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Old 18-06-2021, 11:47   #16
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pirate Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Yup.. I concur, get the refund and call it a day.
You were aware of the rudder problem enough to call attention to it, the gooseneck should also have been apparent when you looked her over.. electrics should also have been apparent if you looked properly.
Never known a surveyor to do more than flick a switch and then tick or cross the appropriate box.. works/don't work.
Bite the bullet and move on..
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Old 18-06-2021, 11:54   #17
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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Originally Posted by JArcherM View Post
Yeah, i see what you're saying and that I am unsure.... you can see the rivets from the splice 4 ft up the mast from the deck to the boom. I missed it, wasnt looking for it. And was preoccupied and shouldnt have been. But a surveyor..thats his job. The panel for the mast step and mast is a pullout made for inspection, it would be like removing the engine cover. You put your finger in the hole of the panel and lift. takes about 5 seconds.
Any chance that mast was built from two parts from new which is quite common on larger yachts hence tall masts.

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Old 18-06-2021, 11:58   #18
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Iíve found that most surveyors are unbelievably under qualified.

Most of the surveyors Iíve met have extremely limited education, training, and experience. I know of one local surveyor who is pretty new. 21 year old launch driver. Thatís his only marine experience. He somehow got accredited or certified by one of the surveyor associations. Guy has never turned a wrench on a vessel, and now he is inspecting and advising boat owners on how/what repairs should be done. Guy couldnít fix lunch, and he is advising on structural hull repairs.

Engineering degree? Nope. Worked in a repair facility? Nope. ďIíve surveyed XXX boats.Ē Cool story, bro.

Imagine if your physician told you he didnít go to medical school, but heís seen a lot of patients.

There are a handful of good ones out there. I know one guy who is a mechanical engineer, worked in vessel repair for many years, and surveys as a side gig. Extremely knowledgeable. These guys are the minority, in my experience.

Otherwise? I see them as nothing more than a rubber stamp that the insurance companies need. Until the surveying associations start raising their standards, the profession is going to be chock full of morons trying to make a quick buck.
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Old 18-06-2021, 12:19   #19
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

$1K is not gonna go far, but I bet the contract limits his liabilities to the amount of the survey. You had a written contract right?

If not, take the $1K and move on as you dont have much to base legal action on if no contract.
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Old 18-06-2021, 12:30   #20
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Those waivers often don’t hold up in court. Actually, they rarely hold up.

Take him to small claims.
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Old 18-06-2021, 12:57   #21
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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Any chance that mast was built from two parts from new which is quite common on larger yachts hence tall masts.

Pete

Yes, possible, but after we purchased the boat the word from the bay got around that the mast was taken from another boat that sank but didnt lose the mast. I mean the mast checked out fine and the rig is good, its just stress damage from a dismast that I am dealing with.
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Old 18-06-2021, 12:59   #22
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Take the $1,000.00 and go on with life. I am sure the boiler plate in the survey would take most of the wind out of your sails in small claims court. Don't give up any more stomach lining to this life experience.

There are very few surveyors that give a good and complete 100% proper survey and most customers would not want to pay for it up front anyway. If you want a worst case scenario survey, call in the boat yard service manager for a list of things he believes needs repair or upgrade on the vessel. They know how to make a list/invoice.
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Old 18-06-2021, 13:01   #23
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Sorry to hear about your issues.


I had much the same initial reaction to your OP as many, but then did a 180 when you explained in much more detail. You're sorry you spent 30 hours traveling and didn't spend more time, depending on someone else. I think we get that.


Given your situation and experience, I'd go with boatman's logic. Take the $ and move on, fix it yourself to get it done right.


All the best, good luck.
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Old 18-06-2021, 13:23   #24
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

I’ve never read a survey contract (and I’ve read many) which contains an enforceable limit to liability which is the reason surveyors have E&O insurance. If such an animal actually existed, there would be no market for this type insurance.

The other myth perpetuated here is that litigation wouldn’t be useful. The real point is that litigation isn’t necessary simply because insurance claims are typically a mediation/negotiation and are successful alternatives to litigation.

And a surveyor who fails, for whatever reason, to find issues a prospective purchaser also fails to find isn’t a defense to negligence.

