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Old 19-12-2007, 01:05   #1
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Question Buying Surveying and Insurance for Boat in Mexico

Hi and thanks for the great forum. I am headed to La Paz as soon as I can get a haul out scheduled to survey a 1981 Rawson 30. Do I need to get an electrical and rigging survey as well or is that covered. This is a huge step up for me from and I am very hopeful this works out. My plan is to cruise the sea of cortez as a live aboard and then store the boat on the hard during hurricane season while I work. Any advice on insurance and or purchasing a boat in Mexico. I thought I was flying today but am not sure I could get the boat hauled. Is a survey with the boat in the water an unacceptable option? The boat was surveyed three years ago. I can hold my breath forever and could take a dive mask? Thanks for the help- I want this boat so badly I can taste it.
--- Eric

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Old 19-12-2007, 01:45   #2
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Do I need to get an electrical and rigging survey as well or is that covered.
Most surveyors will survey the electrical but not do the rigging.

Most surveyors can't do a decent job at rigging and I would refuse a surveyor that wanted to do a rigging survey standing on the deck. The new owner of my last boat got screwed from a good surveyor that took digital photo's from the deck and later tried to call it a rigging survey while disclaiming the findings since he is not a rigger. His speculations even though clearly stated as such were taken as true by the insurance company. It created a case where he speculated on things being wrong with the rigging that were not wrong at all and forced the buyer to get a real rigging survey so his insurance company would write the policy. The real rigger found all the issues raised 100% bogus. If the boat is 10 years old you probably should get a real rigger to go over it. It takes a keen eye to find all the signs of a rig problem.

The purpose of the survey is not to prove the boat is perfect. If it is a used boat it will have some issues. You want to protect yourself from the big expensive stuff you could easily overlook. The insurance company will demand a survey to establish condition and value. You both need to know a lot more to be able to spend this amount of money. But you won't learn everything there is.

I would let the surveyor do the job they do first. Consider it the test for spending money not owning a boat. Then you may want engine and rigging experts to go over it in more detail after the survey or based on the survey findings. The surveyor won't find everything wrong. It's not possible to do that in a single day. You are attempting to reduce the risk enough to satisfy the insurance company as well as yourself.

The survey will include a haul out (you pay for it) so the surveyor can examine all the underwater parts and the hull. If the boat is already on the hard then it has to be put in the water to perform the rest of the survey. Plan on paying for a power wash and replace any zincs while you are out if it has been in the water. If you do the haul out last your surveyor may find deal breaking news before you get that far. Plan on stopping early in the survey and have a private chat with the surveyor about the progress.

I want this boat so badly I can taste it.
Don't fall in love until after the wedding. You have to be ready to walk away based on the real survey results. If you feel you can't walk away today then you can be hurt bad. No boat will be perfect so expect to pay some more money to get things repaired and some work done. Being a 1981 boat means this is absolute. The idea of buying the boat and sailing away is just a dream. It's going to take you some time after the sale to get things in order and become familiar. Don't rush the wedding until after the survey! Plan ahead and make arrangements with the yard to haul the boat as part of the survey. Usually the broker will help set up the haul out along with you and your surveyor, but if there is no broker ask the surveyor for help.

A three year old survey is hope but it won't mean anything to an an insurance agent. You need a brand new survey and it has to be hauled out (you pay the haul). Seeing a three year old survey means it's worth a plane ticket and hiring a new survey. Three years is a very long time in salt water.

Best of luck. Being lucky is never a bad thing.

Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 19-12-2007, 02:13   #3
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Old 19-12-2007, 02:22   #4
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Good advice Dampman.
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