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post #21 of 35 Old 03-11-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

That's pretty much it...you'll need to get one for the insurance, anyway.

But, even without the insurance issue, and even if the boat is free, you need a survey.

Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars and have to walk away from a possible purchase. Consider the alternative.
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post #22 of 35 Old 03-11-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
That's pretty much it...you'll need to get one for the insurance, anyway.

But, even without the insurance issue, and even if the boat is free, you need a survey.

Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars and have to walk away from a possible purchase. Consider the alternative.
One might get third party liability without a survey - or you might not. Since most 'incidents' are boat fires, and most boat fires are electrically related, the third party insurer may well want assurances that the boat won't self-destruct and take its neighbours with it. - hence a survey.

Look at it as what can you really afford to lose? The survey cost? Or the costs of buying something with ultimate negative value, especially if you end up having to pay for disposal on top of what you paid for the boat.

If you don't have sufficient knowledge, or don't know someone who does, sit in on the survey as a learning experience if nothing else.
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post #23 of 35 Old 03-12-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

A survey isn't required for insurance, at least for a $6500 boat. Ask me how I know. IMHO, if the rigging is up and it has an outboard, survey it yourself, but ONLY if you are handy. As an engineer/too-cheap-to-pay-anybody-else-to-do-what-I-can-do I do just about everything myself, from electrical to car repairs to installing my own furnace (had a heating guy check it out, adjust and start up). This may put some polish on my brass ones or add to my stupidity, take your pick. But if you are capable of many repairs yourself, the 600 bucks could be new rigging or a used outboard. Now, guys who are about to spout prices, look at the size of the boat he is looking at. I bought my Lancer 25 for $2200 in sail-away condition. Included a dinghy and two 8HP motors. I've since replaced the rigging and made a new mainsail, painted and wired a couple of items. But for the most part, as is. And I haven't sailed it a single NM without full insurance.
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post #24 of 35 Old 03-12-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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A survey isn't required for insurance, at least for a $6500 boat. Ask me how I know. IMHO, if the rigging is up and it has an outboard, survey it yourself, but ONLY if you are handy. As an engineer/too-cheap-to-pay-anybody-else-to-do-what-I-can-do I do just about everything myself, from electrical to car repairs to installing my own furnace (had a heating guy check it out, adjust and start up). This may put some polish on my brass ones or add to my stupidity, take your pick. But if you are capable of many repairs yourself, the 600 bucks could be new rigging or a used outboard. Now, guys who are about to spout prices, look at the size of the boat he is looking at. I bought my Lancer 25 for $2200 in sail-away condition. Included a dinghy and two 8HP motors. I've since replaced the rigging and made a new mainsail, painted and wired a couple of items. But for the most part, as is. And I haven't sailed it a single NM without full insurance.
Hmmm... were we separated at Birth? My Parents used to kid me about my Phantom Brother... when one is raised as a lone son, (Of a lone son, of a lone son, of a lone son...), in a household of Sisters, and with a fair number of Aunts, but only one Uncle, whom I never met until I was 32, there were times when I needed a Phantom Brother; preferably older, even if only by a few minutes.
("Dammit Dippy! You've been three kinds of Technician, three kinds of Operator, two kinds of Engineer, a Physicist, a Programmer, a Manager, a Machinist, and a Bartender. Just pick one, and stick with it! By the way...Could you spot me a Fiver?")
(I know _exactly_ what my Phantom Brother is like. He takes after my Sisters.)



I looked at a Lancer 25 nearly three years back. The Seller was very honest- there had been a leak in the decking around the bulkhead, so the bulkhead was replaced, and the fiberglass repaired by Svendsen's, who did their usual good job; there was little evidence of repair. However, the boat stank down below, under the hot Spring sun, of Formaldehyde and Acetone...

Anyway, Lancer 25s are nice boats, with some innovations, and this one came with a trailer, all for an asking $2500. But when it came to a Sea Trial, or rather an Estuary Trial, the Nissan outboard refused to cooperate. I was quite willing to push the boat out of berth, and just go by sail alone, but he wasn't. So we parted. (A couple of weeks later, I got an email- the Nissan was freshly rebuilt, and the asking price was still the same. But I had moved on.)

I looked at another Lancer, a 27, a few weeks later, but the Mercury outboard also refused to cooperate. Just as well, the Seller was clearly insane, jumping up and down by the stern, shaking a jerry can furiously above his head, while kicking the cowling. (The Fuel Tank was a Biohazard Zone; had been for years. Any discussion on the subject left me feeling that he would eventually do to me, what he was doing to the jerry can.)

