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Old 12-26-2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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Surveyor Recommendations

Hi,
I'm the new guy here with a grand total of ZERO posts!
Recently sold our home and soon to be live aboards. I am looking for a certified marine surveyor in the Cape area of Massachusetts for a mid 80's trawler type boat. The broker has recommended someone and it appears that this person has an excellent reputation based on web searches.....but I am concerned about any "conflict of interest" issues. Can anyone here recommend a surveyor or two?
Thanks
John
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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Welcome.

I am sorry I cannot recomommend a surveyor for you, but I will agree with you that there is a conflict of interest. I am sure some one on T.F. will be able to help you out. You can always search the net for a Surveyor and then call them up to do some research on them. Just a thought which I am sure you have thought of. LOL

Good luck and again welcome
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about a conflict of interest; the broker is a professional in the industry, and is sharing his knowledge with you. Part of your due diligence is to research the credentials of the surveyor and then interview him/her- it's basically a job interview, with you as the employer.

While you'll get varying opinions as to who to use for surveys. Being in the marine insurance business, ininterface with surveyors on a daily basis, and read all thpes of survey reports. I strongly recommend you start your research here (use google):

NAMS- National Association of Marine Surveyors
SAMS- Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors

Both are professional organizations that are known in the industry for producing quality surveyors thru an education and apprenticeship program. Each organization has a member roster (with contact information) on their website, and you can select and interview your particular surveyor there.

Welcome to TF, and good luck in your search! We are also liveaboards, and absolutely love the lifestyle!

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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I would find your own surveyor. You will know he is looking out for your best interest.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:07 AM   #6
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Apologies to any surveyors out there but I would not use a surveyor recommended by a seller. Maybe a marina dockmaster or other boat owners can recommend someone or go to SAMS website.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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Surveyor

I agree with Pete on surveyors. If you chose a production boat there are areas of common problem with each model of boat. I would in this case ask the surveyor if he has had experience with this model and brand. Custom boats and wood boats are challenges as they all have custom problem. An older experienced surveyor will probably have more experience one off boats. Finding a good surveyor for wood boats is difficult in my experience as most younger surveyors just don't know where to look for problems.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #9
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This is a mid 80's Fiberglass boat. I have looked at the SAMS website and there are at least 20 surveyors in the greater Cape area. If I call them, they will all say that they are the "best" in the business and have surveyed my prospective type boat or similar. In other words, I wont know much more than I do now about who to pick. I thought maybe someone here had experience with one of the surveyors in this area or know by word of mouth about a good one.
I will do my due diligence on the selection but it still looks like a crap shoot when picking by phone or website.
Thanks for the advice...it is appreciated
John
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:33 AM   #10
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On a 30 year old boat if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy anything. You may want to hire a surveyor(s) to assist you with your own research but I repeat - if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:43 AM   #11
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On a 30 year old boat if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy anything. but I repeat - if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:44 AM   #12
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On a 30 year old boat if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy anything. You may want to hire a surveyor(s) to assist you with your own research but I repeat - if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy.
Well....I've been around and owned boats for 50 years now....I'm 61. I have looked at this boat, flew from Florida to Mass and spent the better part of a day going through it with my eyes and camera. I checked for wood rot in the bulkheads, rust on the steering gear, condition of the prop and shaft and stuffing box, head, water heater, generator etc etc etc BUT I seriously doubt that any insurance company is going to take my "word" for it that the boat is good; so......like most folks getting ready to spend well over $100K on a boat...they get a professional documented survey to help make an informed decision on a purchase as well as to satisy insurance requirements.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:50 AM   #13
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Shouldn't be hard to find another surveyor in that area. My marina here maintains a list of local surveyors.

As you'll probably notice, there are many opinions of surveyors and the standards they use, but as long as you're going in eyes open and recognize the boat won't meet many newer standards that today's manufacturers are building to, it's worth the money.

You'll learn lots about the boat, the way things have changed over the years, and hopefully some of the things to watch out for and keep an eye on.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:01 PM   #14
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BUT I seriously doubt that any insurance company is going to take my "word" for it that the boat is good; so......like most folks getting ready to spend well over $100K on a boat...they get a professional documented survey to help make an informed decision on a purchase as well as to satisy insurance requirements.

