Something to keep in mind is that if the boat you are looking at is over 10 years old and you donít have proof of the value of the boat you may not be able to get insurance.
With a survey you can show what the estimated market value of the boat is worth. I paid $11 dollars a foot in the state of Ohio to have my boat surveyed. I received an 8 page report detailing the Hull Exterior, Hull Interior, Deck Construction, Underwater Gear, Propulsion System, Deck Fittings, Cockpit, Cabin, Fuel System, Steering, DC System, AC System, Fresh Water System, and Electronics. He also checked for Safety Deficiencies and Non Safety deficiencies and listed the things that need attention.
I know that he had to spend a considerable amount of time documenting all of the information listed on the report right down to the expiration date on the flares.
Yes I could have probably gotten by without doing it, but he pointed out things I would not have noticed and it gave me information that I used to renegotiate the purchase price.
I also had the motors tested by a mechanic who found a stator bad and one of the motors was going to need a rebuild in the near future. Again, I was able to use this information to re-negotiate the price.
If you narrow your choices down to one or two boats and have it checked over, a few hundred now might save you thousands later.
Like others have said, there are good ones out there and bad ones. Go with someone who is accredited and ask him questions as to what he will do so youíre not disappointed.