I bought my plywood catamaran
without a survey. If you purchase
a one-off wooden boat, good luck finding insurance on it. Most surveyors are not even familiar with plywood epoxy
construction. Furthermore most survey reports have these statements about the engine and rigging
: Recommend that a certified rigging surveyor inspect the rig, certified diesel mechanic
evaluate the engines.
Most surveyors just seem to list the equipment
, look for obvious defects, and do some sounding or moisture readings on the hull
. I think most people that get a survey do it for insurance reasons. If you want to get into this cruising life on a budget
then you will need to evaluate and repair everything on the boat yourself so you need to learn to do a "self survey". Personally I would have loved to have surveys done, I would love to have insurance. I also want radar
, sat phone
, new sails
, new paint
, a new dinghy
, A/C, power winches, new upholstery, actually I would have chosen a well equipped production cruising catamaran
over what I have but I was a couple hundred thousand short on funds so I settled on what I have which is working for us just fine but is more of a project
than a typical maintenance
But before you head
out and buy a boat without a survey (which means that you don't intend to purchase
insurance either) ask yourself if you can live with the risk and inconvenience of an uninsured boat. 1. You could easily lose your life savings just by hitting a rock or tying a knot
wrong. 2. You could hit another boat and be subject to a lawsuit. 3. Your expensive electronics
could get ripped off. 4. you could get wrecked by a storm. 4. A lot of marinas
and haulout yards require that you carry a liability policy at the very least. We fell into this trap: You can't get a haulout without insurance, you cant get insurance without a survey, You can't get a survey without a haulout.
My advice is that if you do a pre purchase survey, make sure that it can be used by the insurance company as well or you may end up paying for a second survey. And if you choose to go uninsured don't hit anything!