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Old 23-06-2013, 06:12   #61
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

We once purchased a stone barn built in 1832. It took me 8 years to turn it into a house and home. All of the work work done by myself and my sons so knew where every corner had been cut, I knew where every code contravention was hidden, I knew every spot that should have been done differently or better.

When we sold the place a house inspector spent all day in the place and charged the buyers $700. He found nothing wrong ! That deal fell through due to financing issues. A few weeks later another couple hired a different building inspector who also charged $700.00. He found every thing and I mean every single thing that I had buried or hidden and every shortcut I had taken and he found them all in less than four hours.

There are some very good surveyors out there, unfortunately you just have to put as much effort into finding them as you do in finding your boat.

Like everything else in life the prime rule is Caveat Emptor
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Old 23-06-2013, 10:02   #62
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

Dave0549, When you have found what you feel is a good surveyor,. dont be bashful , put his name and location out, so that it could help someone else. Good surveyors are a valuable asset, and mediocre surveyors are a waste of money._____Grant.
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Old 23-06-2013, 11:06   #63
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Dave0549, When you have found what you feel is a good surveyor,. dont be bashful , put his name and location out, so that it could help someone else. Good surveyors are a valuable asset, and mediocre surveyors are a waste of money._____Grant.
Four years ago, when I was a newbe, I had Jack Hornor of Davidsonville MD do a pre purchase survey of a Monk 36 for me. The survey and haulout cost nearly $1000, but it was the best money I ever spent. The surveyor discovered a long list of problems including that the engine needed major repairs. Of course the broker was BSing me from start to finish. I ran from that deal real quick, and later found another boat in another state. The second surveyor missed a few small things, but still confirmed that the boat was in much better condition. The seller agreed to do the few minor repairs, so we had a deal.

But not all surveyors are as skilled or as conscientious as Mr. Hornor. I have a friend who bought a twin engine go-fast, and arranged for a survey at a time when he was out of town on a business trip. Guess what, it had a bent shaft that was completely missed by the surveyor. One engine vibrated so bad that it could not be reved over 1500 RPM. Later, an employee at the marina told us that the boat had never left the dock during the survey.

Even though I am much more knowledgeable now, I would not buy a boat without a survey, but I would be standing over the surveyors shoulder the whole time.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:00   #64
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

Don't surveyors carry E & O (errors and omissions) insurance, like a house inspector? Can't they be sued if they miss something critical?

I bought a house once that had severe termite damage, which the inspector failed to notice, and we got reimbursed for the rather substantial repairs by his insurance company when we sued him.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:03   #65
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Don't surveyors carry E & O (errors and omissions) insurance, like a house inspector? Can't they be sued if they miss something critical?

I bought a house once that had severe termite damage, which the inspector failed to notice, and we got reimbursed for the rather substantial repairs by his insurance company when we sued him.
If you read most surveys, the whole survey is jammed pack with error and omission legalese. They guarantee nothing, basically. just that they inspected boat and perhaps it was still floating.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:19   #66
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

Only about half the surveyors I know carry E&O insurance and the other half will not admit if they do. Why? because if people know they have it they will get sued all the time. Most surveyors hate having to put in all those disclaimers but if they do not do it someone will sue. I know a surveyor who was sued because he surveyed a boat on the east coast, the buyer never told him he was taking the boat to a enclosed lake with zero discharge. The buyer got fined for gray water discharge and in turn sued the surveyor for not telling him. The surveyor won of course but it cost him thousands. So now I have to put in a disclaimer about discharge. I can no longer use the term "sea trial" unless I take the boat more than 3 miles off shore, now I have to call it "water trial" and I could go on. I read all those who think they could do better and bash the surveyors, true not all are good but not all mechanics are good, you should not condemn them all for a few bad ones. Most surveyors I know do try to do the best they can for the buyer. And no a survey is not a guarantee it is an inspection and I defy anyone to inspect a boat in 1 or 2 days and find everything that is wrong with it. Yes I know some surveyors miss some major stuff but most catch the big and expensive "deal killers"
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:32   #67
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

I think the key is that you not go boat shopping with idea that you will survey every boat that looks good to you. If you are planning on buying a boat to keep for any decent amount of time, then it would probably behoove you to get a thorough inspection as well, but I doubt most people want to, or can justify going through the process with 3-5 boats before deciding which boat to buy. So I try to do my own homework well in advance of making decision to survey, and try to keep it to a minimum of the top two choices for purchase. If I have not done my homework well enough, then I am out two surveys. But if I did, I am only really out one survey, and the extra set of eyes during the process gives some relief. But of course at a price. But then I do not make major boat purchases very often.

