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Old 18-04-2011, 08:11   #1
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Survey Results

We've spent the last few months searching for a good boat and believe we have found it. It is a Cruisers 3650 LOA 4Oft. 13' beam. We just got the survey back and we have some concerns around exaust manifolds and the plumbing system which was not water tested. The surveyor rated the boat at above average and we compared this particular boat to 15 others of the exact same model and it seems to be the best deal for this particular boat in its age range 1997 for the price. But we have some concerns that maybe we can get feedback from experienced boaters/liveaboards.

1. A number of exterior nav lights aren't working. Could this indicate an underlying electrical issue?

2. Instrument panel lighting was unable to be verified as working due to sunlight? Couldn't the surveyor shade the panel to reveal whether the lights worked or not? Again could this indicate an underlying elecrical issue?

3. Showers and sinks were not water tested though the surveyor said the sinks were "operable" and only mentioned that showers were "stand up" and that the pumps were "located in sump tank(s) with bilge pump, and float switch was not tested." Could the omission of a water test on showers be indicative of underlying plumbing issues?

4. The vacu flush system works very well, though a pervasive odor existed in the v berth head...which the surveyor reported could be corrected by proper sanitation of the water systems. does this mean there is a sanitation issue or that the boat has been left sitting with waste water int he system?

5. Another concern was that the WOT rating from the mfg is 4,000 - 4,400 rpm and yet the surveyor could only get a WOT max of 3,800 rpm. I correlate this to the surveyors observation of "corrosion and leakage around the exaust manifolds." Is it possible the exaust manifolds need to be replace or repaired and is this very costly?

6. Could it be that the engine compression is down due to underlying issues with head gaskets etc? (the surveyor noted no leakage of either fluids or exhaust during WOT testing around the engines.)

The surveyors overal rating for this boat was labled as "Above average". Our personal experience aboard this boat was wonderful and we felt at home, unlike on any of the others we had been on. And the price for this Cruiser is the best price we've found for this particular model. We have to make a decision to buy this week or look elswhere and we are really excited about the liveaboard conept...so your voice of objective thinking could really help us to think outside the box of our subjectivity and make a decision that won't be flavoured with "Hindsight is 20/20 issues"

We want our first boating experience to be more positive than anything else and yet we aren't afraid of a little hard work and getting our hands dirty while having fun too. Looking forward to hearing from the voices of wise....much appreiated!
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Old 18-04-2011, 08:37   #2
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Re: THE SURVEY SAYS...

1 - Nav lights - likely more indicative that the boat has been sitting for a while and either some bulbs have burned out or simply corroded.
2 - Instrument panel lighting - indicative of a lazy surveyor but that terminology may be redundant
3 - Heads not tested - Lazy surveyor
4 - Odour in head - I'd be more concerned that the odour is mould from fresh water infiltration so make sure that isn't the problem
5 - RPM less than rated - corroded manifolds won't cause this. Most likely cause is improper prop or possibly a barnacle fouled prop
6 - Engine compression concerns - you haven't given any evidence that would lead me to suspect low compression.

<< Lecture mode on >>
If you are depending on any survey to identify underlying problems with the boat or to ultimately determine which boat you purchase you are setting yourself up for disaster. Make sure that you personally are comfortable with the condition and quality of the vessel BEFORE engaging the surveyor and regard his report as an additional information point of unknown quality.
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Old 18-04-2011, 08:40   #3
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Re: THE SURVEY SAYS...

Possible problems:

Wiring could be bad or bulbs. In order to ascertain the problem the fixtures need to be taken apart and the bulbs tested for continutiy and that there is power to the fixture.

As for the head if the hoses haven't been replaced in the sanitation system it is time. do a search for sanitation hose replacement and you'll see what you are up against.

As for the engine I would have a separate engine survey done. This is the most expensive problem that you could run up against. If the bottom is dirty that could be a reason why the engine won't run to proper RPM. Will it run at proper RPM in neutral?

As for shower just turn it on and run it and see if it works.

The exhaust manifold in many engines is a maintenance item. Can't determine cost w/o knowing engine. Also 4000 RPM is faster then most diesel engines I know of but I am not an expert.
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Old 18-04-2011, 09:06   #4
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Re: THE SURVEY SAYS...

