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Old 26-06-2007, 13:02   #1
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Survey - What to Expect ?

going to get my first out of water survey later this week - soulmates is a jeanneau ds40 built in 2001 and commissioned in 2003 - this is her and my first survey - insurance company is demanding it - what can i expect and how can i prepare
thanks
chuck and svsoulmates
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Old 26-06-2007, 13:37   #2
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What to expect, that the surveyor misses somethings and makes note of stuff that is actually meaningless that make the vessel look llike it needs lots of work. I have seen that in boats I have bought and sold.

Surveyors are a necessary evil, but get someone to review the survey with you if you don't know about boats.

a recent survey of a boat I bought the surveyor said nothing about having wet cell batteries in an enclosed space under the beds in a stateroom. the starting battery was a regular wet cell and they gas when charged. It should have been a gelor AGM there the house batteries were /are Gel. I am changing all to AGM's

Or how about the survey of the boat I just sold that the surveyor said the cockpit VHF didn't work. It did work when you turn the breaker on.

these are just two examples and different surveyors

beware and enjoy yor new boat
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Old 26-06-2007, 13:55   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr
going to get my first out of water survey later this week - soulmates is a jeanneau ds40 built in 2001 and commissioned in 2003 - this is her and my first survey - insurance company is demanding it - what can i expect and how can i prepare?
Yo Chuck,

have a diver clean the bottom a day or so prior to haulout. Have all your paperwork handy for the surveyor (documentation, factory brochures and specs, a list of any custom work which you have had done, especially added tankage). Be prepared to repaint the bottom while it is out. Now is a good time for a rubout and wax on the topsides as well. If you are considering the addition of any electronics which require a thru-hull fitting, now is the time.

Some carpet remnants taped to your decks and sole appropriately may save a lot of unneccesary cleanup later (Boatyards are usually pretty dirty places). Zincs should be replaced now. Is the propeller pitch OK? Would you like to add a line cutter? An exhaust outlet flap? Check that you have full port/starboard rudder freedom.

best, andy
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Old 26-06-2007, 14:45   #4
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I would agree with Andy you shouldn't let a haul out escape without doing a few things while it's out of the water even if it's a quick haul. For the most part there isn't much you can do to prepare in the sense that anything wrong is probably not anything you don't already know.

There will be the typical list of AYBC standards that are new and of course unknown at the time the boat was built. There may be some fixable things. In general, the insurance company can dictate what they demand be done.

That is mostly it. They want a valuation number as much as anything plus if they find things that could force them to pay off a sunk boat they may demand it be fixed.

This also the very best time to shop insurance since any company will want the survey report and guess who will have a brand new one. It's almost impossible to switch insurance when you don't have a recent survey. It's an extra expense, but you may use the time to clean up some details and of course renew your insurance.
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Old 26-06-2007, 18:16   #5
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I found a pretty good survey checklist on-line and would be happy to send it to anyone who PMs me an email address. It doesn't list any "standards" just items to check.

I have seen survey reports that basically say, "Inspected the boat. Nothing major found." Obviously not what you are looking for.

This checklist is 5 landscape excel pages of 10 point items to check broken down by system type.
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Old 28-06-2007, 11:25   #6
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survey results

Survey went very well - he understood the age of the boat and we were finished fairly quickly - one of the other boats on my dock got a survey and the wrote them up for everything from not having a safety wire on the anchor connection to not having the battery terminals covered in rubber to you name it - my only issue is a new cutlass and it is only 9 months old - now i have to take her back and have the cutlass replaced and the shaft alignment checked - something is not correct -- the yard owner was not thrilled with the variable pitch prop and it's weight on the end of the shaft -
thanks to all you gave advise - it was helpful
chuck and svsoulmates
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Old 28-06-2007, 12:42   #7
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Chuck - it wasn't clear if the cutlass bearing was to be changed as a result of the surveyor or a problem that you noticed when it was pulled out?

