View Full Version : Boat Walkthrough Questions to Ask

09-07-2015, 02:12 PM
We have narrowed down our search to two boats that are in freshwater in Texas and will be walking through them in a week or two. Are there any particular questions we should ask since we are fairly new to houseboats? One is a 2002 18x100 and the other a 2002 with a refit this year 18x80, both are Sumerset's. Can an accurate marine survey be done with the boat in the water, or would it be advisable to pay the extra money to have it pulled? My big concern is galvanic corrosion. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...thanks in advance!

09-07-2015, 06:02 PM
FOR SURE pull them. Your going to spend serious money for a boat. If nothing else you will not have to wonder.

The link below is from another forum I participate in. It's old but but everything still applies today.


09-08-2015, 06:54 AM
You can have an insurance type survey done in the water. But if you are worried about thin spots in the aluminum due to galvanic corrosion, then you are going to have to have it pulled and the hull inspected. I would want to crawl through the hold and look for water spots in the decking and check out the plumbing and waste tanks. I would also want to spend a lot of time looking at the roof - specifically where the railings are screwed down. I would want to know when the outdrives were last serviced.

Good luck in your purchase.

09-08-2015, 07:49 AM
It is best to pull a boat to see the out-drives and outer hull. Or to just check thickness you can do as I did and run a D-meter over the hull from the inside. Mine is a 1977 Sumerset and it was within original specs. 7 years ago when I did my own survey.

Couple of tricks that I would do regardless of survey( because i trust no one and these are quick checks to major components ) take a water hose with a nozzle that shoots a good stream and "rinse" the walls of a boat. if there is damage from water running into the walls you can hear the difference EASY. Also when checking out the top look for cracks or pulled screws and as you are doing so walk over the complete top, if you feel a soft spot there is damage. The things that happen to a boat like Sumerset are storm damage or neglect to the integrity of the top/sides causing major damage to the structure. As long as these boats are cared for they will be ok.

09-08-2015, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone. All good advice, and I was pretty sure that I would have whatever boat we decide on to be pulled out. Better to pay the $$$ now at a fraction of what it would cost if I don't have it hauled out and there is major repairs to be made. So that raises another question. Any ideas about what the cost is to have an 80-100 boat hauled out for the survey? We used to own a 32 foot steel hulled sailboat which had to be cradled out of the water. As far as doing the different checks, such as for leaks, would you do those during the walkthrough, or would you do that once you decide that's the boat you want then make the offer with the contingency of the results of leaks tests, system tests, survey, etc.?

09-08-2015, 10:04 AM
I would make an offer, in writing, contingent upon a favorable
1. "Sea Trial"
2. "Mechanic Check" of Engines and Genset
3. "Out of Water Survey".

It is best to perform the Sea trial , with the mechanic on board.

09-08-2015, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the info. I've contacted two surveyors and a boat hauling facility to get an idea about prices.

09-09-2015, 07:26 AM
If there is a boat hauler local with the right kind of trailer, you are probably looking at $1,500 or so to pull it, sit around for a couple of hours, and put it back in. If someone has to come in from outside the area, then you are going to be paying their travel time - so it depends. It could get pricey.

09-09-2015, 07:51 AM
I did find a place to pull the boat out and they charge $26.50 a foot, so it'll be roughly $2500 and they are booked up so I will need to schedule with them as soon as we decide on a boat. I also found a surveyor and he'll charge about $1400 or so. He charges $18 a foot. He sent me an old survey he did on a 50 foot sailboat and it was very extensive. I was impressed with it actually.

09-11-2015, 06:55 AM
. He charges $18 a foot. He sent me an old survey he did on a 50 foot sailboat and it was very extensive. I was impressed with it actually.

And worth every penny, and you will need it to get insurance.