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  #61  
Old 01-29-2009
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Jorgen—

Didn't recommend this because not everyone has a video camera, and some people freak out when they see video cameras, but are perfectly fine with regular cameras. Also, still cameras are generally smaller than video cameras, and many newer ones have limited video capability as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgenl View Post
I would like to add one tip to the list:

Bring a video camera.

It has been invaluable to use during our search, we have a small Sony with 40GB har drive and you can shoot a lot of video, which really contains more info than still pictures and give you a better sense of 3D. We have watched and re-watched the videos we took during the search many times during our deliberations. It also allows you (of course) to add verbal comments as you go along an reduces the need to take written notes.
If you don't have access to the boat due to distance, things become a bit more complicated, unless you have a person that is local to the boat that you trust. If hiring a local surveyor makes you nervous, you can always bring in one of your own, though this is only recommended for very high-end boats, due the increased expenses of doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by outthere09 View Post
Your inspection 'thread' is brilliant and I've printed it out as I go off today to see my first boat.

Question..what if you are buying a boat lying in another country? I assume you have plenty of exchanges with US owner prior to making a commitment...but can one rely on a boat surveyor in say, Panama? So if satisfied with owner's answers, do you go ahead and make a deal, subject to inspection and survey, like a house? Or is it best to get a broker involved (there isn't one now).

Any input appreciated.

Glad to help...that's why I started the thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandas View Post
What a fantastic post.

That is a really helpful list.

Thanks
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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)

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  #62  
Old 02-16-2009
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Thanks for the advice sailingdog. I'm new to sailing (sorta) and your information is helpful.
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  #63  
Old 02-17-2009
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[QUOTE=sailingdog;440003]Jorgen—

Didn't recommend this because not everyone has a video camera, and some people freak out when they see video cameras, but are perfectly fine with regular cameras. Also, still cameras are generally smaller than video cameras, and many newer ones have limited video capability as well.


QUOTE]

Dog,

I agree that some people might freak out when they see a video camera. Therefore we always asked the broker politely if it was OK for us to take video film. All of them said OK. A video camera really is helpful. Ours is a very small Sony Handycam with a 80GB of hard drive, it holds somethiing like 3-40 hours of video and takes reaaly good still photographs as well.

Anyway, it worked good for us, we still have all the films of all the boats we looked at.
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  #64  
Old 02-17-2009
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Sailingdog, Great post, that Im sure will save others and me valuable dollars.

Not sure if explanation as to how to use the moisture meter and in what areas of the hull to test and how to probe/test the core was given on the thread.

Could you please elaborate on this procedure?

Thanks!
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  #65  
Old 02-22-2009
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Boat inspection Tips

As a surveyor (SAMS and NAMS certified - 10 yrs and over 1000 boats) I applaud the general spirit of these tips. I think it is very smart to give a boat a very careful personal inspection before entering into a sales contract and hiring a surveyor. I really don't enjoy taking money for giving clients bad news about a boat that they could have seen for themselves.

Most of yacht surveying is not "rocket science" or fancy meters but is simply careful observation. Often the first indication of a poorly maintained boat is the dock lines, which you can observe without even boarding. If they are old, sun-rotted, chafed, or inadequate it is often a sign that maintenance elsewhere is neglected.

I agree with the suggestion that you take and use a flashlight. It is a simple tool that, in the hands of a buyer, will strike terror in some brokers and sellers - don't look at a boat without one. Use it to look in all the accessible but dark places. Anyone can see dirt, debris, rust, messy wiring, etc.

A digital camera is also another good tool. In addition to the obvious photos, you can hold it in inaccessible places and snap pictures that you can then study. (Always put the strap around your wrist first - a lesson I learned by sad experience.)

However, although I have and use one, I think that a moisture meter is probably not so useful - unless you have a good deal of experience with it. They do not measure moisture - they measure the electrical conductivity in a region around the sensor. That can be affected by many things other than moisture.

Moisture in fiberglass boats and blistering are also complex issues depending on construction, age, and location of the boat (New England is different from Florida) that I won't get into here. You do need to get good advice from someone with a lot of first hand experience in your area (and no high-dollar repairs to sell).

I also have a different opinion about the appearance of the oil in a diesel engine. The oil in a diesel will become black in just a few hours running. This is not necessarily a sign of poor maintenance (except if the boat is laid up for storage with old oil). If I see completely clean clear oil, I am concerned that the oil was just changed prior to the inspection to hide evidence of fuel dilution (smell) or water emulsion (cloudy, creamy color). An oil analysis in conjunction with the survey can sometimes be useful, but will not find anything if the oil is new.

I also would also leave the multi-tool, screwdrivers, hammers , and awl in the car. Most hull surveyors do not disassemble equipment. If it appears useful, I will have a yard or mechanic do the disassembly while I observe. If a potential buyer with unknown skills and intentions showed up at my boat with screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers and awls, I would not let him aboard.

As a matter of liability, I also don't let anyone other than a qualified and insured rigger go aloft on my boat. (There was an interesting case a few years ago where a halyard parted during an inspection, and a surveyor fell on top of the broker.) A good surveyor, mechanic, or rigger has insurance to cover his liability for damage or injury during the inspection - Do you?

However, the rig is an important part of a sailboat, and there is a lot that you should be able to see without special tools or going up the mast. A careful look at rigging terminals at deck level will often reveal swage cracking (a little magnifier helps).

Failed chainplates are probably the major cause of dismastings. Are the chainplates easy to see? or buried? Are there drips of rust staining below decks, distorted bolts, cracked sealant or other evidence of movement?

