Here is the deal I made in New England in November '01
Boat would be surveyed the day the boat was hauled for the winter.
If I purchased the boat I would pay for winter storage that included the haul out and mast removal.
If I did not purchase the boat I would simply walk away and the owner was responsible for all yard fees.
The key is the timing. The yard pulled the mast the day before and left the boat in the water. Next morning the surveyor and I did a short sea trial to check out the engine. We got as much of the inspection done while the boat was at the dock waiting for the travel lift. Below the water line was inspected after the boat was hauled. Mast was inspected last as that was already on the rack.
Worked out great and the surveyor found a couple of things that needed to be replaced. Cost of these items more or less balanced out the cost of the survey so I figure it was a "free" survey
I followed the surveyor and took lots of notes. This in itself was worth the money as surveyor took his time and made sure I understood everything he was telling me.
One more thing about this surveyor; I contacted him BEFORE I found a boat. He explained to me that I should call him after I looked at a boat if I was interested. First couple of times I called him with "good deals" I had found he asked me a few questions about the boat and then told me to walk away and keep looking. One of the good guys IMHO.
Anyone needs a good survey in CT? Message me for his contact info.