If you are considering buying a sailboat or a motorboat, you should really consider getting a professional marine survey done by an marine surveyor experienced in the size and type of boat you are looking at. Often buying a boat is a very emotional decision and you might not see reality as it is (ever wondered if some of your friends are blind when choosing a girlfriend/ boyfriend?)
Ask the surveyor for a "Buyer's Survey". He will look in depth at the boat and all it's systems so you have a good idea of the shape of everything and what you will need to do to get it in shipshape for your cruising plans. Labor is inexpensive in the Philippines so you get get a boat repaired and cosmetics done for less than overseas!
With this survey in hand, you will be able to make a wise decision ... either stay away from that vessel and continue searching ... or negotiate a better price from the seller, based on real value by an independent expert that generally will be accepted by the seller. Most of the time, the lower buying price will save you much more than your cost for the survey
If you are looking at a boat located far away from you, it is worth getting a good survey before spending time & money to go visit the boat.... And if you are pretty sure the boat will be what you want, then try to schedule a survey to be done at the same time you visit the boat so you follow the survey directly and can ask plenty of questions to the surveyor about what will be needed to correct issues (and you are a dreamer if you think that any boat would be ready to go out as it is when you buy it!)
If you intend to insure your boat, the insurance companies will probably ask for a recent survey so they can consider the risks and insure your boat at a realistic value. Beware of insurance contracts that will pay you fair market value in case of loss! You might spend time and money arguing with the insurer about what that fair value is! Always get a "Agreed Value" coverage!That way there won't be problems in case of a claim! Insurers generally accept professional surveys for 3 to 7 years.
If you plan to buy a new boat and insure it, ask your marine surveyor for a "Comprehensive Survey" that will include both a Buyer's Survey and Insurance Survey.
So don't hesitate to contact a good surveyor (contact several until you get someone you feel comfortable with & about)... you will always be glad you did!
Disclaimer: I am a marine surveyor myself and I offer the above advice to all boat owners everywhere on our Blue Planet without any expectations of future business for myself. But I will be happy to answer any questions I can.