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Old 07-01-2010, 19:21   #16
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I have a photo of a powerboat that had no glass fiber in the lay-up in a 1' X 3' area and another of a sailboat with a 15" X 8" void over 1/2" deep.
I have a photo album on my website entitled "Stoopid Tricks By Boat Builders". I'd attach a link but I can never keep straight who will allow a commercial lnk and who won't. you could google the title if interested.
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Old 07-01-2010, 20:00   #17
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As a surveyor and one who has worked for several major builders as both an engineer and an in house surveyor I am her to tell you I would never buy a new boat with out a survey. All builders have production schedules and the boats go out whether they are ready or not. Most QA people do not know how to look for things beyond surface scratches. I have found things from screws run through AC inlet power wires to major voids in the deck. I have seem high moisture in deck because the the molded part was left uncovered upside down for 2 weeks in the rain till it filled with water. I have seen complete laminate layers left off because 3rd shift told 1st shift to do it and 1st forgot. hmmm want me to go on? buyer beware sure you can get the dealer to fix the broken AC duct. but will he fix the wet core? I recommend a buyer of a new boat have the boat be inspected as it is being built. get a local surveyor who knows construction to review at major points, but that is just me I have only been building boat for 35 years. **** happens and it happens to new boats as well as used. And as for the surveyors ethics any one worth a crap will work for the client and the client only.

fair winds
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Old 07-01-2010, 20:49   #18
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Wayne, funny you should mention screws run though conductors. I once delivered a new boat and while doing my pre-departure check I found that every time I removed the dipstick to check the oil, the lights went off. The dipstick was placed such that it would touch the aluminum deck grid as you drew it out. A lighting conductor was screwed through, into that same grid. The dipstick was grounding the engine to a DC positive.
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Old 08-01-2010, 14:46   #19
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What do dealers/builders think ? If someone wants to sign a contract on a new boat subject to a survey how do you react ?
On a one off boat build it is not uncommon to have a marine suveyor supervise the construction. In fact I think this is well established practice. But is this possible in the bigger production factories ? I'm sure they have quality control people there but in many of the examples cited on this thread that system has failed.
Any contract would have to have safeguards for the seller to ensure that the buyer doesn't use the survey as an easy way to bail out of the deal. Any lawyers out there?
But other than that, if there are minor defects the builder should fix them. If there are major defects, well... there shouldn't be major defects. If they can't be repaired then that's a deal breaker.

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Old 08-01-2010, 17:53   #20
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Choosing a surveyor is a whole other thread but it should be done with as much care as choosing your boat if not more..
This is the critical statement.
If you have to work just as hard to find a good surveyor as you do to find a good boat and what the surveyor finds is dependent on whether you did a good job of finding the right one it seems like just as big a crap shoot getting a good surveyor as getting a good boat.

I would guess (and it is only a guess) that the number of new boats that you would actually not buy because of a bad survey is smaller then the number of incomplete surveys you would get if you don't find the right surveyor. In that case how much are you really improving your chances of having a good result?

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Old 09-01-2010, 02:03   #21
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.
If you have to work just as hard to find a good surveyor as you do to find a good boat and what the surveyor finds is dependent on whether you did a good job of finding the right one it seems like just as big a crap shoot getting a good surveyor as getting a good boat.
Hmmm......We Jims should stick together. But you seem to be saying that a new boat owner shouldn't waste their time on a survey because they can't be sure of finding a good surveyor. That would be like a patient refusing to see a doctor because the doctor may not be any good. Or a motorist refusing to get has brakes fixed because the mechanic might do a bad job.
But I know what you"re saying. The reputation of a good surveyor will precede him. With communication these days it's not hard to sort the sheep from the goats. Just look at the information on this forum.
There will always be dodgy operators and there will always be punters who take a risk with them.
But that's not an argument for no surveys. It's an argument for better surveys.

Another Jim
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:41   #22
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I'm with you Jim, It's high time surveyors were licensed. I watched a show recently where four house inspectors inspected the same house and found little wrong. It was later shown the the house had been a grow-op with serious problems. Like house inspectors all you need to be a surveyor is the fifty bucks for business cards.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:48   #23
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I'm with you Jim....
LOL..... Which Jim ?
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:49   #24
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the last one
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:59   #25
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How often would you survey a new production boat, for the owner and before they take delivery.

