Eberle Marine Surveys – Selecting A Marine Surveyor
WHAT QUALIFIES A GOOD SURVEYOR
Anyone can title him or herself a marine surveyor. Formal designations in some professional societies may indicate little about one’s ability to do an in-depth survey. Accredited Marine Surveyor® (AMS®) status with the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors® (SAMS®) or Certified Marine Surveyor (CMS) status with the National Association of Marine Surveyors® (NAMS) are the only two credentials respected throughout the industry as a benchmark for essential basic qualifications. Many insurance companies and loan institutions now require SAMS®-AMS® or NAMS®-CMS qualified surveyors.
Ample time afloat is an important consideration for surveying as the ability to detect subtle flaws is learned in earnest through practical experience on the water. When choosing a surveyor, ask for details on his personal boating background. In addition, a top-notch surveyor has a wealth of related experience in the repair, maintenance and construction of boats.
HOW CAN I FIND A GOOD SURVEYOR
Spending a little time searching out a good surveyor will pay-off in the long run. Start by soliciting recommendations from people who have experience with the surveyors in your area. Top on your list should be input from experienced boat buyers and boatyard managers. Helpful recommendations can also be gotten from marine insurance agents and lending institutions.
BOAT/U.S. maintains a list of carefully screened surveyors for specific geographical areas of the country.
As a general rule, look for a surveyor with a minimum of five-years full-time survey experience that has earned his or her AMS® or CMS accreditation.
The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors® (SAMS®) and National Association of Marine Surveyors® (NAMS) are the only two professional surveyor organizations recognized and respected throughout the United States who hold their members to a strict code of ethics and continuing education. SAMS® maintains a world-wide listing of their surveyors along with designation of Surveyor Associate (SA) or Accredited Marine Surveyor® (AMS®).
Unfortunately, there are a few for-profit “Mail Order” organizations who issue a certificate upon receipt of payment from an applicant and provide an under qualified individual a “credential”. This “credential” is then used to fool prospective clients into thinking this person is just as qualified as a SAMS®-AMS® or NAMS®-CMS surveyor that has earned his or her accreditation the hard way.
SAMS® & NAMS® require applicants to document years of experience in the field of marine surveying and pass a rigorous test before allowing a surveyor to earn their accredited status “AMS®” or “CMS”.
Don’t hesitate to ask your prospective surveyors for a current resume and sample survey and ask what is included in the inspection. Also ask how long a surveyor will plan to spend onboard.
You will be issued a final report of the survey findings. Some surveyors prefer a time saving fill-in-the-blank form while others make the effort to write a full narrative report. The latter will generally include far more detailed information and suggestions for improvements.
Various organizations have established guidelines to determine a vessel’s safety. Look for a surveyor who adheres to standards set by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA-302) and the United States Coast Guard Federal Regulations (USCG-CFR) & (COLREGS).
Don’t forget to ask how much the survey will cost, but don’t be fooled here. A thorough survey can not be rushed and will not be offered at a discounted price. As for other important evaluations, shop for quality, not for price.
Click to view surveyor listing on The Marine Surveyor Marketplace
Rob Eberle, SAMS® AMS®
Accredited Marine Surveyor
Yacht Survey Specialist Since 1988
Better Business Bureau Rating A+
Eberle Marine Surveys
1310 National Ave.,
New Bern, North Carolina 28560
Serving all of Coastal North Carolina