For photos of some of the evidence you can look for in the way of rig problems, you could check out the article on my web site. (Unfortunately I am not authorized to post a link here - so you will have to google "Dixieland marine rig problems" to find it).

Although, I may have some differences of opinion on details, I agree fully with sailingdog on the fundamental issue - do your homework and look carefully and in depth at any boat you are considering for purchase.

J. Stormer
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  #66  
Old 02-22-2009
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Welcome to sailnet. I would highly recommend you read the SPECIAL INTEREST thread sticky in the boat buying forum, as it requires full disclosure by marine industry people when they post here.

As for rigging, please note, I don't recommend going aloft. I wouldn't go aloft on a strange boat, much less recommend any one do so. I do recommend taking photos of the rigging from deck level. The detail in a good digital photo, especially with a longer lens, is amazing nowadays.

I do carry a multitool pretty much 99.8% of the time, and don't see a problem with carrying one. I do recommend you ask before tapping the deck with a hammer or poking wooden backing blocks or bulkheads with an awl.

I disagree about the utility of a moisture meter. After a bit of use, you can learn how to use one well enough to determine if the deck has substantial core problems or not.

As for posting links to your website. You need to have 10 posts to post links, and be careful regarding posting links to your website, as if they are seen as trying to drum up business... you'll get nuked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstorm41 View Post
As a surveyor (SAMS and NAMS certified - 10 yrs and over 1000 boats) I applaud the general spirit of these tips. I think it is very smart to give a boat a very careful personal inspection before entering into a sales contract and hiring a surveyor. I really don't enjoy taking money for giving clients bad news about a boat that they could have seen for themselves.

Most of yacht surveying is not "rocket science" or fancy meters but is simply careful observation. Often the first indication of a poorly maintained boat is the dock lines, which you can observe without even boarding. If they are old, sun-rotted, chafed, or inadequate it is often a sign that maintenance elsewhere is neglected.

I agree with the suggestion that you take and use a flashlight. It is a simple tool that, in the hands of a buyer, will strike terror in some brokers and sellers - don't look at a boat without one. Use it to look in all the accessible but dark places. Anyone can see dirt, debris, rust, messy wiring, etc.

A digital camera is also another good tool. In addition to the obvious photos, you can hold it in inaccessible places and snap pictures that you can then study. (Always put the strap around your wrist first - a lesson I learned by sad experience.)

However, although I have and use one, I think that a moisture meter is probably not so useful - unless you have a good deal of experience with it. They do not measure moisture - they measure the electrical conductivity in a region around the sensor. That can be affected by many things other than moisture.

Moisture in fiberglass boats and blistering are also complex issues depending on construction, age, and location of the boat (New England is different from Florida) that I won't get into here. You do need to get good advice from someone with a lot of first hand experience in your area (and no high-dollar repairs to sell).

I also have a different opinion about the appearance of the oil in a diesel engine. The oil in a diesel will become black in just a few hours running. This is not necessarily a sign of poor maintenance (except if the boat is laid up for storage with old oil). If I see completely clean clear oil, I am concerned that the oil was just changed prior to the inspection to hide evidence of fuel dilution (smell) or water emulsion (cloudy, creamy color). An oil analysis in conjunction with the survey can sometimes be useful, but will not find anything if the oil is new.

I also would also leave the multi-tool, screwdrivers, hammers , and awl in the car. Most hull surveyors do not disassemble equipment. If it appears useful, I will have a yard or mechanic do the disassembly while I observe. If a potential buyer with unknown skills and intentions showed up at my boat with screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers and awls, I would not let him aboard.

As a matter of liability, I also don't let anyone other than a qualified and insured rigger go aloft on my boat. (There was an interesting case a few years ago where a halyard parted during an inspection, and a surveyor fell on top of the broker.) A good surveyor, mechanic, or rigger has insurance to cover his liability for damage or injury during the inspection - Do you?

However, the rig is an important part of a sailboat, and there is a lot that you should be able to see without special tools or going up the mast. A careful look at rigging terminals at deck level will often reveal swage cracking (a little magnifier helps).

Failed chainplates are probably the major cause of dismastings. Are the chainplates easy to see? or buried? Are there drips of rust staining below decks, distorted bolts, cracked sealant or other evidence of movement?

For photos of some of the evidence you can look for in the way of rig problems, you could check out the article on my web site. (Unfortunately I am not authorized to post a link here - (edited SD).

Although, I may have some differences of opinion on details, I agree fully with sailingdog on the fundamental issue - do your homework and look carefully and in depth at any boat you are considering for purchase.

J. Stormer
S/V TROPICBIRD
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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)

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  #67  
Old 02-23-2009
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I apologize for mentioning the web site. For the record, I'm actually not really interested in more business as I am trying to retire and do more sailing. Thanks for your comments. - J. Stormer
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  #68  
Old 02-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstorm41 View Post
I apologize for mentioning the web site. For the record, I'm actually not really interested in more business as I am trying to retire and do more sailing. Thanks for your comments. - J. Stormer
Dang!
Where are you?
I was going to ask what it would cost to go to Puerto Rico and do a survey on a small cat.
Maybe another thread.

Dog......is a new thread in classifieds "Wanted surveyor to go to PR" an OK thing to do?
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  #69  
Old 02-23-2009
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LOL... asking for a surveyor is not the same as being one and posting on the forums... AFAIK, it is fine to post help wanted ads...not kosher to try drumming up business.... not that Jstorm was doing that AFAICT.
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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)

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  #70  
Old 02-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
LOL... asking for a surveyor is not the same as being one and posting on the forums... AFAIK, it is fine to post help wanted ads...not kosher to try drumming up business.... not that Jstorm was doing that AFAICT.
OK thanks.
Low-balling now.
Might need one.
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