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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Angry at my surveyor....
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-14-2014 01:57 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I am not sure what you mean by a "pre-purchase order" but what ever it is I don't see it. As any of my previous clients will tell you, I specifically warn them not to tell me what their offer is as I do not want to be unduly influenced.......
Fair enough. I've never known the surveyor to be in the dark. Most, to your point, feel their value is so subjective they would want to avoid the pesky difference in my example.

Cheers mate.

p.s. While its taken many forms, the order I'm referring to is what provides the critical info, such as make, model and where the boat can be found, along with contact numbers of buyer and seller, etc. Price has always been in there somewhere, or they simply ask. It also usually serves as a disclaimer prior to the report itself.
06-14-2014 01:48 PM
MedSailor
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by grampianvoyager View Post
What would be wrong with getting a survey, fixing the problems and then redoing the survey?
Ahhh... nice to see this thread resurface a year later. This is a good thing since there has been a lot of water under the bridge (keel?) and I just had another survey on my boat a couple weeks ago, which is to say a year later than the survey that started this thread.

Grampinan,

My issues isn't that stuff needed fixing. My issue was imprecise language and it's implications. Period. Surveys can end up in criminal and civil courts of law with very serious consequences. His language basically said that I couldn't leave the dock though when asked he told me that wasn't his intention to say anything of the sort.

Why not just fix it? Well, with his language I had to fix it before I could leave the dock. Taking off the bowsprit is a major undertaking and he agreed it could wait a year, but his language didn't allow me to wait a year. So, I was looking at owning a boat for an entire summer where I couldn't use her.

He DID change the wording to be more precise when I asked. He said his intent wasn't to keep me at the dock, but he thought the issues should be fixed before going out 100 miles offshore and finding a storm. At my request he made his language more clear to his own intended meaning, so no fraud there by my asking him to be more clear.

He was not willing to cite any ABYC regs regarding the soft wood. This was more of a semantic point and an issue of professionalism to me, so I let it go. If it's soft, it's soft and needs to be fixed even if there isn't an ABYC spec. Instead of citing code, he told me "about this time I was out on ol' Jimmy's boat and his bow sprit snapped off like a twig. 'Ol Jimmy he sure was a fella'..."

Now the soft wood he found was something I could never find, and in my more recent survey it wasn't there either.... but that's for another post. I have to run.

MedSailor
06-14-2014 01:32 PM
boatpoker
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
By your own report, that is a crap shoot. Of course, you would already know that I am paying $525,000. It's disclosed on every pre-purchase order I've ever had done, or at the least, they get the listing inventory and ask. Are you saying that in that vast crap shoot, you would not just bump the blind estimate to $525,000 or 1%. Well within the tolerance of you having been wrong in the first place??
I am not sure what you mean by a "pre-purchase order" but what ever it is I don't see it. As any of my previous clients will tell you, I specifically warn them not to tell me what their offer is as I do not want to be unduly influenced.

Now I obviously will see the listed asking price when I do my research but I've been around long enough to know how far out of whack that can be with the real world so that it has no influence on my valuation whatsoever.
06-14-2014 01:16 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Let's say you would blindly determine a value of $520,000 when I purchased my boat, by looking at recent sales both above and below and trying to extrapolate equipment, age and condition differences.

By your own report, that is a crap shoot. Of course, you would already know that I am paying $525,000. It's disclosed on every pre-purchase order I've ever had done, or at the least, they get the listing inventory and ask. Are you saying that in that vast crap shoot, you would not just bump the blind estimate to $525,000 or 1%. Well within the tolerance of you having been wrong in the first place??
06-14-2014 01:08 PM
boatpoker
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

No thumb on my scale regardless of who is paying or the purpose of the report.
Boat Values ... a crap shoot !
06-14-2014 01:03 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I disagree, the insurer is interested in one thing and one thing only ... money !
How much will they have to pay out if she sinks.
You're getting a little stuborn on your point. We don't disagree as much as you would like to make it seem. How much they have to pay is not the "one thing" they are interested in. The primary thing they are interested in is they have reduced the risk they pay anything at all to an acceptable degree. The condition report is more important to them than the value itself. The value number just drives the size of the premium, that's simple for them.

Now, since the insured is usually the one that is hiring the surveyor, the majority of the time they get a value they are happy with or has a bit of a thumb on the scale.

Valuation is an art anyway, and any number is going to be +/- 10% at best. I'm just saying that pre-purchase and insurance values usually favor opposite ends of that spectrum. I will repeat that I haven't argued they should, only that they most often do.

