How long is a survey good for? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-19-2012 Thread Starter
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How long is a survey good for?

I'm look at buying a boat in the under $10k range.
One boat I found was already surveyed 18 months ago buy the owner for insurance purposes.
No bottom inspection was done and just visual on engine.
This is a 30'er.
Should I accept the old survey or get another or just get the bottom checked and the engine ?
First time buyer
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-19-2012
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Re: How long is a survey good for?

An 'insurance survey' is a bit of a 'rubber stamp' for people renewing their insurance. Nowhere near as thorough as a proper survey.

Your own insurance company may accept the insurance survey since it's less than 5 years old, but if you're financing the bank may not. It also won't really tell you what you need to know about the boat to make a fair decision on purchase, esp as a 'first time buyer'.

Bottom line the 'right thing' to do is get a proper purchase survey. Buying a boat without a thorough inspection of the underwater bits is a risky maneuver.. ask yourself can you afford to throw away the $10K if you buy wrong??

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post #3 of 5 Old 10-20-2012
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Re: How long is a survey good for?

Plaster, if a survey was any good in the first place, the surveyor competent and honest, it was good for about ten minutes. As soon as the surveyor walks away, that's that. In eighteen months someone can hit a rock, break the rigging, let the bilges fill up with water and start rotting out the boat. The chainplates can leak, the engine can be overheated and blown, the rudder shaft can be bent. Rats can eat the sails while a tree falls on the lifelines and bends the stanchions.

How long is a survey good for? How long is a piece of string?

And it isn't just your ten grand at risk. If you start to do a little work here and there, wind up putting in another grand or two, contract for a year at a marina, then find out there's a major problem and you're going to have to pay to have the boat hauled away because they are treated as hazmat at regular landfills...You could easily wind up putting $15k plus at risk here.

If you don't know boats, and can't get help from someone who does, a survey is worth considering. If you will be insuring the boat then your insurer may also require a survey from a specific list of surveyors they have approved. If you've had a survey done but they require someone else, you wind up buying two surveys.
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-20-2012
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Re: How long is a survey good for?

I never go a single week, without finding something new that needs attention. 18 months is a lifetime on a boat. As mentioned, an insurance survey is a different beast.


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post #5 of 5 Old 10-20-2012
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Re: How long is a survey good for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I never go a single week, without finding something new that needs attention. 18 months is a lifetime on a boat. As mentioned, an insurance survey is a different beast.
Exactly, a boat can sink in a few minutes. High performance auto shops commonly guarantee their work as far as the door - much the same applies to marine surveys.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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