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post #11 of 20 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

$750 for a 22' boat is outrageous. This article may be a little over the top for a 22' boat but it may guide you through an inspection before you hire a surveyor.
Marine Survey 101 (How to Do Your Own Marine Survey)
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

Given the boat is on a trailer, you might save significantly by taking the boat to the surveyor, saving his/her roundtrip travel time and expense. Early in my boatowning career I trailered a 20-footer to a surveyor and stipulated I only wanted him to assess the hull, deck, rudder, spars and standing rigging. I was savy enough to assess everything else (plumbing, electrics, trailer, sails, etc.). It was something like $150 for a 5 page report (10 years ago). It was worth the peace of mind that the decks weren't soggy and standing rigging was sound.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

Let me be one more voice to say $750 for a 22' boat? NO WAY!

I paid $750 to one surveyor for my 35' boat, and felt that was a rip-off.


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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

Who is doing the survey, how far does he have to drive, when does it need to be done by, what are his liabilities under state law, how detailed is he. Many of these have no bearing on how long a survey may take, or the cost to him of doing it. For instance, a visual inspection of the rigging on any sloop is probably going to take about the same length of time. However dye testing each fitting on a rig is more dependent on the size of the rig.

Frankly I can't figure out why people think a smaller boat is going to be much less time intensive to survey, assuming the same detail of survey as a larger boat. There is still one engine, one set of rigging, one rudder, one set of rudder bearings, one head, one set of batteries, one hull (ok moisture readings take a few seconds, but it doesn't change that much in overall time). Add to this that small boats often have much more cramped quarters, worse access to things.

While I completely get why small boat owners don't get surveys (I don't either) that doesn't mean that the surveyor is going to spend significantly less time surveying a 22' boat versus a 30' versus a 40'. Now as the boats get bigger they may have more systems and greater complexity which could add to the time it takes to do a good job, but that isn't dependent entirely on length.

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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
$750 for a 22' boat is outrageous. This article may be a little over the top for a 22' boat but it may guide you through an inspection before you hire a surveyor.
Marine Survey 101 (How to Do Your Own Marine Survey)
I haven't read through that website, but I have read through this book:

Surveying Fiberglass Sailboats, by Henry Mustin. Highly recommended.
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

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Frankly I can't figure out why people think a smaller boat is going to be much less time intensive to survey,
Because most surveyors charge by the foot ?

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post #17 of 20 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

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Who is doing the survey, how far does he have to drive, when does it need to be done by, what are his liabilities under state law, how detailed is he. Many of these have no bearing on how long a survey may take, or the cost to him of doing it. For instance, a visual inspection of the rigging on any sloop is probably going to take about the same length of time. However dye testing each fitting on a rig is more dependent on the size of the rig.

Frankly I can't figure out why people think a smaller boat is going to be much less time intensive to survey, assuming the same detail of survey as a larger boat. There is still one engine, one set of rigging, one rudder, one set of rudder bearings, one head, one set of batteries, one hull (ok moisture readings take a few seconds, but it doesn't change that much in overall time). Add to this that small boats often have much more cramped quarters, worse access to things.

While I completely get why small boat owners don't get surveys (I don't either) that doesn't mean that the surveyor is going to spend significantly less time surveying a 22' boat versus a 30' versus a 40'. Now as the boats get bigger they may have more systems and greater complexity which could add to the time it takes to do a good job, but that isn't dependent entirely on length.
I spent 12hrs surveying a 45' boat yesterday. If it took me more than 1 1/2hrs (moving very slowly & having a coffee break) to survey a 22 footer with an outboard motor I'd find another way of making a living.

Do you really think it takes as much time to survey ....
a 45' ketch with two masts, , 7 hidden chain plates, miles of hidden electrical wiring, hundreds of electrical connections, two shore power outlets, fourteen keel bolts, 12 throughulls (five of them hidden) generator, inverter, two battery chargers, two galvanic isolators, two isolation transformers, four battery banks, five battery switches,, 11 pieces of navigation electronics, two heads with convoluted waste plumbing, a propane system supplying a stove, catalytic heater and instant water heater, diesel fired furnace, engine driven and water cooled DC refrigeration.

vs. ...........

A 22' sailboat with one mast, a single burner alcohol stove, a port-a-potty and an outboard motor ?

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Last edited by boatpoker; 11-01-2013 at 10:31 PM.
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

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I spent 12hrs surveying a 45' boat yesterday. If it took me more than 1 1/2hrs (moving very slowly & having a coffee break) to survey a 22 footer with an outboard motor I'd find another way of making a living.

