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Old 29-08-2012, 17:00   #1
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Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

Hello All -

I am in the process of buying a boat (hooray!). It is a mid-80's passport and I won't be comfortable without a survey of the boat, the rigging, and a mechanic to check out the engine.

Any referrals of careful, thorough surveyors (SAMS/NAMS accredited) in the Seattle area would be greatly appreciated for boat, engine and rigging. For better or for worse it has a teak deck (no comments please!) so I would prefer a surveyor familiar with teak decks too.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!
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Old 29-08-2012, 17:06   #2
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

Matt Harris. Out of Bellingham , but often surveys in Seattle. Knows Taiwan built boats very well...
http://www.surveyormarine.com/staff_bio4.htm
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Old 29-08-2012, 22:54   #3
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

I would second Matt. Surveyed my Valiant. I had others survey but was not as impressed.
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Old 29-08-2012, 23:18   #4
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

I heartily recommend Lynn Reister.

SURVEYORS FOR HIRE - Lynne H. Reister

She did the most thorough survey for the buyer of our Lord Nelson 35 that I've ever seen.
We still have a copy of that survey with photos etc.
That survey was made before the advent of digital cameras as well.
I'd give her an A+.
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Old 29-08-2012, 23:23   #5
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiuda View Post
Hello All -

I am in the process of buying a boat (hooray!). It is a mid-80's passport and I won't be comfortable without a survey of the boat, the rigging, and a mechanic to check out the engine.

Any referrals of careful, thorough surveyors (SAMS/NAMS accredited) in the Seattle area would be greatly appreciated for boat, engine and rigging. For better or for worse it has a teak deck (no comments please!) so I would prefer a surveyor familiar with teak decks too.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

Agree with the surveyor recommended. Get a real mechanic to do a seperate mechanical survey, and a real rigger to do a separate rigging survey. Don't rely on a surveyor, no matter how good, for these things. Make sure to specify this on your papaerwork, the sale is pending survey, mechanical survey, rigging survey, and sea trial. The broker will hate you and it will cost you some money up front, but believe me, it's the smart thing to do. Most surveyors only give mechanical systems a cursory overview, a mechanic will get much more in depth, particularly if he is the mechanic who will later be doing the work. Same is true of a rigger, they know if they sign off on it now and then bring you a big bill later it will look bad for them.
For mechanics, and I have known most in the Seattle area, I recommend Mark Hiraiwa of Auxiliary Engine Service, at Shilshole. He is amazing and is a really gung ho get the job done mechanic, I've had him do lots of work and he's fast, affordable, and really good. I started with him when a mystery problem with a 4-108 that had stumped half the mechanics in town was fixed by him in literally under two minutes. "Well HERE'S your problem!" He did my mechanical survey when I purchased my latest boat.

Auxiliary Engine Service
(206) 789-8496
6701 Seaview Ave Nw

For rigging I recommend Kent over at Yachtmasters Northwest, which used to be Sound Rigging. He will do a full rig survey from masthead to step for you at a reasonable rate. Very knowledgeable guy, has been in the business forever.

Rigging - Yachtmasters Northwest, Inc. - Seattle, Washington



Good luck!
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Old 29-08-2012, 23:27   #6
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
I heartily recommend Lynn Reister.

SURVEYORS FOR HIRE - Lynne H. Reister

She did the most thorough survey for the buyer of our Lord Nelson 35 that I've ever seen.
We still have a copy of that survey with photos etc.
That survey was made before the advent of digital cameras as well.
I'd give her an A+.

Isn't Lynne sort of a wooden boat specialist? She is very thorough...
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Old 30-08-2012, 05:58   #7
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

I had Lynn do my first survey- I was not as impressed as you guys were, but the Valiant is not a wooden boat. There really are subspecialities is surveying.
As for rigging, I assumed I would be replacing it (it was 30 years old) What surprised me was the chainplates and the complete deck. Oh well.
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Old 30-08-2012, 10:47   #8
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

I just pulled out her survey to take another look.
I'm still impressed twelve years later.
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Old 30-08-2012, 10:51   #9
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

i'm usually more impressed with the surveyor "at the site" than the paperwork. Yeah, Mark is great for diesel engines. Did work for me years ago when I lived at Shilshole.
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:14   #10
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

Two suggestions:
Alain Vilage and Erik Bentzen are both highly respected Seattle area marine surveyors. Alain surveyed a boat for me last year.

I think the idea of also getting a rig survey and an engine survey, too, makes a lot of sense.

Good luck.
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Old 30-08-2012, 11:36   #11
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

I also second Mark at Auxiliary Engine Service in Shilshol; he did great work for me when he was just starting out in the 80s.

As for the standing rigging - plan on replacing it all if you have ocean service in mind. Consider fiber rigging while you're at it. And then I would have Port Townsend Rigging pull the mast and go over every little attachement, weld, and joint - every little thing - and there are a lot more of them than it appears from the deck! The mast deserves a lot of attention.
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Old 30-08-2012, 12:46   #12
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

Thanks to all for the recommendations! Comments have inspired one more question:

Is it necessary to pull the mast for a thorough rigging inspection?

I thought that they could look at most everything with the mast in place but haven't had a rigging survey before. Getting the boat blocked in the yard for mast removal will significantly up my costs and of course, I have other boat things to spend money on....

Thoughts?
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Old 30-08-2012, 13:25   #13
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

The likeliest unseen problems with your boat are going to be found at deck, the rudder post area, and the mast. Therefore I would have the mast pulled before doing anything else. It is the most critical component of your sail boat, and the boat is not new. And I have to stand by my earlier comment that the standing rigging should be replaced if you intend any ocean service.

You don't have to block the boat in the yard for mast removal - most yards can pluck it with a travel lift, or you could have a crane operator come pull it (like they do in Port Townsend).

Good luck with this important process!
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Old 30-08-2012, 13:57   #14
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Re: Seattle Area Surveyor Referral

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiuda View Post
Thanks to all for the recommendations! Comments have inspired one more question:

Is it necessary to pull the mast for a thorough rigging inspection?

I thought that they could look at most everything with the mast in place but haven't had a rigging survey before. Getting the boat blocked in the yard for mast removal will significantly up my costs and of course, I have other boat things to spend money on....

Thoughts?
No, you don't need to pull the stick for survey. In fact seeing it in place as is will tell the rigger a lot about how it was previously maintained. But by all means, acquire a rigger you intend to stick with and have them do the survey. You will have a conversation about just how in depth you want to go, how much you want to spend, and whether the rigger himself thinks it's appropriate to pull the stick for inspection. IMHE most will suggest doing a survey in place and will go aloft to do it in most cases. This often can't/won't be done in the yard, remember to take that into account. It may also be good to take both rigger and mechanic with you on the sea trial so they can see the equipment under load, I did.
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