I was looking at a DeFever trawler
in Fl. When I got to the boat the surveyor was standing on the dock
leaning up against the boat. As I approached, he said "I can continue the survey if you want, but I can save you some money and stop right now." He had been there about 15 minutes and found that the stringers were rotting out from inside the fiberglass. Now, I am sure I would have found that. But it would have been embarrassing if I hadn't. The owner had to pay someone to dispose of the boat. It was less than worthless.
Sad part is, months before during a hurricane
it had taken on water in the engine
room. The insurance
company gave him $30,000. He spent it rebuilding the Lehmans, replacing the genset, A/C, everything in the engine
room all brand new. When I looked at the engine room, I was blown away by how professional it looked, with wire handlers up at deck
level, all labeled. The people performing this work had to remove the engines, so it's amazing they didn't notice the stringers where the engine mount bolts went through them. I mean, they sounded like hollow boxes. But, maybe they just didn't figure it was their job to tell him, since they'd loose a $30,000 job.
So, verdict? I'd get a survey on a rubber duck.
As far as that goes, in another thread I told how I negotiated a $10,000 reduction on my current
boat based on hiring a separate engine surveyor. On my first boat (1966) since it was gas Chrysler 360s (I've rebuilt a few 60's Mopars), I didn't get an engine survey. But when it came to 3208s, I figured I'd get in an expert.
So, verdict? Unless the replacement cost of an engine isn't a big deal to you, I'd get a separate engine survey, as well.
(Edit: I just noticed someone already mentioned the educational value. But here it is again.)
Getting a survey isn't just about insuring the boat is in good shape. Every time I go through a survey process, I get a wealth of information. Even on the boats I didn't buy. It's just a good education. Make sure you're there when it happens. They'll tell you a lot that doesn't go in the survey. The survey is used for insurance purposes (and loans) so they normally write them for that audience. (When you ask for a survey, let them know who the audience is, If you're not getting a loan and will only use the printed report for insurance, tell them that. But don't insult them by telling them to slant it any particular way.
Anyway, back to the education part, they have told me things like "I'm not going to put this in, but if I were you, I'd fix ____" or, "I'm putting this down, but if you get the boat, what you should really do is _____." Or, "On this model boat, you want to keep an eye out for _____." Or like my engine surveyor pointed out, based on some of the seals
, he surmised (but didn't write in the survey, because he couldn't know absolutely) that the port engine had been rebuilt, probably not too long before the previous owner bought the boat. He put in the survey that the starboard engine's cylinder temp readings were off and a rebuild
might be in the not too distant future. But on the side, he said probably it was just the fuel
timing. But since the engine survey wouldn't be used for the loan or insurance, he was writing the survey on the pessimistic side.
Sorry, I got long-winded. I'll shut up, now.