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^ The Need for Boat Inspections.
^ ^ +
^ ^ Types of Marine Surveys.
^ Marine Surveyors.
^ ^ Qualities and Qualifications of a Marine Surveyor.
^ ^ General duties of a marine surveyor.
^ ^ Types of marine surveyors.
^ ^ How Do I Choose a Marine Surveyor?
^ ^ Associations for Accrediting Marine Surveyors.
^ ^ ^ NAMS.
^ ^ ^ SAMS.
^ ^ ^ USSA.
^ ^ ^ ACMS.
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The Need for Boat Inspections
Pre-Delivery, Trip, Crew
Types of Marine Surveys
A Marine surveyor (including “Yacht & Small Craft Surveyor”, “Hull & Machinery Surveyor” and/or “Cargo Surveyor”) is a person who conducts inspections, surveys or examinations of marine vessels to assess, monitor and report on their condition and the products on them, as well as inspects damage caused to both vessels and cargo. Marine surveyors also inspect equipment intended for new or existing vessels to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications. Marine surveys typically include the structure, machinery and equipment (navigational, safety, radio, etc.) and general condition of a vessel and/or cargo. It also includes judging materials on board and their condition. Because certifications and subsequently payments are processed only after the surveyor has expressed his or her satisfaction, a marine surveyor holds a prestigious position and is held with much regard in the shipbuilding industry. Marine Surveyors are highly qualified and technically sound and are usually selected after thorough evaluation procedures as vessels ranging from small ferries to enormous crude oil carriers and cruise liners are approved to sail into the high seas based purely on their judgement,competence and integrity.
Marine surveying is often closely associated with marine insurance, damage and salvage, accident and fraud investigation as insurers generally lack the training and skills required to perform a detailed assessment of the condition of a vessel. While marine surveyors are sometimes employed by insurers directly they maintain a certain professional autonomy in order to provide an unbiased view. 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 use many credentials, letters, and terms such as “accredited”, “certified”, “qualified”, ” ACMS”, “AMS”, “CMS”, etc. There are many ways to train to become a marine surveyor including taking correspondence courses, apprenticing, or simply opening a business. However, marine surveyors pursue their profession independently of required organizations, and there is currently no national or international licensing requirement for marine surveyors. The U.S. Coast Guard does not approve or certify marine surveyors. All association terms and initials represent training and certification by private organizations.
Qualities and Qualifications of a Marine Surveyor
Qualifications for a Marine Surveyor, though the list is long, can be summed up in the following: Working knowledge of ship’s electrical & mechanical systems, fundamental understanding of boat design & construction, and one of the most important; Time spend at sea.
When it comes to defining the qualities and qualifications of a Marine Surveyor, a memorandum of 1834 has not been bettered:
“The utmost care and discrimination have been exercised by the Committee in the selection of men [and women] of talent, integrity, and firmness as Surveyors, on whom the practical efficacy of the system and the contemplated advantages must so materially depend; the Committee have in their judgement appointed those persons only…who appeared to them to be most competent to discharge the important duties of their situations with fidelity and ability, and to ensure strict and impartial justice to all parties whose property shall come under their supervision.”
Brooklyn Museum – Eight Bells – Winslow Homer – overall
– CLASSIFICATION SOCIETIES – their key role – IACS
General duties of a marine surveyor
A marine surveyor may perform the following tasks:
Conduct surveys throughout the ship’s life (building new ship, annual survey, interim survey, special survey) to ensure standards are maintained;
Perform inspections required by domestic statutes and international conventions by the International Maritime Organization (IMO);
Witness tests and operation of emergency and safety machinery and equipment;
Measure ships for tonnage and survey them for load line assignment;
Attend court as an expert witness and assist in coroner’s inquiries;
Investigate marine accidents.
Determine “Fair Market Value, “Damage Repair Costs”, and Replacement Value”.