Of course insurance companies have different ideas in what is required regarding surveys.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:38   #68
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Hi Flames! You really need an EE, a ME and a Structural Engineer to inspect a boat. The way to go about it...Graduate Engineering students, under the supervision of their professors could be asked to do detailed inspections. Every Engineering dept. would welcome such opportunity for their students. You'll want to work out the logistics cost and the treats with the respective professors. It has been several decades since I've been in academia, but I can still contact the right people at any Engineering University and get them involved in my projects.

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More than one way to fillet a fish!

Actually there were no significant electrical or structural problems. What I needed was an HONEST, GOOD marine surveyor. For instance, it would have only taken a pair of binoculars to spot the spayed forestay. The guy didn't climb -- but he also DIDN'T LOOK.

What I needed was a GOOD surveyor and a certified marine diesel mechanic. I know you mean well, but your suggestions would not have helped me onless those engineers were ALSO both honest and very familiar with sailboats. I've not only had this boat but lived on it for 2 1/2 years and I'm very certain of what I'm saying.

There is more than one way to fillet a fish. There's also more than one way to screw it up, sorry. I needed skilled MARINE experts -- who were honest. The big mistake, because it was so expensive, was the engine. I personally think a GOOD marine surveyor would have recommended that.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:49   #69
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Hi Illusion! If you write negative comments about a surveyor or a contractor, it can impact his/her livelihood. Rightfully or wrongfully about what you've written from your experience, you could be sued for libel and for defamation of character, among other can of worms. Word of mouth about a surveyor is NOT good enough for me. Did the surveyor apply himself/herself in studying and practicing "marine surveying"?; working knowledge of propulsion/engine, electricity/electronics, structural design/fabrication, involvement in boat buildings/servicing/repairs and for how long? (The surveyors that you see on the road, are all licensed. They have taken surveying classes (Civil Engineering program), attended lengthy internship and passed stringent state exams prior to earning their license.) If a surveyor cannot show proof of his background/education, no amount of word of mouth will cut it. Every profession has tons of charlatans praying on the gullible; now you know better.

Mauritz

My surveyor had all the qualifications you could probably ask for, and his references weren't from just anyone. They came from two other surveryors and the owner of a boat yard.

No one here has listed anything that would have saved me from a bad surveyor. I haven't gotten on line and blasted him, even on my blog, because I can't afford a court suit. If you CAN afford it, your protection in a charge of slander is the truth, and you'd be surprised how small the contribution of truth to what you've said can be. That said -- it won't be cheap.

But I think I am going to say something on my blog about the experience.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:54   #70
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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I needed skilled MARINE experts -- who were honest. The big mistake, because it was so expensive, was the engine. I personally think a GOOD marine surveyor would have recommended that.
Unfortunately I know of no surveyor that would recommend on their own behalf a replacement engine, unless engine is missing!
What they will all do is recommend a separate engine survey by a certified diesel mechanic.
I know it was expensive lesson to learn. I bought a boat where it had a new engine with low hours installed. I checked the serial number online to verify if corresponded with year stated installed and asked seller to provide invoice of purchase and installation. When was unable to produce receipt and serial number did not match, I then got low down on engine from specialist, that confirmed was not as NEW as claimed. Hence, do homework first.

When I inspect a boat I tell the broker to prepare to spend 4 to 5 hours minimum when showing it to me. I check every crevice, because it is my money I am investing in the potential boat to become a safe haven for me during passages. It is not a time to be meek. Poke, prod, tap, photograph, measure. Take notes and go home with photos and notes to review. Then come again if need be to verify any suspicions. I like to come once in dry weather and once immediately after a good rain. Or hose down boat if water available. You can find out a lot before getting to survey. Then review all your issues with surveyor. In end trust your gut feeling. But in reality there will always be something that reveals itself after sale.
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Old 23-06-2013, 20:17   #71
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

Hiya Flames! I do not know much about assessing the performance of a Diesel engine. I can just do simple maintenance on it, though. If I was in the market for a boat, I would have hired Bob (Bob&Connie on here) to give me his opinion about the state of the engine. He has been servicing Diesel engines for decades; it is his specialty. As for my expertise, I would have tackled the electrical system and all the toys dependent on it. A "word" about Structural Engineers...these are the nerds and geeks that study cracks, fissures, structure/analysis of a collapse. They also assess the seaworthiness of a hull, airworthiness of an aircraft and determine if a building's design can stand its weight, vibrations and outside forces exerting on the structure; they are consulted in every structure's design.
There are many qualified old salts, on CF. Once hired, he/she would give you an honest opinion about your boat. I would recommend contacting them individually; I am not too crazy in expecting a marine surveyor to know everything about every boat. The only surveyors I trust, are the one's who are state licensed after completing Civil Engineering education and certification; I wonder why they don't survey boats.

