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Old 25-06-2013, 19:41   #106
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
Teknav, If knowledge is power, you should be well aware that almost no airplanes see an engineer after they have left the factory, unless they have some major defect that shows up, or they crash, and the feds get involved. The people that do the yearly annual or time dictated inspections dont need any sort of degree. They must have verifiable experience and pass some rigorous tests that the feds give them. It is experience that counts, not a piece of paper that shows you were a good student. Good surveyors have experience, but as boatpoker showed the verifiable certificates are much more dodgy than in aviation. Your previous suggestion of retired navel officers seems like a joke. Not to disrespect their service, but 20 years of giving orders, and probably not touching a wrench in the last 15 is not a model of yacht knowledge. I have two relatives that are E.E.s, and one is a near genius at solving radio communication problems for the State of California, but is somewhat dangerous with a wrench. The other has his degree, but never worked in the field. He is so bad with tools that his wife wont let him do any maintenance around the house. Engineers and boat surveyors are miles apart in the knowledge that is needed. I suppose this is just more fuel for the pissing match, but needed to be said._____Grant.
+1 this makes the most sense to me. The guy who builds and repairs boats for much of his career is the guy you want. They know what works and does not and where to look for problems.
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Old 25-06-2013, 19:58   #107
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Another thought here is that when you hire a surveyor do not just pick the first one you talk to. Take the time to ask a few questions, find out their back ground, how long they have been in the boat business and how much experience they have with the type of boat you are looking at. Also do not shop on cost alone. I have many call me and the first question they ask is how much? That should be the last question not the first. I responded to another surveyor bashing thread on another forum the OP complaining about the poor survey he got. When I finally pinned him down he admitted that he had picked the cheapest guy! You get what you pay for. We all want a bargain but if you are investing 10s of thousands of dollars why scrimp on a couple of bucks per foot? I am not saying always pick the most expensive but I am saying shop around and get the person you feel most comfortable with.

I'm going to say again ... I did all that. This surveyor just decided on his own to do somethine way scaled back from what I wanted. The only reason I'm at peace with it is that I was 64 at the time and I didn't have time to learn more. If I was going to live aboard, it was time to dive right in. The guy couldn't have come with better credentials.

It's not the only time I've been taken advantage of because I was new to boats, but it was the most aggravating because I was trying to hard to avoid exactly that.
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Old 25-06-2013, 19:59   #108
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

One thing I would suggest is prior to engaging a surveyor, go over the boat with a fine tooth comb yourself. If you have an experienced buddy to help, all the better! THEN hire a surveyor and have him concentrate on the areas you have concerns/questions about along with areas that his experience has taught him to examine closely. It has been my experience that if you can have your surveyor spend his/her time on the areas you have identified, you will get a better bang for your buck. Your time is what you feel it is worth but to give you an example, I bought a 54 foot power boat that I lived aboard for many years. But before I bought her, I spent at least 4 days going over her, 2 days with an experienced friend before hiring a surveyor with experience on that type of vessel. That was followed by an oil analysis, engine mechanical checkout by a CAT mechanic who done work on the engines previously then made an offer subject to sea trial and hauling the boat for underwater inspection. The broker and the owner thought that I was crazy but we got good value and knew what the problem areas were before I did the deal.
After the sea trial the broker remarked that he had never had anyone check out a boat as thoroughly as we did and figured that there would be something I would find on the sea trial that would queer the deal. We even pulled the heat exchanger pencil zincs and checked them for deterioration and used a stethescope to check the engines running at various RPM for knocks along with the turbos for bearing noise. No wonder he thought we were weird!
You need to invest considerable time to make certain you are getting what you pay for. If the seller or his broker object, walk.
Hope this helps the uninitiated... cheers, Phil
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:01   #109
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Please tell me your not serious...

Oh... and you actually hired a 'Sellers Surveyor'... in time you get to spot the difference

No, I didn't, and I hve no ide what your insult means this time. But why you would think I'm not serious, I can't imagine. Why you would deny me the explanation, I can.

The guy is WELL KNOWN as an INDEPENDENT surveyor. The buyer was no one to him, someone from three counties away moving to a foreign country, never to be seen again.

It's simple:

HE DID A ROTTEN JOB. Whether or not you choose to believe me is of course your business.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:03   #110
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Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
+1 this makes the most sense to me. The guy who builds and repairs boats for much of his career is the guy you want. They know what works and does not and where to look for problems.
While in theory this should be correct, the first boat I almost bought was surveyed by a person who builds and races boats. He may have known where to look, but.....

