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Old 16-08-2011, 06:01   #1
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Surveyor Question

I have been going back and fourth with a surveyor about looking at a boat I am about to buy. I have asked him for a sample survey, or even just a few pages of a sample survey. At first he sent me his resume, with no explanation as to why I was getting a resume and not a sample survey. His resume looks pretty good, he has lots of different ABYC certifications and has obviously had a lot of surveyor courses.

When I persisted bout seeing a sample survey he said simply: "l don't send out sample survey's."

Am I missing something? Am I asking a lot to see the car before I buy the car? We are talking $700 of my money and I want to know that I am going to get a thorough survey.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:10   #2
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Re: Surveyor Question

Get another surveyor, don't even think about hiring this guy. By carefuly going over previous surveys you can tell if this guy is worth hiring. I remember reading one sample survey where there was only a cursory mention of the wiring on the boat. When asked about it, the surveyor said " I don't do electrical stuff, I just make sure everything powers up." He wasn't hired, but I would never have known this if I hadn't seen a sample of his work. Get someone else.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:14   #3
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Re: Surveyor Question

If somebody is that secretive.....move on.

Most of the surveys I have seen are pretty sketchy. They read more like an inventory of what is on the boat.

Seems like anyone can "hang out a shingle"
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:17   #4
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Re: Surveyor Question

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Originally Posted by Efraim View Post
Get another surveyor, don't even think about hiring this guy. By carefuly going over previous surveys you can tell if this guy is worth hiring. I remember reading one sample survey where there was only a cursory mention of the wiring on the boat. When asked about it, the surveyor said " I don't do electrical stuff, I just make sure everything powers up." He wasn't hired, but I would never have known this if I hadn't seen a sample of his work. Get someone else.
Thanks, I have been waffling on this heavily.

He comes on the recommendation of another well respected surveyor in the area but has been giving me a lot of monosyllabic answers to my questions. I think the whole point of a survey is to be thorough. If he is as curt in his surveys as he is in his emails I will not approve of the quality of the work.

Is there some kind of code where a surveyor won't show you a sample survey because of confidentiality?
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:18   #5
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Re: Surveyor Question

Bear in mind that a 'Good' survey can only be done on the hard. Lifting costs added to the Survey make it expensive.
If you are already in a boat yard talk to the locals/live aboards there.
Any reputable surveyor should provide references from satisfied customers and a copy of the survey for their boat.
Often Surveyors are reluctant because it gives you a working list of all the things you need to check. Don't be tempted, checking for Osmosis needs experience and a moisture meter. Be specific about a Sample survey for your sort of boat (hull material particularly) in exchange for a non-returnable deposit against his total costs. That gives him some confidence that you don't want a free copy of what to do a visual check on yourself.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:28   #6
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Re: Surveyor Question

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Bear in mind that a 'Good' survey can only be done on the hard. Lifting costs added to the Survey make it expensive.
If you are already in a boat yard talk to the locals/live aboards there.
Any reputable surveyor should provide references from satisfied customers and a copy of the survey for their boat.
Often Surveyors are reluctant because it gives you a working list of all the things you need to check. Don't be tempted, checking for Osmosis needs experience and a moisture meter. Be specific about a Sample survey for your sort of boat (hull material particularly) in exchange for a non-returnable deposit against his total costs. That gives him some confidence that you don't want a free copy of what to do a visual check on yourself.
Luckily the boat is already on the hard. I would not try to do the job of a surveyor. I think it is important to have a pair of impartial eyes on the boat and I recognize that their are special techniques required to assure a thorough survey.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:33   #7
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Re: Surveyor Question

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Thanks, I have been waffling on this heavily.

He comes on the recommendation of another well respected surveyor in the area but has been giving me a lot of monosyllabic answers to my questions. I think the whole point of a survey is to be thorough. If he is as curt in his surveys as he is in his emails I will not approve of the quality of the work.

Is there some kind of code where a surveyor won't show you a sample survey because of confidentiality?
Funny you should mention that this guy had a recommendation from a "respected surveyor". The guy in my example was also a recommendation from a "respected surveyor." Strange how these things work out with recommendations.

In the future I'm simply going to buy a moisture meter and put the initials "SCS" (Self Certified Surveyor) after my name. I should be able to pick up a few bucks here and there.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:34   #8
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Re: Surveyor Question

Sorry to preach to the wise, it's often hard to know what experience posters have.
Hope you find a good man somewhere. Local experience and referrals count for a lot though. Good Luck. If you are like me you've already decided this is the boat you want to buy, just don't want to end up throwing money into a whirlpool.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:36   #9
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Re: Surveyor Question

I agree with the above. My advice: Get a surveyor from out of the area with no ties to the broker. It will be worth any travel expenses. Self explainatory.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:44   #10
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Re: Surveyor Question

He's providing a service to you. He may be the best surveyor in the area, but if he can't take the time to respond to your inquiries it's probably not going to be a good match, as you say. You might want to ask your insurer for recommendations, if you haven't done that already. I know that Boat U.S. has developed a list of surveyors whose work they will accept.
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Old 16-08-2011, 07:57   #11
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Re: Surveyor Question

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Originally Posted by Tempest245 View Post
He's providing a service to you. He may be the best surveyor in the area, but if he can't take the time to respond to your inquiries it's probably not going to be a good match, as you say. You might want to ask your insurer for recommendations, if you haven't done that already. I know that Boat U.S. has developed a list of surveyors whose work they will accept.
Wow good advice. I looked on the Boat US site and didn't find the list. Can you direct me to it?

Eleven, not a problem. I need all the advice I can get.
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Old 16-08-2011, 17:26   #12
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Surveyor?

I'll second the suggestion to get a surveyor recommended by an insurance company. The Boat US page is here.

As insurance companies look to be increasingly asking for another survey to be done after a period of time (here its from 18 months to 5 years) I'd be looking to see if there is a standard "Insurance Survey" form so that when that time comes all a surveyor (or shipwright - they don't seem to be too fussy here, check what they'll accept) has to do is tick boxes and write short comments. Get that so that the next insurance survey is not an opinion, its just confirming that the boat is in the same condition as when brought. You may not be able to get the same surveyor the next time.

And do get enough information from your surveyor so that you can work out what it will cost to bring the boat up to "serviceable" condition.

Also, see if you can find out what your insurance company requires in terms of rigging age. Some surveyors want it replaced after differing periods. Nice to have this sorted out on the first survey so it can be factored into the price and the risk of continuing with old rigging assessed.
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Old 16-08-2011, 18:20   #13
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Re: Surveyor Question

Walk, run, slip out the back, find someone else, make a new plan........it's your money and he already doesn't care to listen etc to you.

In the end all we have is our money to talk with, so don't keep speaking to this guy!
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Old 24-09-2011, 14:21   #14
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Re: Surveyor Question

i am a s.a.m.s. surveyor in the miami area. i send out samples surveys on request (removing the boat name & registration or doc number and buyers name and address..it is his survey).
a surveyor should have no problem answering any questions you might have on what he does; goes up the mast or not, to what degree he checks engines, instruments he uses, etc.
only caveat is choose a surveyor that is s.a.m.s or n.a.m.s. certified otherwise the bank, insurance company might not accept it. there are few exceptions to this of people that have been grandfathered in but very rare.
if you have any other questions feel free to ask.
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Old 24-09-2011, 14:25   #15
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Re: Surveyor Question

If someone will not give you the time of day before you hire them in order to get your business, then they sure as hell will not give you the time of day after you hire them.
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