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Old 23-06-2013, 21:18   #72
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Hiya Flames! I do not know much about assessing the performance of a Diesel engine. I can just do simple maintenance on it, though. If I was in the market for a boat, I would have hired Bob (Bob&Connie on here) to give me his opinion about the state of the engine. He has been servicing Diesel engines for decades; it is his specialty. As for my expertise, I would have tackled the electrical system and all the toys dependent on it. A "word" about Structural Engineers...these are the nerds and geeks that study cracks, fissures, structure/analysis of a collapse. They also assess the seaworthiness of a hull, airworthiness of an aircraft and determine if a building's design can stand its weight, vibrations and outside forces exerting on the structure; they are consulted in every structure's design.
There are many qualified old salts, on CF. Once hired, he/she would give you an honest opinion about your boat. I would recommend contacting them individually; I am not too crazy in expecting a marine surveyor to know everything about every boat. The only surveyors I trust, are the one's who are state licensed after completing Civil Engineering education and certification; I wonder why they don't survey boats.

Mauritz
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I understand all of what those people do. I have a good friend who is a retired naval architect with a structural engineering degree who looked a the boat first for me. All of that was sound. The electrical was sound.

The ENGINE and the FORESTAY were shot. If I'd had BobConnie around *and knew to hire him* my guess is I would have passed on the boat.

I undesrstand all of what you're saying. Except for the engine part, I don't think they would have found the problems.
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:25   #73
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Unfortunately I know of no surveyor that would recommend on their own behalf a replacement engine, unless engine is missing!
What they will all do is recommend a separate engine survey by a certified diesel mechanic.
I know it was expensive lesson to learn. I bought a boat where it had a new engine with low hours installed. I checked the serial number online to verify if corresponded with year stated installed and asked seller to provide invoice of purchase and installation. When was unable to produce receipt and serial number did not match, I then got low down on engine from specialist, that confirmed was not as NEW as claimed. Hence, do homework first.

When I inspect a boat I tell the broker to prepare to spend 4 to 5 hours minimum when showing it to me. I check every crevice, because it is my money I am investing in the potential boat to become a safe haven for me during passages. It is not a time to be meek. Poke, prod, tap, photograph, measure. Take notes and go home with photos and notes to review. Then come again if need be to verify any suspicions. I like to come once in dry weather and once immediately after a good rain. Or hose down boat if water available. You can find out a lot before getting to survey. Then review all your issues with surveyor. In end trust your gut feeling. But in reality there will always be something that reveals itself after sale.

That's what I've said, multiple times -- that I needed a certified marine diesel mechanic, not a surveyor, for the engine.

Unfortunately I didn't know that at the time, and it is my opinion that the surveyor should have suggested that. I really didn't want to get stuck with a boat that had a bad engine, and I would have done it.
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Old 24-06-2013, 18:56   #74
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Only about half the surveyors I know carry E&O insurance and the other half will not admit if they do. And no a survey is not a guarantee it is an inspection and I defy anyone to inspect a boat in 1 or 2 days and find everything that is wrong with it. Yes I know some surveyors miss some major stuff but most catch the big and expensive "deal killers"
That's more what I was questioning. The big stuff. Sails, rigging, mast, boom, hull, plumbing, thru-hulls, engine, etc. The things that cost $$$$ to refit after purchase.
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Old 24-06-2013, 19:17   #75
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I think 'The top of the mast' involves you or someone else being there with a Bosun's chair to winch him up..
Mind... few do like to go up there..
In the UK there are they say two types...
The 'Buyers' surveyor... pretty good
The 'Sellers' surveyor... not quite so good
The one will dive into every nook and cranny accessible to him.. this usually involves a lot of prep by yourself.. they'll check what's visible and whatever they can reach.. winch him up the mast
The other you get to do an insurance survey ... if your selling your boat and want a good price.. if a light comes on.. it works...

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