ANYONE CAN TITLE THEMSELVES AS A MARINE SURVEYOR AND START A BUSINESS !!!
There are no Governmental regulation for Surveyors of recreational vessels. Certain marine surveyors are permitted to use a designation denoting the level of membership in accrediting organizations. These organizations subject potential members to a thorough peer review and successful completion of a written exam. Members are required to attend annual continuing education and to meet strict professional, technical and ethical standards. The most recognized accrediting organizations are The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) with a designation of Accredited Marine Surveyor (AMS), and the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) with the designation of Certified Marine Surveyor (CMS).
Surveyors should provide you with a professionally prepared written report that will be accepted by your lender and/or insurance company, in a reasonable amount of time. Contact and speak with prospective surveyors and ASK QUESTIONS !!! Have they received professional training in inspections and do they participate in additional training? What experience does the Surveyor possess? Owning a boat or being a licensed Captain should not be considered solely as being a competent Marine Surveyor. What does the survey inspection / report include and what type of reporting format is used? Do they use ABYC, NFPA and USCG standards in their surveys? How much will the inspection cost? How long will the on-board inspection take? What equipment do they possess to perform a thorough inspection?
Again, ASK QUESTIONS!
BEWARE IF A SURVEYOR WILL NOT PROVIDE A SAMPLE OF THEIR WORK IN ADVANCE!
Most all PROFESSIONAL Marine Surveyors are proud of their work product and will provide a sample report in advance if requested.
A thorough inspection will not be rushed and will depend on the type of survey required based on vessel size, equipment and on-board systems. There may be additional services available such as engine surveys, oil analysis, galvanic and stray current corrosion testing, ultrasonic testing, moisture testing and other non-destructive tests. There may be additional charges for these and other services.
Well conducted surveys can provide excellent information on the vessels condition, but they are not guarantees. The surveyor accurately reports the condition of accessible areas of the vessel only as they exist at the time of inspection.