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Old 13-04-2016, 09:10   #16
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

We had a pre-purchase survey done on our boat last Fall. The surveyor came prepared and did not hesitate to go up the mast.

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Old 13-04-2016, 09:17   #17
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

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Good advice. Unfortunately a lot of buyers might just assume (very logically so) that a rig inspection should be part of a sailboat survey and not ask until too late.

Of course not doing a rig survey to me is insane but when I was a yacht broker in south Florida and dealt with a lot of surveys I only found one guy that would go up the mast.

When I bought my last boat I couldn't find a surveyor in NY that would go up the mast so I did it myself. FYI he gave risk, liability and insurance as reasons why he didn't go up the mast. And to be fair, the surveyor I used to use in Ft Lauderdale did indeed fall, land on the yacht broker and got sued. Them some might consider landing a yacht broker's head to be a good thing.

Doing a rig survey isn't really rocket science. Take a Scotch Brite scrubbing pad or something similar and a magnifying glass. Go to each swage fitting, polish to a bright shine and inspect very closely with the glass for any cracks, splits or imperfections. Look closely at any rust areas. Do the same for all the tangs on the mast, toggles and turnbuckles on the rigging. On the way up and down look at all the wires for rusty areas or damage. If any concern run your hand up each wire to feel for fishhooks. Don't forget to take band-aids to stop the resulting blood or wear some gloves.

Not usually an issue but you should probably check the mast as well. Look for any damage, kinks, bends, major corrosion, etc.

This is one great post ........ I found it most informative and it had the added bonus of making me laugh so hard I nearly fell out of my chair!!
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:21   #18
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

I've had three surveys done in the last four years and in two cases the only surveyor I could find that would go up the mast was over 70 years old.
Think he was 73 when he went up the mast for me earlier this year. Seems to me these current surveyors are just too panty waist.
Not real impressed with brokers either. Bought and sold two boats and a house in the last four years
without a broker and for me things go better without one but then some people have a hard time doing anything on their own and I probably have more time then a lot of people and more of a cheap skate.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:26   #19
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

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Seems to me these current surveyors are just too panty waist.
I've got no issues with going up MY mast, but you couldn't pay me to make a career of climbing masts on unknown rigs... way too many variables...
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:30   #20
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

Of all the boats I looked at I only ended up doing 2 surveys (both by the same guy). But as both of those boats were on the hard with their masts off he did not need to go aloft. But was ready to and since it was not needed and since I did not do sea trials on both occasions he gave me a substantial discount from his regular fee both times.

He did specify that he was not the guy for a thorough engine survey but he said that normally if the engine is original (meaning old) he reflects that in his report and prices the boat accordingly unless the buyer wants to get a separate detailed engine survey.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:37   #21
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

I have used and liked "Nance-Underwood" for rigging and "Complete Engine Services" for Yanmar and Perkins/Westerbeke. in the past.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:42   #22
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

Rig surveys are separate. I would recommend you call Chuck Poindexter of Sound Rigging. He is based in Essex CT, but winters in Fort Lauderdale. They have done excellent work for me in the past on my Swan 40.

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Old 13-04-2016, 10:02   #23
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

I have had several surveys done. The only one that really seemed thorough was also the guy that had no qualms about going up the mast. If a surveyor is not willing to inspect the whole sailboat, I assume he is lazy or a pussy or likely both.


He was also the guy that turned me on to Ascenders for solo mast climbing, and he was old.
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:11   #24
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

I've been sailing/owning/managing boats on the US West coast for over 40-years. My experience is that general marine surveyors DO NOT go up the mast to inspect the rig.

And, my experience is that general marine surveyors are not standing rigging experts and probably would not do any better survey than could I.

Our standing and running rig survey last year cost $180 for a 40' cutter. That survey was done by two riggers who work full time on only sailboat rigging. They spent 90-minutes working as a team to inspect every part of the rig.

Why would you not pay that small amount of money for expert advice regarding a purchase that probably costs 100 times the rig survey cost?
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:23   #25
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think I'd be all that concerned about the condition of the rigging, when buying a used boat. I mean, unless it's a new boat, or the buyer is claiming to have re-rigged with the last few years, I'd assume that the rigging would need to be replaced relatively soon. (And even if the buyer did say he'd replaced the rigging just the year before, did he re-bed the backing plates?)

A rigging inspection might tell me whether I could expect one year out of it, or three, or five, but I wouldn't expect to go more than five years without replacing the rigging, in any boat over ten years old, so while the condition of the rigging might influence the price I'd be willing to offer, it'd not be relevant to the question of whether I would or would not buy the boat.
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Old 13-04-2016, 10:37   #26
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

Mack Sails will do it.
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Old 13-04-2016, 11:10   #27
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

Very important to determine ahead of time what your surveyor will or will not do. Go with recommendations too. There are some surveyors who are just not worth it, they only look at what you can see for yourself. Get a rigging inspection from a rigger, mechanical and electrical inspection. The latter is often overlooked and is a cause of fires. My mechanical inspector would not pass judgement on my watermaker and instead said I needed a service representative or a plumber!! A subsequent electrical inspection turned up all sorts of horrors not even looked at by the surveyor. And a frozen holding tank pump was left for me to discover myself!! Surveyor was a waste of money on a 16 year old Catalina 42 in generally good condition except for those things mentioned.
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Old 13-04-2016, 11:21   #28
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

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Yesterday in Fort Lauderdale I was aboard for survey of a 45ft Leopard. He said surveyors are forbidden by insurance from going up the mast. Has anyone head or seen this?

Urgent as purchase is on hold!

Can anybody recommend a rigging company who CAN go inspect the mast and rigging in Pompano beach, Fl?

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I haven't met a surveyor yet who goes aloft. They tend to specifically exclude rigging and mechanicals from their obligations.

Our survey of our Liberty 458, back in 2013, was a farce. The surveyor copy pastes from a previous survey and failed to correct all the discrepancies including listing our vessel as aft cockpit when its a center cockpit. He also failed to pickup obvious issues.

I conducted my own survey, commisioned an oil analysis and commissioned a rigger to inspect and pack our rig for transport. I maintain a full maintenance history that is far more comprehensive than anything a surveyor has the time to compile. We also lodge our ships history with our insurer.

I have 3 engineering degrees and three trades so am far more qualified than any surveyor I've ever met. Most have no engineering or technical background. Even licensed surveyors are only subjected to something akin to an insurance assessor course.

Make sure you or someone with technical and vessel type skills observes the surveyor.

We only have a survey done if our insurance company demands it. A survey is only an instrument for insurers to assess risk. It is not and should not be considered a thorough assessment of condition of a vessel. No latent defects are considered and most vessels have so little documentation that an assessment is only informational at best.

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Old 13-04-2016, 11:46   #29
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

Add electronics to the list. Only thing I have seen on a survey was that equipment X powered up, they make no claims on whether it works or not.
Surveyor is for the hull, if you want the rig surveyed , you hire a rigger to survey it, if you want the engine surveyed, you hire a Mechanic to render his professional opinion. If you know the rigging is old or not very recently replaced, just expect to replace it, like a bottom job, unless one was just done, expect to have to have one done.

I believe mine will pass survey, but it's being replaced anyway as I can't determine its age.
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Old 13-04-2016, 13:18   #30
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Re: Since when do surveyors NOT go up the mast and NOT inspect the sails and rigging?

I DID ask and now he says we never had the conversation. BS. I know I asked! I made a point to ask. It's important!

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