We all need to act responsibly which means we need to hold incompetent surveyors responsible for their (in)action instead of settling for the trivial cost of a survey. Only this will help to mitigate the seemingly constant barrage of bad surveyors to which we are all jeopardized.
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Old 18-06-2021, 13:28   #25
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

I’m very curious about what a marine surveyor is actually liable for. If there had been an accident, injury, etc., because of something he missed, I can see how he might be liable. But I would not have though he was liable for your overpaying based on his valuation. If an surveyor says a boat is worth $500K, and I buy it for that price, and it turns out to be worth only $200K, can I really hold him liable for the difference?

Just an informational question.
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Old 18-06-2021, 13:38   #26
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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All surveyors have E&O insurance which is their way of protecting themselves from incompetence. This doesnít require litigation. Simply find out who his underwriter is and file a claim with them.

Everyone who hires any surveyor should identify which company writes their E&O insurance as a first step.
Sorry, that's just not true ... but ... if he does, thats the way to do it.
Many of these guys just had the $40 for business cards as the sole qualification.

If the OP decides to sue, he should make sure the surveyor has the means
to make it worthwhile. Small claims court may be the best option. Here in Ontario small claims limit is $25k, don't know about OP's jurisdiction.
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Old 18-06-2021, 13:43   #27
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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Iím very curious about what a marine surveyor is actually liable for. If there had been an accident, injury, etc., because of something he missed, I can see how he might be liable. But I would not have though he was liable for your overpaying based on his valuation. If an surveyor says a boat is worth $500K, and I buy it for that price, and it turns out to be worth only $200K, can I really hold him liable for the difference?

Just an informational question.
The surveyor is liable for whatever the judge says he is liable for. Very often those disclaimers do not hold up.
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Old 18-06-2021, 13:48   #28
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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The surveyor is liable for whatever the judge says he is liable for. Very often those disclaimers do not hold up.

IIRC, the OP said he spent 15 hours traveling to see the boat, somewhere down south where it's warm and NOT in North America.



Would that location revise your recommendation?
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Old 18-06-2021, 13:55   #29
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Quote: " I look to the forum because I am not a lawyer."

And neither are we (with a few exceptions who have not weighed in at this point), so why ask us?

Should you go to court as the plaintiff, the onus will be on YOU to prove the surveyor's "incompetence" and/or his FAILURE to do the job he was hired to do. So what WAS that job? "To do a survey" is far too vague as basis for an engagement, let alone for a claim in tort. What you should have had is an ENGAGEMENT LETTER, addressed to the surveyor in question, in which YOU specified in detail what you wanted his opinion on. IF such a letter exits you would have some hope of proving "failure to perform". Else you have none.

As old hands here have said repeatedly: Take your thousand bux back, let the surveyor go in peace, learn your lesson, fix your boat and go sailing :-)!

When you've fixed the boat in the sweat of your brow, and you bank account has been commensurately depleted, and when you have sailed 'er for some few years, you will have learned enuff to issue a properly formulated Engagement Letter. Or to go without a survey since you'll effectively have done your own as preparation for formulating the EL.

There are two kinds of surveys: A) Condition Surveys and B) Insurance Surveys. The former you need to learn to do yourself as you sight boats that are candidates for your ownership. The latter are a formality your insurance AGENT will insist upon so he can honestly tell the UNDERWRITER whose agent he is, that the risk to be covered has been evaluated by a DISINTERESTED third party.

You have my sympathy for the fix you are in, and my best wishes for the future.

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Old 18-06-2021, 13:58   #30
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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IIRC, the OP said he spent 15 hours traveling to see the boat, somewhere down south where it's warm and NOT in North America.

Would that location revise your recommendation?
Sorry, didn't catch that part. Chances of recovering in a banana republic are extremely slim. Sharon and I are flown south once or twice each year by clients who could not find an independent, reputable surveyor in various .... warmer countries. These are for the most part repeat clients or friends thereof that know exactly what they will get for their money.

Sorry for the OP's troubles but it may be that a more rigorous excecise of due diligence with regard to the surveyor may have helped.

Choosing a Marine Surveyor

How to Become a Marine Surveyor ( got $40 ? ).
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