This pattern repeated a couple of more times, a moldy Santana 35, a Marieholm... (We all know that Swiss Cheese has a lot of holes. So did the Marieholm Swedish Saildrive housing...)

The last boat, the Beneteau... We got along just right from the start. Literally. After going over all the contents, it was time to start the Volvo. The Owner was going to do what he had done for 25 years, until I stopped him. I showed him what the green cranking handle was for, and I showed him how to tickle the hidden little green lever. Instead of cranking away for half a minute as he was used to, it started right up on the second revolution. "Well, I never..."


This nonsense started precisely three years back, this week; I had been very ill, and I was just slightly feeling better. (Inner Ear Herpes. Stop! Laughing!!) I had some weird dreams, and one of those dreams was of one our old Sailing Club's West Wight Potters. So I feebly started looking for a Potter as a getting-well present to myself... and I ended up with a Beneteau. (I also dreamt of Planes, but like with Motorcycles, once falling off of one a couple of times, I began to reconsider. Still, the Ercoupe is my very favorite plane. The Beneteau Owner preferred the later Mooneys.)

"Now, guys who are about to spout prices, look at the size of the boat he is looking at."
The problem here is that Surveying doesn't even remotely scale to value. The price for a Survey on a three decade old thirty footer is roughly the same as on a thirty footer two years out from a recent Boat Show. (Marine Insurance _does_ scale; it has for centuries. It has to.)
I gave some advice earlier about getting a Surveyor who charges by time, instead of by the foot. Times are a little lean now for legitimate Naval Architects and Naval Engineers, and they are eminently qualified to conduct Surveys... Instead of some self-shingled Quack who cozies up to Brokers and Bankers.

"And I haven't sailed it a single NM without full insurance."
If my Beneteau sank tomorrow without a trace, well, I can afford that. Rethink Potters. But if with my usual clumsiness, I ram the Beneteau into a much larger Beneteau, with a much richer owner, who will almost certainly be a Lawyer... that I can't afford. Thus Insurance.

¬"Dippy"
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post #25 of 35 Old 03-12-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
Times are a little lean now for legitimate Naval Architects and Naval Engineers, and they are eminently qualified to conduct Surveys... Instead of some self-shingled Quack who cozies up to Brokers and Bankers.
I have two good friends who are sucessfull naval architects ... both freely admit they know little of "boat" systems and wouldn't know where to start a survey. Not unlike my best friend who just retired as president of IEEE and admits he know little about electrical systems on boats.... of course they may just be exceptions
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The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.

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post #26 of 35 Old 03-12-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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I have two good friends who are sucessfull naval architects ... both freely admit they know little of "boat" systems and wouldn't know where to start a survey. Not unlike my best friend who just retired as president of IEEE and admits he know little about electrical systems on boats.... of course they may just be exceptions
This makes absolutely _no_ sense at all. Balderdash. Troll Feedings.

At recognized Schools, Naval Architecture is a four year course, and it covers Mechanical Engineering as well as such things as Stress Analysis and Statistical Failure Analysis. At Berkeley, there were Post-Graduate courses in the Subject, taught by such Berkeley Graduates as Gary Mull. Always: Lecture, Lab, and Hands-on.
Your "duh. i just makee boatees. no understand how workee out" view is insulting.

I'm a Life Member of the IEEE; I'm asking you to offer proof of your preposterous claims. Any proof.

¬Erindipity
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post #27 of 35 Old 03-12-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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IMO - Whether or not you hire a survey, you'd be a fool to buy a boat without reading the survey guide linked above, or at least one of the books on the subject of assessing sailboats by Casey, or Mustin, or Stevens.

After educating yourself, you should be able to look at a 25' - 27' and figure out what's wrong with it and whether you are willing to take on those projects, hire them out, or let them be.

Before you buy any CAL, be aware of the mast support beam problems that some of the models have. Do a web search.

The marina I use requires liability insurance. My insurance company does not require a survey for that. I don't think a $6000 boat is worth insuring.

Finally, you may be interested in the experiences of an actual sailing couple who got burned by a couple of surveyours they hired to look at their boat before they bought it. They describe their nightmare in The Retirement Project, and in the book they wrote: How NOT to Buy a Cruising Boat.

