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Old 05-03-2021, 08:03   #1
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Langkawi Surveyors

I've several boats I'd like to go and view in Langkawi if and when Malaysia opens up to tourists.

My gut feel is that most surveyors will have close relationship with the agents and sailing community, so choosing a surveyor would be taking a punt in the first place.

First off, how do I find a list of surveyors? Secondly, how much can surveyors be trusted and lastly, is Langkawi a good place to buy in the first place?

Seems to me that the choice in Langkawi is good in the sense that you often get fully equipped boats eg with windvane, dinghy & motor, solar, good tank volumes etc etc, whereas UK lucky if you get an autopilot.
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Old 05-03-2021, 23:56   #2
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Re: Langkawi Surveyors

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooper1991 View Post
My gut feel is that most surveyors will have close relationship with the agents and sailing community, so choosing a surveyor would be taking a punt in the first place.

First off, how do I find a list of surveyors? Secondly, how much can surveyors be trusted and lastly, is Langkawi a good place to buy in the first place
I'm currently not a million miles from Langkawi. I've not used a surveyor on Langkawi nor have I bought or sold a vessel in Langkawi.

That out of the way ...

0. I think almost all surveyors operating in Langkawi are familiar with the brokers who represent boats in Langkawi.

That does not mean I think they have a 'close relationship' with the brokers, any more than surveyors and brokers have 'close relationships' in the US, Aus, UK, etc.

Surveyors are always aware that they can be the subjects of litigation based on their written surveys. Surveyors are always aware that, even without litigation, their reputations can be damaged or enhanced by their work with clients.

1. I'd suggest starting by searching for surveyors operating in Langkawi, using the internet. I know of no up-to-date list of surveyors.

I am reluctant to name any of the two or three surveyors I know who have worked on boats on Langkawi - I don't know where they currently are or whether they are still working after a year of Covid. They all show up in internet searches.

Be aware that interstate travel is, at the time of writing, not allowed in Malaysia because of Covid-19. Langkawi and the state of Kedah, of which Langkawi is part, have been little infected to date.

Intra-state travel between the counties [daerah] of the state of Kedah has been allowed again since 5 March 2021 (i.e. yesterday as I write).

Pre-Covid, surveyors were known to attend yachts at Langkawi from Langkawi itself, from outside Malaysia (e.g. from Thailand, Singapore, and Australia), and from elsewhere in Malaysia.

Should you continue down the road, I'd suggest you establish a relationship with one or more surveyors who have worked on boats in Langkawi using all the means (voice and date comms) available to you.

2. A surveyor who issued a written survey is liable to be litigated for negligence. That's why surveyors usually hold professional insurance and write their reports the way they do. Short of you developing a personal relationship with a surveyor, that is what underpins 'commercial trust'. The surveyor should be your trusted eyes, ears, and hands.

Whether you (presumably in metropolitan country X) could litigate a surveyor who might be resident in Malaysia temporarily or permanently, is another question. For that, you might want to check to which professional association the surveyor belongs.

Assuming that you live in a metropolitan country, the question is: which is more efficient (in terms of money and time): for you to travel to Langkawi yourself armed with a hammer and probe, and spend a few days working over the boat in question or, to hire a surveyor to do the job for you?

Were Malaysia to open to tourists again, you will find some jolly pleasant places on Langkawi that would be v happy to host you while you inspected a boat and took it for sea trials.

After all, if you were to decide to buy the boat, you would likely travel to Langkawi to take delivery. So it might make sense to see Langkawi and learn what hurdles (and delights) you might face re-commissioning a vessel there, provisioning her, and then charting a course to a destination of your choice.

Of course, you also have alternatives such as finding and paying some one willing to deliver the boat to you on its own hull, or to decommission and ship the boat to you via sea or air.

3. Langkawi is often regarded as a good place to buy precisely because, as you wrote, most all of the cruisers for sale there arrived there on their own bottoms. So they were operational to get to Langkawi.

Of course, whether their electronics still work after exposure to the tropics, whether the electronics and gear are up to date some years after the Previous Owner left some metropolitan port on their way to somewhere via Langkawi, and whether the sojourn in Langkawi has left the boat in tip top condition, are other questions best left to you and your surveyor.

Why do cruisers who have left a metropolitan port and sailed to Langkawi, presumably on their way elsewhere, decide to sell their cruiser in Langkawi?

Circumstances change.

But consider that for a west-about cruiser from, say, Japan, Philippines, or Australia, the next steps after Langkawi (or Phuket) involve crossing the Indian O and rounding Cape Good Hope, or transiting the Suez C into the Med. For many, living in SE Asia is jolly comfortable, until it isn't. And the challenges of the Indian O or the passage to the Suez C are ahead. Not a few choose to sail E rather than continue a west-about circum-nav.

Whatever the circumstance, a smart buyer can find a bargain in Langkawi.
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Old 06-03-2021, 00:01   #3
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Re: Langkawi Surveyors

John Champion, I'm very skeptical when it comes to Surveyors. This guy is good.

http://championmarinesurveyors.com/
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Old 06-03-2021, 02:00   #4
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Re: Langkawi Surveyors

Thank you for taking time to write such a clear and useful reply ALAN MIGHTY. Ultimately I will want to go via Suez and the troublesome winds, but Langkawi sounds like a great place to get started, and get to grips with a new boat for a fairly novice sailor.

Everything you say makes sense and I appreciate while you could name names, I will naturally find them anyway if I research properly.
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:16   #5
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Re: Langkawi Surveyors

There are a lot of cruising boats for sale in Langkawi now. Some on the hardstand, others in the water. Most of the viable ones have someone paid to check on it monthly. The in water ones often support their own reef system.
As Alan said, don't underestimate the damage from the heat and UV on all components. Many of the boats are listed at prices I think are high. I suspect that they are often initially priced to appeal to the Australian market. Yachts are expensive in Aust, so if priced under that market they still seem high to me. That said, the boats are generally on the market for a long time, so the selling prices are probably a lot more of good deal than the asking. With people away from their boats for a year plus due to Covid season, many would take a reasonable offer. Some are looking at the Indian Ocean effort, time and costs to get back to the US or Europe and saying find me a buyer. Others are trading off the usd$35k+ to ship home.
If you find a boat that looks in good shape and is a good match for your needs, it isn't unreasonable to negotiate a deal sight unseeen, pending all the normal contingencies plus pending your personal inspection when Covid season lightens up.
I know at least one Cat and I think the Najad listed in Rebak here were done that way
https://www.syslangkawi.com/
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Old 06-03-2021, 07:41   #6
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Re: Langkawi Surveyors

Thanks. So it seems like Langkawi is a good place to find an offshore boat but uv and wear and tear of weather from lack of use could be expensive.

How is Thailand for offshore boats? Better or worse? Any other places where getting value for money and good inventory is high. I live in Middle East so am nearer Asia than America and Europe.
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