Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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In many ways surveys are more important on a new boat than a used boat. When a boat is in service, many issues that might come up on a survey will be glaring. For example, a delaminated deck will be large enough to feel or darkened wood might indicate a deck leak.
But on a new boat, the lack of use means that there will not be the kinds of teletale signs that might be indicators of bigger problems. B
ut also boats are built by humans; so hose clamps may be forgotten, wire insulators on battery terminals can be left off, drains may not properly hooked up and so on. Mostly little stuff, but perhaps big enough to strand you or cause other kinds of issues. Unless you personally are very knowledgable, a surveyor is your first line of defense.
Here is where it gets a little dicey. Ideally the survey should take place after all of the dealer installed items are aboard. The idea being, if the installer damages something, disconnects a critical component, or improperly installs something, then the surveyor should be able to catch it. The problem with that is that most manufacturers want you to 'accept' the boat before the dealer goes to work. The way around that is to have the right to survey before and after the installation allowing you to call in a surveyor if you sense that something is not right.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay