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Old 07-29-2019, 05:21 PM   #1
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Survey questions

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Since we are at the beginning of our boat search we have questions on boat surveys. We found a boat that appears to be interesting to us so we contacted the broker with questions. The broker really didn't answer our questions but emailed me the survey that was done late last year. My first question is, since I can only assume the seller paid for the survey would it be practical of the broker to forward it to perspective buyers? Again I can only assume the seller is ok with it? My second question is would it be "ethical" for me to post it here for others to look at since I really do not fully understand to terms used in it? There are items that give my first instinct to run the other direction. I wouldn't post the entire survey but just the area that is of concern to us.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:19 PM   #2
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There might be some concerns about intellectual property rights if you were to post it here. But since the broker gave you a copy of the survey presumably with the owners concurrence, I suspect all of those issues are now moot. So go ahead and post it for all to see.


But if you have concerns, distill it down and post specific questions about those terms you don't understand.



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Old 07-29-2019, 06:29 PM   #3
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I don’t think there would be a problem posting it here. Just remove the name and location of the boat and the name of the surveyor.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:32 PM   #4
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I don’t think there would be a problem posting it here. Just remove the name and location of the boat and the name of the surveyor.
+1. And BTW, welcome aboard.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:13 PM   #5
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SO the original document is password protected. So i'll try to rewrite my concerns in the survey;
#1 Nature; Maintenance: Component Skin Structure: Issue; moisture readings consistent with elevated moisture in the swim platform on th top and underside, Recommendation: reed associated fasteners and fittings and monitor for progression.
#2 Nature: Maintenance Component: bilge stringers ISSUE Misture meter readings were consistent with elevated moisture recommendation; keep bilge dry and monitor
#3 Nature: Maintenance Structure; Skin structure ISSUE: Moisture readings were consistent with elevated moisture adjacent to where the anchor platform is attached, in the anchor platform and rode locker hatch Recommendation: rebed associated fasteners and fittings and monitor.
#4 Nature: Maintenance Structure: Skin structure ISSUE: Moisture meter reading were consistent with elevated moisture in the starboard side deck of the cabin house structure forward, Percussive soundings were consistent with core deterioration. Recommendations: Investigate for leaks, rebel associated fasteners and fittings and monitor.
#5Nature; Maintenance Structure: Skin structure issue: Moisture meter readings were consistent with elevated moisture adjacent the flybridge helm seat. Percussive soundings were consistent with core deterioration. Recommendation: reed associated fasteners and fittings and monitor. Consider repairing the car material.
#6 Nature: Maintenance Structure: deck gelcoat, Issue: some deterioration of the gelcoat noted on the deck including the flybridge combing. recommendation repair
#7 Nature Maintenance; Component: anchor platform underside opening, Issue: Noted separating/delaminating, Recommendation: repair
The remaining issues on the survey are mainly cosmetic and seem to be of normal condition for vessels of this age.
It may not matter but the boat in question is a 1991Bayliner 4378.
Should I be concerned with these issues or am I to sensitive?
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:38 PM   #6
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SO the original document is password protected. So i'll try to rewrite my concerns in the survey;
#1 Nature; Maintenance: Component Skin Structure: Issue; moisture readings consistent with elevated moisture in the swim platform on th top and underside, Recommendation: reed associated fasteners and fittings and monitor for progression.
#2 Nature: Maintenance Component: bilge stringers ISSUE Misture meter readings were consistent with elevated moisture recommendation; keep bilge dry and monitor
#3 Nature: Maintenance Structure; Skin structure ISSUE: Moisture readings were consistent with elevated moisture adjacent to where the anchor platform is attached, in the anchor platform and rode locker hatch Recommendation: rebed associated fasteners and fittings and monitor.
#4 Nature: Maintenance Structure: Skin structure ISSUE: Moisture meter reading were consistent with elevated moisture in the starboard side deck of the cabin house structure forward, Percussive soundings were consistent with core deterioration. Recommendations: Investigate for leaks, rebel associated fasteners and fittings and monitor.
#5Nature; Maintenance Structure: Skin structure issue: Moisture meter readings were consistent with elevated moisture adjacent the flybridge helm seat. Percussive soundings were consistent with core deterioration. Recommendation: reed associated fasteners and fittings and monitor. Consider repairing the car material.
#6 Nature: Maintenance Structure: deck gelcoat, Issue: some deterioration of the gelcoat noted on the deck including the flybridge combing. recommendation repair
#7 Nature Maintenance; Component: anchor platform underside opening, Issue: Noted separating/delaminating, Recommendation: repair
The remaining issues on the survey are mainly cosmetic and seem to be of normal condition for vessels of this age.
It may not matter but the boat in question is a 1991Bayliner 4378.
Should I be concerned with these issues or am I to sensitive?
On any 28 yr old boat I would expect the survey to show at least as much deterioration as this survey shows. Old boats get damp. No getting away from it. Items 6 and 7 are items visible to all, not just a surveyor, so no surprise to any prospective purchaser.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:41 PM   #7
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Ok, the first question I would ask you is how handy are you and how comfortable are you doing fiberglass work? Or how willing are you to learn to do fiberglass work? Or how willing are you to write a check to someone to do the glass work?

