Anyone can call him or herself a Marine Surveyor and start a buisness, no experience necessary! So how do you choose a surveyor? Use a professional.
Surveyors who are members of an internationally recognised society such as SAMS, the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (USA) or IIMS, the International Institute of Marine Surveying (UK), MECAL (UK), RYA, Royal Yachting Association (UK) abide by their code of ethics and rules of practice. This includes independence, integrity and objectivity and avoiding prejudice and conflict of interest.
SAMS has two designated levels of surveyors:
ACCREDITED MARINE SURVEYOR
To become an Accredited member with the designation AMS, the applicant must be a currently practicing marine surveyor with at least 5 years experience accumulated over the last 10 years. Surveyors applying for Accredited status must successfully complete a written and/or an oral exam. William Bailey, Benson Baker, and Nicole McLoughlin are all qualified as AMS.
Surveyors Associates (SA) are marine surveyors who do not yet meet the prerequisites for acceptance as an Accredited Marine Surveyor. SA surveyors are bound by the same strict code of ethics and standards as the AMS.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MARINE INVESTIGATORS
The IAMI is a non-profit international organization dedicated to combating marine theft and insurance fraud. The objectives of the IAMI include “To provide marine theft investigative training” and to “Promote marine theft prevention”. William (Bill) Bailey, Benson Baker and Nicole McLoughlin are all members of IAMI. The benefit of all this to you (if you are buying a boat) is that we receive information on stolen vessels from the USA, UK and INTERPOL.
QUALIFICATIONS ARE NOT EVERYTHING
We recommend that you talk to the local sailors, yacht club members or yacht brokers. Talk to the surveyors, find out what the survey includes. Do they use ABYC, NFPA, USCG EU RCD standards in their surveys (we do). Are their reports accepted by your insurance company (our’s are). How long will the onboard inspection take? (all day on most boats). Does the inspection include the rigging aloft (our’s does). We will not be surprised if you hear people indicating that we have a reputation for being through. If you want a rubber stamp survey, please go elsewhere. The most important reason to survey your vessel is for the safety of yourself, passengers and crew.