Here's a summation from their blog:
Nightmare in the marine industry
We bought a reputable boat (Tartan) from a reputable dealer, that had been maintained by a reputable boat yard. We had a reputable survey done, and contracted reputable servicemen to do a rigging and mechanical inspection of the boat. In fact it was the same service people who had been taking care of the boat for several years and claimed to know it well.

Less than 10 hours of low power operation later the V-drive failed catastrophically, taking the transmission, bell housing, and coupling with it.

And thus began a nightmare repair. Walter machine insisted that their V-drive had never been installed on a Westerbeke engine using a Hurth transmission, that Tartan would never spec such a thing. (They did and it was.) We never found a bell housing and ended up reworking the old one. The coupling had to be custom machined. (At least Tartan came up with a drawing.) The new V-drive arrived from the factory sans the studs needed to mount it to the boat. The repair is still underway with no good idea of when the boat will be operable again.

It would be wonderful if I could say that this was the worst of it...but that would be untrue. Purchasing this boat has been the most frustrating, infuriating, endlessly troubling enterprise that I have ever fallen into. The water system didn't work. Much of the electrical system was the same. Stuff that was represented as being on the boat (like a V-berth mattress and auto pilot) weren't. Much of the running rigging failed the first time it was put under a load. Point blank, if I knew then what I know now I would seriously reconsider the wisdom of trying to retire onto a sailboat. (Then I would probably try to do it anyway - being seriously smitten by the ocean.)

One thing I have decided is that the previous owner, the broker, the surveyor, the boat yard, and the mechanics, all knew just how bad this boat was. It is inconceivable to me that anyone familiar with the thing could miss how badly abused she had been. Being an aviation person and not a marine person, I made the mistake of hiring and listening to the opinion of "experts," who clearly saw an out-of-town Mark coming when they needed to unload a problem boat.

Since then the experts at Tartan couldn't tell me what units they had designed into the boat. The experts at Walter Machine couldn't tell me what unit I needed - even when they had the old one in their hands. I have conflicting stories on the drip-less seal on the shaft, and have seen the worst kind of "craftsmanship" in every nook and corner of the boat. In fact I have yet to find a singe installation or repair that is even as good as "half-assed. Unused hose and wire filled the bilge. Interior parts had been removed for work and reinstalled with one screw out of six, mis-aligned, out of place. The head system was missing major parts, the head floor wasn't even secured to the boat.

So far as I can tell the pre-owned portion of the marine industry is seriously broken; and some of the stories I have heard from new boat buyers suggests the same is true industry wide.

There is a lot of debate about the sailing industry and its decline. Young people don't seem to be interested, us older folks know well that the journey is more past than future. There is a lot of debate about leisure dollars, the lure of the Internet, the lack of adventuring in the next generation, harassment from the Coast Guard and the ever growing security apparatus of Western Culture.

But maybe the answer is a lot more simple. The Marine industry has become a den of thieves. Designs are poor, quality control is non-existent, warranties are worthless...eventually people get tired of being fleeced, move on, and tell their friends to buy an RV.

Which is okay, if you don't mind being on the land. If you do, the marine industry sells the only tools for getting off shore. They may be ill conceived, poorly built, miserably maintained and overpriced tools...but they are the only ones around.
Sounds like a sight unseen purchase, who would do that, seriously. I don't know that I have time to read the whole story but what a ridiculous situation this sounds like. There is a lesson here for any buyer. Who would blindly go into anything in this manner.
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post #28 of 35 Old 03-12-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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I have two good friends who are sucessfull naval architects ... both freely admit they know little of "boat" systems and wouldn't know where to start a survey. Not unlike my best friend who just retired as president of IEEE and admits he know little about electrical systems on boats.... of course they may just be exceptions
Ill bet the IEEE guy just doesn't want to work on everyone's Boat
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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I'm a Life Member of the IEEE; I'm asking you to offer proof of your preposterous claims. Any proof.

¬Erindipity
Ask Blake .... you should know who he is.

What a terrible world you must live in when you get so wound up when someone disagrees with you. Hope your ulcers are ok
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The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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post #30 of 35 Old 03-12-2016
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Re: Survey for lower priced boats?

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Sounds like a sight unseen purchase, who would do that, seriously. I don't know that I have time to read the whole story but what a ridiculous situation this sounds like. There is a lesson here for any buyer. Who would blindly go into anything in this manner.
Your presumption is incorrect.
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