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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any idea on where someone would receive training to become a Surveyor? I've looked around on the web and I have only come across one site that offers a course. Not sure I would trust them. Is there some place a little more "accreditable that offers a course in this? Or do people who have been around boats all there lives and feel like giving themselves a title do these jobs?
 

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Now that's an interesting question. I did a google search and didn't find anything in the few minutes I had to spend that really pointed to training or classes. There are a couple of national organizations, one that offers "accredidation" but without explaining what the member needed to do to become accredited.

So maybe anybody can hang out a shingle that says they're a marine surveyor. Getting customer's relies on you actually being able to spot problems and accurately describe them, I suppose, and time. Like so many businesses, it may take longer than you can wait to get a name as a surveyor.

And you would need insurance right away to cover lawsuits arising from purchasers who decide later that your advice was flawed. Not that it would be, but you wouldn't want to expose yourself to a big loss over something like that. Insurers might not want to cover a new surveyor, though, without any loss experience on record or at least that accredidation that's now available but based on who knows what.

Why not call a good surveyor and ask them? I like Barnhardt up in Port Huron - he went over my boat with the proverbial fine-tooth comb and pointed out tiny things I never have fixed because I don't need to, really. Maybe they could tell you if training is available. Maybe you would apprentice with someone in the business.

Good luck. It would be great to do something for a living that you enjoyed.
 

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The surveyor who did our boat last spring had a nice resume made up. He was a member of "Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors". I would go with a surveyor that people you know have used and liked. I'm sure one could really give you the run around if you didn't know very much or paying attention to what they were doing. You should really look at the boat very closely before making an offer so that you don't get to many surprises from the survey.
 

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You should maybe ask HazyMemory about this. I know he's getting ready to open his open marine surveillance business....
 

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Try www.marinesurvey.org/phil.html. This is the web site for The society of accredited marine surveyors. There should be a phone number on this web site that you can call to get more info.
Bigwake
 
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Also check NAMS - http://www.nams-cms.org/

I had my boat surveyed by a SAMS director in another state and was very disappointed with the inaccurate and missing info in the survey. I had another guy from NAMS come out and found several items (one quite pricey, like 3K) that I was able to work into the price of the boat. When I told the first guy what he missed, he wanted me to list them out and he'd put them in his report. I then told him that's what I paid him to do, and he offered to refund my $300 if I returned the worthless survey, which I did.

I don't have any experience with any local surveyors, and I expect there are good and bad surveyors in either organization. I just thought I'd pass this along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. I think it was Hazy that brought this to my mind. I fix computers now and I cant see that lasting forever as they are getting pretty much to the point of user swapable parts. I love boating and everything involved so I figured what the heck. Might as well look into it. Besides, with my work schedule I have a lot of time to do this on the side. I also did the web searches. I saw one site that offered a self paced course. I have no idea what their reliablity factor is or if they are legitimate at all. Thanks again for the replies. I am going to continue to look into this and find out what is required.
 

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So, it is now Monday and I am back at a reliable PC with a decent connection. OK-- Here's what I have found out so far. I am still gathering info. I have contacted both NAMS and SAMS (National Association of Marine Surveyors, and Society of American Marine Surveyors). Both are sending me information. I do not anticipate getting involved with NAMS because it is primarily for commercial water craft such as freightors and professional fish harvesting vessels. NAMS also requires a person to have an apprenticship for several years before being able to apply and endorsement from two NAMS certified members in good standing. SAMS is more orientated toward personally owned yachts and boats. SAMS has different classifications of association depending on education and experience. I am still waiting on a welcome packet from SAMS and will have more info at that time.

In THIS state, there are no requirements for Marine Surveyors. Insurance companies and Banks have requirements for surveys and some have requirements for surveyors. Find me Tuesday at TNT's and we can talk about all that.

Liability is all in the wording and is primarily limited to the cost of the survey. Insurance is required by ALL marinas and boat yards in order to walk on their property as a professional anything.

