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Thread: Inflated Marine Surveys

  1. #1

    Default Inflated Marine Surveys

    Just wondering if anyone else has noticed that the marine survey prices lately are overinflated. It seems that boats are selling for WELL under the values set forth in respective surveys. I'm always seeing sellers on craigslist quote a marine survey value, then put their price well under. Contrarily (is this a word?), when they do seem to list their boat for the survey value, you always see that boat listed month after month on craigslist, until they end up reducing this price by thousands of dollars (sometimes tens of thousands).


    Do we have any surveyors on this forum that can speak to this? Does the survey protocol have yet to catch up with the dwindling economy?

    Prime example here:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/871865751.html

    If this boat is really priced $70k under it's real value it should be snapped up in a heartbeat....but it hasn't.

  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    This may be unique the the GC's, but to have the same boat built from another custom boat builder in BC or the PAC NW, would be pretty close if not more than the $315K appraised value. By the way, he is off on the size. It is a 34' x 11' beam, not the 10' beam that is advertised. Not sure how he missed that one. A foot in beam is huge! I would agree that the economic state of the nation has slowed the sale of the big boy toys and that a survey is just a survey. It would take a pretty hungry buyer and savvy seller to get the surveyed priced.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    With people being worried about the economy, and fuel prices, big boats aren't going to be hot sellers. And when you have someone that is despirate to sell a boat, they will be willing to drop it under it's appraised value, just to get themselves out of payments.

    You can see the same thing in housing. Our neighborhood used to see houses sell within a month of them going on the market. Now you see them on the market for 6 months to a year. Until the seller drops the price down to what buyers are willing to pay, which is under the apraised value, houses don't move.

  4. #4
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    A survey is based upon the set value of a boat at which a person would sell their boat at retail (like from a used car lot). That price is set once a year by either NADA, or BUC or others. A marine surveyor uses this and makes adjustments based on condition of the boat, and then does a market analysis on what other boats have sold for recently.

    So that kind of answers your question and remember that surveys work both ways, a seller gets one when he wants to sell his boat, and if the boat is under a loan the bank gets one from the owner in both cases the surveyor is working for the boat owner. Good surveys also include condition reports. Now a surveyor also can work for a buyer and do the same things in reverse and to present backup for offers made and gives buyers the full story on a boats condition. Usually surveys are only good for a short time period and banks usually don't accept surveys older than 6 months usually they want a current one.

    As we all know boats are luxury items and in hard times are the first to lose value.

    I just sold a boat I didn't owe anything on and was happy to rid myself of for 1/2 my inital asking price... lame I know. Markets change faster than survey book values.

    Sobie2

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    Maybe I'm confused but doesn't that posting state that it has an 11' beam? I reread it a few times to make sure .

    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    This may be unique the the GC's, but to have the same boat built from another custom boat builder in BC or the PAC NW, would be pretty close if not more than the $315K appraised value. By the way, he is off on the size. It is a 34' x 11' beam, not the 10' beam that is advertised. Not sure how he missed that one. A foot in beam is huge! I would agree that the economic state of the nation has slowed the sale of the big boy toys and that a survey is just a survey. It would take a pretty hungry buyer and savvy seller to get the surveyed priced.

  6. #6
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushboy View Post
    Maybe I'm confused but doesn't that posting state that it has an 11' beam? I reread it a few times to make sure .
    Interesting. Justin must have edited it, because the original post said 10' and I reread it several times. Perhaps I made too many trips to the fridge!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  7. #7
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    If I bought a used boat I wouldn't use what a surveyer says. What someone else paid to have someone else rig their boat because they couldn't do it themselves doesn't add to the price IMHO. And used is used, you lose 10% value once you take it home from the dealer.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  8. #8
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MARV1 View Post
    And used is used, you lose 10% value once you take it home from the dealer.
    I would agree that this applies to glass boats, but aluminum boats sure seem to hold their value do to the increased cost of aluminum. Especially the ocean going boats.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  9. #9

    Default Just had a survey done

    I knew my boat was under insured, but getting more coverage meant a survey must be done. I called, had it done, contacted the insurance company and had a nice chat about the going rate for surveys and if it was normal for them to seem so high compared to what the boats are actually listed for. Basicly if it had to be replaced to the exact thing this is what it would cost. Makes sense and makes me feel like I'm not going to become an ex-boater instantly if mine sinks! As far as resale; I think its like a house, the nails and boards cost this much, but put together on the corner of wherever and the price changes. Your only going to sell your vessel for what the going rate in the market will allow, surveyed for a billion or not!

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MARV1 View Post
    If I bought a used boat I wouldn't use what a surveyer says.
    Good point....and this seems to be happening as everyone lists their boat for less than the survey. I can't remember seeing a single survey (and I've been used boat shopping for almost a year) that I thought was right on. Some of these are even greater than what you can buy a new boat for....ridiculous. So what good is a survey? Yes, yes, I know, you have to include all the shrimp pots, downriggers, etc. but hey, those things depreciate too....and much faster than an aluminum boat. For something like a used downrigger, I don't think I'd ever pay more than half the new retail price.

