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Sounds a bit like those tests that are supposed to tell you where your from, send in the same sample twice and see the results differ!!

All the average user really needs to examine oil is the naked eye and a functioning nostril.

If we are talking about multimillion pounds worth of ship engine oil testing might have its uses, just my opinion.  

I am very sceptical of marine surveyors to be honest but I suppose if you know nowt their services might be useful.  My experience is a lot of these reports produced by proffessional assessors in many industries are just cut and paste excercises. 


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Since when did the outside appearance of an engine make it knackered?? Peering down the filler and a good look at the oil can give you a clue, corrosion is usually just the sign of not having an oil leak which I seem to recall being good thing (and rare for a bmc), the man sounds like an idiot.(or had an engine for sale)

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When we had 'B.A' surveyed whilst still in the water (The surveyor could get to most of the hull from inside as one usually can with woodies)  He informed us that as a project she was a viable proposition and that the asking price was pie in the sky

He then proceeded to try and talk us out of taking her on as a project.

He explained that the time / money would run away with us, the friendship between us mates could suffer, we would more than likely run out of enthusiasm, patience and knowledge.  Our  wives / family would get mightily peed of.  Our homes and other interests would suffer too.

He was correct on the time / money / wives / family / homes / and other interests.   Other than that it went very well, I mean, just what possibly could have gone wrong? 

We are all so chuffed we took her on, including the wives / family.  However would I do it again? - Not a chance. Well, not unless I ever retire to somewhere with a large shed and endless amounts of beer chits at my disposal.


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I've not had a boat surveyed myself, because I have read many from other boats and indeed previous ones from the boats I have bought. They run to several pages but end up with one important page - the one where they evaluate what is wrong on a scale of it needing to be put right as soon as possible to it can be done at the next opportunity the boat is out and being looked at.

In my opinion you are more likely to run into issue with a river boat that has been through several owners because there is more chance they will have been tinkerers. There are some very knowledgable boat owners out there but equally there are some who are not and so while it might not seem obvious to you, to a trained eye obvious issues with electrics for example or plumbing will come to light and from past experiences with Survey's and reading Blogs on the subject it is these type of things that crop up more often than not. Gas bottles, lines and valves, or battery connections, security and wiring.  Of course the main reason of having a Survey on a boat is structural, and that is why the boat needs coming out the water - has it got Osmosis and if so how bad? What are the moisture readings in the GRP lay up? Are there any obvious issues with the rudder, prop and shaft - play in cutlass bearings, rudder bearings and the like and from there inside to sea cocks, hoses and so on.

I doubt any boat will have a 'clean survey' there is always going to be some issues raised, it is up the person buying if these are too costly to put right or if the seller won't lower the price because of them and then there is the value of the boat. Spending £5k on a £15,000 boat is a lot but spend the same of a £250,000 boat and it is seem as small fry.  Much of it comes down to personal opinion on what is or is not worth putting right or spending out on only the essential items.

It is why I am wary when I see terms like 'maintained to a high standard regardless of cost' and then see things like the engine fuel and oil filters are after market parts and not genuine manufacture parts.

Sea Trials are not often included in a survey - and it is no good going along a river at 1,200RPM because if a diesel engine is going to work it will and if it has a big problem it won't. But how does the gear box sound? Does it slip between forward and astern, is there any oil in the engine tray, or around gear box - if so where has it come from? Does the engine maintain normal operating temperature under load and high RPM's? There are guys who will do a full river trial and have a multi-point check list to work through and can then issue you with a full report and part of this will include compression testing.

Since you said "if I have my boat surveyed" I presume you are talking of one you own and not are interested in buying, so I wonder what a help a Survey would bring now other than if your Insurer has asked for one to be carried out.


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