Man it's been hot today. How is it in Toronto ?
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:08   #26
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-16C ...... damn near tropical and we live on our boat.
I only survey 3-4 new boats per year and almost always find enough to cover the cost of the survey. Most of this stuff would have been found by the owner before the warranty expired but occassionally I find serious stuff that may not show up for several years when it becomes more obvious when you try to sell the boat.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:16   #27
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If its serious, lIke major surgery what are the owners rights normally ?Can they walk away from the deal or do they have to buy someone elses problem ?
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:04   #28
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Hmmm......We Jims should stick together. But you seem to be saying that a new boat owner shouldn't waste their time on a survey because they can't be sure of finding a good surveyor. That would be like a patient refusing to see a doctor because the doctor may not be any good. Or a motorist refusing to get has brakes fixed because the mechanic might do a bad job.
I am not going quite that far. It would be more like a patient not seeing a doctor "for a rash" because the doctor might not be any good or not getting "routine service" on your brakes if you can't be sure the mechanic is any good. If the chance of something bad happening (if you do nothing) is low then maybe leaving my rash alone and leaving my brakes to get worse might be the best option.

Anytime you make a decision to investigate something you have to decide that the chance of finding anything wrong is high enough to justify all the other things that go along with it (cost, chance of not finding what you are looking for, chance of getting bad advice, etc). I am just wondering if the chance of finding a problem from a "good manufacturer" is high enough to make hiring a surveyor of "unknown" quality a good deal.

The other Jim
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:20   #29
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The thing about surveying a new boat is not so much a matter of accepting or rejecting the boat unless of course something major is found. It is more a matter of catching the little things. I hear folks say "yes but it is under warranty" true but do you want to have to spend the first summer taking it back to the dealer over and over? And it is always better to get things fixed at the factory where they have the right parts and such. I have worked with many builders large and small and cannot recall one that was not fully cooperative. Dealers on the other hand will tell you there is no point but then they do not want anything to slow down their check. But I have found most good dealers welcome a good surveyor. In a way it makes things easier for them as you get all the problems fixed at one time. I will tell you I have surveyed over 200 new boats and not one did not have at least a 1 page list of items needed attention ranging from minor to major.

As for picking a good surveyor it should be easy find someone who has been around for a few years, Are they a member of SAMS or NAMS, and what kind of background do they have on the type of vessel you are getting. Ask for references from some of their customers, and most importantly talk to them. Ask questions, do you feel comfortable with the answers? is this the kind of guy you will feel comfortable working with? Does he treat you with respect and is willing to explain things? All that should help you decide whether it is for a new or used boat.

Then when you get your new boat you can feel better about the whole thing. boats are not like cars everyone is a bit different. Even the best surveyor may not be able to find every problem but they should be able to spot most and save you a lot of trouble dealing with warranty issues.

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Old 09-01-2010, 08:20   #30
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Warranty the Survey

As was previously mentioned, marine and home surveyors suffer the same plight. An intrinsic conflict of interest. If they fail too many boat/homes, they never get recommended by brokers/agents. So, every broker I spoke with recommended finding my own. That way there was never a conflict of who the person was working for - at least at the start. At some level a surveyor (or home inspector) works in the area and most at least coexist with brokers.

However, there may be a way out that is beginning in the home industry and still needs to play out. First, no noncertified inspections or inspectors. This means ACMS, NAMS or someone who requires testing, experience, etc. I understand this would affect some people who have great experience but no certification. This could be resolved by rolling it in over two years and everyone in that category could be certified.

Next, is a warranty. When I bought my most recent home (7 years ago), the inspector provided a warranty. In the first year, if an inspected item was found to be defective, they covered the cost of remediation (parts+labor). If the furnace or A/C failed it was covered. Now there were "outs." If they could not inspect something, like plumbing in the wall. However, even that may be covered if the exposed plumbing showed signs of failure and it was not noted. The list was very extensive in what was and was not covered. I am sure the same could be done for boats.

A warranty motivates the organization to ensure the people inspecting are doing inspections correctly and completely. It also motivates sellers to get an inspection done, knowing I am more likely to buy with a warranty on the first year. Prices are adjusted to handle the findings (either way). A "clean boat" takes on real meaning. Doing this also means negotiation are fairly clean and brokers have less hassle trying to decide if this "item" needs to be released to a potential buyer.

It is working in the housing industry. I think it could work here, but it will suffer from a lot of rejection from the people who stand to lose big - mediocre inspectors.

I also thing the first certification organization to offer a warranty is going to clean up and the others will be forced to adapt or die. Which is good for everyone.
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