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Old 15-03-2012, 08:14   #31
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

I certainly agree that reading up on Surveys is a good idea.

But shorthand is that everything needs looking at and assessing.....once purchased you will be looking at everything anyway, whether initially or over time as events dictate. IMO better to look (and understand) when you still have the cheapest option available..........running away! After purchase that option is not so cheap - even if still the best option.
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Old 15-03-2012, 08:52   #32
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

Fascinating discussion.

Reading through this thread it appears that a few of the people recommending against getting a survey have never really employed a professional surveyor. (I say this because a surveyor does far more than just present a list of what's wrong with the boat.) So what we've essentially got here are people who have used surveyors saying, "Yeah, it's worthwhile" and people who haven't ever had a survey done saying, "Nah, you can do it yourself."

A few things a surveyor does that haven't been mentioned:
1. Makes an appraisal of the boat's value. Just because a boat is cheap doesn't mean it's worth what you're paying for it. Additionally, a surveyor can estimate not only how much it will cost to get the boat up to seaworthy condition, but also how much it will be worth at that point. A lot of people buy boats that require an additional $20,000 to get them functional and then are still only worth half that much on the market. A good surveyor can keep you from making this mistake.
2. A survey creates a list of what items are part of the sale. If that trawler lamp was surveyed as part of the boat, and it is gone when you take possession, the survey is a legal document stating that the lamp was part of the appraised value upon which the sale was based. I know a guy who bought a boat thinking he was getting a dozen sails, but when he took delivery there were only two sails aboard. Should have had a survey! That extra $500 would have netted him ten additional sails.
3. A surveyor can tell you what's missing from the boat that ought to be there. An amateur conducting a self-survey may be able to determine that the automatic bilge pump is not functioning, but will he even notice that there's no manual bilge pump to back it up? Will the amateur see that critical battery fuses are missing because the original owner skipped them when he commissioned the boat? A good surveyor will.
4. A good surveyor will know the best places to get specific work done. My surveyor is one of the most connected people on the waterfront. More than anyone, she knows whether a given shop gets its work done right, and who tends to stand behind their work. She also has a good sense, at any given moment, of who is looking for work and who is overextended.
5. A surveyor can probably tell you where the best buys are in the local market. Were I looking for a used boat at any given point, I'd much sooner call my surveyor than a broker, at least as a starting point. Of course, surveyors probably don't know as much about the bottom end of the market, because people purchasing on the bottom end tend not to employ surveyors. Guess where people are most likely to be throwing money away.
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:04   #33
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

For anyone that hasn't seen a professional survey, you can take a look at one here:
The prepurchase*survey Sundowner sails again

Sorry for some of the poor formatting. But you'll get the idea. Bash is right, it includes a LOT of extra info. I have had Sundowner for a couple of years now but still find myself going back to the survey from time to time to look up things.
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:28   #34
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Re: Low cost boat worth a survey?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Get the survey.
+1.

Keep in mind that a "cheap" boat is not necessarily a good buy -- unless you can bring it back up to par at wholesale rates you are likely to spend more money fixing it up than you would to buy one in average condition.

A survey, even on a relatively inexpensive boat, is money will spent -- it can help you avoid issues that may cost more to fix than the value of the boat at this price level.
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:32   #35
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

Ok, I'll concede.........and I keep forgetting that a huge portion of the population has not had as much exposure to boats as I have. I worked for a few years as a marine mechanic/installer. I am currently employed as a commercial surveyor (no plastic only steel, and not pretty). The survey will in fact give you a document to work from , and is a great negotiating tool.
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:39   #36
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

My boat was in that price range, but smaller at 22'. I decided to skip a professional survey. I'm not that mechanically inclined, but I did spend some time inspecting it.

I just couldn't justify the price vs. the cost of the boat vs. I could easily afford it and pay cash. A year after the purchase the forward gear in the outboard went....don't think the survey would have found that. I may have been lucky, but I had no surprises and have had the boat for over 15 years. She was exactly what I thought she was.
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:52   #37
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Fascinating discussion.

