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post #1 of 12 Old 10-10-2013 Thread Starter
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cheap survey....

Is there such a thing as a cheap surveyor? If so, can you recommend one to me located in the hudson valley? What would I be expected to pay for a 30ft sailboat?
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

If this is a purchase survey a cheap surveyor (if you find one) is false economy. If it's an insurance survey, say so.. Usually it's a simpler, less thorough process and the fee should reflect that.

In any event be prepared to pay $3-400 for the latter, as much as double that easy for the former. At least...
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-10-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

The surveyors that I have hired charge by the foot and will tell you what their "per foot" charge is, so it is easy to compare prices. Although, as Faster said, hiring a cheaper surveyor for a purchase survey may be a false economy. One thing you can do--in addition to getting local recommendations--is to ask potential surveyors for an example of one of their reports. Most are willing to share a redacted report. You then have some indication of what to expect. I'd suggest you also try to find a surveyor that is familiar with the type of boat you are considering, and what thus knows what the common issues are for that boat.


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post #4 of 12 Old 10-11-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

Up this way, by the time you have added in a half lift, taxes etc you are looking at a grand for a decent survey on a boat that size.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-11-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

I've seen 3 different kinds of surveys: 1) pre-purchase, 2) insurance, and 3) quick-and-dirty. The pre-purchase survey is the most comprehensive. The intent is to tell you, the prospective buyer, all of the major components that are aboard the boat and a list of everthing that the surveyor sees as potential issues as well as outright problems with the boat. The insurance survey is a subset of the pre-purchase survey, and it's purpose is to establish an insurable value for the boat, and to give the insurance company a sense of the general condition of the boat. The quick-and-dirty survey (or sanity check survey) is usually the least expensive and is also the least extensive. Not all surveyors offer it, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Basically, it's a "I live 1000 miles away and need someone to go aboard and make sure it's worth me spending the time to come check out the boat" kind of thing. The surveyor goes aboard, takes some pictures, and checks the really major stuff (e.g., in summer, whether the engine starts, that the bilges aren't flooded, that there aren't major soft spots or signs of leakage, etc.). If you go forward with the boat, the surveyor will typically credit you a portion of the sanity check survey fee toward the cost of an insurance or pre-purchase survey.

As you can see, each of these serves a different purpose. Are you looking for an inexpensive pre-purchase survey, or are you looking for a sanity check survey? Sometimes the issue is in knowing what to ask for.

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post #6 of 12 Old 10-11-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

Our purchase survey combined the Quick and Dirty with the Very Comprehensive survey - that is, after the Q&D we had the option of going no further if there were big red flags.

We were happy with it and it was money well spent.

This afternoon I am having an insurance survey done and it will be less than half the cost. ''rik

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-11-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

The way I look at it...

If you know what you are looking at you don't need a survey. There are many boats I am well familiar with that I would forgo a survey; I would do it myself.

If you don't know what you are looking at you need a good survey. If I were to look at >40 monohull or large power boat I would be lost and I know it.

---

Kind of like the market for cheap climbing ropes.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-11-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
The way I look at it...

If you know what you are looking at you don't need a survey. There are many boats I am well familiar with that I would forgo a survey; I would do it myself.

If you don't know what you are looking at you need a good survey. If I were to look at >40 monohull or large power boat I would be lost and I know it.

---

Kind of like the market for cheap climbing ropes.
I suspect many experienced boaters will feel the same way, I know I do.. and that knowledge/comfort level with inspection is a great 'first look' for a decision to go further or not. Whether you'll get away with doing your own 'survey' will depend on financing and insurance considerations.

I know that by the time I've owned a boat long enough to 'need' a 5-yr insurance survey I know the boat a damn sight better than what's turned up by the typically cursory insurance survey, but we still have to pay for it.

Ron

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-11-2013
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-11-2013
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Re: cheap survey....

Try Marine Survey 101 before you hire a surveyor.

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