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Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:31pm

Post Subject: boat surveys

When having a survey done prior to buying a used boat, as the buyer, what is the protocol? If the survey shows up a fault/faults on the boat not mentioned in the sale and the seller is unwilling to adjust the asking price or remedy the fault, are you as the buyer left out of pocket for the cost of the survey. regards daveyb


Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:11pm

Post Subject: boat surveys

Dear Dave Unless you can persuade the vendor to sign a contract to the effect that they will pay the survey fee whatever the outcome of the transaction I am sure that whoever commissions the survey is the one to pay the costs. I have never heard of anyone agreeing such a contract so it is much like house surveys. I suppose that if you could prove that the vendor deliberately and knowingly misrepresented the condition of the boat to the extent that a reasonable person would have thought a survey was unnecessary there may be a case to sue for the cost of the survey, but I bet legal fees would be more then the survey cost and in may cases you would still not be able to collect any money. Always make sure you get a written agreement to buy/sell clearly marked "Subject to survey", otherwise (in theory) the vendor could take action against you if the survey caused you to pull out of the sale. Never use a surveyor who is recommended by the marina/broker/vendor. There are lists in the back of the magazine. It would be unwise to take any recent survey provided by the marina/broker/vendor at face value. If you want to minimise the chances of a "bad" survey and are not particularly familiar with boats try to take someone with you who knows more then you when you view the boat. that way the pair of you stand a better chance of spotting problems before committing to a survey. I am minded that whilst viewing boats on my own and a friends behalf a major broker tried to tell me that a bilge so full the carpets were wet was "only condensation" and also went mad when I discovered a boat they were selling had a slipping gearbox. Brokers tend to have very good interpersonal skills but remember they are working on behalf of the vendor - whatever they try to imply. Surveys are VITAL, even on brand new boats.

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