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Old 20-02-2014, 02:20   #196
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re: A Good Surveyor Does Not Guarantee a Good Survey

In ye olden days (pre internet!) surveyors held knowledge that was not available to folks who did not have hands on experience and therefore many could hide behind selling woo as part of a black art........perhaps it is time to start using surveyors in a different way?

1) start with a self survey (enough on the internet to guide you)
2) for those items for which simply no idea! the answers (Inc ballpark costs and things to consider) are available online, written and from people.
3) for those things identified by you as serious concerns (whether real or not) then you either get a surveyor to look specifically at these things only or a boatyard / tradesman (accepting that they may want paying for their opinion / estimate).......personally I would be happier getting the view of someone who has worked hands on fixing similar problems and may be called in later to fix the problem because there advice would be full of caveats / arse covering! to reflect the reality that for some jobs you really wont know the extent of the problem until yer get started.
4) if needed for insurance purposes can use a surveyor for their usual and cheaper survey lite.

Perhaps the only useful addition would be using a surveyor at the outset if the boat is at a distance to give a basic report on condition and obvious problems and whether in the ballpark price wise......so worth travelling to see.

Of course the above approach requires some effort by self - but you will be doing a survey of the boat that is far better than anyone else and more time consuming after purchase (even if only reactively when things thought good break!) ...imo better to do so before being married to a boat. The other con is that dont have someone say everything is fine - some folks need that reassurance from others, whether true or not.

The world moves on, including with boats.
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Old 20-02-2014, 02:27   #197
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Originally Posted by Efraim View Post

The ONLY reason I would ever pay some clown to survey a boat, is because some insurance company insist on it, otherwise never again !
I have to say that I agree with that statement.
I would much rather have a fussy/knowledgable member of the yachts owners club along with me. As long as the vendor wasn't a member too :-)
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Old 20-02-2014, 04:43   #198
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Re: A Good Surveyor Does Not Guarantee a Good Survey

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Originally Posted by ccannan View Post
This is very wise counsel especially if you are purchasing a mass produced boat (made in the US). However, there are very few if any competent US surveyors with any experience surveying aluminum hull boats. Beware!
True, you have to be even more careful when dealing with aluminum but I know two surveyors who consult with USN and USCG on metal corrosion. I think that gives them good credibility. I know literally hundreds of surveyors and some are very good and some are exceptional you just have to find them. Not much different than hiring a lawyer or a heart surgeon, some are great and some graduated by the skin of their teeth.
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Old 20-02-2014, 04:59   #199
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Re: A Good Surveyor Does Not Guarantee a Good Survey

Really, really need if possible to join an owners group if such exists, often they are quite knowledgeable. For instance the boat I'm looking at had a recall for the seacocks, current owner and listing agent never heard of it and my buyers agent had , but didn't mention it?
Anyway seacocks are easy, but boy the possible problem they could cause.

Most of this is mostly applicable only to production boats of course
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Old 20-02-2014, 05:51   #200
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Re: A Good Surveyor Does Not Guarantee a Good Survey

There have been some good suggestions regarding selecting and working with a surveyor. I know it's a crap shoot sometimes.
We had a "reinsurance" survey last year and in preparation I did this:
-Presented an extensive list of equipment with dates of installation or rebuild
-Provided wiring and plumbing diagrams of the boat's systems
-I've extensively labeled the electrics and other mostly safety related areas.
-I walked the surveyor thru the boat, showing him where various components such as sea cocks, pumps, batteries, chargers/inverter were located.

He later told me that because of the information and labeling provided, he was confident that the boat was well maintained and likely sound (it helps to "manage expectations".)

Something that didn't go so well, that I should have anticipated, is that he came up with what I thought was a low value. (When buying you want a low estimate, when selling or reinsuring you want a high estimate, right?) He used a limited number of yachtworld listings, and a few of them were for an earlier configuration of our boat. He did respond to criticism, but it could have come out better.

Also, if you are buying a boat you are planning to insure, your insurancee company is probably going to demand a survey. Someone mentioned the potential of needing to survey several boats before buying-I suggest considering ordering the survey on the boat that you intend to make an offer on.
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Old 20-02-2014, 06:25   #201
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Re: A Good Surveyor Does Not Guarantee a Good Survey

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Originally Posted by Dale Hedtke View Post
Something that didn't go so well, that I should have anticipated, is that he came up with what I thought was a low value. (When buying you want a low estimate, when selling or reinsuring you want a high estimate, right?) He used a limited number of yachtworld listings, and a few of them were for an earlier configuration of our boat. He did respond to criticism, but it could have come out better.
Most owners ( virtually all) think their boat is worth more than it is take a look at "How much is she worth ? Boat Values ... A Crap Shoot".

It will give you an idea of value from the surveyors perspective.... very different than yours.
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Old 20-02-2014, 09:05   #202
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Re: A Good Surveyor Does Not Guarantee a Good Survey

I would like to applaud the responses to this thread. There are obviously many generous contributors who are knowledgeable and experienced that took the time to share their hard earned experience with the OP. Great job, folks! Cheers, Phil
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