    I do see the likeness to the real estate market, but percentage-wise, it seems that the boat surveys are FAR more inaccurate than a real estate appraisal. Of course, this is probably due to the fact that a real estate appraisal is done usually after the offer is made.

  11. #11

    Lightbulb

    Cruiser: Your statement "Some of these are even greater than what you can buy a new boat for....ridiculous. " May be true for a fiberglass or production aluminum boat but it does not hold true for a quality, custom aluminum boat.

    I have seen many quality, custom aluminum boats bring their original or near original price 3 to 4 years later. Why is this? First - aluminum boats don't depreciate like fiberglass boats do - in fact some appreciate. Second - It takes 1 to 3 years to get a custom aluminum built. Some folks who need a boat now, like a guide who somehow lost his boat, or an individual who does not want to wait 1 to 3 years to get a boat are willing to pay top dollar for a boat. Third - If you have been seriously shopping for a custom aluminum boat I am sure you have found there are very few for sale.

    Why are there so few used, quality, custom aluminum boats for sale? I would submit that the folks that have these boats built have spent a great deal of time and money getting exactly the boat they want (the very definition of a custom boat) and they in tend to keep it for a long time. IF you can find a good deal on a used custom aluminum boat you best

  12. #12

    Default

    Could not edit the original post - accidentally hit send. Here is the REAL message.

    Cruiser: Your statement "Some of these are even greater than what you can buy a new boat for....ridiculous. " May be true for a fiberglass or production aluminum boat but it does not hold true for a quality, custom aluminum boat.

    I have seen many quality, custom aluminum boats bring their original or near original price after they are 3 to 4 years old. Why is this? First - aluminum boats don't depreciate like fiberglass boats do - in fact some appreciate. Second - It takes 1 to 3 years to get a custom, aluminum boat built. Some folks who need a boat now, like a guide who somehow lost his boat, or an individual who does not want to wait 1 to 3 years to get a boat are willing to pay top dollar for a boat. Third - If you have been seriously shopping for a custom aluminum boat I am sure you have found there are very few for sale.

    Why are there so few used, quality, custom, aluminum boats for sale? I would submit that the folks that have these boats built have spent a great deal of time and money getting exactly the boat they want (the very definition of a custom boat) and they intend to keep it for a long time. IF you can find a good deal on a used custom aluminum boat I suggest you seriously consider jumping on it.

    I looked at aluminum boats for several years and when I could not find a used one that met my needs I started working with builders in Alaska, Washington and British Columbia. My boat is less that a year old and I would not consider selling it for what I have in it - unless I were in dire financial straits. Why is this? First A new one would not get me a better boat. Second - I would not want to wait the 1 to 2 years it would take to get a new one and Third - A new one, exactly the same, would cost at least 10% to 15% more.

    Hope this helps.

    SB

  13. #13

    Default

    From what I've ready about surveys http://www.marinesurvey.org/index2.html
    there are different kinds and each has a different purpose. If someone told me they'd had their boat surveyed (or better yet that they'd pay for me to have it surveyed) and I was looking to buy a boat, I'd want a pre-purchase survey and then I could figure out what the boat was worth to me once I knew it was structurally sound. From the web site:

    Pre-Purchase Survey
    This is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel should be examined. This covers structural integrity, electrical systems, the propulsion system, the fuel system, other machinery, navigation equipment, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, electronics, and overall maintenance as well as an out-of-water inspection and a sea trial.

    Insurance Survey
    This inspection is performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in structural integrity and safety for its intended use. Most insurance companies require a survey on older boats. They will also want to know the vessel's fair market value.

    Appraisal Inspection
    This inspection is performed to gather enough information to justify or determine the fair market value of the vessel. This is normally needed for financing, estate settlements, donations and legal cases.

    Damage Inspection
    This is performed to assess the extent of damage, recommend repairs, estimate repair cost, and if requested, possible cause.

  14. #14

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    Shark bait,
    I agree with what you are saying. I simply used that GC custom boat in my first post as an example of how people put selling prices well below the "appraised value" because they know the boat won't sell for that. I would guess that the individual didn't pay 315k for that boat. Pure speculation on my part though...

  15. #15
    Member potpuller's Avatar
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    Default Marine Surveys

    My 2825 PH Kingfisher just went through a survey. Rising Seas from anchorage did the survey and I was very impressed with their work. Extremely detailed and professional, far and above what I have had in the past. It is good to know that we have a firm like this in Anchorage that has intregrity and understands that their reputation is all that they have as a marketing tool.

  16. #16
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    Maybe you were right . I KNOW I have made too many trips to the fridge and now I am seeing 11' .

    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    Interesting. Justin must have edited it, because the original post said 10' and I reread it several times. Perhaps I made too many trips to the fridge!

  17. #17

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    Potpuller,
    Sent you a PM

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