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  #1  
Old 06-24-2010
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Questions About Surveyor

1. What does a survey cost?
2. Is there any reason for prospective owners to be present when it's done?
3. Would anyone be kind enough to share some names, ideally in Maine. We
live in MA, but the boat is in Maine.

Many thanks!
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Old 06-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thisiswater View Post
1. What does a survey cost?
They charge by the foot. My 30 foot boat cost around $380 a few years ago (in the SF Bay Area). Not including haul out (also by the foot). It's not cheap so be selective and do your own survey first. Don Casey's book "Sailboat Maintenance" tells you how, and what to look for. This will also allow you to talk more knowledgeably with the Surveyor. It's also a great book to have after you get a boat. Covers almost everthing, including Surveyors!
2. Is there any reason for prospective owners to be present when it's done?
Yes. I would definitely want to be present. A good surveyor can explain things better in person. You can learn a lot. Besides, your paying for it!
3. Would anyone be kind enough to share some names, ideally in Maine. We
live in MA, but the boat is in Maine. Can't help you there. But I would call around and talk to them on the phone. If they are helpful on the phone, they are more likely to be helpful during the survey. I would also want them to be accredited by SAM's or another Survey association. Not a guarentee, but it probably means they didn't just hang up their shingle.
Many thanks!
Good Luck!

Last edited by L124C; 06-24-2010 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 06-25-2010
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One thing you don't want to do is use the surveyor that the selling broker recommends . Our survey a couple of years ago cost about $800 which included a two hour sea trial and a very detailed haul out survey (did not include haul out costs). You should DEFINITELY plan to be there for the survey, you will learn a lot about the boat and it's a great opportunity to ask a lot of questions and get good answers.
Sorry, can't help you with Maine surveyors. I would PM Mainesail for a rec.
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Old 06-25-2010
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I would try to arrange to join the surveyor if at all possible. You will see parts of the boat that you probably didn't expect existed and will get a running commentary that, should you buy the boat, will be invaluable. And if you don't purchase the boat, that will be due to the expertise of the surveyor as well.
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Old 06-25-2010
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Prior to hiring a surveyor, I would recommend you go over the boat with the BOat Inspection Trip Tips thread in mind, and see if the boat is even worth going forward with a survey on.
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Old 06-25-2010
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I would add the following to L124C's comments:

(1) From my research, $20/ft is a good starting point for the basic survey here in South Florida. The mechanic charged me $100 for the engine check and oil samples ($60 for both). The rigger charged me $100 to evaluate the standing and running rigging. A short haul (4 hours max in the slings) was $200.

(2) I would want to be there when the surveyor does his/her thing. The tough part is staying out of the way of the surveyor. I consider a survey to consist of 3 parts: the hull and structural; the engine and transmission; and the rigging. To me that would mean an approved or referenced surveyor, a mechanic with factory training on the engine and if possible the transmission, and a well respected rigger.

The surveyor, mechanic, and rigger should provide some kind of report, even if you provide a generic checklist for them to tick off. Most surveyors have their own form but that doesn't mean you can't have your own or list of concerns and ask the surveyor to give extra attention to those areas.

(3) A check of the internet would provide a list of SAMS or IMS members. They have some requirements for certification and may not be as well versed as you'd like. I'd suggest calling a few and asking how often they do sailboats, their credentials, a few references, and get a feel for the competency of the candidate. Some surveyors stick to power vessels. Your insurance or bank may have a surveyor they want to use.
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Old 06-25-2010
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My survey was $19/ft in Long Island, NY 2008. That represented about 1 percent of the asking price which is not cheap. However, to make you feel better, you can count on getting at least part of the survey paid for by renegotiating after they find a problem. I had $250 knocked off a $700 survey based on something that was found and I probably could have gotten more.

Anytime I am paying someone $700 for a days work that they can't prove has been done, I want to stick around. A good surveyor will take apart every compartment in your boat. There are spares and compartments on my boat I would not know existed if the surveyor didn't take his time checking out. I still haven't been back into some of them, but I know they are there. I wouldn't know about that stuff if I wasn't around. Not everything goes into their report.

I asked surveyors for a copy of a survey they have done in the past. It gave me some objective starting point for comparison.
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Last edited by Snboard976; 06-25-2010 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 06-25-2010
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Ask your surveyor if they go aloft to ascertain the condition of the rig, a lot of them don't. Providing a deck level analysis usually doesn't fly with the insurance company.
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Old 06-26-2010
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Thanks so much!

Thought I posted my big thank you! This is all so helpful as is Sailingdog's
checklist. What a site!

Yes, I know not to use a surveyor connected to the boatyard or seller - lol!

As we move through this process, I'll state the obvious: there are a *lot* of boats out there and the more time dh and I take the more "generous" their sellers get.

Now the question is: how long to we look; it's a feast out there! If it takes me as long to find a boat as it's taking to pick a paint color for the living room the only time I'll sail her is for my burial at sea!

Last edited by thisiswater; 06-26-2010 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010
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Having used several other area surveyors I would definitely go with Welcome

He may be exoensive and difficult to schedule due to the demand for his services, but I was impatient to close my deal with my last purchase, went with someone else and regretted it for years.
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