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  #1  
Old 09-17-2009
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Surveying New Boats?

I'm about to purchase a new 36' boat from a dealer in my home port. Does anyone have experience with the worth of putting a survey and sea trial contingency on a new boat purchase?
I understand that a survey can cost upwards of $500, but on an investment of this size, I'm thinking it might be worth it. There is a warranty offer, but what are the chances that a survey might uncover unintended failures BEFORE they create trouble?
Or is that just too much caution at too great of an expense, given the purchase context?
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Old 09-17-2009
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I think it is a great idea. Whilst everything should be repaired by the manufacturer as part of the guarantee, I think that a professional "going over" prior to putting the boat in the water is well worth the price as some serious production errors might be found out before they cause issues, as you rightly surmise. I think that a professional will find lots of things that the dealer/manufacturer would rather not have found.
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Old 09-17-2009
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Stuart
One consideration you don't mention is your experience. An experienced sailor can often have more knowledge than lots of surveyors with whom I am familiar. If you are confident in your knowledge and familiarity with boat construction and can evaluate condition of the various components, a surveyor will often not find what you can do yourself.

As with home purchases, which coincidentally we are going through now, neither home inspection (the one we are selling as well as the one we're buying) found many of the issues I noticed nor did they uncover anything we were unaware of.

So, it's all about your level of comfort.

Last edited by k1vsk; 09-17-2009 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-18-2009
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Without knowing what kind of boat you intend to buy, I think a prepurchase survey on a new boat is a very good idea. That said, you should definitely get a very experienced surveyor, and accompany him through the survey. This will give you an opportunity to crawl through all of the unfinished spaces and inspect he installations to be sure they are done to the standard you expect.

FWIW, I have known several owners who were having boats built by pedigreed, top boatyards, who nonetheless paid to have a trusted surveyor visit the yard regularly during the construction process for quality assurance.

I think a good surveyor can help assure you that you are getting what you are paying for.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-18-2009
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I can recommend Erik Bentzen marine surveyor in Seattle area. He in an excellent surveyor. I think he is about as good as they come. He did our 8 year old boat for us in January, saved us a bunch of money. He is very thorough. If we were to buy new in the future I would have him check boat for us based on our past experience with him.

michael
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Old 09-19-2009
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Thanks, everyone. Excellent advice. We will be using a surveyor on this one, and I'm grateful for your recommendation, doubleeboy.
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Old 09-21-2009
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Stuartsw,

Let us know how it turns out and what you bought. Hope it works out for you.

michael
Dehler 39
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Old 09-21-2009
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Well if you're buying a new boat, I just hope it isn't a XXXXXX. Oops, that thread was removed from sailnet.
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Old 09-22-2009
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Smile And the Decision is:

Just to close the thread, and tell you what I decided:
I called three surveyors. Two called me back, and the one who conversed with me (and was recommended by a former client) told me what he was likely to find on a production boat like mine, given his experience. We both agreed that I was likely to learn more by visiting the boat and supervising her commissioning personally, given her newness, the dealer's proximity, and their warranty. I was grateful.
Contact me off line if you would like the name of this worthy advisor.
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