When I had MY boat surveyed, the surveyor also said the cutlass bearing should be changed out and he wrote that down on the survey. The Insurance Company wanted me to address all issues pointed out by the surveyor. On the cutlass, I said it was fine, it was dripless, and three years later it is STILL FINE. The insurance company accepted all of my responses (most I DID need to do something ... and did so).
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Old 28-06-2007, 15:25   #8
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I would agree with Thomas. You should be able to check the shaft when you pull it out of the water and know if the cutlass is bad before you replace it. I did that a while back and the idea was the shaft was indeed out of alignment and we knew that for sure and we MIGHT have to pull the shaft to replace the cutlass. We didn't have to replace the cutlass but we did realign the shaft.

That is never a bad idea. They don't stay in perfect alignment forever. They should stay in good alignment for 9 months and it's possible it never was really aligned well the last time. There needs to be a high level of precision with an alignment.
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Old 03-07-2007, 17:49   #9
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My experience with Surveyors (labeit limited experience) is that they have been, in general, an expensive waste of money.

A surveyor seems to feel obligated to find a handful of things wrong with the boat, otherwise he isn't doing his job. It doesn't seem to matter if the things that he finds do not reflect at all on the seaworthiness of the boat, nor if he faisl to notice things that might have a significant effect on the weaworthiness... as long as he find a few things to put on his report then he is happy and can charge you the proverbial arm & a leg for his "services" with a clear conscience. Couple this with the fact that the surveyor will never actually take any responsibility for the report nor for failing to notice significant and dangerous deficiencies, but that your insurance company will amost certainly expect you to fix everything on their list prior to insuring and you have, in my opinion, at best a necessary evil, and at worst an umitigated and expensive disaster area.

Take, for example, the purchase of my boat: The surveyor pointed out a single sprig on the backstay and recommended replacement, upon which my insurance company insisted. That the backstay is entirely and 100% non-critical on a boat with runners seemed to escape his attention, so I had to fix it at great expense, by coresspondence, prior to my delivery trip (where I could have done it cheaply and at my leisure in my home port). He did not, however notice that the LPG gas lines from the gas locker were in need of replacement, that the pressure regulator fitted to the cylinder was so old so as to be no longer legal (and therefore dangerous), that the bilges under the deck were full of water, that some of the keel bolts were fully glassed over, that stern light was not approved for the size of boat, that the through hull for the sink drain was in dire need of replacement. Fortunately, I did notice most of these things prior to purchase and fixed those that I could prior to delivery and those that I couldn't subsequently at my leisure. Nevertheless, it was an interesting exercise in wasting my time and money, but not an excersise that my insurance company would allow me to neglect.

I have had similar experiences in dealing with surveyors when assisting with purchase or selling of boats for friends too.
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Old 03-07-2007, 20:02   #10
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My experience with surveyors has been quite good. SAMS has a formula that they use to basiclly limit liability. If you go by what is written, it is of limited use. However, I went over the boat with the surveyor in two cases. Both times they were enthusistic and helped in my knowledge of the boat, its systems and how long they should last and what repairs should be done and when.

When you consider the time spent, with the boat out of the water, with it in the water, and then the seatrial. I feel it was money well spent, especially the the first one, where the liabilities added up so quickly that I pulled the plug on the deal. I may have found most of the deficencies myself, but I felt it was excellent insurance.
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Old 03-07-2007, 21:34   #11
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My experience with surveyors has been mediocre and excellent...two different occasions.
The mediocre one I got a report of about 5 pages long...all the usual things I could have found myself...unfortunately I couldn't be there and relied a lot on the Surveyor (and a friend) to find the things that needed to be found. After finally getting a chance to see the boat myself I understod what he meant by "in good condition for a project boat" even though he didn't list tons of things that needed replacing....nothing REALLY major but enough to have made me think twice had I known....
The second experience was 2 weeks ago (see my other thread titled "after considerable.....) and on this occasion I managed to drive 7 hrs each way to be there for the day of survey. The surveyor (Robert Eberle of Beaufort NC) was more than thorough...he checked EVERYTHING and then some....I know EXACTLY what I need to do to my new boat. Robert spent a full day and a half going over it all. I was most impressed. He also took the time to make sure that I knew what he was doing and showed me all the systems etc etc...He gave me tips on the engine and electrical systems and all sorts of stuff....then followed it up with a full 9 page report as well as lifting out his repair/replacement recomendations on a separate easy-to-read list. I cannot speak highly enough of the job he did!!!! A great experience that saved me weeks of looking and learning for myself! I was and am extremely grateful.
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