He missed the fact that if you powered up the engine to full power it blew white smoke like the Vatican after electing a pope! Despite asking him to check the mast step, as the design was known to have issues with mast steps, he forgot. And there were some other issues with his final report.

The boat I purchased was surveyed by another person. He did a much better job, but still missed stuff.

Bottom line? Like others said, the surveyor is for insurance brokers and loan officers.

Bill

PS Cap Phil- spot on, great tip.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:05   #111
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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I'm going to say again ... I did all that. This surveyor just decided on his own to do somethine way scaled back from what I wanted. The only reason I'm at peace with it is that I was 64 at the time and I didn't have time to learn more. If I was going to live aboard, it was time to dive right in. The guy couldn't have come with better credentials.

It's not the only time I've been taken advantage of because I was new to boats, but it was the most aggravating because I was trying to hard to avoid exactly that.
Then I would suggest you request a refund and if you truly think he did a substandard job file a complaint with SAMS or NAMS which ever he belongs too. They do take the complaints seriously. It may in the end not help you much but if he gets more then a couple of complaints they will take action and kick him out making it harder for him to work.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:06   #112
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Raku, the binocular inspection really is not very conclusive. Yes, it might have revealed your defective forestay but will not reveal cracks in swages, cracks in shackles on spinny halyard blocks or wear in tangs, sloppy bearings in halyard sheaves, cracks in spreader bases and on and on. A close up visual inspection is really the minimum for a rig inspection.

I do find that binoculars are useful for analyzing issues aloft when at sea and going up isn't all that feasible.

Cheers,

Jim

PS: For Zeehag... unfortunately, many insurance companies DO require a survey for liability only policies. I know that in Oz I was not able to find otherwise. Doesn't make sense, but then not much about marine insurance makes sense to a sailor.

Jim, I think you're missing the point:

REALLY all it would have taken was a pair of binoculars to spot the compromised forestay. This isn't speculation about what use binoculars are -- he missed it. He also missed the rusted forestay plate that was at eye level. Got any idea what the two together cost? I'll give anyone who wants it a hint -- it was more than I paid the surveyor.

He SHOULD have spotted some other very significant things, and he COULD have done something as simple as saying "get an engine survey." I had never had a diesel engine before. He said "I don't do engines" but didn't recommend an engine survey. I didn't even know it was possible.

I could go on and on. A friend of mine who is a retired structural engineer, naval architect as well as ex-boat designer/builder and ex-marine surveyor gave me more valuable information in the cursory, non-official examination he did. He couldn't do the survey. Ironically, the insurance company wouldn't have accepted it because he was no longer certified, but I would have been better off.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:10   #113
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Most pre purchase surveys recommend a separate engine survey to be conducted by a certified tech...
FINALLY someone gets what I'm saying!

Yes. HE SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT.

After paying him for what he should have done, $75 - 150 would have been nothing. I would have GLADLY done it. Above all I wanted 1) a boat that didn't leak and 2) a dependable engine.

That engine ruined two decent-sized cruises because we had to turn back after the first day. The first time was when the engine really started to collapse. The second time I'd been through a lot with it and thought the problem had been solved. I think it was eaten up by electrolysis, and I think the guy who put the new engine in would have spotted the other one as being on life support.

How I wish I had had him survey the old engine.

Wonder what boat I would have ended up with ....

Oh well. It's all been worth the adventure.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:15   #114
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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I wonder at all the posters saying never hire a surveyor that the broker recommends.

If you are satisfied that the broker YOU are using (not the listing agent) is a knowledgeable professional, why wouldn’t you at least interview the guy that he recommends?

Back in the 90’s I sold sailboats in Annapolis and had a few surveyors that I would suggest because I knew that they would do a thorough job. I was more interested in doing the right thing than trying to slide something through. In reality this is how business is done by professionals.

Many a time I had the buyers “expert” friend, neighbor, brother-in-law, etc nix my guy and suggest “his” guy. It was frustrating for me to deal with what invariably (not always) showed up. If I suggested or critiqued anything I was “interfering”.

FWIW my prime recommendation was usually David Manning and I am sure there are posters here who know and might have even used him so can vouch for my choice.

Nest time a well meaning person tells you as a buyer what you should do, appreciate the advice but keep your options open.

I also will say that the various surveyor accreditations mean little in determining who is competent.

