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Old 06-30-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Surveyors

Is it just my experiences or are most surveyors terrible ? The first survey I had done, for ins purposes, years ago, The surveyor was inept, he didnt know hull blisters from from paint flakes, seriously. He told me that I had blisters when in fact it was were the bottom paint had flaked off and I had painted over it. Idiot, but the ins co reccomended him and the boat passed the survey just fine. It was a real POS, he missed a lot. Another surveyor wrote my Sporty, with 8V92s up as being "full displacement", and, was completely surprised by a number of things that are normal for this type of boat. Just today a friend of mine that has a house boat for sale told me that the buyers surveyor was there today. Dave is exceptionally knowledgeable in the boat world, having owned a service co. in the orange beach Al. area for lots of years. He said this guy didnt have a CLUE what to look for. That has also been my experience. I'm sure everyone will say "my guy yada yada yada" but after dealing with these "professionals" on numerous occasions I think they are terrible, as a whole. Your thoughts ?
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Old 06-30-2015, 03:10 PM   #2
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The problem is anybody can print a business card and be a marine surveyor. Look for the ones with memberships and association accreditdations
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kulas44 View Post
Your thoughts ?
In the property world, there is a professional appraisal organization called the AAI. It is fairly easy to guess what AAI stands for but more than a few say it stands for Appraised As Instructed. Like surveyors, appraisers probably use checklists and forms. After all, it is a lot easier to use a checklist and fill in prepared forms than it is to use your brain and a little creativity and with a little luck, they can also mask a lack of true knowledge.

My boat has a draft of 42" but the surveyor reported a draft of 60". I brought it to his attention and he mentioned some other brand of boat and didn't change his survey. Maybe he was trying to tell me the bilge pump was broke. Who knows. They often walk a fine line between the customers who pays for their services and brokers or insurance companies who recommend them to would be buyers.

I am sure there are a lot of good surveyors and some not so good. They can deal with the things they can see and test but much is hidden on a boat. On TF, we hear quite often of newbies who are told by their surveyor that buying the boat is not recommended. For this kind of situation, a surveyor is a good asset.

For knowledgeable boaters such as yourself, a surveyor offers little value but for the not so knowledgeable boater, the knowledge of the surveyor makes the difference between a good boating experience and a poor outcome.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:32 PM   #4
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Sure they miss some stuff. They have for a couple surveys done for me. On my first one the surveyer stated in the report there was no VHF radio on board. Well it was in the electronics box at the helm to which he had the key. Nothing that would have changed the purchase decision. They only have a few hours to check everything. Now calling paint chips blisters, I would have asked him while there to explain what he saw. The lesson I learned from the first survey is to be there no matter what and have him tell you immediately any negative findings. There should be no surprises in the report.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:43 PM   #5
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For knowledgeable boaters such as yourself, a surveyor offers little value but for the not so knowledgeable boater, the knowledge of the surveyor makes the difference between a good boating experience and a poor outcome.
For me it felt like a poor investment. My surveyor had done the boat a year before. I was present for the current survey and he spent more time checking boxes on his smart Phone ap than looking at the boat. I provided much of the information....I would consider myself a knowledgeable buyer. His end product was very professional, but more the result of the software he was using than any real survey of the boat.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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All of these guys were SAMS acreditted. Doesnt seem to matter.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:59 PM   #7
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All I can say is a "Big Thank You" to several TF members who recommended both Surveyors and Mech Surveyors. Based on there recommendations it gave me a very good start. They both spent close to 12 hours onboard and found a few items I missed. Nothing that would break the deal, but still items that found. Sadly all to often you hear about Surveyors who are recommended by insurance companies and we as Boatowner's have to pay there bill. If I'm paying for the surveyor, I want one that has my best interest not there's.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:09 PM   #8
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My last insurance survey of my sailboat included a statement that my keel bolts needed to be replaced. I found that interesting since the boat doesn't have keel bolts. There was a lot of other stuff wrong too. I had to write several letters to the insurance company to get it all straightened out.

I opted not to use a surveyor for my last purchase. I did get the boat surveyed after the major overhaul I did. That survey was purely for insurance purposes and I made sure the surveyor knew that ALL the systems on the boat were new. No problems on that one, but I did walk the surveyor through the boat pointing out work that had been done.
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