Reading through this thread it appears that a few of the people recommending against getting a survey have never really employed a professional surveyor. (I say this because a surveyor does far more than just present a list of what's wrong with the boat.) So what we've essentially got here are people who have used surveyors saying, "Yeah, it's worthwhile" and people who haven't ever had a survey done saying, "Nah, you can do it yourself."
You make a lot of assumptions / haven't quite understood what people have been saying. Might be worth re-reading the thread....or have your Surveyor read it to you?

Quote:
A few things a surveyor does that haven't been mentioned:

1. Makes an appraisal of the boat's value. Just because a boat is cheap doesn't mean it's worth what you're paying for it. Additionally, a surveyor can estimate not only how much it will cost to get the boat up to seaworthy condition, but also how much it will be worth at that point. A lot of people buy boats that require an additional $20,000 to get them functional and then are still only worth half that much on the market. A good surveyor can keep you from making this mistake.

If someone relies on another person to tell them the price of a boat they deserve all they get / don't get.....whether that be $5k of "needs some TLC" or $500k of a salesman's wet dream.

2. A survey creates a list of what items are part of the sale. If that trawler lamp was surveyed as part of the boat, and it is gone when you take possession, the survey is a legal document stating that the lamp was part of the appraised value upon which the sale was based. I know a guy who bought a boat thinking he was getting a dozen sails, but when he took delivery there were only two sails aboard. Should have had a survey! That extra $500 would have netted him ten additional sails.

ROTFLMAO If someone thinks an item being mentioned simply in a survey means they later automatically get to own it is seriously deluded.

3. A surveyor can tell you what's missing from the boat that ought to be there. An amateur conducting a self-survey may be able to determine that the automatic bilge pump is not functioning, but will he even notice that there's no manual bilge pump to back it up? Will the amateur see that critical battery fuses are missing because the original owner skipped them when he commissioned the boat? A good surveyor will.

A boat buyer willing to use at least half a brain will. Others may require a different approach.

4. A good surveyor will know the best places to get specific work done. My surveyor is one of the most connected people on the waterfront. More than anyone, she knows whether a given shop gets its work done right, and who tends to stand behind their work. She also has a good sense, at any given moment, of who is looking for work and who is overextended.

That's nice . In a small locale everyone tends to know everyone else's business . Especially those who like a good gossip - and IME that ain't a gender related thing!

5. A surveyor can probably tell you where the best buys are in the local market. Were I looking for a used boat at any given point, I'd much sooner call my surveyor than a broker, at least as a starting point. Of course, surveyors probably don't know as much about the bottom end of the market, because people purchasing on the bottom end tend not to employ surveyors. Guess where people are most likely to be throwing money away.

Yeah "probably". or steer you towards something appropriate.......for him / her. I appreciate that is all useful for some people, but my sense is that OP is not a halfwit. Obviously I may be wrong on that , but I am sure some of the posters in (and readers of) this thread are not. probably.
At the end of the day, one must do whatever one is comfortable with. Whether that be hunting down and skinning own lunch - or waiting for Nanny to spoon feed ya .

IMO the best thing about a Surveyor is them having PII cover. Always good to be able to sue someone with money, even if it ain't there own money. In this case that would (IMO) be practically worthless, as any "Good" Surveyor will basically say (and be correct in saying) that the boat in OP's price and size range is basically fooked, but probably has a few years left in her. Probably.........and with a list of things as long as yer arm that could / should / might be spent $$$ on her to extend the boat's useable life. But if a buyer can't spot all that beforehand himself probably won't fully understand the Survey report anyway. Remember that we are talking around 10% of the total purchase cost for a condition Survey (insurance survey is cheaper) - not even the idiots in the Cats4idjuts.com forum are that stupid. Well, not all of them. probably .
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Old 15-03-2012, 09:54   #38
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