Quote:
I don't see how anyone can arrive at an accurate valuation without a thorough inspection and I don't see how that can be accomplished with the very abbreviated "insurance surveys" I see...
That's a fairly simple answer. Because what people pay for is not always so technical. An accurate valuation should include all major influences. However, in a pre-purchase, I expect a good inventory of things that don't affect that value at all. They are only proof of what is installed or aboard and a measure to keep the owner honest. Totally unecessary for an insurance survey.

I have no beef with your approach, I just don't think its as absolutely necessary.
06-14-2014 12:32 PM
boatpoker
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Technically, there should be no difference, but I think there are two.

First, an insurance survey is much more concerned with conditions that could cause liability or loss: ABYC standards for example. Some insurance companies have survey requirements that are very specific, like the standing rigging, and not at all inclusive of everything. If an insurance survey left out the fact that the topside paint was in its last year of life, I don't think the insurance company often cares. If you were purchasing the boat, you would.

Value is the second difference. In practice, it shouldn't be and issues like the topside paint should be equally considered in both. However, I will bet, if you line up a broad survey sample, the values have their thumb on the scale for an insurance survey, while the opposite is the case for a purchase.

Neither should be, but both are in my experience.
I disagree, the insurer is interested in one thing and one thing only ... money !
How much will they have to pay out if she sinks. Valuation is a major part of any survey although I don't believe surveyors should be tasked with this job, sadly we are.

I don't see how anyone can arrive at an accurate valuation without a thorough inspection and I don't see how that can be accomplished with the very abbreviated "insurance surveys" I see.

So I'll continue to do things my way and I'll sleep better knowing I have tried to do an honest and thorough job.
06-14-2014 08:47 AM
Hush34
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

I agree with Bubblehead...I would simply call and ask to meet regarding the issues you have. The survey can be edited prior to delivery by you to the insurance company. Most surveyors are reasonable people maybe you lucked out and have one that is. In light of everything, they are not supposed to record anything but facts in the survey. If he says the 10 items are out of spec he should list the specific articles within the specs that are not in compliance.
06-14-2014 08:26 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
.......Neither I nor any of the other SAMS AMS surveyors in Ontario believe in a difference between Pre-purchase, Condition & Valuation or Insurance surveys all our surveys regardless of what you call them are done the same way (and cost the same). Think of it this way if you are doing a shorter version insurance survey .... what do you leave out ?......
Technically, there should be no difference, but I think there are two.

First, an insurance survey is much more concerned with conditions that could cause liability or loss: ABYC standards for example. Some insurance companies have survey requirements that are very specific, like the standing rigging, and not at all inclusive of everything. If an insurance survey left out the fact that the topside paint was in its last year of life, I don't think the insurance company often cares. If you were purchasing the boat, you would.

Value is the second difference. In practice, it shouldn't be and issues like the topside paint should be equally considered in both. However, I will bet, if you line up a broad survey sample, the values have their thumb on the scale for an insurance survey, while the opposite is the case for a purchase.

Neither should be, but both are in my experience.

One of these days, I'm actually going to have a custom survey done. We keep saying this is the year we're going to head over to Bermuda. Before I go, I want a good survey done at the beginning of the season. However, I don't need them to inventory pfds, or check to see if the radios come on. I want a survey that focuses entirely on open water safety. I want every bit of the rigging checked, not just glanced from the deck. Dig into all the electrical connections, open up cabinetry to check all chain plates, etc. I do not want one of those surveys that comes with disclaimers on safety items they could not access well.
06-13-2014 10:55 PM
grampianvoyager
Re: Angry at my surveyor....

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Wow. There's a part of me that hopes you are kidding, or at least being sarcastic. But then, I don't really think so.

What you are suggesting would constitute fraud. It would lose a surveyor his accreditation. No. He absolutely cannot just "write what you want him too [sic]." And he very definitely cannot do two surveys--one that is accurate and one that is not!

On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable for the OP to ask the surveyor to change the phrase in question to make it less vague, more precise. It would also be reasonable to ask him to cite the ABYC standards that are in violation for each of the items. That, of course, would force him to note that there is no specific standard concerning the soft wood. I can't imagine that any reputable surveyor would refuse these requests.

I think the OP has every reason to be disappointed with this survey as it is, but I see no reason why it can't be corrected. Good luck.
What would be wrong with getting a survey, fixing the problems and then redoing the survey?
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