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Old 26-09-2012, 20:26   #1
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Question When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

I'm just curious to find out the general consensus on this.

Obviously it's wise to have a surveyor look at a major purchase to give you an expert opinion as to the condition before you spend your money, but where do you draw the line, so to speak?

Under a certain $ amount?

Under a certain length, like a small trailer sailer?

I had read up quite a bit before I bought my boat, and checked her out myself, but it is a 22' boat with little that could be wrong. The cost also would not have justified a surveyor, even if there was one locally.

So, what is your limit?

Above what point, either in size or money?

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Old 26-09-2012, 20:27   #2
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

When the survey is 50% or more of the purchase price.
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Old 26-09-2012, 20:30   #3
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

When the boat is small enough, cheap enough or simple enough to make your own judgement call. It also depends on how much knowledge the buyer has about boats.
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Old 26-09-2012, 20:39   #4
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

If it's over 1000 bucks I would use a surveyer! But Im old fashion!
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Old 26-09-2012, 21:17   #5
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

About $18,000 with an inboard and cruising systems, i.e., lots of holes in the bottom, would be a rough break point.
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Old 26-09-2012, 21:21   #6
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I didn't get one for my ferro. Cost 30k and is 36ft. If a knowledgable surveyor was around I probably would have but that wasn't the case. Lots of research and she was a pretty clearly well made and documented boat. I think if she were over 50k I would have gone the extra effort. No regrets so far!
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Old 26-09-2012, 21:26   #7
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

When knowing the owner and being intimately familiar with the boat.
One example from my past was a 112' schooner.
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Old 26-09-2012, 21:46   #8
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmastern View Post
I'm just curious to find out the general consensus on this.

Obviously it's wise to have a surveyor look at a major purchase to give you an expert opinion as to the condition before you spend your money, but where do you draw the line, so to speak?

Under a certain $ amount?

Under a certain length, like a small trailer sailer?

I had read up quite a bit before I bought my boat, and checked her out myself, but it is a 22' boat with little that could be wrong. The cost also would not have justified a surveyor, even if there was one locally.

So, what is your limit?

Above what point, either in size or money?



Not based on size -- for instance a Flicka is "only" 20' long, but they often cost more than most boats in that size range. They also are bluewater boats in the right hands. For both those reasons -- value and the fact that they can be taken well off shore -- they should be surveyed.

I would look at both the cost of the boat and how you intend to use it. If you intend to be sailing offshore, you absolutely need to know that boat is sound.

Also, if you intend to spend a fair chunk of change customizing it or restoring it, you might want a survey to make sure the boat is worth the time, effort and money.

Don't ignore an engine survey, either.
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Old 26-09-2012, 22:15   #9
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

I would always go with surveyor. Its not just the expertise, its also the "none love view" on something I really would like to have A pair of neutral eyes cannot be a bad Investment.

If the boat is particular small, cheap it could be a good idea to check at least some key things like rig or engine by dedicated professionals.
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Old 26-09-2012, 23:14   #10
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

I purchased three boats in the last year.

*Mac 25*

*Clipper Marine Aft Cockpit 32*

Clipper Marine Aft Cabin Ketch 32

The boats with the ** Did Not have a survey, but I saw these boats first hand. The dollar figures were low, and I could see a value in what my money was going for.

The third boat was a higher dollar amount, and I did not see the boat myself, only the surveyor and truck driver saw first hand what I was getting into.

If you can see the money value wise, even if it needs work, you are safe.

The larger the numbers, the larger the risk, and I would need a written survey. You need it for insurance anyway on larger boats.
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Old 26-09-2012, 23:40   #11
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

I don't have much faith in a survey as they miss way too much IMHO. They also won't evaluate engines, or rigging. Insurance usually requires one though. The survey contract has more disclaimers than a Donald Trump pre nup.
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Old 26-09-2012, 23:42   #12
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

Somewhere on CF a fellow known as boat poker did a thread on surveying. I think it was titled surveying 101. It was the best information on surveying that I have seen. Print it out and study it and you may find that for most modest size and cost boats that you dont really need a surveyor. Larger and more complex ie. more expensive boats you will need one anyway for insurance. My 2 cents worth____Grant.
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Old 26-09-2012, 23:47   #13
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

Best money you'll ever spend on a boat is a survey that tells you to walk away. If you're buying sight unseen or have big water plans for it, not getting one is a fools errand.

That said, a small lake boat for under $2,000 I wouldn't bother with one.
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Old 27-09-2012, 00:42   #14
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

When the cost of items I would miss on a survey become risky and expensive to me "AND" I did not feel experienced enough to evaluate the engines, rigging and systems due to complexity or lack of proper equipment.

Everyone has a different risk & cost tolerance and a different experience level.

Once I decided to hire a surveyor I would always supervise the survey 100%
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Old 27-09-2012, 00:48   #15
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Re: When would you NOT hire a surveyor?

I think it depends on how confident you are with your own knowledge of boats versus purchase price. I paid for a pre-purchase survey on my first keelboat (in which the survey was so far off the mark, it was an eye opener) yet didn't bother to get one with my latest keeler because I had now the confidence and experience to do the "survey" myself. Admittedly, both boats were cheapish (well under 20 grand). In both cases however, I used the results of the survey to knock a considerable amount off the final price.

I do get stuck paying for insurance surveys, as with old and cheap boats these are essentially mandatory for obtaining any form of legitimate insurance.
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