I think everyone has good points on this thread and I like the fact that no one is calling anyone else wrong. While I think a survey by a professional is good, I think it depends on a few factors. I have used a surveyor twice. Once for insurance reasons and a pre-purchase survey. However, boating is my hobby of almost 40 years. I've built boats from the ground up and restored a few derelicts. So when I'm buying a project, no...I don't need a survey.
That being said the OP is buying a live-aboard on the cheap. I am assuming he has little experience with boats. So I like the idea of doing the research first on forums. If there is any doubt to the long term integrity of the boat...walk away.
Maybe the OP could tell us a little about the boat and we, as more experienced might be able to guide them in the right direction.
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:02   #39
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

Quote:
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.

basically fooked, b.
Wow, DOJ, ten emoticons in one post. Even for the class clown, this seems to be a new record.
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Old 15-03-2012, 10:40   #40
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

Upon reflection, my last post didn't really need saying.

Oh well, too late to change now .

But, hey, it's the internet - could have been worse
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Old 15-03-2012, 11:59   #41
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

I will say, usually a surveyor comes up with one thing that I forgot! It's a great double check, and I highly recommend it for a major purchase.
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Old 15-03-2012, 12:00   #42
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

Strangely enough, I have gotten two quotes for liability-only insurance in the last 24 hours from companies that did not require a survey. One was Progressive (online quote, but I confirmed by phone) and the other was some company whose name I can't remember from my local independent agent. That second quote was coverage under a homeowner's policy (automatic liability coverage for a sailboat with engine under 50 h.p.)

For a low-cost boat, I don't see any problem with surveying it yourself. I've done it, and I ended up having no unpleasant surprises. The books recommended above are good resources.

For a more expensive boat, or one that requires financing or hull insurance, a survey is a necessary- and probably a good- thing.
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Old 15-03-2012, 12:01   #43
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Re: Low cost boat worth a survey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
...
Even if someone was going to GIVE YOU A BOAT FOR FREE, it would be smart to survey it. ...
Do it right.
+1

A very wise friend of mine once told me "Don't accept more "free" stuff than you can afford".
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Old 15-03-2012, 17:45   #44
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I'd like to clarify my position in light of Bash's response and I won't use ten smileys - LOL

- If you are buying an expensive (to you) boat. Get a surveyor
- If you are not mechanically inclined get a surveyor
- Do not get tempted to only do an in water survey. It must get on the hard
- Do not get tempted to do an on the hard survey only. It must have a sea trial. Exception is if you know its a project and wont float...
- Use a decent checklist and don't skip steps. Take notes on what you see and what you find. I ended up with a nice worklist of need to dos right away.

There was a distinct advantage when I surveyed my boat over a surveyor. I spent one full day on the hard and extended the sea trial to two days. The boat was on the hard first and I actually had a pretty good idea of the boat before we sea trialed.

I motored the boat hard for 4 hours. To me running the engine hard was confidence building.

The seller was agreeable to a second day of sea trial and while he came day one he allowed us to bring family and get alone time on the boat on day two. We sailed for about 4 hours. This really helped seal the deal with the family.

Finally, I missed something big. A cracked chain plate fitting. It failed under a lot of stress about 4 months later and we almost lost the rig. I then replaced all the chain plates. The point being don't shortcut. I didn't go up the mast. I recommend a self surveyor do so even though most surveyors don't and won't.

For all who have sent PM asking for my checklist, hang tight. It's on the pc and I am remote on the ipad. Should get it today...
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Old 15-03-2012, 18:12   #45
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Re: Low Cost Boat Worth a Survey ?

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Originally Posted by JDRichlen View Post
So I will start seriously looking at boats in may - sept. Im planning to be living aboard by october.

JD I had one other thought, you are new to sailing. A sailboat is not like a power boat, sailors are dependent on the weather window they need for the most expedient and safe passage. So too, purchasing is not something you can put a definite time line too because of your limitation of funds, the need to spend carefully and wisely and your limited knowledge. Remember you are not talking about purchasing a day sailor, you are talking about living aboard, so please do not let yourself get caught up in a time line, bad idea for a sailor. You can find your boat but it will take careful and thoughtful planning.

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