Scheduled trip - part 3 - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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post #11 of 20 Old 08-22-2007
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These surveys cost me a total of something like US$600.
Andre,
SD is right. Unless I missed it you didn't say how long the boat is, but I would think it would cost more than that for just the boat survey on most boats over 30 feet....engine and rigging would be above that. After all, in a survey you are expecting someone to bend and reach and wallow around in the bilges and lazarettes to find things. It's hard work and requires a thorough knowledge of what to look for.

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post #12 of 20 Old 08-22-2007
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Using a broker-selected surveyor is akin to a pimp telling you his most broken-down whore is "the best you will ever have!" The conflict of interest is glaring.
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-24-2007 Thread Starter
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Mmmmmm . . . .

Given that other posts have put forward costs of $600 and $700 for full-on surveys, my $600 is not that far away that I should have been all that suspicious. And IMHO not far away enough that the surveyors should have done an almost cursory visual inspection.

Also remember that I'm accustomed to paying in NZ$ so to me, the surveys in total were worth about NZ$850 which in NZ is quite a lot more than one expect to pay for a full-on survey. And also, being accustomed to the way things are done in NZ, there is not a lot of cause to be suspicious because the surveyors here seemingly take their jobs very seriously because they would be held culpable if someone died as the result of a dishonest or even half-hearted survey.

I guess my biggest omission was not talking to the forum first, I would probably have got some useful feedback but then again, some forumites may recall that I did receive a pretty negative response to my original thread.

I'll try to remember your helpfulness next time . . .

Thanks
Andre
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-24-2007
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Andre-

You might have received less negative response if you had asked for advice on the surveyors. IIRC, part of the problem was that your post in that thread made it sound like you had already had the boat surveyed and that the purchase was a done deal, which it wasn't.

Saying that you're used to paying in NZ$ is just an excuse IMHO, since you knew you were getting a survey done in a different country... your expectation of the costs to be the same or even similar was highly unrealistic. Your three surveys cost less than the low-end for a good hull survey, much less separate hull, engine and rigging surveys.

Also the $600-700 figures were for boats that were considerably smaller than yours. $650 for a 35' boat, and $500 for a 28' boat. Also, given the fact that you were going to be taking the boat on a trans-Pacific voyage immediately following purchase, and not sailing it around the local bay, probably means you should have gone for a more comprehensive survey, rather than less.

If you were just sailing around the bay, and ran into a missed problem, it would generally be no big deal. However, that same problem, encountered on the middle of a trans-Pac journey, could have been a show-stopper. You were lucky in many ways. The rudder stuffing box, deck leaks, badly mounted alternator, cracked exhaust elbow, and non-functional bilge pump are all relatively small things taken singly... however, they could have easily combined to become enough to sink the boat. Most "disasters" aren't a single large event... but made up of a series of small, relatively harmless events that combine to become a huge problem together.

The exhaust elbow letting water into the bilge isn't a problem, unless the rudder is also doing, which isn't a problem if the bilge pump is working, which isn't a problem unless the electrical system goes belly up because of the alternator failing.... and so on...

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post #15 of 20 Old 08-24-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
And also, being accustomed to the way things are done in NZ, there is not a lot of cause to be suspicious because the surveyors here seemingly take their jobs very seriously because they would be held culpable if someone died as the result of a dishonest or even half-hearted survey.
So I guess the US is just not litigious enough...

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post #16 of 20 Old 08-24-2007
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Well, we can all talk about woulda coulda shoulda done this or that differently, but at the root, this is about a surveyor doing a really bad job and if it was a doctor and a diagnosis we wouldn't be talking about "that's what you get for going to a cheap doctor".
Andre...I am going to assume that this guy was certified by one of the sanctioning agencies like SAMS, and at the very least, you should write a detailed note to that agency regarding your experience so as to have this kind of shoddiness on record in case others have the same experience. I'd also ask for my money back but think the chances of that happening are slim.
Given your fuller description of the problems found I am going to withdraw my earlier comment about being wrong about the need for a shakedown cruise! (G) But I do admire your fortitude in getting past the problems and completing the voyage. If there is a next time...I'm sure you'll put the lessons learned to good use AND I think your open discussion of the problems can b instructive for others contemplating voyages on just purchased boats. Thanks!
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-24-2007
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Enough bashing. Even new boats can have problems. Unless a used boat has just been meticulously gone over and every system replaced there is no guarantee you won't have problems. Even then there is no guarantee.

They made it, nobody was killed, we learned lots so:

Lets get back to the story.
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post #18 of 20 Old 08-24-2007
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Andre-

What are your upcoming plans for the boat???

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post #19 of 20 Old 08-24-2007
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Holy cow, batman! It's too bad there isn't some mechanism to make this thread required reading for anyone contemplating purchase of a used sailing vessel!
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-26-2007 Thread Starter
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Cam

There will definitely be a next time, this hasn't dampened any enthusiasm and I haven't shared the worst with you yet, that's still to come. I'll need to keep you in a little suspese though because in my next thread I want to share some of the info about the stops we had. I think some forumites might find them interesting.

SD

The boat is in Tauranga at this time wjhhich is about 135 miles south of Auckland. Im presently busy refitting the electrical system in terms of new batteries, new alternators, power management changes to suit NZ and generally tarting up that side. In two weeks I will be sailing the boat to Auckland and then my wife and I will be living aboard for the foreseeable future. Long term (6 years froom now) is to cruise the South Pacific and then - who knows.
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