I agree with you John. Sometimes hiring a surveyor is like hiring a lawyer, you don't know if you got screwed until it is all over. If you were on the west coast I would recommend these guys. Lot of experience in Taiwanese built boats.

Harris Marine Surveys, Div. of Marine Consultants Inc., Matthew L. Harris, NAMS® CMS, SAMS®-AMS® Bellingham, Washington, USA - Welcome

Good luck.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
On a 30 year old boat if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy anything. You may want to hire a surveyor(s) to assist you with your own research but I repeat - if you can't do the survey yourself then you aren't ready to buy.
Quite the ignorant statement, Bob.

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Originally Posted by JohnRB View Post
This is a mid 80's Fiberglass boat. I have looked at the SAMS website and there are at least 20 surveyors in the greater Cape area. If I call them, they will all say that they are the "best" in the business and have surveyed my prospective type boat or similar. In other words, I wont know much more than I do now about who to pick. I thought maybe someone here had experience with one of the surveyors in this area or know by word of mouth about a good one.
I will do my due diligence on the selection but it still looks like a crap shoot when picking by phone or website.
Thanks for the advice...it is appreciated
John
It is a crapshoot for sure, John; you may also want to contact a few local marine insurers and finance folks. Neither should have a direct vested interest in the purchase process, but are involved in reviewing surveys on a regular basis. Another resource is to call a competing broker and ask for a surveyor recommendation.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:48 PM   #16
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Quite the ignorant statement, Bob.
I wouldn't be so harsh. You CAN look at it yourself and get a general idea about it. Heck, some people CAN do their own survey, BUT, as someone mentioned, insurance companies and lenders will probably not allow it. Moreover, it's my opinion that a second set of objective eyes wouldn't be a bad idea when spending $50,000 to $100,000 on something.

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:09 PM   #17
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Well....I've been around and owned boats for 50 years now....I'm 61. I have looked at this boat, flew from Florida to Mass and spent the better part of a day going through it with my eyes and camera. I checked for wood rot in the bulkheads, rust on the steering gear, condition of the prop and shaft and stuffing box, head, water heater, generator etc etc etc BUT I seriously doubt that any insurance company is going to take my "word" for it that the boat is good; so......like most folks getting ready to spend well over $100K on a boat...they get a professional documented survey to help make an informed decision on a purchase as well as to satisy insurance requirements.
Survey for insurance and finance aside, and assuming you are a boat vs yacht owner, I agree with BoboftheNorth as it applies to older vessels. I suspect he was making a point with regards to ongoing maintanence issues.

As a "boat" owner, I've hands-on retrofitted a number of old/tired boats. From a time and money perspective, the experience taught me two things; that I don't want to do it again <and> what to look for so I don't have to.

Prior to getting serious (ie, spending money on the purchase process), I spent two days going through my current vessel. I'm sure the broker suspected something when I showed up with a cooler and work clothes. By the time I hired the surveyors, I already knew the condition (except engine operation) and was confident of my purchase decision/offer. I was also able to point out a few items to the surveyor which he did not discover. Mike
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:17 PM   #18
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BUT I seriously doubt that any insurance company is going to take my "word" for it that the boat is good; so......like most folks getting ready to spend well over $100K on a boat...they get a professional documented survey to help make an informed decision on a purchase as well as to satisy insurance requirements.
You might be surprised what your insurer really wants - have you asked them? Regardless, if the primary motivation for the survey is to satisfy your insurer then perhaps they can recommend a surveyor that is satisfactory to their requirements.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:25 PM   #19
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Hi,
I'm the new guy here with a grand total of ZERO posts!
Recently sold our home and soon to be live aboards. I am looking for a certified marine surveyor in the Cape area of Massachusetts for a mid 80's trawler type boat. The broker has recommended someone and it appears that this person has an excellent reputation based on web searches.....but I am concerned about any "conflict of interest" issues. Can anyone here recommend a surveyor or two?
Thanks
John
John: Ask the surveyor for some referrals and call those referrals. Ask them what the surveyor missed. Would they hire him again? Was the report detailed? Etc. A broker can't successfully work in an area and not know who the good surveyors are.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone! I will make some calls and ask some questions and hopefully find a good surveyor.
John
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