Originally Posted by Edelweiss
Unfortunately, the surveyor may be in a position to dictate his opinion ...
Unless he is doing a valuation survey where an opinion is part of the product, the surveyor is not there to provide an opinion.
A surveyor should identify the vessel, state what is onboard, list obvious defects and damage such as broken windows or doors or soft decks, and when possible, if an item was seen to function or not. Period.
You can ask for a personal opinion but if the surveyor includes one on the report I think he or she has gone beyond his mandate. A surveyor might rightly report that the bilges contained oil, but he is rarely if ever in a position to state that the oil came from a leaking engine or transmission.
When a surveyor reports a "defect" he must be able to identify the function or standard it does not satisfy. If a surveyor cannot readily state the law, rule, or legal requirement to support his finding of non-compiance then he has no basis on which to call it out as a defect on the survey report. A surveyor is not a boat cop with the authority to nail an owner for reckless ownership.