Types of marine surveyors
A government surveyor performs ship registration surveys, surveys of foreign-going ships and local craft, and generally enforces ship safety standards to insure marine industrial safety. Government-appointed marine surveyors, also called marine inspectors in some countries, belong to two groups that are not mutually exclusive: Flag State surveyors report to the government with whom the vessel is registered, and Port State surveyors report to the government into whose territory the vessel has entered. The Port State surveyors usually have the authority to detain vessels considered to have defects that may result in adverse impacts on life or the environment. Based on their government’s legal framework, Flag State surveyors can impose conditions on the vessel such that failure to comply will result in the registration of the vessel being suspended or withdrawn. In this event, the vessel will find it almost impossible to trade.
A Cargo surveyor is normally appointed by the Cargo Owner , mostly for Bulk . Grain Cargo. His job is to perform the draft survey to determine the actual cargo loaded on board. He also confirms that the cargo loading is performed according to the law and is within the loadable limits The vessel safety is also ascertain which include momentum involves due to cargo shift which may render the vessel unsafe during the passage.
A classification surveyor inspects ships to make sure that the ship, its components and machinery are built and maintained according to the standards required for their class. Classification surveyors often have two roles: one is as a representative of the classification society; and the other as an inspector on behalf of the country with which the vessel is registered (the flag state). The classification role is to ensure that during construction the vessel initially complies with the classification society’s rules for construction and outfitting, and thereafter is maintained fit to proceed trading. The Flag State role is based on a clear set of guidelines issued by the registering country. On satisfactory completion of any survey, the classification surveyor makes recommendations to the classification society and/or the flag state. These may be that the vessel has a clean bill of health, or that various defects must be corrected within a given time.
Increasingly, both government and classification surveyors are becoming involved in confirming compliance with international treaties associated with such things as pollution, international security, and safety management schemes. They may also examine cargo gear to ensure that it meets various requirements or regulations. Government and classification surveyors are usually marine professionals mariners, such as a qualified ship’s master, engineer, naval architect or radio officer.
A private marine surveyor may be asked to carry out a wide range of tasks, including examining ships’ cargoes or onboard conditions such as fuel quality; investigating accidents at sea (e.g., oil spillages or failure of machinery or structures which are not considered to be critical); and preparing accident reports for insurance purposes, and conducting draught surveys to analyse how much cargo has been lost or gained.
Private surveyors also carry out condition surveys or pre-purchase surveys to determine the condition of the ship prior to charter or an acquisition. Many companies as P&I clubs, ship-owners, brokers, etc. employ or contract the services of a private marine surveyor in order to determine the condition of the ship.
Many traditional companies conduct private surveys. Examples include International Registries of Shipping, Iamsa Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd Registers, Lloyd’s Agency Network, ANCO, Global Maritime, Bul Mar Prof, DNV, NKK, LOC and others.
Yacht and small craft surveyor
Yacht and small craft (Y&SC) surveyors specialize in inspecting smaller vessels that are most often used for pleasure boating (both power and sail). Y&SC surveyors may be employed directly by larger marine insurance companies, but most often they are independent practitioners. Since using boats for pleasure (or “yachting”) is a relatively recent phenomena, having only been widely practiced for the last century or so, Y&SC surveying has many unique aspects that are not shared with the more traditional forms of marine surveying described above.
Marine surveyor training
There are very few institutions providing education and training in this important field. The International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS) UK is one of them. IIMS provides Diploma, BTEC HNC and HND level courses by distance learning that are awarded by Pearson edexcel. The IIMS membership consists of marine surveyors, cargo surveyors, yacht and small craft surveyors and other professionals in the field. Suny Maritime College provides online survey classes in Cargo, Hull and Yacht and small craft In Australia The Australasian Institute of Marine surveyors has the first accredited course under the Mar 13 training package which meets the requirements for AMSA Accreditation http://www.aimsurveyors.com.au/. The offer Certificate 4 to Diploma level qualifications.
