Survey Questions - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Survey Questions

I am just starting to look at upgrading to a larger boat. I am looking for something in the 35-39' range. I have owned many boats and even restored a few of them. My current boat is a 32' Ericson. I have a few questions about surveys. I am a very mechanically inclined individual and I have always done my own maintenance, repair and restoration on all of the boats that I have owned. I know my way around most systems fairly well. Up to this point I have always done my own inspections. What I am really wondering is the detail level of the average survey. I would like to know how much "above and beyond" it goes compared to my repurchase inspections. If anyone has a PDF of a survey they had done and don't mind sharing it I would love to take a look at it. I'm most interested in seeing what they look at and what they don't. Also, if you don't mind sharing, I would like to know how much your survey cost (especially if you are in the 35-39' range) What should I expect to pay? If you would be so kind, please email any examples to me at krazzz@hotmail.com Thanks so much!

Ludington, Michigan - Lake Michigan
1971 Ericson 32 Hull # 193
1974 Catalina 22

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post #2 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

If you intend to insure the vessel, you are going to need a professional survey.
A good surveyor can take 8 hours or so on a 40' to 50' boat. Most are very detailed and any surveyor worth his salt is current with all recommendations, guide lines and regulations.
I find I can gloss over things as an interested party, whereas a surveyor is a disinterested inspector.
I would suggest you work with your surveyor, as he surveys the boat.
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Last edited by capta; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:45 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

Be aware that most surveyors will not go up the mast to check the standing rigging and will not do anything more than a cursory inspection of the engine. Little more than it starts and runs. There are specialists who do this.

What a good surveyor can do is identify wet decks, delamination, core failure and repaired damage. You are also buying his years of experience and knowledge about likely failure areas if it is a popular boat.

I paid $800 US in the USVI for my survey. I was concerned about widespread cracking on the deck and cockpit. He tracked down the previous surveyor of the boat and verified that the cracking had been there 15 years ago and had not got any worse.

Some of Don Casey's books on sailboat maintenance have a section on being your own surveyor and what to look for. I used this when I looked at potential boats. It was very useful.
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post #4 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

Not all insurance companies require a paid for survey, some allow for a self survey. My last insurance survey was a self survey (I would attach but it is in Word format).

I'm sure that there are good surveys. But what I learned at the end of the first year on my first boat that had been surveyed 6 months prior was that I was lucky to have not sunk!

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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post #5 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

Most of my comments have been more or less covered but..
I paid for a survey on my current Boat. The list was long but thorough, and like you I do all my own work. and yes it was require by my Carrier. After some bogus instruction from my Insurance agent and 9 months past I had to pay for an addendum to my original survey, they would not let me repair and self testify to the work done, frankly this pissed me off but nobody cares about that. Anyway the reality was the rate my Homeowners and auto carrier offered was well worth the addendum cost, so the moral to the story is find your agent and let them tell you what you need and do it. I now have a quite generous stated value policy for an equally generous premium.

Do be aware of what a purchase survey covers or more important what it doesn't. Motors, rigging, invasive inspections are not part of a standard pre-purchase survey. Lots of Boats are not surveyed, Insured for their Value, or covered in any way above what the Marinas requires to tie up, so do what makes you sleep at night.
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post #6 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

Not only did my surveyor check the motor, he crawled into the engine compartment, which is damned difficult at best, checked the motor's wiring harness, checked the electrical panel, he also checked the chain plates, checked the rigging connections, checked the stay tensions, and while he didn't go up the mast, he used a quality binocular set and looked at the top of the mast connections for obvious problems such as rusty connections and frayed cables. He also checked the halyards, the cleat base backings, the winches (actually opened them), anchor chain and rode connections, exhaust system, bilge pumps, all batteries, fuse panels (2), VHF radio (actually did a radio check and looked at the output on a meter.

A lot of this, obviously, depends upon the surveyor,

Gary
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post #7 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

The surveyor I used checked all electrical, electronic and plumbing systems, complete hull sounding and rigging survey including climbing the mast to examine rigging, he just did a general look at the engine and did test the differential of the intake and exhaust water to partially look at cooling efficiency. The hull sounding was conducted on a previous day. It took about 10 hrs and cost me about $850. I thought it was well worth it.
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post #8 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

A surveyor you're considering hiring should have an example survey to share with you.


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post #9 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

A good boat survey will typically pay for itself. Any issues can be used to adjust the purchase price. It's always good to have a second pair of eyes look at things and an experienced surveyor will know what to look for and be up on current standards.
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post #10 of 11 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: Survey Questions

Perhaps we might say, surveyors are like hookers, some just might be worth the thousand dollars an hour.(G)

Some won't even open an hatch that isn't already opened. Some have printed boilerplate surveys for forum members, quoting features or equipment not even on the same boat. (OOoops.)

And some insurers will require a survey (in or out of water) by a surveyor on THEIR list of approved ones, if insurance is to follow, ask your insurer about that.

I've experienced perfectly "good" and "concerned" doctors missing what looked like obvious fractures on x-rays...and surveyors don't have to go to graduate school for four years, either. Just saying. Roll your dice, and stick around while they're surveying.
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