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Old 18-06-2021, 14:06   #31
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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Originally Posted by JArcherM View Post
... I have a background in the marine trades and know approx what these things will cost....

And you did not notice these things? At least a few are NOT subtle and were things you would have been looking at both on the hard and during sea trials.


Confused.


I'm an experienced sailor and engineer, and I look at the survey as a backup to the things I'm going to look at.


But yeah, he should have E&O insurance. I do refinery and tank inspections and know the drill. He should not have missed that stuff.
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Old 18-06-2021, 14:10   #32
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
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?
If "down south" is anywhere in Central America, it is certainly relevant and renders the whole fantasy of legal recourse and/or E&O insurance moot. Ive lived/cruised all over Central America for almost 20 years. In all countries the legal system is some degree of corrupt/inefficient. If the dispute is anywhere in Central America, definately take whatever is offered and move on...except maybe in Guatemala, where there are very effective extra-judicial ways to resolve conflicts, but you gotta be willing to go down that path.

...from Rio Dulce, Guatemala
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Old 18-06-2021, 14:11   #33
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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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 ? ).
Good decision on the part of your clients. I often recommend to boat buyers to bring in a surveyor from another venue.
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Old 18-06-2021, 14:39   #34
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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I’ve found that most surveyors are unbelievably under qualified.

Most of the surveyors I’ve met have extremely limited education, training, and experience. I know of one local surveyor who is pretty new. 21 year old launch driver. That’s 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 couldn’t fix lunch, and he is advising on structural hull repairs.

Engineering degree? Nope. Worked in a repair facility? Nope. “I’ve surveyed XXX boats.” Cool story, bro.

Imagine if your physician told you he didn’t go to medical school, but he’s 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.
Which is why I don't buy it that the OP contracted for a survey to be done. He paid for a $1000 hand hold, that's it. Just because there are pretender surveyors out there doesn't mean it's all invisible to the person hiring the job done. Boating is just like everything else: you want cheap, you can buy cheap.
My experience is that there are very qualified and competent people out there. The last work I had done was by a trained and credentialed Marine Architect and Yacht Designer who totally knows his business. People like that don't get out of bed for $1000. But what you get is real expertise that is worth a professional fee.
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Old 18-06-2021, 14:42   #35
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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How much is a "ton"? Is the "ton" a bid to repair from a qualified shop or a guesstimate over sundowners?
The problem with lawsuits is even if you win how do you colllect. Unless the surveyor has insurance or assets you can seize its hard to collect any money. Find out what you can about ability to recover before you waste money on an attorney.
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Old 18-06-2021, 14:42   #36
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Yeah if you’re in a foreign country, take the $ and walk, lick your wounds.

As a rebuttal to a post above, you aren’t suing because of a value/price mismatch, you’re suing because the surveyor was hired to perform a service, and didn’t perform it to an industry acceptable standard. In this case, the injury is financial—you now have to spend lots of money to make the vessel safe and seaworthy.

Any professional is held to a standard. In the US, in this case, it’s equivalent to “would an average , reasonable, and prudent professional in this profession have found this damage?”

It’s no different than paying a guy to pave your driveway. If he does the work, and it is defective and looks like a bunch of drunk third graders did it, you have a case—and your damages aren’t limited to the cost of the job.

We need to stop letting these fly by night surveyors off easy. As long as they can pencil whip surveys and only have to refund their fee when their shortcomings are exposed, they will continue to do so, because it’s immensely profitable over the long haul. Hold their feet to the fire and maybe they’ll be more careful, selective, and more likely to say ‘I’m not sure, this is a little beyond my skill set.”
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Old 18-06-2021, 14:49   #37
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

I think you should be prepared to answer the question.
When did you become aware the Surveyor was drunk?
When you met him?
After you gave him $1000?
Or when?
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Old 18-06-2021, 14:59   #38
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