The elevated moisture readings is a pretty standard thing in most surveys of older boats as far as I have seen. The question is how elevated? Is it just a bit higher or is it soaked and the core rotted? My boat showed elevated levels all over the decks, but it really only had one area where the core was dead. The hammer test found the dead area. Replacing coring in decks isn’t rocket science but it is hard physically challenging work if you have my knees. It is relatively straight forward fiberglass work. The one area that would concern me is the stringers with elevated moisture. I would want an opinion as to how elevated it was. The stringers will be a major reconstruction job, major! The gel coat on the decks is a simple fix since the coring may need work. Just paint the decks with a non skid paint like Kiwigrip.

If you like the boat, make an offer and get your own surveyor. Have the survey done and accompany the surveyor during the survey. Pick the surveyors brain as you are doing the survey. Ask how bad the elevated moisture is, particularly in the stringers. If the surveyor doesn’t want you to accompany him/her during the survey, get a different surveyor.

Fiberglass work is pretty easy to learn how to do. Lots of online videos and also you can get some help locally. It isn’t too hard to get good results, just take your time. If it doesn’t come out well, grind it off and redo it. Good luck.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:43 PM   #8
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I meant to add, the usual reason for elevated moisture levels is not properly bedded deck fittings. So plan on rebedding the fittings properly to stop the problems from spreading. Compass Marine has an excellent how to on bedding deck hardware.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:05 AM   #9
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Most older boats (12+ yrs) have significantly elevated moisture levels in swim platforms, bow pulpits & bulwark doors. As already mentioned, deck & cabin top coring can be replaced but it can be hard work or expensive if done professionally. Many owners just rebed deck hardware and ignore the wet core if small areas or not soft on older less expensive boats. Personally I would not consider buying a boat with elevated moisture levels in the stringers though. The chance of opening up a very expensive can of worms is too high for me.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Doing the glass work is no issue as I have done it in the past. The 2 areas that concern me is coring and stringers. I've never attempted something like that but I do feel confidence in my abilities to replace small areas of the coring, the stringers is another story. I wouldn't even want to attempt it.
It would have been nice if the readings were included in the survey, something typically included?
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:05 AM   #11
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Sorry, but I am very concerned with the words “core deterioration”.

Those words represent significant work to me. Cutting out fiberglass, scraping out rotten core material, that kind of work.

The question that comes to mind is are you prepared for this kind of work?

The next question is this boat value priced compared to other boats of the same vintage?

For example I personally know of a 1994 Bayliner pilothouse for sale at my harbor that has none of the issues indicated in your survey, but the boat is also otherwise pristine and the asking price of the boat is close to $200K.

If this boat is value priced it might represent a good value, but to me the price of the boat would have to equal a 100% boat - yard rate repair costs - hassle factor to make it a value.

BTW, we have a VERY active owners group, specializing in the Bayliner models over at the Bayliner Owners Club.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:55 AM   #12
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ksanders, repairing the core does concern me but I do think I can handle the task. AS far as the price point and valuation goes the survey did state the value just north of 70 boat dollars. The asking price is considerably lower, 12 boat dollars, and to the right person that price could sway them to buy it. Personally it would have to be even lower. Luckily we are not at the point to purchase as we are still adding to our must have list which this boat does meet most of them. If it's still on the market in 6-9 months or so we'll have a serious discussion about it. Plus have our own survey done so I can be there.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:17 AM   #13
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I agree with the comments about moisture above but would also add --just because someone has a moisture meter doesn't mean that person knows how to work it. If you like the boat and it is otherwise desirable--you might look for someone with competence in that area and get it rechecked, confirmed.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:46 AM   #14
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All things being equal