<lecture mode on>
With the best will in the world, if these things don't mean anything to you, I'd consider spending some more time getting to know boats before committing to buying one, but I am super over-cautious in these matters.
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Old 18-04-2011, 09:43   #5
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Re: Survey Results

1. Most likely burned out bulbs or terminals need cleaning; no big deal.
2. Very low powered bulbs may be next to impossible to read in daylight if very sunny. Surveyors' job is to observe and report.
3. If the sinks were reported as operable, the surveyor operated them. Sealed type shower sumps (the ones with the clear plastic lids) have no test provision; they would have to be filled to the point where the sump turns on. I don't think most surveyors would do this. this is a non critical maintenance item. No big deal.
4. Fourteen year old hoses may have an ordor, a good cleaning might work or new hoses might be called for. Nothing unusual here, and no big deal.
5. this should be investigated, could be anything from wrong prop size or pitch to fuel issues. Overpropping would be my guess.
6. Gassers or diesels? Get an engine survey (from a competent mechanic). Not engough info here to even hazard a guess. Get the oil sampled and tested too.
7. Remember it's a BOAT which is commonly described here as 'break out another thou$and".
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Old 18-04-2011, 09:45   #6
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Re: Survey Results

Sounds like a **** surveyor, and if I was paying for the survey and the boat they could bloody well replace the bulbs and charge the batteries to show me the systems functioned.

That survey sounds like bull.

The problems might be nothing, but they could be a BIG set of somethings...
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Old 18-04-2011, 10:12   #7
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If it's a simple matter of over-propping, the owner would know, wouldn't he?

Given what you're hearing in item #5, if you want to proceed with this boat you may want to ask for a mechanical survey. Paying for a mechanic to go over those engines for a few hours would seem well worth it.
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:44   #8
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Re: Survey Results

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will I Am View Post
We've spent the last few months searching for a good boat and believe we have found it. It is a Cruisers 3650 LOA 4Oft. 13' beam. We just got the survey back and we have some concerns around exaust manifolds and the plumbing system which was not water tested. The surveyor rated the boat at above average and we compared this particular boat to 15 others of the exact same model and it seems to be the best deal for this particular boat in its age range 1997 for the price. But we have some concerns that maybe we can get feedback from experienced boaters/liveaboards.

1. A number of exterior nav lights aren't working. Could this indicate an underlying electrical issue?

Should replace all wiring on a boat about every ten years...... so probably several electrical gremlins will chase you around ..... all pretty normal stuff and nothing to freak out about, however nav lights especially as they are outside tend to corrode

2. Instrument panel lighting was unable to be verified as working due to sunlight? Couldn't the surveyor shade the panel to reveal whether the lights worked or not? Again could this indicate an underlying elecrical issue?

Not a biggie! Even if you had to redo all the wiring for the instrument panel lights and change all the bulbs...... easy job.

3. Showers and sinks were not water tested though the surveyor said the sinks were "operable" and only mentioned that showers were "stand up" and that the pumps were "located in sump tank(s) with bilge pump, and float switch was not tested." Could the omission of a water test on showers be indicative of underlying plumbing issues?

Not a biggie.. easy to work out generally and not a huge cost.... pumps are not cheap....

4. The vacu flush system works very well, though a pervasive odor existed in the v berth head...which the surveyor reported could be corrected by proper sanitation of the water systems. does this mean there is a sanitation issue or that the boat has been left sitting with waste water int he system?

Vinegar... lots of it....

5. Another concern was that the WOT rating from the mfg is 4,000 - 4,400 rpm and yet the surveyor could only get a WOT max of 3,800 rpm. I correlate this to the surveyors observation of "corrosion and leakage around the exaust manifolds." Is it possible the exaust manifolds need to be replace or repaired and is this very costly?

Possibly... but go look at the prop as well... dirty or fouled prop can change rps easily... also prop pitch/ size can have an effect. Exhaust manifold are probably not cheap .... but not difficult to replace.

6. Could it be that the engine compression is down due to underlying issues with head gaskets etc? (the surveyor noted no leakage of either fluids or exhaust during WOT testing around the engines.) Possibly look at the oil cap... determine how far the engines have gone and get someone that knows engines to look at them... usually a good mechanic will be able to tell you aot about the engines within and hour... send the oil away to get it annalized if you really want to know whats sup with the engine.

The surveyors overal rating for this boat was labled as "Above average". Our personal experience aboard this boat was wonderful and we felt at home, unlike on any of the others we had been on. And the price for this Cruiser is the best price we've found for this particular model. We have to make a decision to buy this week or look elswhere and we are really excited about the liveaboard conept...so your voice of objective thinking could really help us to think outside the box of our subjectivity and make a decision that won't be flavoured with "Hindsight is 20/20 issues"

We want our first boating experience to be more positive than anything else and yet we aren't afraid of a little hard work and getting our hands dirty while having fun too. Looking forward to hearing from the voices of wise....much appreiated!
Just plan on it taking twice as long as it should and costing three times as much as you expect!!! Good luck!
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Old 18-04-2011, 12:17   #9
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Re: Survey Results

Will, assuming the engines a V8 petrols, then the exhausts will be due a replacement if they are original and 14 years old. You will need the exhausts and risers plus the exhaust hoses etc. You should be able to google the US prices as they or OEM replacements are a common item.

