A Marine Surveyor is a necessary CYA step. It appears that you can't buy a boat from a reputable broker without a survey. I suppose that's because you shouldn't buy a boat without a professional survey.
Unlike cars, boats appear to have a longer life and more complex set of safety regulations. Not more regulations -- cars are pretty heavily regulated -- but more complex regulations. I think it's because cars have fewer degrees of freedom. Boats vary from very small to very immense. My tender is regulated similarly to a cruise ship tender. Mine's a lot smaller.
Or perhaps because there are fewer manufacturers. Or perhaps cars were regulated from the earliest versions, where boats are traditionally unregulated.
Whatever the real reason, boats exist in a complex safety and regulatory framework. It takes a professional to show you what's required and what's desired.
The going-in job list starts something like this. These are summarized a bit. Each boat is unique, so your list will be considerably different, even if it's an '82 Whitby.
• ❑ Equip vessel with required USCG and State equipment
• ❑ Foredeck repair
• ❑ Spinnaker pole bracket rebedding
• ❑ Seacock Servicing
• ❑ Galley sink drain
• ❑ Propane locker wiring
• ❑ Bilge pump wiring
• ❑ Headsail halyard wraps problem
• ❑ Water hoses for pressure system
• ❑ Refrigeration system
• ❑ Alternator/water pump belt loose
• ❑ Turning block on mizzen boom
• ❑ Knot meter does not register
• ❑ Standing water on top of keel fuel tank
• ❑ Water in keel step box
• ❑ Battery positive terminals not covered
It goes on; there's a second list of recommended changes. Plus there's another dozen nice-to-haves.
And that doesn't include removing the old television.
As soon as the funds transfer, we'll be back up to Deltaville to start in on "The List".