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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still shopping and waiting for the chance to move aboard and head south on a budget that is basically NO budget. Standard Noob totally unrealistic stuff. BUT - that's why I'm here - to learn from the experience and wisdom of others. And many have been around for years with the same problems and already done that. I'm not interested in the IF I should, but rather the HOW. I'd love to spend more on a boat than 10K and do everything 'proper', but it isn't an option. I won't be "waiting until I can afford to do it right" - that day isn't likely to ever come and I'm already to damn old to wait any longer, anyway. The only option would be to sit through my retirement in a metal box somewhere near Mesa and just vegetate until death. No Thanks. An old, leaky, unsafe boat out on the open water seems MUCH preferable to that!

Now that my little rant for the Negative Nellie's and Naysayer's is done, the QUESTIONS: For a boat with a purchase price of about 10K, do I REALLY need a Survey? I've read the blogs and advice on what to look for and am not totally incompetent. No doubt someone with years of experience will find things I won't notice - but if I cover 95% myself with my own checklist/inspection, might that not be plenty good enough? Is there any cheap help available?

And, is a survey REALLY necessary for liability insurance? I walked past an insurance salesman at a boat show who seemed to have been a used car salesmen in a previous life. It appeared that, like any typical border town, and for today only, such a deal he had for me! Is shady deals and fraud the rule or the exception? :confused:
 

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First of all, you don't have to have insurance and no, you don't have to get a survey.
That being said, if you do get insurance, and I think most sailnetters will tell you it is a good idea to have, most lenders and insurance companies will want to see a survey report before loaning money or issuing a policy.
Also, there are a number of marinas who won't rent you a slip unless you can show you have at least a basic policy.
Don't forget, if you lose a boat that doesn't have insurance, you may be out way more than the cost of the boat. Liability is the big issue. If the boat sinks, there's going to be a fuel spill and the cost of clean up is going to drain your pockets. What if someone gets hurt or you damage someone else's property? Again, liability rears its ugly head.
 

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You have little to no experience, no money and you want to know if having no liability insurance is a good idea? Do you realize you are asking the same folks who will have to pay for their own repairs if you manage to run into them?

Some insurance companies will not require a survey to insure a boat of such limited value. Shop around. Get the insurance. Who cares if you skip the survey.
 

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A lot of states require insurance to register the boat, also to get a mooring/slip . . don't know about your area . . .look up sailingdogs boat shopping check list? Someone else jump in here . . .
 

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Many many cruisers don't have comprehensive insurance. They tend to have oversized anchors, sail with a defensive mentality, are less likely to abandon ship and have a reserve fund for the days something goes wrong. This is pretty essential.

There is a recent saga where a couple grounded their boat, had no such fund and could not pay the locals the towing fee demanded. They finished up selling the beached boat for $3.

I am not sure about the US but in the UK basic 3rd party liability insurance is available without a survey, this gives the evidence of insurance that's required for boat licence renewals or where evidence of third party insurance is required by a yard, marina or boat sales company.

Navigators & General is now able to offer third party only insurance from just £58.30 a year. This is an online only insurance policy for UK boat owners.

No survey requirements or costs
£3,000,000 liability protection against passenger or third party claims
Up to £15,000 cover for wreck removal and destruction
Pollution related costs and fines
Others being able to use your boat with your permission
Legal liabilities whilst you are in charge of another vessel
Direct access to our claims team and underwriters
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you anchor near me, I hope you have insurance.
Well, actually I hope I do too. :rolleyes: And I will try to keep my distance. Just wanting to find out what the demands/possibilities are. The minimum to get by on a practical basis is what I'm after. I have NO health insurance, and don't intend to sign anywhere. Mankind survived millions of years without insurance - But I can probably count my years left with just my fingers and toes...

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Many many cruisers don't have comprehensive insurance. They tend to have oversized anchors, sail with a defensive mentality, are less likely to abandon ship and have a reserve fund for the days something goes wrong. This is pretty essential.
This kinda sounds like my attitude/plan. Insurance has it's place, but is often for people who don't want to be responsible for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A lot of states require insurance to register the boat, also to get a mooring/slip . . don't know about your area . . .look up sailingdogs boat shopping check list? Someone else jump in here . . .
I don't have "an area", and don't intend to get one. I often get bored after a week in one spot, anyway. My "area" will be somewhere it doesn't get below 70 degrees. From now on - leaks, maybe. Frozen Pipes NOT:laugher...
 

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Hey,

You don't need a survey. You do need liability insurance. The insurance may not require a survey.

I have Allstate and they have not asked for a survey. Allstate insured my Newport 28 (liability only from 2004-2007), O'day 35 (liability and comprehensive from 2006 - now) and C&C 110 (full coverage from 2013 - now).

The cheaper the boat and the simpler the boat the less need for a survey. I didn't get a survey on my first boat, a Catalina 22. The boat came with an outboard engine that started and ran fine. The interior was real simple - no AC electrical system, no plumbing, no galley, etc. I checked the boat thoroughly, it seemed fine, the owners were a nice older couple and the boat was cheap. So I bought it and happily sailed it for a year and a half.

Good luck,
Barry
 

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If you ever hope to spend a night in a marina, and there will come a time you need to, you'll need $300k in liability, so get it now.

About the survey, only the craziest person alive would buy a boat without hauling it of the water to see what the bottom looks like.... so you may as well get a survey while you're at it IMHO.
 

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The minimum to get by on a practical basis is what I'm after. I have NO health insurance, and don't intend to sign anywhere.

