New Boat Buyers: Survey Tips


I get a lot of good advice and info from a forum that I belong to. Every now and then, I get great tips that I feel that I should share as the info may help someone else. CarlF from Cruisers Forum gave me a few very helpful words, as this is my first survey.


Your first survey can be very confusing. A lot is going on. Here are some of the things:

— #1 – Should you just walk away? A good surveyor will tell you this even if he won’t be as direct in his written report. He’s also likely to know very quickly. Most surveyors are glad to stop the survey and charge you less in this situation (since they don’t have to write the report).

— #2 – Negotiate the price down a “normal” amount (5%-15%) for a survey. The surveyor should find you enough things to get this discount. They seller is expecting it – or should be. Personally, I worry if there’s more wrong with the boat than this. Did the owner really not know? What else hasn’t been found?

— #3 – If you buy the boat, your insurance company will ask for the survey. You will have to fix the serious things on the list to get the boat insured. A good surveyor will not make this list longer than absolutely necessary – but may tell you some additional things that really deserve attention.

— #4 – A lot of the written report is useless boiler plate language to protect the surveyor from being sued. Be there in person.

— #5 – Don’t sweat the small stuff. A 60ft boat takes a long time to survey. You are likely to run out of time. Don’t have the surveyor spend time checking whether every light switch works until after all the important/expensive stuff has been checked.

— #6 – You don’t have to give a copy of the survey to the broker or owner. You paid for it.



Know any other survey tips?  Leave a comment and your 2 cents!!!




New Boat Buyers: Survey Tips — 2 Comments

  1. Ask for survey reports, both old and current.

    If available they can give you quite a bit of information. Are there known red flags? Did required repairs happen? What about recommended repairs? Did maintenance happen in the past? Actual use over time intervals (engine hours). And so on and so forth.

    A good tool for your own decision to make an offer and also to guide the survey.