Though it may be useful to dig up a 5 year-old thread to mark your experience (in case someone else also digs up this thread of surveyor recommendations), what may be even better may be to start a new thread that details your entire experience with details that may help others in general and with specific advise.I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to comment on Tarn Kelsey. Absolutely the worst survey I've ever had! He seemed to do a thorough job, but there were leaking ports that he failed to identify. The seller had the boat detailed just before the survey to hide all of the issues that the leaks were causing. Within a week of settlement the mold had completely taken over the cabin. I've been able to fix the ports but I am still finding mold growing on wood, in the transom on the fiberglass and I've had to throw out all of my cushions... ALL of them. Salon, V-Berth and Aft-Berth.
I specifically asked him about the smell coming from the fresh water system. He brushed me off and told me it was probably from the anti-freeze that they used for winterizing. He didn't even check the fresh water tank. When I opened the tank lid I found... I don't even know what. Clumps of mold or some sort of bacteria growing inside the tank.
DO NOT USE TARN KELSEY AS YOUR SURVEYOR. If there are any hidden issues he will not find them because he isn't looking. He performs superficial surveys only. I don't think he and Bob Taylor are partners any longer.
Sounds like it merits a dedicated thread.
In particular, I'm curious how people figure out leaky ports (do they do their own water hose test?). As for a smelly water system, seems like the buyer would check that out, and make their own decision as to how to proceed.