Sounds like you are proud of that. I hope you never fall and break a limb, need an emergency appendectomy or hundreds of other issues/ailments that will need medical attention....because you will get screwed. The costs of routine medical procedures easily run into 4 and 5 digits.
 

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Liability insurance is relatively cheap, mine from Boat US is only $250 per year. My boats a 1974 so they did require a survey. Where you get murdered is on the comprehensive which you don't need on a $10K boat. Buy an $8K boat and use the 2K to register it, buy insurance and a place to put the boat. The days of just anchoring for free anywhere are long gone, even where it's legal to do so the water cops will make your life unbearable.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like you are proud of that. I hope you never fall and break a limb, need an emergency appendectomy or hundreds of other issues/ailments that will need medical attention....because you will get screwed. The costs of routine medical procedures easily run into 4 and 5 digits.
Well, Thanks just loads for the heads up, but corrupt lawyers, insurance companies, and a particular nameless hospital are the reason my IRA and 401K and ex wife all went "poof". I'm thankful for the ex-navy surgeon that worked on me - but all the rest should be lined up against a wall somewhere... If anyone were to EVER try to collect 5 or 6 digits from me again, they will just have to suck hind teat - and it's dry... :hothead
 

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I am not suggesting that the op not get insurance. I do find it odd that no marina that I have overnighted at on the Chesapeake has ever asked me if I was insured. I don't stay at marinas often but I'm always surprised that I'm not asked to show proof of insurance.
 

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As others have said, while it may not be an absolute requirement, you do need liability insurance. I can understand being callous about your health insurance (though I hope you don't expect to get "free" ER care) since it's your life on the line, or comprehensive insurance since that covers your own mistakes on your boat. But with a boat comes the possibility that you'll damage not only your own boat, but also OPP (other people's property), including their lives, and in some cases their livelihood. To me, failing to carry liability insurance is like flipping off every other boat that you pass.

Hopefully you'll carry liability, at a minimum. But there are also times where comprehensive can be advantageous. When an electrical storm fries the wiring and all of your electronics, will you have the funds to make the repairs, and in the timeframe you need them? When a piece of debris is sucked into your engine and makes it past your strainer, will you have the funds to make those repairs? Or if your prop gets fouled and your engine and transmission are incapacitated, will you have the funds to fix them? These kinds of no-warning, high expense things happen. Maybe you have a nice cash reserve, in which case you're good. But for most of us, quickly coming up with $4,000-$10,000 (or more) isn't all that easy.

Do you need a survey? In a word, no (unless the insurance company requires one). But is one advantageous? Yes. We didn't survey our Catalina 25 when we bought her (we paid $1000 for her). Then I read about rigging failure, swing keel failures, etc., and realized that the peace of mind that would come with having an inspection would make the $300-$500 worthwhile.
 

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Not sure where you are located but in Seattle/Everett I used Safeco insurance... they did not require a survey based on the cost of the sailboat. I have the following for insurance:

$300,000 liability (needed by the Everett Marina)
$1 mil environmental (fuel spill clean up)
$15,000 medical per passenger liability (I think this is small in my book)
$7500 hull recovery/replacement if it sinks or gets totalled
$1500 outboard motor coverage for theft
I don't have the policy opened at this time but I know there was other coverage and riders...

I pay $345 a year for this coverage and well worth it... The boat had a survey back in 1990 and I sent that survey in even though it was outdated, they gave me the coverage...

My best advice to you is pay the survey and get the insurance... peace of mind goes a long way.... ;)
 

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The boat you buy for $10,000 will probably be needing lots of deferred maintenance tasks taken care of - do it now safely and conveniently or do it later expensivley and maybe hazardously. I think you should forgo paying a surveyor and learn to inspect boats yourself. There are at least a couple of good books that will guide you through the inspection process. This will be your first step in learning how to do all those deferred maintenance tasks yourself. If you find inspecting boats to be too tedious, you should probably stay in the metal box in Mesa. So YES to your first premise of doing your own survey.

Liability insurance? Absolutely. The reasons have been well-explained by previous posters. Even though it's not part of your dream, much of your anchor time is likely to be near other people, so be responsible for the damage you may cause them. Clearly you don't have the money to self-insure and liability insurance is not very expensive. So YES to liability insurance. But your question was, "Is a survey necessary for liabiltiy insurance?" My experience says the answer to that question is NO, you do not need a survey to get liability insurance. It may depend on your engine, though. I have a fairly new outboard engine and did not need a survey to get liability coverage.
 

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...... the QUESTIONS: For a boat with a purchase price of about 10K, do I REALLY need a Survey? I've read the blogs and advice on what to look for and am not totally incompetent. No doubt someone with years of experience will find things I won't notice - but if I cover 95% myself with my own checklist/inspection, might that not be plenty good enough? Is there any cheap help available?
Relative to a newer more expensive boat, a $10K boat naturally has increased risks of something going seriously wrong with rigging or hull that could end up in disabling or sinking the boat. Those are risks to your life and savings. If it sinks or ends up on shore you will be forced to pay very high costs of removal. Unless you're outside of US jurisdiction, you cannot walk (or swim) away from a mess of broken fiberglass and leaking diesel fuel. If you go in open waters or offshore you may be endangering your life. With your budget you're unlikely to carry a life raft and related safety equipment.

Before considering going without a survey, I'd suggest trying to find a surveyor who can work with you and understand your needs. To be at all realistic you must assume that a few things on your $10K boat need to get fixed or replaced. A good surveyor can be well worth the the $300 or $500 fee by guiding you toward which things really need replacement, how to repair/replace cheaply, and which things only look ugly but do not endanger your boat.

GTJ
 
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