One thing said by many is that it's ok if you have the knowledge.
Well, while my experience is more in powerboats, where engine
condition is more of a factor, I don't trust the same surveyor
for the boat and the engines. The mechanical survey
, engines and generators, is typically done separately.
Now, just talking boat and hull
, without engines. It's partly a matter of knowledge, but also of specific experience. For instance, knowledge of sailboats in general is one thing but what about the specific boat and any issues with the builder
during the time frame it was built? Then there's the matter of equipment
? Do you have what is necessary to check for any moisture inside the hull
or to check for plumbing leaks
or test HVAC
if you have it? Some of you may have the knowledge and equipment
. Most do not.
So, do you have the knowledge that makes you comfortable accepting the risk? (I also suggest a title/documentation service
as not having clear title could be a major risk as could be not being VAT or Duty paid.) I know I wouldn't require a survey on a new paddleboard. Not on a $200 dinghy
. I know I would if purchasing
a 20 year old Feadship for $30 million. Everything in between those two varies by each of our risk tolerances.
We've also mentioned just walking away from it, so the risk just being the price
. Not always the case though. What if as owner you must legally dispose of it? A lot of boats purchased in Key West
, mostly Stock Island, over the last few years for anything from $1 to $1000. One problem. If the seller was able to get you away from the dock
, then all the potential environment
risk became yours. More than one of those cheap
boats didn't make it to their next destination
and environmental cost $50k-$100k. Now, those buying
were judgement proof, a couple were homeless. Again, if it was a dinghy
, I could just let the air out and put it in a dumpster. But if it was a 60' or longer boat, not so easy. I've known those who purchased but then the boat was in no condition to move. Meanwhile the yard or marina fees
started on Day 1. Six months later they still had a useless boat but now owed more money
Every boat is a gamble. Even those bought new, even those surveyed. It's all about how much you're willing to gamble. Personally, I try to minimize my risk.