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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-10-2005 08:10 AM
people buying boats...

I found the toughest surveyor we could and saved about $6k in the transaction as a result of pre-sale items he found (most tied to a need to pull the mast and replace electrical). The other poster''s suggestion to follow the surveyor "like a puppy" also worked well and generated a similar discussion and list of to-do items.

Found our surveyor by asking a couple of smaller chandleries and two boat yard owners, and local anal-retentive owners in different harbors (S. CA area). Same two names came up across the board. The one I didn''t use ended up doing a survery in the yard on the boat next to us. Bottom line, I was impressed by both. Thought the boat yard had the most concise feedback on the surveyors.
04-07-2005 05:28 PM
people buying boats...

Regarding surveys and boats. IMHO, the type and cost of the boat have a bearing on if a survey is required. The potentional owner''s experience also come into play.

When I bought my first boat, a 1981 Catalina 22, I didn''t hire a surveyor. I bought it directly from the owners, and I had a real good feeling about them (and the boat). Also, those boats are very simple. No inboard engine, no thru hulls, no galley, tiller steering, etc. I looked the boat over carefully, it was clean, looked good, and only cost $4500. I sailed it for a year then sold it to buy a bigger boat.

The bigger boat was a 86 Newport 28. That one I had surveyed. It cost a lot more ($15K), had a diesel inboard engine, pressure hot and cold water, galley with stove, sink, etc, head with shower, wheel steering, autopilot, etc. I bought it from a broker, so I couldn''t get a feeling for how the owner''s cared for the boat. Anyway, the broker was great, he told me I should get the boat surveyed. He said he could recommend some surveyor''s, but that I probably would not accept them (I didn''t). The surveyor did a great job. I was very interested in what he was doing, so I followed him all over like a puppy. I think he appreciated my interest and took his time explaining what he was doing and why. When I got his report to went over it with me and explained what needed to be done ASAP, what could wait until the end of the year when the boat got hauled, and what didn''t have to be done, but would be nice to do.

Finally, my insurance company did not ask for a survey. They asked for year, make and model. They asked what I paid for it, and since it was in line with BUC values they wrote the policy.

04-07-2005 04:10 PM
people buying boats...

why is it that one hears so much about surveyors not doing a good job and cashing in pretty healthy paychecks for shotty work...
I for one dont understand that even if the survey was real faulty that even the surveyors cut, cannot be asked back...
just to much : I am not responsible for anything in all them surveys...

Probably better is to get yourself really familar with the boat you want. There is a load of info on the net for almost evey boat. Join mailing lists and groups and ask questions. people will tell you the spots you have to check .... than check out the boat of your dreams... check it throughly walk around the marina and ask questions and more question about the owner and his boat. Than sleep over it. After that without any more delay. go ahead and buy it

04-07-2005 03:44 PM
people buying boats...

Can a broker who says that a survey is unnecessary be trusted? I would quickly drop anyone that made such a suggestion. You probably need a survey in order to get insurance anyway. Like brokers, some surveyors are better than others. Ask around. Take the names you get from the broker, the two or three local marina shop guys (not the sales staff!!) and a bunch of owners. See which names keep turning up, and call them. Pick the one who seems most knowledgable, and that you''ll feel comfortable working with. Follow him around during the survey and ask lots of questions. There will always be something for him to find, somewhere. It is amazing what you can learn from a good surveyor. Of course, before getting to the surveyor you need to do your own homework, as Dennis suggests. Happy sails!
04-07-2005 06:02 AM
people buying boats...

I can say this: with my currant off road vehicle,(I had to sell my Rubicon cause now my commute is 186 miles a day)a ''77 Endeavour 32,I used the best survey name in my area. After all was said and done, I crawled into my engine room and noticed that the cockpit scupper drain hoses were cracked and leaking. The cracks were noticable at once so why didn''t the ''surveyor'' discover this? My boat stood a good chance of sinking and if it did? I have no recoarse at all...nothing!
Well you get my drift. I gotta go.

04-06-2005 08:12 PM
people buying boats...

There is a saying that goes something like this: you can buy a boat for $10k, put $10k into it and have a $12k boat in the end. I had a terrible surveyor in the Baltimore area. As a result I''ve had to put tens of thousands of dollars into my boat including: a new engine, new rigging, fiberglass work, etc. Not to scare any potential boat buyers away but next time I would pay slightly more for a boat owned by an anal rententive paranoid who spent the time, effort, and money to keep his boat in shape vs saving a few bucks and finding problem after problem with a neglected boat. There are some excellent articles on the web that one can google search for that basically tell you how to do your own pre-survey before you call in the professional.
04-06-2005 06:38 PM
people buying boats...

I totally agree about the surveyor. Actually one should find a surveyor they can work with before they look at boats. A few boats ago, I used a surveor in Annapolis who was recommended. He was terrible, missed many things, and used boiler plate text in his expensive survey document. His reputation was good so I wonder what a bad one would be like!
Hire a surveyor for three reasons: one to make sure the boat is worth what you are paying and what it will need to meet your standards and needs. Its ok if it needs a bunch of work and attention. you just need to know how much work you will want to do. Banks and insurance companies, especially if you are going to the Bahamas etc., require a current survey. Finally with a survey in hand, you might get the seller to fix some of the items the survey found as lacking. As a buyer you will pay for haul-out and its expensive, maybe 4.00 per foot. If you are to the point where the deal is that close, look at the bottom- it tells a story and you nead to see it to know the boat.

Last but not least, all boats that are older,can make a great first boat. some might have short comings, blisters, chiped paint, broken parts, what ever but don''t let the surveyor scare you with lists and observations. the boat might be a half million new, and you are going to be sailing away in the sunset for a hundred thousand or two. There is no deal like a used sailboat! If you want new, buy new. Either way owning a boat, working on it, sailing it, is a gratifying and rewarding experience.
04-06-2005 08:58 AM
people buying boats...

Since no one else commented, I will. I agree 100%. This board is a wonderful resource. I''ve owned 4 different boats and every time I look I get from some owner or broker "you don''t need a survey." This causes alarm bells to go off and I immediately head the other way. Im not sure how folks buy boats without a survey as every insuranance company I''ve deal with requires one to bind coverage. Problem with boat buying is that many go with their hearts and not with their heads; heartbreak (and a breaking of the bank) oftenn ensues. YOu must also find a good survetor; they are not all created equal and a bad one cost me ALOT of money on my current boat. Never, ever, ever accept a surveyor proposed by the owner or the broker unless you can independently confirm his objectivity.
04-05-2005 11:08 AM
people buying boats...

It''s sad.
This board is so terrific and has so much good information- I wish more people new to boating would take the advice given-
PLEASE have an experienced person help you find a boat!!!Someone that is NOT going to make money off you and is not selling you anything!!!I just saw a young couple down the dock buy a wreck of a boat that will take thousands and thousands to restore if it is at all possible- and they have no clue- No survey- No nothing-
I am not trying to be an elitist here and I am not setting myself up as an expert- I am not...but living at a marina I see some brokers take advantage-NOT ALL BROKERS...
But, keep in mind new people, they are trying to make a living.
My heart breaks when I see really excited enthusiatic people get taken advantage of-They could be a great addition to the boating community and they get ripped off or worse put in a dangerous, life threatening situation. Of course this happens in many situations...houses, cars...but when it happens in our''s close to home.
I read so many postings about boat selections...There are tons of experienced people that are willing to answer questions and help both at local marinas and on this board...and for goodness sake get a SURVEY!!!
(my bad for venting!)

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