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Old 18-01-2015, 12:32   #1
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Bad Survey?

I'm relatively new to this forum and I was curious on what the correct protocol is regarding a bad survey or surveys in general. I just spent a fair amount of money surveying a boat that had a "significant" flaw. I genuinely don't believe the owner was aware of it, but I think any future Buyer would want to know before they embark on the same expenses I just did. With liabilities what they are today and not wanting to talk down anyone's boat, I think it would be helpful for a potential Buyer to know ahead of time what a previous survey uncovered. Thoughts?
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Old 18-01-2015, 14:28   #2
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Re: Bad Survey?

Posting issues found during a survey should be a common thing.
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Old 18-01-2015, 14:45   #3
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Re: Bad Survey?

Procedure in regards to what?

Sellers are generally not required to disclose know defects, or this requirement is waived in the purchase agreement.

Surveyors are generally not liable for anything they miss. Though they may be liable if they failed to mention a defect they did notice. Proving the difference in a court is very difficult.

As a practical matter there aren't many option for a buyer except to use a high quality surveyor, with a good reputation, and be aware that they are accepting the risk. Sadly many of the most serious problems are also very difficult to diagnose without destructive investigation, and no one is willing to do that for most recreational purchases.
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Old 18-01-2015, 14:59   #4
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Re: Bad Survey?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Procedure in regards to what?

Sellers are generally not required to disclose know defects, or this requirement is waived in the purchase agreement.

Surveyors are generally not liable for anything they miss. Though they may be liable if they failed to mention a defect they did notice. Proving the difference in a court is very difficult.

As a practical matter there aren't many option for a buyer except to use a high quality surveyor, with a good reputation, and be aware that they are accepting the risk. Sadly many of the most serious problems are also very difficult to diagnose without destructive investigation, and no one is willing to do that for most recreational purchases.
There are many, many cases of a surveyor's disclaimer being denied in court ( I've testified against several losing surveyors) so to say they are not liable is misleading.

For the OP .... before you spend money on another survey, educate yourself a little. Suggest you start with Marine Survey 101
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Old 18-01-2015, 15:15   #5
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Re: Bad Survey?

If I understand the OP correctly, the surveyor did find a major defect... no problems with the survey at all. He is asking how the now known defect can be made known to future potential buyers without the need to hire another expensive surveyor to repeat the discovery.

An honest and forthright broker or owner would add the info to any sales literature or conversation. Whether this is a realistic expectation is debatable.

I don't know of a mechanism for achieve this in the real world... does anyone have suggestions?

Jim
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Old 18-01-2015, 15:22   #6
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Re: Bad Survey?

Other than posting the model and yr of the boat, assuming the defect may indeed be found on other like model boats
I don't see anyway. Being specific as to exact boat I assume could get you into trouble.
First boat I surveyed, failed. Owner was there and I believed him to be an honest person, I feel pretty sure he had those defects fixed, or sold the boat at a lower price knowing the defects


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Old 18-01-2015, 15:37   #7
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Re: Bad Survey?

I equate finding a good surveyor with finding a good mechanic.

The OP is disappointed that the prospective boat failed the survey. I assume there are hull, deck or design flaws but regardless of the problems with the boat the question I heard was one of protocol.

Carfax exists to track used car histories. The service has been around for a while now.

What response would a Boatfax forum have on the boating world? On a surveyors or brokers reputation? On a buyers choice?

I see interesting possibilities but then, I have been at the rum.
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Old 18-01-2015, 15:54   #8
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Re: Bad Survey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingforfun View Post
I'm relatively new to this forum and I was curious on what the correct protocol is regarding a bad survey or surveys in general. I just spent a fair amount of money surveying a boat that had a "significant" flaw. I genuinely don't believe the owner was aware of it, but I think any future Buyer would want to know before they embark on the same expenses I just did. With liabilities what they are today and not wanting to talk down anyone's boat, I think it would be helpful for a potential Buyer to know ahead of time what a previous survey uncovered. Thoughts?
Actually, A64pilot may have hit on a way: a post on CF of make, year, model, of boat, and the nature of the '"significant" flaw', so that others interested in a similar boat would know to look for the flaw. However, Stumble, here is a lawyer, and might be able to say whether that might rise up and smite you.

It is not clear from your post if you still want to bid on the boat at a level that would cover the cost of the repair of if the boat is in such a bad way that it is irreparable in a cost effective way. Either way, good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 18-01-2015, 16:11   #9
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Re: Bad Survey?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
There are many, many cases of a surveyor's disclaimer being denied in court ( I've testified against several losing surveyors) so to say they are not liable is misleading.

For the OP .... before you spend money on another survey, educate yourself a little. Suggest you start with Marine Survey 101
Of course there are plenty of examples where the waiver has been tossed. But there are a lot more where it has stood up. Which is why I said generally.
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Old 18-01-2015, 16:21   #10
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Re: Bad Survey?

I see no indication that the flaw was generic in this case... just that there was a serious flaw. But whichever was the case, if one had the documentation of a written survey, would there be any legal exposure in simply posting, on CF or any other internet source, the nature of the flaw referenced to the specific vessel?

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Old 18-01-2015, 16:23   #11
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Re: Bad Survey?

Been there, done that, and I too wasted the money.


Looked at a Saber 34 that was not only a blister baby, but after the survey, I discovered that it blew enough smoke to do mosquito control. The "professional" surveyor never ran the engine at the rated max RPM.


You can file a complaint with the firm that certifies surveyors, but I feel that is a wasted effort.


IMHO- chalk it up to dealing with a Tier 3 broker.
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Old 18-01-2015, 16:38   #12
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Re: Bad Survey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Actually, A64pilot may have hit on a way: a post on CF of make, year, model, of boat, and the nature of the '"significant" flaw'
A member on the forums here recently saved me a wasted journey by doing this.
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Old 18-01-2015, 20:52   #13
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Re: Bad Survey?

Jim Cate is spot on, the surveyor did his job which is why I declined the boat. It was not a generic or manufacturers flaw. The conclusion was the problem occurred during usage.

My concern is the personal liability if I were to misstate/overstate the problem and a slick attorney would file suit against me claiming I caused the owner of the boat to lose money(value) on the sale of the boat.

I think it's a catch 22. (no good deed goes unpunished)
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Old 18-01-2015, 23:03   #14
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Re: Bad Survey?

The reality is that so long as you have justification for your beliefs you probably aren't liable. Or if what you are posting is opinion then it is protected from liability. The issue of course is that being sued, even if you win, can cost thousands.

What I would recommend to a client is to publish a copy of the survey. While it may feel like the same thing, it really isn't. Unless you signed a non-disclosure agreement with the seller before he allowed the survey (I have never seen this done for a recreational transaction).
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Old 19-01-2015, 01:41   #15
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Re: Bad Survey?

Just mention the make model and problem already.....,inquiring minds want to know

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