If you have more specific questions, please contact me either Tuesday night or pm/email me. I am still researching this myself. It looks like it is pretty much a definite though at least for me. Good luck, and we should stay in touch for information sharing.
 

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I have also found few educational facilities for this field. In Jacksonville Fla, there is a school called I think, "The Stewards School of Seamanship" and they educate people on all aspects of marine service including mechanical repair, Captian's training, etc. and they offer a intense 8-10 hour a day 6 week course for surveyors. When you finish you are SAMS accredited. The state of FLA and others have strict requirements so there has to be more of them.
 

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QUOTE(rfdeiter @ Mar 3 2003, 07:42 AM)Al, what is the average cost for a marine survey?
In this geographical area I have called 16 different surveyors with varying degrees of certification (as a potantial customer) and have found the least expensive to be $7 a running foot and the most expensive to be $16 a running foot. Most are $10 a running foot. I planned on charging $10. The guy that was charging $7 couldn't answer my questions and had no idea who SAMS or NAMS was and did not use a moisture or density meter. The $16 a foot guy was NAMS certified with what he said was 40 years experience and did use a moisture/density meter. He was ready with every question that I had until I started asking about things that would be obscure to a regular customer.
 

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Great topic! I'm looking for a marine surveyor right now to look at a 32' boat that is in the Bay City area.

1) Does the surveyor look at structural, mechanical and electrical, or just structural?

2) Should the boat be in or out of the water?

3) Are they part of the sea trial?

4) Can any one recommend a surveyor who would be interested in conducting my survey?

Thanks!
 

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QUOTE(Eaton007 @ Mar 4 2003, 12:39 AM)Great topic! I'm looking for a marine surveyor right now to look at a 32' boat that is in the Bay City area.

1) Does the surveyor look at structural, mechanical and electrical, or just structural?

2) Should the boat be in or out of the water?

3) Are they part of the sea trial?

4) Can any one recommend a surveyor who would be interested in conducting my survey?

Thanks!
Eaton, I should be able to do your Survey in April, or as soon as I am incorporated and all that. Bay city is a drive, but in this circumstance, that's ok.

There are different types of Surveys. Most are out of the water and cover structural, and systems, such as.............

If you chose me, I would look at your wiring to see if it looks safe and fuses and switches. I would look at your plumbing to see if it is secure or if there are any visable leaks, tears, or worn hoses, etc. I would check to see if your A/C if equipped is in visibly operating condition. I would look at your engine and drive for signs of wear although not do a mechanical inspection or sea trial. Trim tabs would be checked for operation, batteries would be checked with a hydrometer. A sea trial should be done by a qualified Captain. I will also research and assess fair market value for your boat.
I can provide more information if you call 586 776 5898 this afternoon or at TNT's
 

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QUOTE(Eaton007 @ Mar 5 2003, 11:45 AM)Thanks for the information HazyMemory. Would you also be doing structural inspections and using a moisture/density meter?
Yes, I definately will incoporate those things and more into my surveys.
 

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I used Barnhardt out of Port Huron and was very satisfied. He drove to Wyandotte for me so I think he would go to Bay City. He was able to inspect everything but couldn't hear the engine run so he told me to call him when the boat was in the water and he would come back out to check them out.

I chose not to do that because I trusted the fellow I bought the boat from and I got a good enough deal that I would have replaced engines if I had to, which thankfully I didn't. It's not unusual for a buyer who has to make his deal while the boat is out of the water to ask for a reasonable amount of the sale price, say 2 grand each engine, to be held in escrow until the engines are found to have survived the winter and run to the buyer's satisfaction. If a seller has nothing to hide, he should be willing to do that, although some just want to be done with their deal and not have to think of it again. You'll have to play that by ear.
 

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I've had good service from Bill Novak, a NAMS-accredited surveyor out of Harrison Twp. Nice guy, reasonable rates, straight-shooter. He is on the very short list of people I'll contact when I'm looking at my next boat... his number is 586 463-2400
 
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