If you could buy one boat with no issues for $10, or another boat with $5 worth of issues for $5. Which would you buy? You could say that once I am done I know what I have, how do I know the $10 boat does not have some of these issues in early stages? Me, I just moved on from a boat because of moisture issues. I would rather buy a boat with fewer moisture issues, or issues that I feel I can handle as projects rather than rebuilds. I was hoping the moisture issues were going to stop at the swim platform as I was reading your post. When I see stringers and cabin top structure I think rebuilds, not projects. If you have the physical ability (I do not), the money, the time, and the knowledge, you may have a good opportunity to buy a boat for less money that you can make your own. Me, no thanks. Good luck. Bill
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:14 AM   #15
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I agree with the comments about moisture above but would also add --just because someone has a moisture meter doesn't mean that person knows how to work it. If you like the boat and it is otherwise desirable--you might look for someone with competence in that area and get it rechecked, confirmed.


This makes a lot of sense. I had an old sailboat that had water logged cored decks. I found and fixed the water intrusion but certainly wasn’t going to spend the money to replace the core. There was a spot where the deck was soft but it didn’t affect the structural integrity of the boat. However, when I sold the boat, it certainly reduced the value.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:22 AM   #16
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ksanders, repairing the core does concern me but I do think I can handle the task. AS far as the price point and valuation goes the survey did state the value just north of 70 boat dollars. The asking price is considerably lower, 12 boat dollars, and to the right person that price could sway them to buy it. Personally it would have to be even lower. Luckily we are not at the point to purchase as we are still adding to our must have list which this boat does meet most of them. If it's still on the market in 6-9 months or so we'll have a serious discussion about it. Plus have our own survey done so I can be there.
Based upon my experiences it is pretty rare for these boats to have core problems so figuring out if it really does have a core problem and how that happened is the key.
It looks like you are looking for a project rather then a fairly well found operating boat - please consider if this is truly what you seek first before searching for a boat solution to your personal specifications.
Good luck with the search...
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:14 AM   #17
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The broker sounds like “he doesn’t want to say anything” about the issues from the survey. I’d be eyes wide open in this one. You may wish to prove to see if the current owner has investigated these repairs already. I wouldn’t go by surveyors price alone.
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:57 AM   #18
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I looked at a Kha Shing yesterday.

