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Old 02-11-2005, 12:28   #1
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Local info needed - Gloucester

We have reached the point of needing to find a surveyor in the Gloucester, MA area.
We are working with Sailboats Northeast on a 1993 Sceptre 41.
Any help, comments, or advise are welcome.

Thanks
John
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:57   #2
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I just wrote this up last night to include on my website documenting my experiences with my new boat, Greyhawk:

We live in New Hampshire. We bought a boat in Maryland. How did we find a surveyor? Even if we were buying a boat closer to home, how would we go about finding a surveyor? You want the most detail-oriented and experienced curmudgeon you can find to survey your potential purchase for you.

Boat/US maintains a national directory of marine surveyors from whom they accept survey reports for their insurance business (see http://www.boatus.com/insurance/survey.htm). In addition, most professional surveyors are a member of either National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS): http://www.nams-cms.org/, and/or the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS): http://www.marinesurvey.org/. Both organizations maintain on their websites searchable directories of their members. But still, how do you choose from among the many who will be listed among these sources?

One can always go on to internet forums, discussion boards, and mailing lists to ask for recommendations from fellow boaters. But not many boaters regularly buy and sell boats, and so their experience with surveyors may be limited. Certainly, you should be wary of any recommendations you might get from any brokers involved in the transaction. When I bought Greyhawk, the selling broker respectfully declined to offer any names when I asked. But maybe you could try asking the broker which surveyors they would NOT use, and why -- it may be that such a surveyor is exactly who you DO want!

Besides brokers, the people who will likely have had a lot of interaction with the various surveyors in the area are boatyard repair managers. You could call up several boatyards -- those not involved in the transaction you are about to make -- and ask their service department about who they would recommend for a surveyor and why. But how do you know whether you can really trust these recommendations? What is the reputation of the boatyard making the recommendation? This is where referrals from other boaters help. Walk the docks and talk to other boaters about the boatyards they use for repairs. If you are not in the area, contact local sailing clubs and yacht clubs to see if they can put you in touch with any of their members, or can tell you which yard most of their members use.

Once you've identified a well-respected boatyard manager, go ahead and ask him (usually) who he would hire to survey a boat he was buying, and why. Also ask who his second choice might be, and perhaps who he would avoid.

By now, you should have some good strong recommendations, from several sources, and one or two names should rise to the top. Call them up and/or visit their websites. Ask for (or download) a sample survey report for a boat similar to the one you are looking at. Certainly ask about their qualifications, their procedures, and what you can expect. Ask about their pricing and their availability (the best surveyors are often the busiest -- it may be worth the wait). Make your choice, schedule a date, and make every effort to be present for the inspection. Good Luck!

Regards,

Tim
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Old 02-11-2005, 13:11   #3
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Tim....Good info - Thanks!

I had not thought of calling the boatyards in the area. That sounds like a good idea.

I have been to the surveyor sites and they all look good as one would expect. Not much help in narrowing the list.

I have also asked on a couple of BBs hoping someone would had recent experience. Wait and see on that...

I did look over your Greyhawk site. Nice boat, nice site.

Thanks again

John
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Old 02-11-2005, 13:37   #4
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gene barnes lives in gloucester. long time knowledgable sailor and well established surveyor.
i know he does hinckleys, shannon. honest guy. think he still lives @ nugent farm.
he's in the book.
capt. lar
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Old 02-11-2005, 13:40   #5
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We used Jay Michaud out of Marblehead. He surveyed two boats for us. The first he discovered major problems almost immediatly and suggested we terminate the survey. I agreed and he didn't charge me anything even though he had driven up to Portsmouth.

Of course we used him on the next boat we made an offer on. We ended up buying that boat and after a year he hasn't appeared to have missed anything major.

http://www.marine-surveys.com/
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Old 02-11-2005, 14:22   #6
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Thanks to both of you.

I've got the phone numbers and will give both of the surveyors mentioned a call.

John
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Old 02-11-2005, 20:15   #7
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Surveyor

I also recommend Gene Barnes in Gloucester. He just completed a survey for me on a Shannon 43 and I found him to be personable, knowledgeable and quite thorough. I received his 21 page report tonight that contains, not only a description of the condition of the boat's hull and systems, but also a prioritized list of recommended repairs.

Kirby
(soon to be owner of a Shannon 43 ketch)
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:37   #8
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Kirby Thanks and congrats on your new boat!
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