I would never use a surveyor recommended by the broker. I didn't use the home inspector recommended by the real estate agent, either. "Independent" is importnant. Any time we/I bought a home we had our own real estate broker as a buyer's broker. Never met a seller's realtor who liked that. Never was sorry I did it.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:17   #115
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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Originally Posted by FLLCatsailor View Post
I work as a broker, and am involved in a lot of surveys. I was representing a buyer on a deal... I recommended a surveyor I thought would do a good job for the boat from past experience... They said, "thanks, but no thanks... We'd never use a surveyor recommended by a broker." So they hired a guy recommended to them from a friend... Needless to say the surveyor had not only never surveyed this type of boat, but not even stepped foot on one... They got a terrible survey done that missed some key items... I felt really badly about the fact that despite my best efforts the clients were let down...

The point in using a buyer's broker is to have someone looking out for your best interest as the buyer... If you don't trust them enough to recommend a good surveyor then you should probably find a broker they can trust...

If I had a BUYER'S broker I would use his or her recommendations. I wouldn't take a recommendation from a seller's broker.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:46   #116
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

My apologies to 'Zee'... I repeated what she had already pointed out in her post about 50 back from mine. Should have read through the entire thread before yattering on about mechanical/engine surveys as separate and distinct from marine surveys. Sorry you got burned 'Raku'... cheers, Phil
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Old 25-06-2013, 21:14   #117
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

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My apologies to 'Zee'... I repeated what she had already pointed out in her post about 50 back from mine. Should have read through the entire thread before yattering on about mechanical/engine surveys as separate and distinct from marine surveys. Sorry you got burned 'Raku'... cheers, Phil

Thanks, Phil. Sometimes what doesn't kill ya doesn't make ya stronger -- it just makes ya crazier!
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Old 25-06-2013, 21:56   #118
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

+1, Raku... cheers, Phil
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Old 22-07-2013, 07:38   #119
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

Because I know no one cares about my boat (or future boat) more than I do, as soon as we got serious about buying a boat, I started burying my head in pertinent books. The first one I bought was Don Casey's Inspecting the Aging Sailboat.

I made up a list of items to be checked from Casey's 30-Minute inspection at the back of the book and pull that list out when I feel we're serious about a boat. Then I take the list (every item has the page reference from the book) and start going through the boat to do my own inspection. It's amazing what you learn!

I realize this isn't the be-all, end-all, perfect solution but I can always take what I learn and use it as part of the full inspection process. As we whittle down the list, the finding-a-good-surveyor issue concerns me more and more.
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Old 22-07-2013, 08:00   #120
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Re: A good surveyor does not guarantee a good survey

broker is a broker is a broker...you must know what to look for in your boat---is difficult, but only your own eyes can save you dough...and a camera for the tough spots.....until i was so damsmart for my own britchees i used a friend to help me figger out the problems.
i read the previous surveys and go from there with eyes on everything and a lil digging into the wood with something not gonna sink the boat--fingernails work great. if my fingernail can penetrate any kind of wood, it is bad.
if i smell grannys attic in boat--it is bad(rot)
if theere are unidentified somethings under engines or other hard to get under places, is not good.....drips, dark pink fittings---smooth shine around thru hull fittings--bad.....antique thru hull fittings....wath closely
look at the hoses for engine---are they like those in an old beeter car---not good...swelling and softness---run....
wood masts--look for longitudinal cracking along the seams. ye gotta know where are the seams..lol
look at spreaders , chainplates and tangs....is good? awesome, as that is rare

run smooth silky material down rigging cables. if snag--needs replaced

many things you yourself can look fo r so as to protect you.

surveyors are not gods. they ar ehied by banks and ins companies to make sure the potential investment is sound enough to be worth their while on repo.
surveyor is not your friend.

you can make a surveyor your friend by hiring him to look thru a boat without the bank or insurance folks--is do able with money. kjels christian, in sd , is awesome--he will do that for folks. he gets paid , he puts out. and he is honest and smart.

but the normal survey for purchase isnot your friend--is only ther bank and ins company.


never ever heard of a buyers broker...lol...they do not differentiate in kali....nor any where else i ever thought of boat purchase.

brokers are out for their income.
they arent truly interested in your needs.
they will find your boat for you--yes, for a fee....that fee is 10 percent, and they dont like to sell anything under 30kusd as that is merely 3000 usd fee. not as much fun. go figger.
they are just another real estate agent , only without the real estate.
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