In general I really liked the boat as I approached it and walked around the decks and fly bridge. It clearly had seen no real upkeep in some time, but the decks and structure were dry where I could check. The boat was in an enclosed well and I would guess it had not been run in sometime. The broker took me inside to a strong smell of diesel. “ the owner spilled diesel into the bilge when he changed the filters” . Hmmmm ok. The interior looked like someone went on a cruise and then walked away with all their clothes and left the boat as used. I liked the boat. It was built with high quality materials and had teak floors throughout. The A/C did not work in the saloon. The refrigerator was leaking condensate on the teak floor. Stains in the cabin all checked dry on the meter. The forward bilge containing the shower sump had six inches of diesel in it. The engine room was tight and somewhat dark. The stringers checked high moisture and the tabbing on the port center stringer appeared to have broken free at some point as there was a jagged line of paint and original surface showing. The cat 3208 T”s had no air filters on either motor and showed 1417 hours. This was an nice boat that needs some loving. I would consider a purchase at less than half price if I could find a high quality yard to do the repairs. The question is this.
I assume the tanks are leaking. How much would it cost to pay for removal of engines and having them gone through with rebuild if necessary? My guess is $20000. How much to remove the tanks with the motors out and replace them. My guess $10,000. How much to repair/replace stringers in engine area (fore and aft seemed better)? My guess $5000. How much for new three zone air conditioning? My guess $5000. Am I generally close? The boat is $98,000. Minus $40,000 is $58,000. Minus some for hassle and error. Looks like $50000 is in the ballpark. I would consider $45,000 because I always get burned when it comes to being beholden to some boat related contractor. I think they feel if you have the money for a boat you have the money to pay them more. They need to get their money during a four month boating season up here. In the ad for this boat they include a picture of the diesel in the bilge. I assumed it was red pop. The boat has been for sale for over a year at the same price. The spilled filter excuse was pretty pitiful. I worry how bad she will leak once removed from the indoor well. The aluminum framed windows pulled away from the glass cabin sides with what looks like a mild warp. Looks easily sealed to me. Who knows.
So, as I wrote above in this post. Do I want to pay and put up with the hassle and know what I have, or pay more and purchase without the issues? This season is almost over. Could I find a yard that would do it right and for a fair price? Maybe more questions than I want to work to find the answers to. I am guessing the owner might not like my offer too much either. . Bill
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:21 AM   #19
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In general I really liked the boat as I approached it and walked around the decks and fly bridge. It clearly had seen no real upkeep in some time, but the decks and structure were dry where I could check. The boat was in an enclosed well and I would guess it had not been run in sometime. The broker took me inside to a strong smell of diesel. “ the owner spilled diesel into the bilge when he changed the filters” . Hmmmm ok. The interior looked like someone went on a cruise and then walked away with all their clothes and left the boat as used. I liked the boat. It was built with high quality materials and had teak floors throughout. The A/C did not work in the saloon. The refrigerator was leaking condensate on the teak floor. Stains in the cabin all checked dry on the meter. The forward bilge containing the shower sump had six inches of diesel in it. The engine room was tight and somewhat dark. The stringers checked high moisture and the tabbing on the port center stringer appeared to have broken free at some point as there was a jagged line of paint and original surface showing. The cat 3208 T”s had no air filters on either motor and showed 1417 hours. This was an nice boat that needs some loving. I would consider a purchase at less than half price if I could find a high quality yard to do the repairs. The question is this.
I assume the tanks are leaking. How much would it cost to pay for removal of engines and having them gone through with rebuild if necessary? My guess is $20000. How much to remove the tanks with the motors out and replace them. My guess $10,000. How much to repair/replace stringers in engine area (fore and aft seemed better)? My guess $5000. How much for new three zone air conditioning? My guess $5000. Am I generally close? The boat is $98,000. Minus $40,000 is $58,000. Minus some for hassle and error. Looks like $50000 is in the ballpark. I would consider $45,000 because I always get burned when it comes to being beholden to some boat related contractor. I think they feel if you have the money for a boat you have the money to pay them more. They need to get their money during a four month boating season up here. In the ad for this boat they include a picture of the diesel in the bilge. I assumed it was red pop. The boat has been for sale for over a year at the same price. The spilled filter excuse was pretty pitiful. I worry how bad she will leak once removed from the indoor well. The aluminum framed windows pulled away from the glass cabin sides with what looks like a mild warp. Looks easily sealed to me. Who knows.
So, as I wrote above in this post. Do I want to pay and put up with the hassle and know what I have, or pay more and purchase without the issues? This season is almost over. Could I find a yard that would do it right and for a fair price? Maybe more questions than I want to work to find the answers to. I am guessing the owner might not like my offer too much either. . Bill

Hello Bill,
Your posts have me very confused as they state you are a newbie who want to get their feet wet with how to own and handle a boat in the near future.
In these posts you are attempting to start out with a larger boat that is mostly a project and requires all sorts of time money and background to succeed.
If you want to go boating my best suggestion is to find a boat that is in good to great condition and enjoy boating.
Very few folks that take on these projects end up enjoying boating as they never get around to the actual boating.
If you really want to reasonably price out this project you will need to add the details about all of the machinery, the sea trail , running gear, maintenance records , maybe 100 hi res pics of these items ,etc.
Basing a projects time and costs on what you have so far will yield no accuracy.

Please post a picture of those engines ….
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:47 AM   #20
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I don’t mean to confuse.

I am a lifelong boater. (50 or so years) , but I have never owned a trawler. I have boated extensively in lake St. Clair and lakes Huron and Michigan. I have also fished Key Largo quite a bit. I have also sailed the Bahamas. I have no experience with the great loop and almost all of its locations. My posts concerning my boating past are to make it clear that I am a neophyte when it comes to most of what is discussed here concerning trawlers and the loop. I am a lifelong classic car and boat buyer and seller for fun. I hope this helps to clarify my past.
As for this boat I am asking questions in a general and philosophical sense. Looking for responses such as “ I did nearly the same work on my such and such and it cost me nearly X” or “ I used a yard in your area to do similar work call so and so they might offer some help”, or “kha Shings use aluminum tubing as coring for their engine stringers and you are likely getting a bad reading and they will not need re-core” I have no expectation of getting an accurate accounting of what is involved here. I am looking for advice from people who have been in a similar position or might know something germane to the issue. The pictures are on Yachtworld I hope this is a useful response. Bill
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