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Thread: Boat Survey recommended for $4000 boat? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-27-2011 07:12 PM
catamount Chainplates: on my SJ21 (Mark I), the chainplates are embedded in the fiberglass of the cabin house sides -- there is nothing to see from inside the boat -- so no loss there. Not sure about the keel issues on the boat that you bought, but yes you would have wanted your surveyor to check out the pivot pin and keel trunk, as well as the compression post for the mast. You can't really check the keel itself without lifting the boat up off the trailer so you can lower the keel out of the trunk. Did you check the condition of the keel trunk "gasket"?

Even though a bit odd, the golf ball was probably an OK tool for percussion testing of the deck. I've used a plastic-tipped hammer, the handle of a screw driver, or even just my knuckles. Did you sound the transom? The hull is solid, but the transom has some coring, and you want to check the rudder gudgeons.

I wouldn't worry about the fact that a moisture meter was not used -- the readings are hard to interpret, and the percussion sounding tells you what you need to know about the structural integrity of a cored composite structure.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your new boat. Having the recore already done is a big bonus -- here's the photo blog on the re-core I did on my SJ21: -- it's a big job.
08-27-2011 05:43 PM
GaryHLucas My 6K boat is rapidly approaching 30K, so a survey looks better and better all the time!

Gary H. Lucas
08-25-2011 01:20 AM
puddinlegs Just a side note about re-coring. In my book, if the boat looks well loved and maintained, re-coring, especially if done well, is just more evidence that someone really cared for the boat. There's much to judge a boat by. Don't let common repairs to older boats scare you away.
08-24-2011 10:16 PM
hellosailor You can always take the diplomatic approach:

"Dear SAMS, I'm new to boats so I replied on the SAMS credential to hire my first surveyor. Even though it is a small boat, wouldn't a surveyor have to go below to tell me if there really are any problems down there?"

You get the picture.

Even on a trailer boat...if there's any wood, settees, bulkheads, chainplate mounts, floors...

Golf ball, huh? The things I never knew about golf.
08-24-2011 08:57 PM
Minnewaska Admittedly, I'm not very familiar with your boat. The deck fitting should be viewable from above, but the chainplates should be below and are critical. Maybe it's on the side of your cockpit. Again, not familiar.
08-24-2011 08:50 PM
rundugrun He did look at each sail briefly and was able to see the chainplates by stepping up on the trailer, but he never got in the cockpit, walked on the deck or went below. I'll reach out to SAM and let them know...
08-24-2011 08:46 PM
Minnewaska Getting aboard and checking the condition of the deck, chainplates, gunnel, evidence of water intrusion and many others is absolutely required. Call SAMS now.

Did he check the condition of the sails?
08-24-2011 08:33 PM
rundugrun "Drive by survey" is a good description. He certainly walked around the boat several time and since the SJ21 is lowish profile, he was able to tap all over the deck using the golf ball, but... The fact that he never got in the cockpit or went below was disturbing, but I wasn't confident enough to call him out. So, before I contact SAM, is it considered standard to use a moisture meter and go below? Obviously on a boat this "simple" there weren't any systems to evaluate, but going below and stepping foot in the cockpit is a minimum, right?

What's weird is that he talked about a 53 foot Hatteras and a 42 foot Sea Ray that he just surveyed earlier in the week and was still working on the written report, so he made me feel like he was qualified...

08-24-2011 08:20 PM
hellosailor "In fact, he never stepped foot on the boat."

I hope you send a letter in to SAM describing your survey. On my planet, when a surveyor does not board the boat, does not look at the keel...that's called a "drive by survey".

Usually done on the way from the drive-in liquor store window (yes, there really are such things) to the drive-in stripper club.

Age and infirmity are no excuse for not having a good time, right?
08-24-2011 08:16 PM
Originally Posted by rundugrun View Post
Well, here's an update... I could only find one marine surveyor within a reasonable driving distance, so I chose that surveyor sight unseen. He arrived on-time, dressed in his SAM hat/shirt and that was the bright spot. He had a bad hip and wasn't very mobile at all. In fact, he never stepped foot on the boat. He had asked for the SJ21 to be out of the water, so we had it up on the trailer. Unfortunately, between his advanced age and bad hip, there was no way he was going to get up on the boat. He tapped the deck using a golf ball and looked at the mast and the rigging. He didn't look at the keel nor did he check below for any moisture issues.
And you paid him?
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