Like most business transactions, caveat emptor
. Besides checking NAMS and SAMS and listening to recommendations from others (be cautious or even beware of those from the sellers' broker), you have to do your own due diligence as in any transaction. Call and talk to prospective surveyors, get a feel for what they do by asking a lot of questions, inquire about background, training and credentials, ask for references
(and follow up and check these), and above all, ask if a prospective surveyor has ever done a survey
on the model boat you are buying
. Boats are very different. Finally, ask for a some samples of surveys, especially for one done on the make or model you are buying
. Matters concerning privacy can be blacked out, and you can get an idea whether your survey will be just a listing of equipment
numbers or a learned analysis of strengths and flaws in addition to the equipment
listing. Good surveyors are proud of their work and will gladly share it with you. Do your homework and caveat emptor.