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Old 18-04-2011, 12:36   #10
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Re: Survey Results

You know what? That is a lot of boat for your first boat. Imagine you have never done any gardening, and you are considering buying a 10 acre farm. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but you should expect to pay some heavy tuition at the school of hard knocks.

None of the electric stuff is an issue. My 40 year old wiring is still fine, and suggestions about re-wiring after 10 years is ridiculous. The plumbing issues are minor, and new pumps can be installed in less than 1 hr for $100 in materials. The smells are easily dealt with once you know the source.

Slightly under RPMs is most likely dirty props or over pitched, as previous posts suggest.

Exhaust manifolds are an issue on most marine gas engines. The should at the very least be removed and boiled out.
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Old 18-04-2011, 14:32   #11
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Lightbulb The surveyor says again...

Wow...awesome feedback! Thanks a bunch and keep it coming!
I've just gone over the Surveyors report and with the help of google, friends I know who are avid boaters and all of you, I've compiled a list of considerations and likely expenses. I knowthat as first time buyers (or anytime buyers) that "caveat emptor" never strays from the back of my mind.

It looks like up to an additional 2g's will be needed to bring the boat fully up to our highest expectations for its age and current condition. We did go down to Norfolk and experienced the boat first hand in it and on the water. We did not have time to see the hull for ourselves out of water, and the pictures the surveyor took shows small amounts of growth on the props and trim tabs. It may also just be the age of the engines...however, the idea of a mechanical inspection may be just the ticket to complete peace of mind for us, before final sale.


I'm surprised at how much fun getting into boating is...at least from the reasearch point for now. We've both always loved the water and have both got small boat experience...becoming liveaboards will be a huge leap beyond what we've know to this point...we will do our best to make it a really good experience.

As I was compiling the list of questions I too realized that the nave lights are most likely a bulb replacement issue...but prefer to be cautious in unfamiliar waters. NJ, my partner...is highly intuitive and like me felt comfortable with both the salesman and the surveyor. Laziness is sometimes the relaxed behaviour that comes from years of experience or a bad hangover. Below is the list of question I've compiled....while also mindful of the advice given here and elswhere....


1. A number of exterior navigation lights aren't working. Could this indicate an underlying electrical issue?

2. Instrument panel lighting was unable to be verified as working due to sunlight? Couldn't the surveyor shade the panel to reveal wheter the lights worked or not? Again could this indicate an underlying electrical issue?


3. Showers and sinks were not water tested though the surveyor said the sinks were "operable" and only mentioned that showers were "stand up" and that the pumps were "located in sump tank(s) with bilge pump, and float switch was not tested." Could the omission of a water test on showers be indicative of underlying plumbing issues?


3a. Can the showers be tested before final sale?


4. The vacu-flush system works very well, though a pervasive odor existed in the v berth head...which the surveyor reported could be corrected by proper sanitation of the water systems. does this mean there is a sanitation issue or that the boat has been left sitting with waste water int he system?


5. Another concern was that the WOT rating from the mfg is 4,000 - 4,400 rpm and yet the surveyor could only get a WOT max of 3,800 rpm. I correlate this to the surveyor’s observation of "corrosion and leakage around the exhaust manifolds." Is it possible the exhaust manifolds need to be replaced or repaired and is this very costly?


5a. Have the exhaust manifolds and risers ever been replaced or checked?



5b. Can kits be purchased to replace the risers and manifold if they need more than gasket replacement?


6. Could it be that the engine compression is down due to underlying issues with head gaskets etc? (the surveyor noted no leakage of either fluids or exhaust during WOT testing.)

The surveyors overall rating for this boat was labelled as "Above average".

7. If a component was not identified in the report, He states that it was not inspected...how do we know what is missing?


8. Can a maintenance history be provided?


9. Is it necessary to have collared anodes on the propeller shafts?


10. What is the size of the Seacock ball valves?


11. Can all the 12 volt outlets be tested?


12. Can Steve check the Panel lights?


13. Can AC and heating drip trays be checked?



14, Can the water tank be filled and checked for leaks?


15. Was the holding tank already pumped out and can the pump be tested and verified as working?

16. What is the model number of the shower sump collection basins Rule automatic bilge pump? Can this be verified and working, as it was not tested by the surveyor.


