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justfish

Who here gets a survey on a used boat?

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Just curious. And if not, what's your pricessbfor looking at a used boat? I've been on this board for 12 years and never really seen it recommended until lately. It's honestly never crossed my mind to have one done on the "caliber" boat these are. Maybe I'm comfortable enough with this brand to feel ok with knowing the hull and how the wiring and "systems" are supposed to work. But even outside of MBC I don't see myself doing much more than taking one to mechanic that could give me computer readout of engine, honestly I think of a survey for sport fish's and such. 

As far as engine goes, I visually inspect, check fluids, do my own compression test  and sea trial which I do a long stretch of WOT. My offer is always contenget on a satisfactory inspection and sea trial.  What else would a surveyor do for a bay boat, flats boat or even small CC?  

 

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I can see it now!! Walking around a 16 bayfisher with a rubber mallet and stethoscope!

I'm with ya.  Never heard the term "survey" when dealing with little trailered boats until this forum.  When I here survey I think of Sportfish's, cabin cruisers, sailboats and boats with lots of wood.  A personal mechanic is different and recommended if you don't know boats at all.  I normally know more about the boat I'm buying than the guy selling it, but not everyone is like that.  

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never bought a boat without a survey and engine mechanical inspection, two survey's, except for my pathy. only had engine inspected and serviced. reason, boat spent most of it's life on covered lift and was used as a beach ferry, never fished. was given lots of information about boat from yard that serviced it. I more or less did my own survey day of sea trial of all systems and hull. 

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I have bought 5 saltwater boats through the years.  The first one was the only new one.   The last four have been used.  One I bought sight unseen by winning an eBay auction.  Never had a survey done on any.   The only one I should have done a survey on was the one I bought new off a dealer's lot.........a 1985 21 Bayliner Trophy with a 125 Force outboard.  LOL!

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I sold a boat back in October. The buyers bank required a survey. I'm not very mechanically inclined, but I could have done more than the professional surveyor.  I don't think he even removed the engine cover. This surveyor has been recommended many times on THT. I wouldn't waste my money on one. If buying an older boat the only thing I would consider is having a mechanic check the engine out. 

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I get a survey. As much money as used boats are these days, a survey is a drop in the bucket. I'd rather pay for a survey than be stuck with a boat I have to sink more money into or can't sell because others got a survey. 

Plus, I'd feel obligated to tell a buyer what's wrong with the boat. 

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Does a survey come with any sort of guarantee? I had to get an inspection on my last house due to financing and the inspection company wasn't responsible for anything they missed. Well he didn't find much of anything other than the obvious stuff while I found a structural issue after he left.

Fortunalty I was able to get him back out and add it to his report before he was done.  

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I have observed a number of "professional" surveys (always on larger vessels). Some surveyors are very good, others appear to have no clue.  In all cases either buyer required or their bank required.   For a skiff (unless bank requires) most of us have enough experience to check out a boat..testing the pumps, looking at the wiring (and owner changes), steering systems, hull and gel coat etc.  I would however pay a mechanic to check engine hours, tst compression, etc.   just one guys opinion :)

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9 hours ago, justfish said:

Does a survey come with any sort of guarantee? I had to get an inspection on my last house due to financing and the inspection company wasn't responsible for anything they missed. Well he didn't find much of anything other than the obvious stuff while I found a structural issue after he left.

Fortunalty I was able to get him back out and add it to his report before he was done.  

no guarantee, but they do carry insurance you can go back on. all depends if there is a hold harmless in the survey and how it is written. have had surveyors who had to pony up due to mistakes while a yacht broker. mostly on hull damage. there are very bad ones out there and many who overkill a boat.

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I have never had a survey done.  The last two I bought were both Hewes.  One was from a dealer, Central Florida Marine.  They are a great honest dealer that I trusted and had gone over the boat.  Heck they would not let me take the boat until they went over it a second time and replaced an "old" livewell pump, pump worked just getting to the end of it's life.  The second Hewes was bought from JoshB on the forum.  He was very upfront with the boat and a standup guy.  He went over what he had done with the boat and what was going to need to be done as far as general maintenance.  He was also kind enough to drop off and pickup the boat from Igman Marine to have them look at and go over the boat, thanks again Josh.

