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Old 12-10-2015, 21:20   #16
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

Just about anyone who'll rent you a boat slip will require that you have insurance. And virtually every insurance company will require a hull survey, for which you should expect to pay closer to $500. It would be foolish indeed for you to buy a boat without a professional survey.
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:21   #17
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

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Just about anyone who'll rent you a boat slip will require that you have insurance. And virtually every insurance company will require a hull survey, for which you should expect to pay closer to $500. It would be foolish indeed for you to buy a boat without a survey.
I FOUND A GUY! He'll do it for $400!
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:34   #18
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

Make sure he is accredited. Not all surveyors will be acceptable to your insurance company.
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:37   #19
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

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I'm odd.....I'll not pay for a survey on a boat that I don't need to finance. But I worked long enough in the industry to know what I'm looking at. If you don't know the difference between non functional and dirty the survey may be money well spent.


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We are the same. We have never paid for a pre-purchase survey on a boat we didn't finance. We always assume when paying a price at the low end for an old boat that there will be substantial work to be done, and we have always been right.

You have to ask yourself whether you are able to recognize serious defects and also if you have the finances and wherewithal to deal with any that you miss. That having been said, $1500 seems awfully high to me. I think the last couple of surveys we paid for cost right around $400.
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:44   #20
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Just about anyone who'll rent you a boat slip will require that you have insurance. And virtually every insurance company will require a hull survey, for which you should expect to pay closer to $500. It would be foolish indeed for you to buy a boat without a professional survey.
We have purchased liability only from Boat U.S. for a number of boats without a survey. The survey is usually only required if you are trying to insure the hull value.
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Old 12-10-2015, 23:50   #21
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

My guess is the guy charging $1500 didn't want the job. Most likely he has had similar jobs and the customer gets mad when the report paints the boat as a total cluster (which it may legitimately be). With a $1500 tab, most go away and for those that don't, he can afford to spend the time walking you thru the issues.


Get a buddy who knows boats to go thru it with you. Ask them to be cruel and heartless picking the boat apart.


Then if you still decide to proceed, talk to your insurance company and check what they require.
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Old 13-10-2015, 04:44   #22
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Just about anyone who'll rent you a boat slip will require that you have insurance. And virtually every insurance company will require a hull survey, for which you should expect to pay closer to $500. It would be foolish indeed for you to buy a boat without a professional survey.

We have liability insurance.....we have never had a survey of our boat.


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Old 13-10-2015, 05:14   #23
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

Glad to hear the OP found a reasonably priced surveyor.

BUT, please don't let this prevent you from doing your OWN survey as well, using the links provided earlier. I am sure I am not alone in feeling that the survey of my own boat was really a waste of money. I have found things since purchase that the surveyor should have spotted, and discovered many of the surveyor's greatest concerns were trivial and demonstrated his misunderstanding of the boat. But of course, I did the dumb thing and let the fact that I had a survey put me off doing really good due diligence myself.

We have only third party liability insurance for our boat, and we did not need to provide a survey for that, though it may be different outside Oz.

The only other comment I would make is that make sure you are buying a boat that leaves you some cash to spare, because you are gonna need it, no matter how good the survey.

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Old 13-10-2015, 07:57   #24
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

Been there done that:
16 years ago I hired a surveyor before purchasing a $5000 boat.
Best thing I had ever done: The surveyor put the value down @ $10k.
6 months later the boat was stolen and the insurance company paid out the full $10k
In my case the survey was a good investment.
The boat was an Answer Marine Divemaster with twin 90 Yamahas.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:10   #25
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Just about anyone who'll rent you a boat slip will require that you have insurance. And virtually every insurance company will require a hull survey, for which you should expect to pay closer to $500. It would be foolish indeed for you to buy a boat without a professional survey.

I'll second this sentiment and add a kicker:

I'm a greenhorn so after inspecting what we could on our boat, we paid $850 to haul & survey a $5k boat. The survey highlighted a few major items that cut our offer better than half. Ended up with a respectable project boat for $2k + survey expense. Money well spent IMO.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:12   #26
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

you may need one for insurance. maybe you can make a deal with an surveyor. but a guy here bought a boat for 1500 for a boat dove down a month later and they had the boat scraper take it away. there are books. is the boat out of the water.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:15   #27
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

I paid $4700 for a 1984 O'Day 23 and the insurance company (BoatUS) did not require a survey. (Insured for $10,000) Contact your insurance company and inquire if they require a survey. I bet it depends on inured amount.

(BTW: I really recommend BoatUS. Also get the Gold membership card with West Marine - assuming you use them - as it will pay for itself during your repair period many times over.)

If you can't find a surveyor you can afford/trust, do as suggested in a previous post and find an experienced sailor to help you look it over. Join a local sailing club, read books and web sites. I have the 'Inspecting the aging sailboat' and it has many useful sections. It helps if you are handy and know what some of the things they talk about are....
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:16   #28
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Just about anyone who'll rent you a boat slip will require that you have insurance. And virtually every insurance company will require a hull survey, for which you should expect to pay closer to $500. It would be foolish indeed for you to buy a boat without a professional survey.
FYI this has not been my (albeit limited) experience so far. I bought a 5k boat, didn't get it professional surveyed and had no problem getting insurance. I went through State Farm and was told they only required a professional survey if the boat was worth more then 10k.

To the OP, it would definitely be a good idea to call your insurance company first and ask that question, though.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:20   #29
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

$1500 seems a bit steep. I have to have a survey done every 5 years to get insurance on my 1973 Grampian 26. If I don't have $2M public liability I can't keep it at my marina.

If that's why you want a survey you should be able to get one for less than $500. Tell the surveyor it's for insurance. The insurance company just want to make sure the boat exists and it floats.
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Old 13-10-2015, 08:22   #30
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Re: Should I Pay to Survey a $5k Boat?

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Hello - I'm very new to sailing and am buying my first boat. It is a 1972 O'Day 27 that looks good to me, but I'm no expert. I've called a few local surveyors who want $1500+ for a survey. Is that normal? It seems extravagant for a boat that I'm only paying $5000 for - in fact, it prices me out of purchasing the boat. Help!!
A survey for a 27 footer should run you in the $400.00 range and what if said $5000.00 boat is really only worth $1000.00 or potentially has a negative value (boat not even worth repairing)...?

If you don't have the skills to determine its real value then it will be the surveyor who just saved you $4600.00 or $3600.00 of the seller sells it to you for the $1000.00 value the surveyor put on it...

In the end surveys are often FREE because they can often pay for them selves, and then some.....
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