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Old 09-10-2015, 11:11 PM   #1
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What to look for before a survey

While not entirely surprised, I found it unsettling to read about Al's cleats. Add to that, seacock vs ball valve, leaky windows, rusted tanks etc and I began to wonder about having a really good list of things to look closely at BEFORE paying good money for a surveyor. I never would have thought to check cleat backing on a crawl around look see but it could be an instant deal breaker.

Can you help me come up with a list of critical areas to scout before survey?
Best place to check for spongy decks; window leaks; tank issues, structural, electrical and plumbing tell tales, bla bla.

When do electronics become too old?
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:03 AM   #2
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See if you can pick up a copy of David Pascoe's "Mid Sized Power Boats" , I think he still sells it on his sites. He covers almost all the "self survey" points, as well as things like ergonomics. I found it very valuable, the first 2/3 especially (not so much the last 1/3, which is outdated) as we were evaluating boats and boat designs.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:10 AM   #3
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Instead, let me tell you what I did before purchase of Seaweed. And I've done similar in eyeballing boats for others.

Side Note: I paid $75 in 2008 for a surveyor to walk the boat. NOT for a survey. Instead, I asked that he take a gander, tell me if there was anything apparent that would make her a no-go, confirm that the photos posted were current and give me an opinion if I should pursue the boat.

Things to look for include:

#1) wiping the bottom of the fuel tank with a damp white rag (is there fuel down there?)

#2) check for house wire (versus marine)
#3) water stains under windows and portlights
#4) fresh paint (covering said stains?)
#5) spongy decks (or teak -- knowing I'm prejudiced against leaky teak decks, and in the south? Well, let's just say I would not opt for teak. Ever.)

I'd look too at storage. Is there adequate for life as you imagine it?
Is there access to the impeller, oil filters and more? If access is horrible, routine maintenance will not have been done. And no, you won't do it either. That equals Expensive repairs and/or replacement.

Count on all electronics being out of date, obsolete, and broken.
Open and close all thru-hulls. If they won't move, that's a bad sign.

If the hoses are weeping, if everything is covered in rust, you're going to find stuff under that crud. All of it will be expensive to fix.

In my opinion of course.
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Old 09-11-2015, 01:51 AM   #4
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boatpoker has a "101" self survey guide, ask him I`m sure he`ll help. Doubt I`d check the back fixings of a cleat unless there was something about the cleat itself.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:23 AM   #5
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Marine Survey 101, here's the link
Marine Survey 101, Do your own marine survey
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Marine Survey 101, here's the link
Marine Survey 101, Do your own marine survey
Big time bow...thank you sir!

Thanks also to George, Janis and Bruce.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:56 PM   #7
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Doubt I`d check the back fixings of a cleat unless there was something about the cleat itself.
Or the boat.
I doubt I could look at a Californian now and not at least wonder.
In the local 80s market when everyone with a double garage got into boat building there was a particular production boat that commercial truckers refused to haul because the hulls had a "tendency to fracture" in transport.
They still sold...for a while.
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:05 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=BruceK;368425]boatpoker has a "101" self survey guideQUOTE]
Among other things in his tool box is a moisture meter. I've always wondered if one of those would work with fiberglass.
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:19 PM   #9
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DIY Survey Resources

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post
[FONT=Verdana]

Can you help me come up with a list of critical areas to scout before survey?
Here are a couple of files I found helpful.

I did my own survey when I purchased our current boat... I don't recommend it as a general rule but I do encourage folks to do your own PRE-Survey to avoid paying for a survey when there are obvious show stoppers - and by going through and boat methodically using a checklist you sure learn a lot.

Mine worked out well but it was only a few yrs old and engine / gen had a little over 100 hrs on it.

I have a survey form in MS Word - if interested PM me w/ an email and I can fwd it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf marine survey checklist.pdf (410.5 KB, 79 views)
File Type: pdf Survey checklist draft.pdf (290.3 KB, 53 views)
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:23 PM   #10
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Here is what you need...

Marine Survey 101, Do your own marine survey

This website has been a huge help to me. Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:11 PM   #11
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Like others I made up my own survey form. I split it into a compartment by compartment examination. I basically looked at everything I could in a non-destructive examination. On the boats that made it to that stage I spent 4-6 hours examining the boat. Several boats that I started my self survey on were rejected during the survey. In one case it was because the broker wouldn't leave me to do my examination. I warned him that if he interrupted me again I would walk away and he would not see me again. When he bugged me again, I showed him the check I had for the deposit on my offer, then tore it up while he watched, got in my car and left. That broker lost a sale since the boat was very nice and pretty much exactly what I wanted.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:06 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Hawgwash;368560]
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
boatpoker has a "101" self survey guideQUOTE]
Among other things in his tool box is a moisture meter. I've always wondered if one of those would work with fiberglass.
Moisture Meter Mythology
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:15 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Hawgwash;368560]
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
boatpoker has a "101" self survey guideQUOTE]
Among other things in his tool box is a moisture meter. I've always wondered if one of those would work with fiberglass.

No. Results are not reliable. But this subject is controversial.


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Old 09-11-2015, 07:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Here are a couple of files I found helpful.
I have a survey form in MS Word - if interested PM me w/ an email and I can fwd it.
Thanks Don.
PM on it's way.
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Old 09-11-2015, 07:50 PM   #15
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Here is a long list from a surveyor:

faults, problems, water, clamps, scupper, sea cocks, electrical, bilge pumps, hoses, batteries, corrosion, fuel, tanks, blowers, engines, sanitation, ofors
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:02 PM   #16
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Long is ok, I've got all winter.

Is there a folder or thread for all this stuff?
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:06 PM   #17
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In case it`s not clear I did not mention, and I know nothing about, moisture meters.
I invented a DIY survey form too, with space to make notes, so I looked at all the areas and could distinguish between boats without pure reliance on memory.
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:13 PM   #18
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Lot of good reference materials linked. I'm an admitted rookie on board the forum, but did a ton of research and looking before I purchased. And still missed some things and learned some lessons. A couple are -

Take your time, and don't feel rushed, especially if your first look-see makes you think "this could be the one". Like TDunn, I had a sellers broker that rushed me, and sounded like a car salesman that wouldn't shut up. Offered / surveyed... and walked away from that boat due to stuff I should have seen on my own initial exam.

Overall appearance develops a good initial 6th sense. But for me, the best quick assessment is lifting the hatch and taking a gander at the engine room. A lot of tales are told right there in looking at the appearance of the motors, wiring and hoses.

Then start looking in all the hidden crooks and crannies.

My two cents, and worth all of it!
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post

Is there a folder or thread for all this stuff?
Great Idea - maybe in the Library function - Miscellaneous
Title any / all contributions DIY Survey Resources - ++++?

I'll post mine - everyone else do the same -
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:27 PM   #20
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Moisture meters have their place. Just remember that the absolute numbers don't mean much. Look for differences between parts of the hull/deck. An area on the deck with higher numbers than the rest of the deck is likely wet. Constant readings means that the area is either uniformly dry or wet, or the meter is dead . I would always combine a meter with impact testing with a small plastic face hammer.
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