Marine Surveys and the duties of a Marine Surveyor

Marine surveys usually include the structure, machinery and equipment (navigational, safety, radio, etc.) and general condition of a vessel. No certifications or payments are processed until the surveyor is satisfied that the vessel is in the proper condition. A marine survey is very complex and should only be performed by a qualified surveyor. A Marine surveyor is a qualified person that inspects or surveys marine vessels in order to determine and report on the condition of the boat or yacht. Marine surveyors will also inspect any equipment on each of the vessels to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications.

Marine surveying is associated with marine insurance, as insurers generally lack the training and skills required to perform a detailed assessment of the condition of a vessel for damage, salvage, and accident and fraud investigation. Marine surveyors may be employed by insurers directly they maintain professional autonomy in order to provide an unbiased survey. This is very important to protect the integrity of the marine survey.

Independent marine surveyors are often employed by the clients of marine insurers to provide evidence in support of damage claims made against the insurer. Insurance companies cannot require customers to use specific marine surveyors (although they often provide a list of recommended or pre-approved marine surveyors who are known to them).

Marine surveyors often perform many of the following services:

  • Conduct surveys during ship’s life to verify standards are maintained
  • Perform inspections as required by the International Maritime Organization
  • Witness all tests of all emergency and safety machinery and equipment
  • Measure ships for tonnage and survey them for load line assignment
  • Appear in court as an expert witness
  • Investigate marine accidents

Captain Paul Squire is a marine surveyor in Fort Lauderdale that offers tips and information.