Nope. Don't pay for a survey. It's clear you don't have deep pockets for this boat, so you will be doing a ton of work yourself. The link above about doing your own survey is a good start. If you have general understanding of some basic construction you will be able to tell if the hull
is at least decent or about to fall apart.
If you are a good DIY'er then the question really is: "Am I willing and able to put in whatever work is necessary to finish this boat?" If not, then be prepared to lose your $5k or don't buy the boat.
I was in the same spot. I bought a mid 30-footer for 3k. Spent 40 days in the workyard fixing things I already knew how to fix, and then for the stuff I didn't have a good grasp on, "google is your friend". There are tons of video, blog, and forum posts on almost every piece of equipment
and boat out there that you will find on your boat. It may not be for your exact boat, but common sense and some brains will get you to where you need to be. There were no structural or hull
issues on my boat and all the repairs
were mainly "systems".
Walking into the relationship with my boat, I was willing to lose the 3k plus the other 3k I spent on work yard fees
and equipment/tools/supplies costs. You need to be able to do the same. I now have a fully functional boat because I spent years online researching boats and looking at boats for sale
. This, coupled with previous skills I have gained in electronics
, construction, physics, and others in various parts
of my short life prepared me to make at least an educated guess on when to pull the trigger. You need to do the same. If you haven't at least read up on the basics of electrical
, construction, engines, etc. you are not ready to own a boat regardless of the cost, state, or survey of a vessel.
If you are confident in things above, and can make a good educated guess on the likely outcome of putting the boat in the water
and sailing it safely...go for it. I don't regret my choice as I sail around the Sea of Cortez