I feel it is a matter of who and where you are getting it from.  I think most of us can tell the difference between a well maintained boat and an abused on and can read past a well cared for boat that is just dirty or something.  If you are looking at boats that are a great distance from you it might be a different story but then how much do you trust the person doing the survey?

I think the bottom line is just buy from the forum members and you know you will be getting a great boat!  

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Here's my take on it, having been one of those who recently has been recommending surveys:

No, I haven't had a survey done, but the boats I've purchased were at such a low price and were in a condition I was comfortable taking the risk.  There are two reasons that I've been recommending them:

1) For certain hulls, there are some known, if rare, structural issues.  The pre-2003 21 MA is a good example.  Most of them are fine, but then you read about two guys on this forum who recently discovered issues.   So, if a pre-2003 21 MA comes up in discussion, you will probably find me saying "might want to get a survey."  

2) I didn't even know what a Marine Survey was until a few years ago (thanks to this forum, actually).  A lot of the boats on here, thanks to better construction materials and methods, are 15+ years old.  That's a lot of time for major and minor "mistakes" to happen.  A misfit trailer and enough long road trips can take a toll.  Over powering can cause issues, etc.   Basically, if there is a reasonable risk of structural issues, I'll recommend it and let the buyer make their own decision.  In most cases, it's something the seller/buyer can negotiate into the price (i.e. - no unadvertised issues uncovered - buyer pays.  New issues surface, seller pays).

Recently, I know of two purchases where something came up after the sale that would have been caught by a good marine surveyor.   I totally agree, though, a "marine survey" is only as good as the surveyor, but that's true in life.

Just my .02 

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A survey is almost always required by underwriters at leading yacht & boat insurance carriers when the value of a used vessel exceeds $100k. For small vessels such a skiffs, bay boats, cruisers, etc less than 10 years old, surveys are rarely required. Most carriers require that a surveyor be accredited by NAMS, SAMS and/or SNAME or their report may not be accepted. Personally I would never purchase a vessel over 5 years old without having it surveyed by one of the numerous surveyors I know in the industry. Hull percussion testing, moisture reading, motor diagnostics, cylinder pressure, etc would be things I'd be looking at. It couldn't hurt to drop a camera in the area under the cockpit floor and into the fuel tank just to see what's going on too. A good surveyor that knows what he's doing can establish the present day market value of the vessel and give his opinion as to the condition of the vessel and motor. Sometimes a survey is a waste of time & money but I've seen dozens of cases where clients of mine have surveyed a boat and rejected it due to surveyor findings.

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1 hour ago, conocean said:

A survey is almost always required by underwriters at leading yacht & boat insurance carriers when the value of a used vessel exceeds $100k. For small vessels such a skiffs, bay boats, cruisers, etc less than 10 years old, surveys are rarely required. Most carriers require that a surveyor be accredited by NAMS, SAMS and/or SNAME or their report may not be accepted. Personally I would never purchase a vessel over 5 years old without having it surveyed by one of the numerous surveyors I know in the industry. Hull percussion testing, moisture reading, motor diagnostics, cylinder pressure, etc would be things I'd be looking at. It couldn't hurt to drop a camera in the area under the cockpit floor and into the fuel tank just to see what's going on too. A good surveyor that knows what he's doing can establish the present day market value of the vessel and give his opinion as to the condition of the vessel and motor. Sometimes a survey is a waste of time & money but I've seen dozens of cases where clients of mine have surveyed a boat and rejected it due to surveyor findings.

SPOT ON !!!!!

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6 minutes ago, whichwaysup said:

Conocean, cost about 400-500 ball park based on your experience on mbc sized boats (hews, pathy, maverick)?

ball park, yes

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Never surveyed any of my boats, mostly because it just takes more time. I usually run them in the driveway and then pull compression, check gear lube, etc. This has bit me in the butt once recently on an hpdi that had clogged filters.

Otherwise ive been okay, and recently bought my SCB sight unseen and had it shipped without ever seeing it. Maybe not my best decision but the price was good and I trusted the seller.

On a bigger boat id be more inclined to do one, especially a boat that has wood or is known to sometimes have issues (pursuit, grady, or similar)

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For skiffs, yes. What fin said. The price of the survey may be dependent on the surveyor's knowledge of the boat manufacturer, motor, hull construction, etc. It's all about hiring a surveyor that knows what to look for in a particular vessel.

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