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Old 01-02-2016, 20:20   #1
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Surveying a Boat on the Hard

Still new to all of this so take it easy on me but my question is do most people do a pre-purchase survey if the boat is on the hard? I would assume so but was wondering what happens in place of a sea trial and what will a surveyor do in particular with a boat on the hard, I feel like to truly get a feel for everything on board the boat needs to be splashed and taken for a spin.

Also does anyone have any recommendations on where to find a good surveyor, any specific sites?

Thanks!!
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Old 01-02-2016, 20:39   #2
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

What price range are you looking at? Sometimes splashing a 30+ year old boat just for the survey may not be financially feasible for the parties. IMO your own research plus a good surveyor will tell you more about a boat and its characteristics than just a splash and a not so good surveyor. Most of the factors affecting the boat can be deduced even with her sitting on the hard. Such as how her engine runs, beefiness of her rig, underwater profile, comfort of her layout, etc. Just like with cars you should at least be able to differentiate a Honda from a Yugo. Now if one is choosing between a Yugo and a Fiat that's a different story.
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Old 01-02-2016, 20:41   #3
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

Most surveys do both. If the boat is in the water, survey them sea trial; if originally on the hard, survey then splash and sea trial. Need to do both--survey, haul out inspection and sea trial.
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Old 02-02-2016, 00:31   #4
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

The hull survey is always done during haulout; never in the water. Rigging and engine surveys are done in the water.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:30   #5
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
What price range are you looking at? Sometimes splashing a 30+ year old boat just for the survey may not be financially feasible for the parties. IMO your own research plus a good surveyor will tell you more about a boat and its characteristics than just a splash and a not so good surveyor. Most of the factors affecting the boat can be deduced even with her sitting on the hard. Such as how her engine runs, beefiness of her rig, underwater profile, comfort of her layout, etc. Just like with cars you should at least be able to differentiate a Honda from a Yugo. Now if one is choosing between a Yugo and a Fiat that's a different story.

Thanks a lot for the info, we're looking at between 30-40k.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:33   #6
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

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Most surveys do both. If the boat is in the water, survey them sea trial; if originally on the hard, survey then splash and sea trial. Need to do both--survey, haul out inspection and sea trial.
Thanks for the reply, so let's say this boat is on the hard has all sails stowed away along will all of its gear and hasn't been in the water in about 1.5 years, I'm assuming they'll still splash her and fire up the engine and just do the trial under power? Also with sea trials is there anything the potential owner should be doing other than following the surveyor around?
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:52   #7
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

Got a couple of things that might help you ...

Marine Survey 101
Sample Marine Survey Reports
Sea Trials
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:20   #8
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

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Thanks for the reply, so let's say this boat is on the hard has all sails stowed away along will all of its gear and hasn't been in the water in about 1.5 years, I'm assuming they'll still splash her and fire up the engine and just do the trial under power? Also with sea trials is there anything the potential owner should be doing other than following the surveyor around?
If you do get to the sea trial stage I would definitely insist on getting the sails out of storage and on for the trial. Also if unsure of the sails' condition or expected life I would bring them to a sailmaker or at least to someone knowledgeable enough whom I would trust to give their opinion.

Also important for a boat which had not been sailed in 1.5 years (and perhaps longer as the sellers' memories of this point are often padded with their desire to sell) are her seacocks being able to function smoothly. If they are quality models and well installed this unuse should not be a big deal as with proper lube and some effort they will work themselves free but if they were inferior quality and/or poorly installed they may be frozen enough to need replacement.

When I was surveying my 36 footer I was not able to do a sea trial but two of my very experienced and knowledgeable marine pros buddies looked at her and gave her thumbs up. This led me to hire a surveyor (whom I used previously and was happy with his extensive, well prepared and reasonably priced survey) who also gave her his approval, with all the usual caveats one gets when getting a 30 year old boat. I splashed her a few days after the deal was completed and she performed even better than expected. The few surprises were mostly positive and the one or two which were not were to be expected on a 30 year old boat and turned out not very expensive or not annoying enough to fix.

Had I absolutely insisted on the sea trial I would probably not ended up getting her and no guarantee that the next one I'd consider would be as good of a deal as this one. After all being a sailor you are already prepared to take certain risks and not taking any risks at all will probably make you more of an armchair sailor in the long run.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:55   #9
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

Written from my point of view as a surveyor:
I always advise the customer to put the boat in the water.
Several systems are either herd to check or entirely impossible.
e.g. does the boat float true or has a list?
engine needs cooling water - i.e. either impossible or difficult to run.
I like to run the engine under load for some time to see behaviour.
pumps, Sails/winches operation under load
etc.
Thorough survey should be done both on the hard (bottom, lower hull, through-hulls, prop, moisture...) and in the water.

Saying that - if history of boat and sellers are well known and the total cost of the boat is low (i.e. low in the eyes of the buyer) you may consider to take a risk and forgo some parts of the full survey.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:30   #10
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

use a NAMS surveyor only.


they can do a noon hang so the surveyor can look at the boat out of the water before the yard goes to lunch and launch it after they return.


some surveyors do sea trials other don't depends on your personal experience with sailing to see if everything works. sea trails are a lot of time and surveyors may charge you by the hour
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:34   #11
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

I have found it much easier to get insurance if you have a nams survey. Some insurance companies require it.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:49   #12
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

If the boat is a known design with a good reputation then a sea trial could be skipped. Not without some risk though. You can run the engine with a freshwater hose… but not the prop/transmission. It is hard to actually assess sails without sailing the boat, but you could take them out of the boat to a grassy area or to a sailmaker for examination. (that's a lot of work though!) You wont know if the depth sounder works.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:57   #13
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsurvey View Post
use a NAMS surveyor only.
Use a SAMS surveyor only
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:45   #14
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

Lots of good professional advise and experience here.

One note: Like buying a house, I recommend that you do not use a broker who is friends or in any way might represent the seller. I survived that mistake but it did not enhance my purchase experience! Just sayin'...
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:08   #15
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Re: Surveying a Boat on the Hard

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You can run the engine with a freshwater hose….
You can do extreme damage to a diesel with a waterlift type muffler doing this if you don't know exactly what you are doing. I would not recommend this to an amateur.
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