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  1. #21
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    Nov 2004
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    I assume your loss is the price of rectifying the loose keel. If this is just the cost of you tightening up a few bolts and a bit of mastic then I'd put it down to experience.
    If a boatyard is involved then perhaps have a look at your boat insurance - if it includes legal cover then maybe give them a call and have a chat about it.
    Check to see if your surveyor is in the YDSA - it should say on his paperwork - if not then get a mate to call on pretext of doing a survey on a different boat and ask of his credentials then. If he is in the YDSA then you can approach them and ask about liability.
    Ultimately though, if significant sums are involved then it may pay you to talk to a solicitor.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by keelbolts9 View Post
    Is the YDSA a regulatory body or simply a membership association? Can the YDSA 'strike off' the incompetent marine surveyor who failed to spot the loose keel on the boat in Cardiff I subsequently purchased, or would they not be interested in professional standards? The surveyor in question denies any responsibility.
    Why don't you give the YBDSA a call and ask them?

    They will tell you if your surveyor is a member and at what level. If he is not then it appears you are on your own.

    I contacted them over a Broker issue a few years ago. Even though the broker was a member they advised me to sue him! I do not believe they hold any sort of protection to their members if they are found to be negligent.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by keelbolts9 View Post
    Is the YDSA a regulatory body or simply a membership association? Can the YDSA 'strike off' the incompetent marine surveyor who failed to spot the loose keel on the boat in Cardiff I subsequently purchased, or would they not be interested in professional standards? The surveyor in question denies any responsibility.
    Your first step is to determine what your loss is and whether it could have been prevented if the surveyor had found the fault. This may involve engaging another surveyor to advise you, but it may be possible to use a quote from a repair shop.

    You will have to show that you relied on his advice in a professional capacity. Membership of a professional body at this point is irrelevant. If he is setting himself up as a professional expert he is personally liable for his mistakes. Most professionals insure themselves against such mistakes, but that does not affect his personal liability, it just means you don't have to fight him but his insurance company.

    The YDSA insist their members have insurance as everybody can make mistakes. And, yes they can withdraw his membership if he persistently breaks the code of conduct.

    He cannot just ignore you. If you have suffered a financial loss because of his mistake then sue him. It is very straightforward for smallish amounts. See www.moneyclaim.gov.uk for the process. Receiving a claim through the court will wake him up. He may of course choose to defend it in which case you will have to present your own case or hire a solicitor. Even if you win, there is no guarantee that you will get your money (for example if he declares himself bankrupt), but at least you will have established a legal claim.

    All this is much better than sitting whinging, but only worth pursuing if you really have suffered a financial loss.

    BTW the website will give you lots of advice on how you might be able to resolve disputes without going to court. You will need to show that you have explored all these, one of which will be arbitration through a professional body before resorting to the court.

    Just to give you an idea, I have just filed a claim against easyjet, but I can demonstrate that I have used their claims procedure, provide the information they asked for and given them ample time to respond. No response so 30 minutes on line and the claim is filed.

    Hope this helps

  4. #24
    Coaster is offline Registered User
    Location : home Warwickshire / boat currently in Plymouth
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    It would be helpful if the OP, keelbolts9, answered the following questions.

    1. Did OP engage the surveyor's services directly?

    2. What were the written terms of engagement?

    3. What did the OP instruct the surveyor to do?

    4. What type of boat was being advised on?

    5. Was the boat being purchased by the OP?

    6. Where and when did these events take place?

    Without answers to these questions we will be making assumptions about the circumstances that may be invalid.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    12

    Default Useless marine surveyor in Cardiff

    Tranoma, Thank you very much for your reply. Very helpful and really useful. Much appreciated.

  6. #26
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by keelbolts9 View Post
    Tranoma, Thank you very much for your reply. Very helpful and really useful. Much appreciated.
    Thanks.

    If you do go down this route, remember that you have to prepare a good case that your surveyor was negligent and that you had a loss. You start at a disadvantage because he is the "expert" and you are challenging his expertise. The test (which the court will use if it gets that far) is one of "reasonableness" - is it reasonable to expect a competent surveyor to spot this fault. It is unlikely to be black and white because each case is specific and there is inevitably judgement involved based on the evidence presented. This is why you might need further professional advice.

    The first step is to collect your evidence and then decide if it is worth pursuing. Present him with the evidence and your claim, which he will pass onto his insurer (if he has one). Copy the YDSA or any other professional body if he is a member, but remember they have no direct responsibilty for his actions, but are there to help resolve disputes. Be prepared for the long haul - he is just as entitled to challenge your account as you are his.

    I have been involved with two cases of surveyor negligence. In the first case with my own boat, we resolved it amicably because the cost of repairs was relatively small - he paid for the materials and helped me in the repairs. The second was where the purchaser discovered the boat was a basket case even though the surveyor's report was glowing. I inspected the boat with a view to buying it "as is" and it was obvious from 25 yards away that there were botched repairs. The owner had a detailed survey from a well respected surveyor to support his claim against the (uninsured) original surveyor. Despite the detail, I still found unreported faults, probably because I know a lot about the design of boat, having owned a similar boat from the same designer and builder for 30 years. This case had already been going on for over a year, even though, as things go it was an "open and shut" case.

    Feel free to PM me if you need any further "friendly" advice.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    12

    Default dodgy yacht surveyors

    Thank you all of you for your advice. I now have a way forward and will be proceeding. One things for sure I have learnt from all this is to give surveyors in Cardiff a very wide berth.

  8. #28
    Seah0rse's Avatar
    Seah0rse is online now Registered User
    Location : Me UK boat Albufeira
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    Jun 2009
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    I instructed a ‘surveyor’ last year who, at the eleventh hour (lift out booked etc,) subsequently decided to refuse the job because I would not let him see the previous Surveyors’ report (now retired.) Presumably he was not confident of his own ability. My view was that the Survey should be able to stand alone.
    Please don't litter our sea. Seah0rse

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    When my previous boat was surveyed, in Cardiff, for the people who eventually bought it, he missed some of the things that I had already told them. I was in the yard while he was doing the survey which he stopped after a short while, due to a phonecall. He said to the people who paid him that he came back later but that was a lie, I never left and slept onboard that night. I can't remember his name but would not touch him with a disinfected bargepole!
    I'm sure there are some good surveyors in Cardiff.
    Allan
    Last edited by Allan; 29-07-10 at 14:03. Reason: Sentence added

  10. #30
    saltwater_gypsy's Avatar
    saltwater_gypsy is offline Registered User
    Location : Now back in Scotland . Boat for sale
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    Ah the times we live in!!!!!!!
    The last survey I got was a masterpiece of "CUT and PASTE" and nearly every item was qualified with a phrase like..."and should be inspected by a specialist...". Several serious defects were overlooked and several trivial points were seized on because they were easy to write about. I believe that you need ZERO QUALIFICATIONS to set up as a Marine Surveyor but presumably you need some level of qualification to join the Institute or Association.
    I know there are some excellent surveyors out there but there are also a lot of bandits as this thread confirms !!!!
    Last edited by saltwater_gypsy; 29-07-10 at 18:53.
    "Cruising is boat maintenance in paradise"
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