17. Are the nav lights that are out an issue with burnt out bulbs?


18. With the exclusion of the white all-round and the All-round anchor light are all other nave lights functional?


19. Is there a record of when the fire systems were last checked and serviced?


20. Has the fire suppression agent in the Halon 1301 fire system been replaced with a non cfc substitute?


21. What is the maximum weight (lbs) doesthe Halon system contain?


22. Is there a built-in radar reflector or do we need to purchase it in Canada?


23. How much does a mechanical survey cost in Norfolk?

The verbosity here is the caution deployed by the inexperienced.....
Add questions as you see fit...thank you forum friends for the quick replies!!
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Old 18-04-2011, 14:36   #12
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Re: Survey Results

p.s. the starboard engine oil pressure was was steady at all three speed levels Slow, cruise and wot. The port engine oil pressure was lower at slow and cruise by 5 during slow, four during cruise but ran equal pressure with starboard at wot.
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Old 18-04-2011, 16:09   #13
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Re: Survey Results

I appreciate that it can be frustrating trying to figure out your unknowns - IMO you are doing a decent fist of it

I was on post 6 or 7 before I realised you were probably talking motorboat and not sail - and Mr Google then revealed a (very nice looking) flybridge cruiser .

IMO the value of the boat is principally in the engines, including the gearboxes (if they go pop the boat will essentially be worthless). On the boat itself, at 15 years old you have to expect that some things won't work, some you / the surveyor will spot before buying - and some you won't. If you want the straight from the factory experiance and a guarantee to go with it - you will need to buy a new one. A s/h boat is much like a s/h car.

If you want to frighten yourself witless - try and get some ball park figures on replacement Engines and gearboxes and then you will get some insight into the asking price vs new cost and also find out how the engines would come out.....some don't without major surgery

The good news is that Marine engines don't tend to wear out - the bad news is that they can rot away from the inside, from lack of use / lack of TLC.

In your shoes I would firstly want from the Vendor details of all engine work (and other maintanence performed) - over entire period of ownership would be nice - or 5 years whichever is longer In practice likely that will be a collection of bills and some vague recollections from the Vendor - which together you may have to combine into a coherent record, albeit with large gaps.

I would treat any claims to self servicing with scepticism, not to say that aren't plenty of folk around who can do as good a job as a professional (if not better), but if that is the case the Engines will likely look well kept and the Vendor will not only be able to talk you through the engines and the work done, will also highly likely enjoy the chance to bore you rigid on the subject ...........If the Vendor doesn't sound like he could identify a dipstick even if he sat on it then I would treat claims of "all annual servicing done myself" with scepticism - if not fear (some folks should simply not be let loose with spanners.............). I would also be fearful of ownership less than a few years.

I would then get a qualified marine engineer to give the engines and installation a thorough going over and a written report, including recomendations if you bought (some things are not "wrong" or broken - but will fit under the category of "if she was mine, I would XXX"). and whilst he is at it, a service / maintanence schedule (with an indication of costs) sounds like it would be useful to you. Also no harm in getting his ideas (in writing) on what is coming up for replacement / would be prudent to do - if not already done (and bills to prove).

If you can talk through your "coherent story" with the Marine Engineer in advance then gives him a heads up and he can advise how that story fits into the reality. If he says that the cobwebs and rust don't match the story or that he can see some major components have been removed and replaced recently (and which the Vendor somehow forgot to mention ) then I would run away.......

IMO worth paying top dollar on getting the engines a thorough going over (and a seatrial), but nonetheless at the end of the day you are still taking a punt on the engines - could get another 5 or even 10 years......or days

FWIW me father has a similar twin engined motorboat (albeit a bit smaller) - probably around 12 years old when he bought, with twin Mercedes diesels. After a couple of years what started as an engine tidy up (Father abides dust in the bilges let alone the odd weap of water, let alone oil) turned into a full engines out rebuild - and then the Engines (and gearboxes) were scrapped (basically they / the ancillaries had rotted away - so that not much more to replace by a pair of new Volvos (and new gearboxes)...........albeit none of the engines had turbos and were less power than yours (I think around 60hp each)..........I mention that because no matter how careful you are when inspecting an engine, the only certain way is to take them apart on a workbench.

The "new" Volvo engines are now about 12 years themselves. No dust



Finally, just to mention a mate of mine just sold a small motorboat with an inboard deisel 14Ohp (turbo). Both boat and engine just turned 30. Mate had the boat around 5 years, but in the last few stopped using it - from lack of interest (in boats ) and simply because he got bored of the engine always seeming to need something doing (one of the downsides to using a professional is they can always find something that needs / should be / could be done on a 30 yo engine)...and with bills always in the medium hundreds.........with the sneaky feeling in the back of his mind that one day the bills would be in the 1000's - before discovering would be better off with a new engine / installation (£££) . - BTW wasn't the cash itself that scared him off, the new "toy" is likely an aeroplane (or a Helicopter ) - simply the drip drip of £££'s and aggro to get the work done.

One day those engines / gearboxes will go pop - in your shoes I would certainly hope for the best but would also plan (including financially) for the worst. Or buy a new one
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Old 18-04-2011, 16:44   #14
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Re: Survey Results

Did I miss it or is engine hours mentioned anywhere?
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Old 18-04-2011, 17:24   #15
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Re: Survey Results

Maybe we're a little over zealous?...but this is the first time we started falling for a boat...and not just any boat
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