Mid Size Power Boats

Mid Size Power Boats

A Guide for Discriminating Buyers

by David Pascoe

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Chapter 16

The Survey & Post Survey

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Table of Contents

Used Boat Surveys
What Surveyors Do
Survey Logistics
Engine Surveys
Oil Analysis
Electronic Diesels
Gas Engines

After the Survey

Dealing With Issues
Negotiating Deficiencies
Who Makes Repairs?
Estimating Repair Costs
A Few Other Tips


In the opening chapters of this book, we went into considerable detail about the nature of the boat building industry.

I didn't do that just to be controversial, but to point out that buying a boat may entail considerable risk, and to explain how that risk comes about.

Most marine surveyors recommend having a new boat surveyed because a survey can go a long way toward eliminating much of that risk.

People may say, "Oh, those surveyors are just trying to get more business for themselves." Certainly, that is true, but the reasons why they recommend new boat surveys are also true.

During the course of writing this book, I've kept track of the people who've contacted our company for help with new boat purchase problems.

Just to give you a general idea that there is no exaggeration of the above statements, the following is a short sampling of the tribulations that a few new boat buyers have been subjected to.

  • Two months after the purchase of a new boat, the owner hears a rumor that his boat may have been involved in a highway transportation crash. On further checking, he found out that this was true. He was sold a new boat that had been damaged, repaired and sold as new.

  • One year after purchase of a new 35 footer, the owner is still fighting with the dealer and builder about an extreme vibration problem.
    He's told by the dealer, after numerous attempts to solve the problem, that they have done all they can do, and that the owner will just have to live with it because, in their view, the vibration is "normal."
    Our survey of the problem revealed that the engines were improperly mounted and the problem was corrected within a week though the owner had been struggling with the problem for months.

  • Engines won't push the boat at the advertised speed and engines smoke excessively. Neither dealer nor builder nor engine reps are able to solve the problem.
    Again, the boat owner is told after nearly a year of futile efforts to correct the problem, that he just has to live with it.
    A check of the boat's exhaust system shows that the pipes and mufflers are undersize and do not meet the engine manufacturer specs.
    That was something the engine manufacturer should have picked up on, but didn't. After the owner hires a surveyor and a lawyer, builder is forced to change the exhaust system at a cost of nearly $20,000.

  • A new 35' boat purchase ends up with the starboard engine seizing up. Engine is replaced under warranty.
    Fifty-five days later, the same engine throws a rod. Engine is again replaced. Six months later, the same engine freezes up again.
    This time the engine manufacturer refuses to warrant the problem, blaming the owner for negligent operation.
    A survey determines that an underwater exhaust system is improperly designed that causes water to enter the engine. We had four clients with this same problem on the same model boat.

  • A new 39 footer goes back to the dealer nine times to correct the owner's list of 42 defects, some minor, some serious.
    Eight months later, only 22 of the items have been corrected and the dealer refuses to do any more.
    Owner is forced to hire an attorney and file suit. Oddly, most of the problems are fairly easy to correct.

  • The owner of a new boat becomes suspicious when he discovers that it looks like a lot of rework has been done to his new boat.
    There are lots of filled screw holes and obviously moved or removed equipment and wiring.
    Plus the engines had nearly 50 hours on the meter. Several weeks of investigation turns up proof that the boat had been sold once before and was taken back by the dealer on a failed financing arrangement, or so they claimed.
    Continued investigation revealed that the original buyer had refused to pay for the boat because it was developing cracks in the bottom.

cover art: Boat two bows Mid Size Power Boats
- A Guide to Discriminating Buyers

Soft Cover
512 pages
Publisher: D. H. Pascoe & Co., Inc.
Published: 2003
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0965649636
ISBN-13: 9780965649636

Price: $24.50
In Stock



David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version