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Do You 100% Trust Your Boat Surveyor?

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    Toni, stick to him like a second skin. If he finds something like a soft or hollow sounding stringer, have him mark the area. During my purchase survey the guy didn’t say anything about the stringers, but there was a finding in the report. I still haven’t found anything, but it’s going to be interesting next month when I have the boat surveyed again. I’m going to hand him a big marker. In your case it may be better to use post its or tape. The current owner may get touchy if someone starts marking up his boat.
    P/C Pete
    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
    MMSI 367770440


    • pgiconch
      pgiconch commented
      Editing a comment
      +1 - I like using the blue painters tape. Can write on it and it always comes off easy with no damage.

    Before purchasing my 4788 in Anacortes I hired a general surveyor and a mechanical surveyor, both were highly recommended..
    The general surveyor stated there were only a few minor items that ought to be taken care of and now after two years of ownership I haven't encountered anything important that he missed.
    The mechanical surveyor found many things wrong, some minor and some quite major. He included a repair estimate which totaled 20K.
    I've been a heavy duty mechanic for 40 years so I used the survey to negotiate a 20K reduction in the purchase price with the intention of doing the repairs myself.
    The sad part of this story is that about 30% of the repairs he said must be done were absolutely not necessary.
    Both Cummins fan belts worn and must be changed.... they were in perfect condition
    Both seawater pumps leak and must be rebuilt ( two years have elapsed and they still are not leaking)
    Both shaft seals leak and must be changed. ( Neither have shown signs of leaking yet)

    He somehow missed the fact that the Cummins low oil pressure/ high water temp alarm system was not working and the preheating system on the starboard engine also was not working.
    Forrest Gump said "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get next
    Sort of like hiring a surveyor I think.
    2001 Bayliner 4788
    Bow & Stern Thrusters
    330 Cummins
    Moored: Captains Cove Ladner BC


      Like the old adage - 99% of all surveyors give the other 1% a bad name.

      I say this in jest, but as this profession is by and large unregulated, the quality of reporting seems to be all over the map. There are many really well qualified and diligent surveyors, and I’m sure we all know examples of difference between buyer’s surveyors, and sellers surveyors.

      Over the years we have been lucky when buying boats, that our structural and mechanical surveyors have proven to be efficient, and have provided unbiased quality survey reports. There have been occasions when we didn’t particularly like the reports, but if we hire them and don’t like the result, to ignore them would be irresponsible.

      On one occasion, we needed an insurance survey on our M490, and chose a well known Vancouver surveyor with a reputation of being picky, after all, if you are paying the survey fee, at least find out all of the deficiencies that require attention. After almost two weeks of chasing the written report I discover that he has mailed it directly to our insurers back east - WTF? who did he think was paying his bill, and who did he think was he working for? I finally received my copy three weeks after the survey, and to say I was disgusted with the contents is an understatement.
      He had basically photocopied a previous report from a 4788, and couldn’t even be bothered to tidy up the details. Here are just some of his printed responses on a standard survey form;

      Heating system - None evidenced - (We had Espar Hydronic Heat plus 3 zone Reverse Cycle Heat and Air Conditioning)
      VHF - Single iCom at lower helm - (We had Standard Horizon lower, Standard Horizon with RAM Mic at upper helm, plus stand alone Standard Horizon at upper helm)
      Radar - None evidenced - (We had Raymarine 48 mile radar plus AIS that he also never noticed.
      Fuel Capacity 300 gallons - The 490 and 4788 carry 444 gallons
      Dinghy/Tender - Blank - (8 month old Zodiac Yachtline with 8 month old Yamaha 40 HP engine on upper deck)
      Bow Thruster - None - (sidepower thruster installed since new)
      Canvas - Bimini only - (Full upper enclosure plus full cockpit enclosure)
      Batteries - 4 x 6V lead acid golf cart - (We had 4 x L16 AGM batteries 2 months old)

      This list of incorrect information went on and on to the point where I personally called the insurers to clarify how poor the report was and give them the correct information. Luckily, it never did impact us financially, but the S.O.B. had already been paid. I did not seek recourse at the time, but word of mouth travels fast around here, so hopefully no-one else will be burned by this outfit.
      Bayliner 5788
      'Merlin V'
      Vancouver BC


        Originally posted by MerlinV View Post
        Like the old adage - 99% of all surveyors give the other 1% a bad name.
        You're being unduly generous. Maybe I'd accept 50% give the other 50% a bad name but that "profession" is polluted with charlatans.
        R.J.(Bob) Evans
        Buchanan, SK
        Cierra 2755
        Previously 43 Defever, Response LX
        Various runabouts, canoes & kayaks


        • Pcpete
          Pcpete commented
          Editing a comment
          Bob, read the post from MerlinV again. You have some mental auto correct going on. 😉

        • bobofthenorth
          bobofthenorth commented
          Editing a comment
          Evidently I didn't read carefully enough. Mea culpa maximus.

        I've had two boats surveyed, the last one a 3870 done by the guy the insurance company recommended. He found some potential rot I had missed but missed one big item I had found. Two of the rot items were in fact not a problem. The mechanical surveyor found one exhaust riser shot and recommended both be replaced. The boat surveyor recommended I look for another 3870 in better shape or negotiate a much lower price. I did the later as I felt I could do the repairs identified myself.

        This boat had sat form two years in Port Alice and needed lots of love mostly in a cosmetic way but ugly none the less. I bought the boat as it had a number of expensive upgrades, fair electronic, sea wise davits; electronic controls, digital tacks, a great skiff and OB, low engine hours along with a fair price. I have now owned the vessel for four years and am still very happy with my purchase! After everything that is the true measure of a good deal.

        I would not hang my hat just on any surveyor report. Being around boats and working on them for 45 years I am confident in my own knowledge but insurance companies do not feel the same way. If you don't have the experience find that old salt that does that you trust to help you. Both of you be with the surveyor when he does his work. If he is any good you will learn a lot from him answering any questions you have.
        16' lap straight with B&S inboard, my 1st commercial fishing adventure
        17' run about with original 80ph Volvo, fun with some exploration of the coast
        25' Chris Craft - lots of fun exploring further north on the BC coast
        32' wood commercial salmon troller - ice boat, hard work & fun
        41' wood commercial salmon troller - ice boat, hard work & fun
        38' Permaglass commercial salmon troller - freezer boat, harder work & fun
        1987 3870 with 175 Hinos - back to mostly fun again & exploration