cheap boat that is in bad shape can become a very expensive boat very quickly. Even if you're not going to be restoring it, it can still get expensive, since disposing of it can get very pricey.
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Old 02-19-2008
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The more complex

the boat the more sense surveys make...A 18' buccaneer has about as much complexity as a 8' sailing pram...you can do your own survey...Any basic solid fiberglass boat that has no real interior or bulkheads..Elec.systems or inboard motor does not need surveyed to tell you if it will float or sail if you have even the sligtest bit of common sense..ie..can you tap a hammer and use your ears for hull and deck inperfections...can you use your eyes and distinguish between good rope and bad rope or good sails or bad sails..cable...gel coat..hardware..etc...Easy and mostly inexpensive to fix a simple little boat.

A complex boat is a different kettle of fish...and you need a surveyor... 3 of them..Hull..Rigging..Mechanical...Sometimes Hard and expensive to fix a complex big boat.
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