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  #1  
Old 01-05-2009
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how to survey a boat

I was going to look at a few boats, but a couple of them are in water storage. I know it is impossible to get a 100% look at the boat this way, but is it possible to get one done without having it hauled out? I am sure I would have to pay for it to be hauled, for the surveyor to take a look. They are floating, so thats kind of good news.

I have seen photos of the undersides, and they look ok. They would have to be hauled in a season or two anyways.

Just wondering what to look for(in terms of structural intergrity) from the insdide looking out, besides a constant working bilge pump

Thanks
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Old 01-05-2009
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fret,

If at all possible, you should have the boat hauled out for the survey. I realize you have photos of the bottom, but that's no substitute for a close inspection by a surveyor. Yes, you normally will be responsible for the cost of the haul-out, but this modest expense will give you peace of mind and could even save you a lot of money.

Rereading your post, it's not clear to me whether you plan to hire a surveyor or to do the survey yourself. Even experienced sailors -- with lots of knowledge about what to look for -- usually hire a professional surveyor when purchasing a boat. Your question suggests that you are maybe new to boats, or at least not overly experienced with what to look for during a survey. If that is the case, the recommendation to hire a surveyor would be even stronger.

That is, unless you are talking about a VERY LOW COST boat. But even there, it's still caveat emptor. If you don't know a lot about boats, be careful not to purchase someone else's "low-cost" problem. It could end-up costing you a lot more than you plan for in the long run.

Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2009
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To reiterate, don't buy a boat without first having it hauled and properly surveyed in and out, particularly if you are new to boat ownership. There are far too many issues to list here that could cause you lots of problems after it is too late and can be an expensive lesson easily avoided by a few hundred dollar survey.
You will hear lots of comments regarding hull blisters which may or may not be problematic but this is something you won't know until someone knowledgeable can inspect the hull.
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Old 01-05-2009
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yea, hey sorry.

If I were to narrow down the boat to one I was going to buy, then yes, i would hire a inspector. But what I meant was, how do i go about checking the hull integrity from the inside, to figure out if the boat is even worth getting inspected.

Sorry, if the first boat was confusing. I just don't want to hire an inspector for every boat I am interested in, just to narrow it down to one or two. Just doesn't make sense price wise, if I can spot potential bad spots on a boat.

Im just saying if I look at 6 or 7 boats, 400$ a pop for an inspection is alot of dough.

I can handle making sure 'stays are nice and tight, nor delaminations. All running rigging is working, engine starts. I just want to know what to look for when it comes to the hull.

I really do not have an issue of paying for a haul out, if I narrow it down to one or two boats. But I would like to get to that point.

but you are certainly correct in that I would not trust my own inspection to have me sign on the dotted line.

Last edited by fretbrner; 01-05-2009 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 01-05-2009
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Oh, sorry about that, I misunderstood. Have you had a chance to read this thread?

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...trip-tips.html

I haven't perused it for a while, but hopefully there's something in there along the lines of what you're asking.
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Old 01-05-2009
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You might consider taking someone who you think is knowledgeable along with you when you check out prospects. Barring that option, it is usually possible to see interior hull or topside repairs upon careful inspection where the hull is accessible to view. About the best a novice can hope to accomplish by himself is finding the obvious signs of construction, water rot/damage, delamination or separation of bulkheads and maybe some apparent electrical corrosion.
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Old 01-05-2009
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The boat inspection tips to which JohnRPollard posted a link is a great resource. The idea is that you check everything you possibly can check before you get to the survey stage. This process will rule out many boats, which is a good thing, so you don't waste your money.

If a boat is currently in the water, there's no guarantee about whether or not the bottom might have blisters--you have to haul the boat. However, many boats that have a major bottom problem will be ruled out before you get to survey for other reasons. If a boat checks out on all other counts, then you can survey for real for a qualified surveyor.

Good luck on your search!
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Old 01-12-2009
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I'd third the recommendation for the boat inspection trip tips thread, but my opinion may be a bit biased. You really want to check the boat out thoroughly, so you can decide if it is even worth going ahead with a survey. Doing a survey on every boat you consider is a good way to go broke.
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Old 01-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fretbrner View Post
I just want to know what to look for when it comes to the hull.
Unfortunately, most modern cruisers have full linings so interior hull inspection is practically impossible!!

At least I opened the hatches and inspected the areas I could get to but that was probably -20% of the hull surface area.
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Old 01-12-2009
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I do understand what you say in next post. But, it hard to reach the one boat point for myself without seeing the bottom.

I set a guideline I follow for boats as to survey or just look myself. But, either way, I really want to see the bottom.

I am interested in an old 21' swing keel for something to play around with this summer, probably give it away in a few years.

This a $500 boat. I will still pull it out of the water (no cost) to see if the original keel still there or a piece of plate steel.

This way I have some idea if the boat at a point I not spend much to test some ideas I have and enjoy it.

Heck, if the Hinge Pin on the keel all worn out, may offer $300, it could cost $100 or more to fix, doing it myself (depending on this and that stuff).

But, best I know is look everywhere you can. Take a flashlight and large washer/rubber mallet for taping around. Also, this may sound stupid, but, I have a small monocular. I can eyeball the standing rigging for frays and whatever I can spot.
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Last edited by Gryzio; 01-12-2009 at 10:33 AM. Reason: add one last thought
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