Sounds to me like you want to spend half an hour with a lawyer. They usually do the initial consult for free. But I suspect he will tell you either good luck, or will say sure we can sue because he will make money
on it regardless.
I'd say you are stuck with the bill. I'd also say that getting a good surveyor is a matter of luck. I've had dealings with them 3x. The first two times, the fellow was a British licensed and trained surveyor, and he was meticulous. He wouldn't even touch the boat unless all panels
were up, and all hidden spaces opened up for inspection. My buddy and I went up 3 hours before he arrived and emptied all the gear
off the boat into a pile on the ground. The first survey he did was for purchase. Saved me 25% on the purchase price. Got a 6 page report, with itemized details and photos of what the problems were. The second time he surveyed for the insurance, after I'd had the boat a month and done all the repairs
noted. Got a second report, increased the value of the boat by 65% over purchase price. Not bad for 1.5x his fee. (second time round he only charged me half price as he was only checking out the repairs)
On my 3rd go round, the fellow had retired and I got a local guy. I figure he spent a couple hours in the local bar writing up the report, after having spent minimal time on the boat. He didn't catch a lot of things, and some of what he caught was totally bogus. How do you tell the condition and size of a water
tank if its built in and can't be seen at all? How do you entirely miss the second water
tank up in the bow? I guess he missed the deck
fill up on the bow and the hoses coming back to the head
from up forward. Again, that tank was sealed in behind furniture. How do you look at a home made welded steel
tank, that's rusting and determine that it's aluminum
? How do you miss the fact that the furling
drums are extremely stiff and making grinding noises when you turn them? The mast
was up at the time, the drums were right there in front of him.
Anyway, I over paid by about $10k. And there's not a thing to be done about it. Up here in Canada
, any joker can hang out his surveyors sign. I may do it myself next year when I retire. I figure after 30 years of messing with boats, I know about as much if not more than the average one does. And I'll charge less to boot.