James W. Steffen, SAMS® AMS®
Sitka, Alaska
Phone: 907-738-6394

Norcoast Marine Surveyors – Services

Pre-Purchase Survey

This is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel is examined. This covers structural integrity, electrical, propulsion, and fuel systems, miscellaneous on-board systems to include machinery, navigation and communications equipment, rigging and safety gear.

The use of a sub-contractor for comprehensive engine evaluation is common. Cosmetic appearance and overall maintenance of the vessel are evaluated.

This type of survey requires a haul-out and most often a sea trail and the valuation takes into account vessel resale potential.

Fair Market and Replacement valuations are estimated through the use of appraisal guidebooks, open and closed access Internet services, comparable listing prices of vessels for sale, comparable survey values and comparable sale prices where available.

Standard Condition and Valuation Survey

The Standard C & V survey addresses all of the components of a Pre-Purchase survey, but is intended to determine the general condition and value of a vessel, for the purpose of satisfying insurance and finance requirements.

In addition to evaluating the condition of the vessel structure, systems, and equipment, this inspection is intended to identify situations that can cause property damage or personal injury, and to verify compliance with regulations.

The suitability for the intended service is evaluated. A recommendations list is provided and an objective estimated fair market value is provided. Haul out is recommended, but may not be required by insurers or financial institutions. (We recommend you check with your insurance and finance companies to ascertain if an in-water inspection meets their needs and to assure that they recognize and accept your chosen marine surveying company.)

Again, Fair Market and Replacement valuations are estimated through the use of appraisal guidebooks, open and closed access Internet services, comparable listing prices of vessels for sale, comparable survey values and comparable sale prices where available.

Damage Assessment / Marine Claims Investigation.

The Damage Survey may be assigned by a vessel owner or by an insurance underwriter. In either event, it is an objective evaluation of the following in a comprehensive report:

Scope of Damage
A description of the type and extent of damage, with recommendations for repair based on current industry standards. Non-claim related damage is identified. Open communication with the insured and their chosen repairer prevents many problems. Potential additional damage is identified and all issues relevant to the claim are addressed and resolved with expertise and timeliness.

Damage Cost Appraisal
Repair estimates are collected and evaluated for accuracy. When required, Norcoast will provide an appraisal of the repair cost and will negotiate reasonable prices or an Agreed Price to repair the claim related damage. Competitive estimates are obtained and not to exceed bids/firm price quotes provided whenever possible. Cost containment is as much a goal as is proper and complete repair of the damage.

Cause of Loss
An accurate and precise description of the cause of loss is generally provided to assist the underwriter in coverage determination. Expert failure analysis and lab testing is employed when necessary to pinpoint proximate cause.

Subrogation Investigation
If there is a party responsible for causing a loss, or an indirect cause of loss, Norcoast will strive to identify same, to include research and documentation, investigation of manufacturer’s deficiencies, and preservation of evidence necessary to build a strong cause for subrogation. We will of course provide evidence receipts, suggest experts as appropriate and provide expert testimony as required.

Salvage Assistance
Norcoast frequently assists in arranging salvage or rescue operations of imperiled vessels. We can negotiate contracts using no cure/no pay, fixed price or time and material options. We will recommend, oversee or arrange temporary repairs on site, in order to significantly reduce repair costs or increase salvage values. Norcoast can also execute the salvage sale of a vessel in the event of a total loss.

Audiogauge/Ultrasonic, Corrosion and Moisture Content Testing

audiogauging a steel hullAudiogauge/Ultrasonic testing is an accurate and efficient method for providing thickness measurements on steel and aluminum hulls, particularly when interior access is limited or prevented altogether. Following testing, a comprehensive written report identifies amount of wastage encountered and areas in need of repair.

At Norcoast, measurements are taken with a CYGNUS Model 3 multiple-echo ultrasonic tester, Serial #543, with a 2.25 MHz Lemo .5″ Standard probe. The meter is annually calibrated to NIST #821125008292, to comply with standards specified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and systems compliance to Guide 25 of ISO 9000, MIL-STD 45662A, ANSI / ASQC-M1-1987 and OSHA 29CFR Part 1910.119, with an accuracy of +/- .002″. This is a dual frequency meter, which eliminates the normal need for removal of surface coatings prior to testing, and therefore offers our clients a significant reduction in testing costs.

The Norcoast surveyor is familiar with Federal guidelines for Coast Guard Marine Inspectors in the evaluation of steel hulls (NVIC 7-68), and Section 43 of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels as well as the 2001 ABS Guide, Part 7, guidelines for measurement methods and allowable wastage.

Corrosion testing is a means of determining the presence of atypical galvanic or stray current corrosion in metal boats. It has been found that although marine corrosion is generally the product of DC current, AC current can also cause corrosion when conditions allow rectification into a DC component. Norcoast employs a portable corrosion test meter from Yacht Corrosion Consultants in conjunction with a silver / silver chloride reference.

Relative moisture content of a cored or uncored FRP hull, deck, or cabin laminate, is an indication of extent of damage or potential damage. Moisture content in wood can also be evaluated. Norcoast utilizes a SOVEREIGN dual-probe meter, which measures by non-invasive electronic capacitance or by conductivity, and a GRP 33 moisture detector, which measure moisture content using non-invasive electronic capacitance technology.

Construction Management and Consulting

Norcoast Marine Surveyors, Inc. have experience in oversight of construction of Inspected and Uninspected Vessels for the purpose of finance and compliance with regulations.

We frequently are asked to provide assistance with compliance with ABYC Standards and Recommended Practices.

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James W. Steffen, SAMS® AMS®

EIN 38-3682798

Norcoast Marine Surveyors, Inc.
P. O. Box 936
Sitka, Alaska 99835

Voice: 907-747-5394
Mobile: 907-738-6394
Fax: 908-376-1183
Skype: norcoast1

Serving the marine community of Alaska from Ketchikan to Bristol Bay since 1981.