This is a huge bummer. If the guy was drunk, it was because he was sitting in the owner's office drinking Mai Tais, celebrating. He surveyed the boat twice and missed the spliced mast both times? This is a snake bite and smells of collusion. I'm currently in a similar situation with a boat in Trinidad I can't even get to. It's a boat I'd love to have but there's no way in hell I'll be hiring a remote surveyor and trusting him to give me the honest scoop on the real condition of the boat. So until I can get there and be present for the survey and sea trial, my money is staying in my pocket. In your case, it sounds like the PO paid the guy enough for a clean bill of health to make your $1.000 seem trivial. If this was a hurricane boat he picked up cheap and did some fast repairs on he's already made a killing off you. I think I'd hold off on any settlement and contact the surveyor's underwriter once you have a firm assessment of the costs involved. Karma can be a beautiful thing sometimes. If there was a broker involved this could become a real mares nest for all of them.
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Old 18-06-2021, 15:00   #39
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

Is the guy even a licensed surveyor?
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Old 18-06-2021, 15:07   #40
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

I have seen many raked over the coals for NOT getting a survey before purchase (including myself)...now according to this thread "if the OP missed it or didn't have sufficient time to perform his own survey.. " he is as guilty as the surveyor...

I thought the survey was done by a paid professional who's job it is to know what to look for and how to find it ?? He/She is supposed to be an authority..

I surely hope none of the "take a refund and suck it up crowd" are also in the "get a survey or you're a fool" crowd...can't have your cake and eat it too
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Old 18-06-2021, 15:23   #41
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

This site: hire a surveyor, that’s what they’re trained for, that’s what you pay them for, ask them how to best perform the repair

Also this site: the surveyor shouldn’t be held responsible—this is on you bro, should’ve picked a better one, should’ve caught what he missed
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Old 18-06-2021, 15:29   #42
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

The surveyor was not drunk unless you have a valid BAC test.

No lawyer will initiate a lawsuit without a $15,000 retainer. No guarantees re. win or loss.

Collecting is an entirely different matter than winning.

You will need to hire an another surveyor who will act as expert witness. You will not be allowed to comment on the condition of a mast or rudder in a court unless you have the appropriate certifications.

Take the $1000 and move on.
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Old 18-06-2021, 15:56   #43
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

For the sake of it, lets treat this like a malpractice claim. I have offered professional opinions many times in malpractice claims. The patient is hardly ever the winner. Most malpractice cases take longer than 7 years.

If you hire an attorney, chances he/she/it would be the only winner. First he/she/it will hire another complete survey (second opinion) of the boat and will rip the boat to shreds for the sake of the claim. Then professionals will be hired for opinions of the two surveys at $250-350/hour. The attorney will obviously have his time into the claim and most likely ask for 35%. When it is all completed, the client will receive less than 40% if they win. Now the client has a boat that will have a huge recommendation list in order to get insurance or will have port restrictions until complied by using only licensed expensive contractors.

Surveyors have to walk a very fine line. On one hand they don't want to burden the new owner with a huge recommendation list for insurance but want to offer a good idea of the state of the vessel. They must also have an idea of deal killers. I would guess your surveyor felt the items on the boat were not deal killers but also didn't want to make a huge list for insurance.

I would take the $1000 and use my own labor to repair vessel to my standards. In my opinion, a new boat owner should go through every system and repair to the owners standard regardless of survey.

After 7 years of repairing every system on my boat to my standards, there was one system I hadn't touched, the airconditioner. Last weekend, I replaced the air/conditioner because the compressor shorted. Go figure. Now, I am starting over. It is endless.
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Old 18-06-2021, 16:31   #44
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

I think the problem you may have in getting compensation from the surveyor could depend on what you asked for. My understanding is that a basic survey determines the question " is the boat worth it's insured value". Also it may only cover some parts of the boat such as the hull. Electrical systems, engines and sails are I am fairly sure not normally covered unless you request them. Given that the fee was only $1000 it is unlikely any surveyor would be doing more than a basic insurance survey.
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Old 18-06-2021, 16:38   #45
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Re: Surveyor was drunk during survey - What do I do?

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Also it may only cover some parts of the boat such as the hull. Electrical systems, engines and sails are I am fairly sure not normally covered unless you request them. Given that the fee was only $1000 it is unlikely any surveyor would be doing more than a basic insurance survey.
One should never hire a surveyor without seeing a sample report. Every survey report should have a scope of survey statement. Whenever we are contacted for a survey we insist the the client review one of our survey reports on our website so that they understand exactly what we do ... and do not before they hire us.
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