I wish I had....had not...when I surveyed that boat. - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-15-2010
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I wish I had....had not...when I surveyed that boat.

So I've spent a lot of time reading survey tips and tricks on this site and others. I've also read "Inspecting an Aging Sailboat" and looked at a lot of boats in our search.

Anyway, we go to sea-trial/survey on Brigadoon, our 1980 Baba 35 PH cutter, on Monday.

We have hired a well recommended surveyor who knows the boats well.

I have read a few books in depth about surveying older boats, and have spent a lot of time looking in the last six months. I think I'm in good shape to see what needs to be seen and ask the right questions of the surveyor. I think the surveyor and I will do well on Monday, but it never hurts to learn from the experiences of others.

The question I have is: what things that you did, or not do, during your survey process, that ended up saving/costing you money?

If you could share one or two things, what would they be?

Thanks.
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1980 Baba 35 Pilot House Cutter - Brigadoon


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Old 10-16-2010
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If there are any issues when you haul, get a quote from the yard to fix the issue(s). For instance if she has blisters, ask the yard what it would cost to grind them out and epoxy fill or whatever. While hauled is the only time you can get these type of estimates. Once she is back her berth, no one can see the bottom. If you do not, you will regret not knowing the costs during re-negotiation. During re-negotiation you can fairly ask for price concessions equal to half or more of such an estimate. Keep in mind that the yard's estimate will probably be on the low side.

Good luck Monday. Hope you read Henri Mustin's book. That is my favorite.
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Old 10-16-2010
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One thing that may be possible... have a pre-arrangement with the surveyor that if he finds what is to you a 'deal killer' early in that the survey be aborted and he/she receives a reasonable hourly rate for their time. (no report to generate, no research to do etc)

Not every surveyor may agree to such terms..
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Old 10-16-2010
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
One thing that may be possible... have a pre-arrangement with the surveyor that if he finds what is to you a 'deal killer' early in that the survey be aborted and he/she receives a reasonable hourly rate for their time. (no report to generate, no research to do etc)
Not every surveyor may agree to such terms..
Hmmmmm.....
Do-able... but be prepared to pay the surveyor for the four hour conversation wherein he/she learns enough about your boating background and mental preparedness to actually understand what, for you, will be a "deal killer."

I cannot imagine a good surveyor entering into such a contract, or just how it would be worded...
And then, you create an atmosphere where the surveyor has a disincentive to tell you bad news as he/she goes through the survey.

Better you do your own due diligence, following the fine guidelines referenced earlier in these threads, and know what to expect from a survey. That survey will become a roadmap to your ownership and stewardship of the boat. Compared to the cost of ownership of a boat, a survey is an exceedingly minor expense in any case.

Remember, that no matter what that finished survey sez, any expensive repairs will likely come out of the purchase price. Seldom is the seller truly ignorant of the problems of his boat, no matter how good his acting ability at the point of sale!

Good luck and fair winds.
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Old 10-16-2010
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My eperiance was rough. The boat was deemed sound but the survey report had many disclaimers regarding engine, electrical, tanks etc. Surveyor gave me an estimate for yard repairs of two people two days if motivated. He managed a yard in the past and I was green so I sealed the deal. Well either my crew was not motivated or the survey was off but after two plus months on hard I doubled the sale price of the boat with all the repairs. Many grandfathered code issues had to be brought up to date. All the electrical had to be rewired and reconfrigured. Engine pannel, alternator, new water lines with inline filters, new toilet and hoses, complete redo of propane delivery system and safety gear, the list goes on and on. I recomend that you ask what has to be done to bring in compliance of modern codes.
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Originally Posted by endoit View Post
My eperiance was rough. The boat was deemed sound but the survey report had many disclaimers regarding engine, electrical, tanks etc. Surveyor gave me an estimate for yard repairs of two people two days if motivated. He managed a yard in the past and I was green so I sealed the deal. Well either my crew was not motivated or the survey was off but after two plus months on hard I doubled the sale price of the boat with all the repairs. Many grandfathered code issues had to be brought up to date. All the electrical had to be rewired and reconfrigured. Engine pannel, alternator, new water lines with inline filters, new toilet and hoses, complete redo of propane delivery system and safety gear, the list goes on and on. I recomend that you ask what has to be done to bring in compliance of modern codes.
Good points. The best surveyors always reference the parts of electrical "code" (ABYC) that must be made current. Note that there is no "grandfather clause" for suff like having a double-pole breaker within xx feet of the shore power inlet. (To name one thing that comes up often on boats about 25+ years old.)
Also, such defaults are proof that the seller did not perform these upgrades in due course to be insurable and safe. Never a good sign, IMHO.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olson34 View Post
Hmmmmm.....
Do-able... but be prepared to pay the surveyor for the four hour conversation wherein he/she learns enough about your boating background and mental preparedness to actually understand what, for you, will be a "deal killer."

I cannot imagine a good surveyor entering into such a contract, or just how it would be worded...
And then, you create an atmosphere where the surveyor has a disincentive to tell you bad news as he/she goes through the survey.
Good points, all.... however I am aware of one well known surveyor locally that has agreed to this scenario - but you're right - you need to know that person well enough to know it's all going to be up front and forthright.
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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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Old 10-18-2010
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So the survey went well.

The surveyor said it was "favorable" and when I asked him if there were *any* issues I had to address right now, when it was in the slings, he replied, "nope!."

I'll get my full report tomorrow or the next day but, aside from a few things (head hoses leaking, exhaust hose replacement, water pump) she's pretty good.
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"There's nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." -- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (River Rat to Mole)

1980 Baba 35 Pilot House Cutter - Brigadoon


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Old 10-18-2010
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Excellent news.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Sounds great. Let us know if there are any issues listed for the future. Are you planing a sea trial.
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