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Survey Says?

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I had looked at a bunch of boats, walking around on their decks, rocking back and forth checking for soft spots, scanning the rigging for rust, examining engines, but mostly just wandering around getting fixated on things that now I know don’t cost a lot of money or time to fix, and completely missing the things that cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to fix.

In an effort to broaden my knowledge base, I bought a couple books that I would recommend to every newbie out there.

Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual:

And then I bought this - a wealth of information on pretty much every system aboard. The pages are thin, but hell it's a lot of stuff they're trying to pack into the book.

Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual 4/E

Books are great, but humans are better…most of the time anyways.

If you’ve never owned a sailboat, and are looking to buy one, equip yourself with people ’in the know’ prior to hiring a surveyor. They will save you wasted survey costs.

Other experienced sailors will point out things to look at based on clues that are probably easy to miss if you haven’t owned an old boat, or been out in the ocean scratching your head thinking about how to McGuyver a solution until you can get yourself safely back to land.

A surveyor does his/her best, but they have a lot to cover, and they’re human. The more eyes scanning for possible issues the better. The survey on my boat came back with a stamp of approval.

‘Miga’ is Clean, with a capital C, inside and out. Lots of dated stuff, mostly original, but in my book that’s great. It means less previous-owner-installs gone wrong. I’d like to reserve the right to make my own goofy installs and piss off the next owner if there is one thank you very much.
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Engine started right up, standing rigging is in good shape, running rigging not so much, sails will need to be replaced, ports are crazed, bilge has a bit of dirty water (but most boats do right? Um no… I’ll cover that in an upcoming article…ouch), lifelines shot, seacocks seem ok, a bit of dry rot on one of the bulkheads, a repair I could do, all original electronics (not working/useless), but overall seemingly great bones.

I thought, soon enough I’ll be grinning behind that big, shiny wheel and on the way back to my home port of Marina Del Rey, Ca.…gracefully pulling into the slip with my wife smiling from the dock, her hair glistening in the sunlight, and the abundant joy of my daughter jumping up and down while her voice reverberates through the whole Marina. “Go daddy go!”

NOPE! Not even close to reality.

So, there’s that.

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