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"BEFORE" the survey

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Old 05-29-2008, 10:32 PM
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Default "BEFORE" the survey

Surveys are not cheap especially when you are considering several boats. I searched but couldn't find a list of things to look for "prior" to spending $$ on a survey. This is especially true when I have a friend looking at a boat when I can't trip 500-1000 miles. Any help would be awesome!

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Old 05-30-2008, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bert4332 View Post
Surveys are not cheap especially when you are considering several boats. I searched but couldn't find a list of things to look for "prior" to spending $$ on a survey. This is especially true when I have a friend looking at a boat when I can't trip 500-1000 miles. Any help would be awesome!

thanx
I am not a surveyor nor a frequent boat buyer but things I would do are:

Go through the boat and open all hatches, storage compartments, and panels to gain as much accesss to the hull and stringers as possible. I would look for standing moisture, soft spots, discolored spots from water damage, signs of repairs, cracking, etc....

I would do the same on the outside of the boat in particular the transom around any places that have bolts or fittings going through the transom (where exposure to moisture would be a possibility). I would walk the bow to stern all over looking for cracking, well covered up repairs, etc....

I would make sure the deck doesn't have any soft spots or problem areas, and look the rubrail over real well for signs of water entry.

I would have him fire it up (while it's cold) and make sure everything "sounds" right (as best a friend could do without compression/leak down testing). Make sure obvious things work like the water pressure system, head, lights, guages, etc... I would surmise that if a person only has about 70% of his guages working than that would be indicative of his maintenance history as well. I would think you could tell a LOT about a boat's maintenance/use history by the way it is kept.

That is where I woudl ask a friend to start to even decide if the surveyor is worth it....
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:52 AM
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http://www.allinson.com/Gemini.pdf

Here is an example survey I found online. I have purchased several boats and the only one I regret is the one I did not get a survey on. My .02.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:23 AM
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Documentation means alot. If the owner maintained it with an open checkbook and the work was done by a reputable source, I'd expect that he'd not only have the paperwork but that he'd be happy to share it with you as reinforcement of his asking price.

One other thing I learned early on- people do things consistently. If a guy abuses his home and his cars, the chances of him babying his boat are slim. I'm always suspicious of something that looks "shoeshined", especially when it's out of place.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Sunkin View Post
Documentation means alot. If the owner maintained it with an open checkbook and the work was done by a reputable source, I'd expect that he'd not only have the paperwork but that he'd be happy to share it with you as reinforcement of his asking price.

One other thing I learned early on- people do things consistently. If a guy abuses his home and his cars, the chances of him babying his boat are slim. I'm always suspicious of something that looks "shoeshined", especially when it's out of place.
That I agree with!

When I sold my last boat I had a rather large file of reciepts for work done over the 6-7 years that I owned the boat. I was happy to show potential buyers all the paperwork and when the boat was sold the pile of paperwork went along with it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:35 AM
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Surveys ARE cheap when you consider what it could cost you if you don't get one.
Several years ago I had a top gun surveyed that I would have purchased if the survey would have gone well. The leakdown test indicated two very tired engines as well as two worn out transom assemblys so I passed on the boat.
You do the math.

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Old 05-30-2008, 10:45 AM
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Tell the friend to go to sears or any hardware store and get the small mallet that has one side with a hard rubber end and the other side with a hard plastic end.....use that plastic side and tap all around the transom especially around the drive assemblies and exhaust exits and inside around the stringers anywhere theres a screw hole or where the motor mounts are........they should all sound solid when tapped on...if theres any rot inside it will give off a "thud" or empty kind of sound
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:59 AM
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One trick I read on a magazine was to take a sting and run it from the center bow to the transom along the trim. Do it on the port and starboard side and measure the string. It should be the same on both sides. If not then the hull/deck joint was not done properly and may "work" when running.
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