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Old 21-08-2010, 12:48   #1
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Buying Boat . . . Need Advice !

My wife and I are in the process of buying a Lagoon 410 which has been in charter for a few years.

We'll be hauling her out next weekend and any info as to what to look for during the sea trial and haulout would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 21-08-2010, 15:20   #2
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First good luck with the survey,

Have a look at the thread about pre-survey checklist on this forum it's a sticky should be easy to find.

Also join the lagoon owner group lot's of info for specific. One file is the historical issues, It's on yahoo.

Again good luck

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Old 21-08-2010, 15:56   #3
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Sorry, I'm new at this forum and don't understand what a sticky is......please help Thanks
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Old 21-08-2010, 16:47   #4
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A "sticky" is a thread that remains at the top of the Forum in which it's located.

This may be an option you'd like to check out, bobbyshatto:

Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I found a pretty good survey checklist on-line and would be happy to send it to anyone who PMs me an email address. It doesn't list any "standards" just items to check.

I have seen survey reports that basically say, "Inspected the boat. Nothing major found." Obviously not what you are looking for.

This checklist is 5 landscape excel pages of 10 point items to check broken down by system type.
It's from this thread:

"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
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Old 22-08-2010, 20:09   #5
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I just bot an Island Spirit 37 cat and was along side of the SAMS surveyor at all times. Prior to survey i took SANCTUARY on a 3 day sea trial and took notes of anything i noted needed attention and let the surveyor know as well--run the engines over 3000 rpm and look at color of smoke and for leaks; put paper towels under engines prior to sea trial to help identify leaks. Besides the rigging--make sure your surveyor, and you, goes up the mast--the steering cables and rudder post deserve special attention on cats; my steering cable was splitting apart. Also, i found the inner lining of the fiberglass water tanks were peeling off. Look for soft spots on deck and stress cracks in inner bulkheads and where cabin meets hulls.
I am chartering Sanctuary in the Caribbean now, and after fixing up my former charter boat, I am very happy with the "new" yacht!
Cheers, Capt. Mark,
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Old 24-08-2010, 12:21   #6
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A good surveyor will know what to look for, however here are a few things to watch for:

1. Make sure the engine has overboard discharge and the exhaust should be slightly white. Any other color can mean somethng minor to major.

2. During the sea trial run the engines at about 85% of their max for a few minutes. Note to be sure that the vessel is not overheating or studdering. If this is a Lagoon then it should have twin diesels. Make sure as you move the throttles up evenly the engines should engage evenly.

3. When backing down on the engines, do so quickly and have the surveyor watch the engines each time. If a motor mount is loose or off completely you will see the motor "jump" when suddenly backing down even if you can not sight the mount at all.

4. A good surveyor will have a moisture meter with him, have the top sides, deck, and superstrutcture checked for excessive mositure which my be a pre-curser of delamination and wood rot in the core between the fiberglass.

5. As far as going aloft on the mast. Do not expect all surveyors to do this. Some masts I have encountered were so old and corroded I was not going to bet my life that the gear was going to hold my weight. In those cases I have a 12 megapixel digital camera with a 10x zoom and I will photograph the top rigging and later will take it home and zoom into the those areas on the computer to look for corroded parts. The absolute best bet, is to have the boat in the yard and take the mast down to inspect it up close. Although I know many boaters do not want to spend that kind of money.

6. Look for signs of delamination and crazing on the interior and exterior of the hull.

7. In many marinas galvanic corrosion is an enemy to many boats. I have seen this especially in the Caribbean where electrical standards are not exactly up to par like they are in the United States. Look for discoloration on underwater stainless steel parts or areas on metal under the water line that are pitted. This is an indication of galvanic corrosion that is pulling less resistive metals out of the steel such as zinc and magnesium.

8. Electrically, look to be sure the the wiring is marine grade cable and it should be labeled on the insulation. There should be an "AWG" rating of at least 16 on most of the instrument wiring. Be sure battery terminals are protected and have no more than four connections on the positive terminal. Electrical connections should not have reverse polarity when checked. No wing nuts or wire caps!

9. All seacocks should be able to open and close with little effort. If the valve is frozen, replace the seacock. No gate valves! When I was in the Coast Guard, the number one reason we saw vessels sink at the docks was from open seacocks that failed or had attaching lines that failed. When not in use, shut them off!

10. In the survey report, everything that was checked should be written in detail. There should be a cover page, table of contents specifying the vessel's systems, a findings and recommendations section, a hull diagram with a list of seacock locations and vents, a replacement cost and valuation sheet, a signature page for the surveyor, and plenty of photos throughout the survey especially where findings are discovered. What it should not look like is a five page boat check off sheet.

Remember that the surveyor can only note what he can see. It is not a contest, let him know everything you have observed on the vessel even if he may miss it. A good surveyor will typically spend at least 5-8 hours on scene going through your vessel (given an average length of 30 feet). Longer vessels may take longer. I recently did a survey on a 76 foot wooden ketch, which took me 16 hours (two days) to go through, and on the second day I brought a wood boat builder to get his opinion on some unique findings on that vessel.

This is only some of the things I look for on a marine survey. But I hope the few things I have written here has helped. When shopping for a surveyor, many of them will have sample reports on their websites. They should look professional and be thorough in their content. Their rates are secondary. Sometimes going with the cheapest, well... you may end up with what you pay for as the old saying goes. I have seen excellent work from some surveyors, and a few others I have seen the five page boat check offs I have mentioned before. My experience comes from being a marine surveyor, eight years enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard (mostly at small boat stations), and as a live aboard boat owner of a sailing catamaran for several years.

On another note, I personally love the Lagoon catamarans. Very beautiful boats and ideal for sailing and living aboard especially in shallow water areas! I wish you all the best if the deal goes through!
Capt. John Banister, AMSŪ
SAMSŪ Accredited Marine Surveyor
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
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Old 24-08-2010, 13:13   #7
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I've always requested a 3-part survey; general, mechanical, and rigging. The genera covers most of the boat except the engine, transmission, controls and gauges which are checked by the mechanic. The mechanic also looks at compression, injector wear, and things that surveyors seem to neglect or choose not to do. The rigger checks the rigging, climbs the mast to check the sheaves, spreaders, and fittings. It costs a few dollars more but I think you get a much better overall condition of the vessel.

Each of these specialists should provide a detailed report on what they found, what they recommend fixing/replacing and what should be looked at during the sea trial. I use these impartial and independent reports as negotiation tools and a guide as to the overall condition of the vessel.

Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
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