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L0ngh0rns 06-15-2010 03:00 PM

Buying first Boat.
Looking at a 1983 Tanzer 27. She is very clean and seems to be in great shape. The Bilge is dry and she has been in a fresh water lake for her life. Should I still seek a survey?

TQA 06-15-2010 03:27 PM

What about the rigging, thru hulls, damage to the mast, engine, gearbox, propshaft, skeg, rudder, keel, wiring etc etc.

An 83 Tanzer 27 should go for less than 10k so your financial risk is not too great but if you buy a load of problems it could be years before you go sailing.

Either pay a surveyor to look at these things OR buy Don Caseys book and do it yourself.

mpickering 06-15-2010 03:37 PM

Second Casey's book. Both "This Old Boat" and his complete book on sailboat maintenance have been invaluable to me.

I bought my C-27 minus a survey. The $5000 didn't justify it and most of the major areas that would cause concern were acceptable. For example, outboard engine so no inboard issues, minimal thru-hulls and all had seacocks, no "Catalina Smile", no evidence of serious leaks, no bulkhead delamination, etc. Only issues of concern was standing rigging (replaced) and needed three new keel nuts (did it myself, thanks Sears!).

Would a survey have helped? Yes, in hindsight. We probably would still have bought the boat. In the end we put about 1.5 times her purchase price into her but the end result is essentially a new boat in all the areas that matter stem to stern, keel to masthead.

It all depends on your tolerance for elbow grease. For me, it was six months of fall, some winter and spring days working on one problem at a time. And we're still working but it is on minor and manageable stuff now.

My next boat will get a survey only due to the monetary outlay involved. For $10K, I'd do it. Below about $7K and depending on your "fix her up" budget, I likely would skip it. An honest owner will tell you what they did and what issues you will have.

Casey also has a good book on surveying fiberglass sailboats. Pick that up if nothing else. You don't need a license to be a surveyor and can do it yourself.


L0ngh0rns 06-15-2010 04:53 PM

Thanks for your input guys. Well I had no idea that a survey would cost that much money. I have talked the seller down to $6000. It seems that a survey would be overkill. I will definitely buy Casey's book. It has an outboard engine that is 2 years old so there shouldn't be too many worries on that end. I sailed on the boat for about 2 hours and it seemd like a quality boat. I have looked at about 15 boats and this one seems like the right fit for my wife and I.

sailingdog 06-15-2010 05:45 PM

I'd recommend looking at the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started. :) It can give you a pretty good idea of what shape the boat is really in.

tomwatt 06-15-2010 09:16 PM

Just to be clear, surveyors usually charge $x per foot LOA. Depending on the area and the season (busy or not) that can be $10 per foot and up.
The chances are, your insurance company is going to want a survey anyway, so as you get close to final on the deal, a survey makes sense. And it will tell you what things you need to focus on to get the boat in the water.

L0ngh0rns 06-16-2010 10:40 AM

Thanks for pointing me to your thread sailingdog. It was very helpful.

n8kraft 06-16-2010 11:14 AM

Survey and Insurance
To get cheaper insurance, like from Boat US you will need a survey. I got insured from Progressive without a survey though.


Diceman 06-16-2010 02:48 PM

Found Thread Helpfull

bljones 06-16-2010 09:27 PM

If you think a survey is expensive, wait 'til you see what everything else costs.
Look, a survey on a Tanzer 27 should run you about $350-400. If the surveyor finds one thing that you hadn't noticed, one thing that allows you to negotiate the price downward by another $500, then the survey didn't cost you a dime. It actually made you money. In any event, more and more insurers are requiring surveys before issuing coverage, so it is sort of a "pay me now, or pay me later" proposition.

The Tanzer 27 is a good choice, btw. but, $6K is TOO cheap. a survey may be a good idea, if only to find out whether it is simply a screaming deal, or whether there is something glaringly, expensively wrong.

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