US Surveyors Association
Assosiation of certified marine surveyors
National Association of Marine Surveyors
Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors
Navtech Marine Surveyor Education US Surveyors Association
Vessel safety survey
Association of Certified Marine Surveyors
Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association YDSA
Jump up^ Marine Surveying Courses
American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC)
Yacht Survey Asia
International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS)
National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMSGlobal)
Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS)
Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA)
Marine Administration Blog
International Association of Marine Surveyors & Auditors (IAMSA)
Survey & certification(MARSS)
Lloyd’s Agency Network
US Surveyors Association Master Marine Surveyors
How Do I Choose a Marine Surveyor?
Anyone can title him or herself as a Marine Surveyor and start a business. Certain marine surveyors are permitted to use a designation denoting membership in accrediting organizations that require members to meet strict professional, technical and ethical standards.
Surveyors should provide you with a professionally prepared report that can be accepted by your bank and/or insurance company. Talk with prospective surveyors and ask questions! What does the survey 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?
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 good information on the vessels’ condition, but they are not guarantees. The surveyor reports the condition in accessible areas only as it exists at the time of inspection.
Why should you have a vessel surveyed? Most insurance companies and banks will require them on older vessels. They will need to know her condition and fair market value in order to finance and/or underwrite the vessel. Knowing her condition and fair market value before you purchase is also important. However, the most important reason to survey your vessel is for the safety of the passengers and crew.
From www.marinesurvey.org (SAMS)
Associations for Accrediting Marine Surveyors
The National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMSGlobal), established in 1962, is a professional organization that certifies marine surveyors and provides continuing education opportunities.
NAMSGlobal’s membership is international and its Certified Marine Surveyor members carry the NAMS-CMS designation after their names.
From pleasure boats & yachts to commercial ships, NAMSGlobal marine surveyor members survey new and used vessels to determine their condition and value. NAMSGlobal surveyor members also survey cargo, machinery, docks, wharfs, marinas, and handling equipment related to the marine industry.
Additionally, NAMSGlobal marine surveyor members investigate marine claims and act as expert trial witnesses.
The National Association of Marine Surveyors, Inc.
P.O. Box 9306
Chesapeake, Virginia 23321-9306 USA
For delivery or courier service:
3105 American Legion Road – Suite E
Chesapeake, Virginia 23321-5654 USA
Toll Free: 1-800-822-6267
Land Line: (757) 638-9638
Fax Line: 757-638-9639
The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors® has its roots in the International Maritime Technical Institute Conference held in Brunswick, Maine during the latter part of 1986. Most of the participants expressed a desire to belong to a professional society of Marine Surveyors who would have a different purpose and outlook than found in the existing professional organizations of the day. Among the participants were the late Jim Robbins of C.A. Hansen Corporation and the late Fred Lowe, formerly, Instructor of Marine Surveying at the Chapman School of Seamanship, Stuart, Florida.
Jim Robbins and Fred Lowe founded the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors® during the early part of 1987 and enlisted the late Michael Strocchi of Strocchi & Co. to join them on the original Board of Directors. A carefully chosen cadre of fifty (50) Charter Members was solicited to be the foundation of the organization. Over the next 18 months and three national meetings, the organization of SAMS® was put into place. The Society headquarters was moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where it continues to provide services to its members.
SAMS® is intended to be an organization of Professional Marine Surveyors who have come together to promote the good image and general well being of their chosen profession. Accredited Marine Surveyor® members are surveyors who have accumulated time in the profession, and have proven the technical skills necessary for designation as AMS®. There is, through the Surveyor Associate program, the opportunity for less experienced members to participate in SAMS® and hone their skills under the tutelage of Accredited Marine Surveyors® in their local area. Affiliate members, who benefit from the association with the Society’s members, are professionals, corporations, and organizations active in the marine field.
Accredited Marine Surveyors® are expected to follow a course of continuing education to maintain their accreditation. Members are guided by a code of ethics and are encouraged to participate in other organizations relative to the marine field.
SAMS® intends a controlled growth. Our organization is actively seeking skilled professionals who have a need to achieve and maintain a standard of excellence in their profession.
