What to look for...

russ

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on pre-survey first look at a boat? Mainly I need to spot any obvious problems with the engines and legs before employing a surveyor. Boat is out of the water and has KAD32's.
 

Seastoke

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on pre-survey first look at a boat? Mainly I need to spot any obvious problems with the engines and legs before employing a surveyor. Boat is out of the water and has KAD32's.
I can't help but if you say what boat it will help youa
 

kashurst

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This is a quick and dirty list of things I would do, I use this as a first pass before paying for a full hull and engine survey as you may well pick on something that makes you walk away, or renegotiate prices before paying for professional surveys etc If you post what make and model of boat it is, people will help with model specifics to check out.

the most expensive bits on any boat are the engines and outdrives. The fibregass hull can be readily repaired (unless its a damaged balsa wood core) electrics are usually easy to fix with patience, and the interior/exterior upholstery is again easy to replace if need. The cost of which depends on how much and what materials you want to use.

I usually make a list of everything to check before going to see a boat to have a proper poke about and go through every item, ticking them off.

Engines: open the engine bay up and what is your initial impression? clean and tidy? or swimming in oil and water with dirt everywhere? Engines look for signs of oil and water leaks so staining, oil trails, drips etc, check the engine oil on the dipstick and feel the oil. If it feels gritty its getting old (don't worry if its black it probably will be). Look inside the cooling system expansion tank - the coolant should be green and reasonably clear on a KAD engine. Look for brown staining inside the plastic expansion tank. If its brown coloured its either never had a coolant change or the engine is leaking and is being topped up with fresh water. If possible unscrew the dipstick on the supercharger and check the oil level and colour of that too. Again should be clear and violet colour (I thnk).
Check belt tensions - the supercharger drive belt should be difficult to twist 90 degrees at the longest run, alternator belt should flex about 10 - 15 mm at longest run. Is there lots of black dust around the engine bay near the superchargers?
Pop the air filter cover off and have a look at the paper cartridge is it clean?
If any of these things are not quite right don't panic but don't take as face value any tales of full Volvo service history/ one careful owner etc. Use the insight as things to look at harder on a sea trial.

Fuel filters: if the pre filters have clear bowls shine a torch through them - the fuel should be crystal clear. Open the drain valve with a container underneath and see what comes out - beware of coloured water. If the fuel tanks have drain valves - do the same with them.

Fire extinguishers? present and correct?
Engine bay wiring/plumbing all clipped back/in channels etc or a trail of spaghetti everywhere?

Outdrives: the tricky one: Props do they match port to starboard? any damage pitting or corrosion? Anodes - present and working?
outdrive oil - if the owner permits it, slacken off the oil drain plug and see what comes out. It should be outdrive oil (various colours) If you get dirty water first then oil that's a potential big problem as the drive seals are leaking.
Rubber gaiters - check how flexible the gaiters are for the shaft drive and the exhaust, should be firm but squashable. If they are either very soft or stiff and crunchy they are overdue changing. Look carefully for any signs of splitting or surface cracking. Examine the state of the jubilee clips holding them on for security and condition. Operate the trim controls and trim the leg in and fully out a few times and leave them at their max out level whilst checking other things for at least an hour if possible. The legs should both stay fully out. If one or both starts to droop there is a hydraulic ram / pump problem. Examine the state of the hoses and transom shield too.

Trim tabs - operate them up and down - do they work?

Hull: take a small plastic hammer with you and tap the hull all over the under water surfaces - it should make a dull "thunk", beware of any higher pitched sounds or hollow sounds as it indicates possible hull issues. Not easy to do without experience but worth a try as its out of the water. Stand well back from the hull and look along the sides for high/low areas for signs of impact damage/repairs. There is bound to be small chips/scrapes/crazing which are easy to fix but significant areas of different coloured/finish gel coat need further examination. Underwater Skin fittings - take a rat tail file with you and gently scrape just inside the metal skin fittings to remove a small area of antifoul. The metal underneath should be bright and golden - if its pink or crumbly they are knackered.

Bow thruster - check the state of the prop(s) and if an anode should be there (some don't have an anode)

Inside the hull - open any/all floor inspection covers you can find and stick your head inside with a decent torch. You are looking for cracks in the interior of the hull and delaminated fibreglass in corners/joins of the hull components. Also look for puddles of water. What do the various areas smell like? Generally there should be a "fibre glass" smell with no unpleasant overtones. If the boat has a holding tank look for signs of leakage (you will know!) and the condition of the toilet pipes/clips. Operate all the seacocks - open and close them a few times and look for corrosion/leak indicators.

Electrics - if the boat is on shore power check mains is on in the boat - should be a meter or indicator. Check the battery charger is operating and see what the battery voltage(s) are. Keep an eye on that whilst checking other things. Then carefully turn everything on and off. There is bound to be a few blown light bulbs, but pay attention to any navigation kit/radar/autopilot etc. If its safe to do so lower and raise the anchor a few metres just to check the windlass is OK.

No doubt there are more specific checks but if you get through all this and the boat still looks good then its probably worth getting a proper survey and a sea trial. When you do the sea trial, drive it like you stole it!
 

Momac

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I would first look at the cosmetic condition of everything including upholstery , cupboards etc, and external fittings like rails and cleats . . Some evidence of wear and tear is to be expected . A survey will not really pay much attention to the cosmetics and you do need to be happy with what you see.

Secondly loo at equipment and see if it looks up to date or antiquated and in need of replacement.

The above should not take very long.

Than have a look at the engine bay and if it looks like a filthy hole it may well indicate lack of attention to maintenance .
Look for any signs of corrosion particularly on the front of the engine and the alternator - there should be none.
Look at the outdrives for any signs of corrosion or leaks.

After that is up to your surveyor to find the faults .
 

petem

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Also give them advance notice that you need to inspect the boat's documentation:

1) Original VAT Invoice
2) Builder's Certificate
3) Bills of Sale (at least of the past six years)

If they tell you that they've been mislaid then the chances are that they don't exist.
 

Greg2

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Some very sound advice here so I won’t repeat.

We bought an S34 with KAD32s last year - downsized from a Broom 41 and we love it. You probably know that the KAD3s were the most common option as they were the smallest engines. Whilst there will be many views we like the space in the engine bay because they are 4 cylinders instead of the 6 that other options have and we are very happy with the 20-22 knot cruise we get at sea. Larger engine options will get a higher cruising speed and ultimately it depends what you want. For us the balance is just right.

The KAD32s are a solid motor with no major issues. Similarly, the S34 is a great boat with no major issues so as long as you do due diligence you will get a great boat that will be easy to sell on when the time comes :)
 

russ

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Thank to all for your comments. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see all of them until after the viewing. Did check the engine oil and that coolant was clean.
It looked quite overwhelming seeing two large engines as opposed to the single petrol Mercruiser I owned previously.
I'll start to contact someone to carry out a survey before shes back in the water.

Would i need to employ the same surveyor twice? Once for the outdrives whilst on the hard and another for sea trial?
 

Momac

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My present boat, a Sealine F33, was for sale while ashore.
The surveyor inspected the hull and drives . Then the boat was launched for a trial all in the one day.
I used Ian Lumley and would do so again.
https://lumleymarine.co.uk/
 

Seastoke

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we had ian Lumley for survey ,he did comment on the engines ,but had volvopaul to check engines and was on sea trial worth every penny ,and he seems to be down hamble a lot so he could possibly look at drives while out then engines when in the water ,but you will have to ask off cause SS
 
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