Do you really think it takes as much time to survey ....
a 45' ketch with two masts, , 7 hidden chain plates, miles of hidden electrical wiring, hundreds of electrical connections, two shore power outlets, fourteen keel bolts, 12 throughulls (five of them hidden) generator, inverter, two battery chargers, two galvanic isolators, two isolation transformers, four battery banks, five battery switches,, 11 pieces of navigation electronics, two heads with convoluted waste plumbing, a propane system supplying a stove, catalytic heater and instant water heater, diesel fired furnace, engine driven and water cooled DC refrigeration.

vs. ...........

A 22' sailboat with one mast, a single burner alcohol stove, a port-a-potty and an outboard motor ?
Of course not. But which would take longer to survey?

1) a 70' stripped out racer with no interior, a 20hp exposed engine, sloop rigged, open cave design, no plumbing, external removable fuel tank, and full instruments. Built on a carbon/epoxy/foam core hull.

2) a 30' wooden cutter ketch, with installed AC, generator, engine buried in an engine room, installed plumbing system, two berths, twin fuel tanks, twin water tanks, full nav instruments, ect...?


My point is simply that while some surveyors may charge by the foot, it s not unreasonable for a surveyor to charge by how long it will take for him/her to perform the survey.

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post #19 of 20 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

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Of course not. But which would take longer to survey?

1) a 70' stripped out racer with no interior, a 20hp exposed engine, sloop rigged, open cave design, no plumbing, external removable fuel tank, and full instruments. Built on a carbon/epoxy/foam core hull.

2) a 30' wooden cutter ketch, with installed AC, generator, engine buried in an engine room, installed plumbing system, two berths, twin fuel tanks, twin water tanks, full nav instruments, ect...?


My point is simply that while some surveyors may charge by the foot, it s not unreasonable for a surveyor to charge by how long it will take for him/her to perform the survey.
I stopped surveying wooden boats years ago after spending from sun up to sun down on a 37' pacemaker. I was quite prepared to stay longer but I ran out of note paper. Nobody wants to pay the price to survey a wooden cruiser properly.

I believe the vessel under discussion was a 22' FRP, very simple sailboat so although I don't disagree with some of your points I don't really feel they pertain to OP.

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post #20 of 20 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Survey?????? I've never had one

My experience with surveys, as the owner of a 23' fiberglass sailboat, a 25' wooden powerboat, and the research I have done as a tireless underpaid blogger:

1. surveys on modern era fiberglass construction production boats are charged out by the foot, based on customer specification.
2. surveys are for one of the three purposes-
a) purchase survey: to determine if what you have contracted to buy is substantively as the seller has listed. any deficiencies are material grounds for reworking the purchase price or bailing from the deal if egregious enough. By their very nature, it is in the buyer's best interest to have the most intensive and rigorous purchase survey performed. The cost of the survey is often recouped in a reduction of the purchase price based on undisclosed deficiencies. or...
b) an insurance survey is often necessary, to insure a boat, unless it is less than 25' and 10 hp. if you are going to have a boat covered by a rider on your homeowner's policy, as is likely the case with a 22' boat, a survey is likely not required. But, if your insurance company DOES require a survey becasue you are not insured under a home insurance policy, an insurance survey can be a more cursory evaluation to meet the needs of the insurance company. it can be a more superficial inspection of the vessel and a thumbnail impression of it's current market value. it gets you insurance, it may not get you much peace of mind.
c) under 25', and under a price point that you can cut a check for the purchase without need ing bank financing, you are well-advised to learn to do an inspection yourself. There is a good sticky here on "inspection trip tips" Check it out.

The survey conducted is based on the survey parameters specified. If a buyer asks for an lower-cost, less intensive insurance survey, then bitches when deficiencies are noticed after the fact that would have been uncovered by a more intensive purchase survey, well, you get what you pay for. Ther are lots of boatyards though who will make you fele better by blaming the surveyor, while happily taking your money to repair stuff that you wouldn't have to pay to repair, because a more extensive survey would have steered you away from the boat, or at least given you a heads up regarding what was involved.


All of that being said, if you are a KNLNWBTEG (Know Nothing, Learned Nothing, Wet Behind the Ears Greenhorn) it behooves you to have a professional purchase survey done. yeah, it might cost you $3-500 (shop around, and tell the surveyors you need a purchase survey- a wise surveyor like boatpoker will understand what you need and want and will give you a fair quote.), but it will likely save you more than that.
Good luck, and get sailing!

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Last edited by bljones; 11-01-2013 at 11:29 PM.
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