The acceptance of and the responsibility for satisfactory performance of assignments rests solely with the individual member. Neither the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors® Inc., nor any of its officers, directors, committee chairpersons nor employees assume any responsibility concerning misrepresentations, errors in judgment or negligence on a part of an individual member of the Society.
Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.
7855 Argyle Forest Blvd – Suite 203
Jacksonville, FL 32244
Founded in 1987, NAVTECH and US Surveyors Association have been providing up-to-date, accurate, quality marine surveyor education to marine professionals at all levels – worldwide!
NAVTECH – US SURVEYORS ASSOCIATION – US CAPTAIN
13430 McGregor Blvd.
Ft. Myers, Florida 33919
Toll Free: 1-800-245-4425
ACMS (The Association of Certified Marine Surveyors) is an organization dedicated to furthering and enhancing the marine surveying trade through communication, cooperation between individuals, and the offering of the latest technical education and support.
ACMS was founded in the 90’s, acquired a group of topnotch marine surveyors, and was then chartered. Our mission is to provide the tools required to grant credentials to marine surveyors who have proven their knowledge and expertise of the marine surveyor trade. We offer Marine Surveyors who are certified or accredited a viable organization with reasonable annual dues. We offer Marine Surveyors who are not yet certified an opportunity to advance through our requirements procedure to certification.
Our members keep up to date with new technology, rule changes, and changes in the trade via our weekly e-mail communications to each member, and by participating in the “on line” study modules that are always available.
Our diverse group is comprised of men and women with expertise in the following areas:
Yachts and small craft, commercial vessels, cargo and shipping, tow boat and barge inspectors, draft surveyors, marine architects, imported food inspectors, cargo and shipping container surveyor, claims and damage investigation, and expert witnesses.
Association of Certified Marine Surveyors, Inc.
19 Nooseneck Hill Road
West Greenwich, RI 02817, USA
Phone: (401) 397-1888
AMSA (American Marine Surveyors Association) – Out of Business
American Marine Surveyors Association, Inc. (AMSA) was a Delaware corporation. This was a small organization for certifying and assisting marine surveyors who wanted an organization with more personal contact and help between the association and its membership. This worked well for several years until the founder and president went into a long period of hospitalization then passed away in Nov. 2010. As a result, the organization lacked the hands-on leadership to keep it going and servicing its membership and enrolling new members. Some of us still keep in touch and try to be of help to each other in solving sticky marine survey questions and problems. Some of the old AMSA members have gone on to other accredited marine surveyor associations and some may have chosen not to.
Since AMSA is no longer active, you will not find it on the web, but that doesn’t mean the certification issued to those or us who passed the test is now invalid. It’s just as good as the day it was issued. The same as certifications issued by the other accredited marine surveyor organizations if they should fail. Of course, none of these organizations is a legal regulatory body and membership in any of them is purely optional, not a requirement. However, some insurance companies and banks have been convinced that all surveyors must be a member in either one of the two largest organizations and no other, or they are not qualified. This is false and was done to increase their membership rolls and revenue as much as to make sure all marine surveyors were properly qualified. The first part of this is improper conduct and can cause the client to have doubts about an otherwise highly experienced and qualified surveyor that choose not to join, or to drop their membership. This problem is generally overcome by the surveyor submitting a good résumé to the insurance company or bank, but it delays the process. The latter part is commendable since inexperienced newcomers to the marine surveying business should get certified after initial training (either schooling or apprenticeship) in vessel surveying.
When I took my certification test and joined AMSA many years ago I had already been surveying for over a quarter century (pre-dating most of the existing organizations), which made the test easy for me to pass. However as stated above, we still recommend that anyone just entering into marine surveying, and with so much to learn about it, should get training and be certified by and join one of the organizations, at least until they have several years of surveying experience and become well known in this field. Make sure you choose the organization that gives you plenty of support when you need it, not just collect your annual dues and ignore you, or be hard to reach easily when you have urgent questions.
Hope this helps clear up any questions about AMSA and accrediting marine surveyor organizations in general.
International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS®)
International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI®)
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)
American Education Institute (AIE)
Society of Claim Law Associates (SCLA)
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