Here are some important Questions and Answers, If you don’t see your question or are unsure of the answer provided, please feel free to contact me.

What does a Marine Surveyor do?
A marine surveyor does an extensive evaluation on a subject vessel, determining if it meets a wide variety of necessary standards of safety as required by various legal entities, having jurisdiction over or in relation to vessel construction, outfitting and safety requirements for operation. These Entities include the United States Coast Guard, American Boat and Yacht Council, Code of Federal Regulations CFR’s 33 and 46, National Fire Protection Agency Code 302 and the American Bureau of Shipping.

Is it really important to hire a Certified Marine Surveyor to survey your vessel?
Yes! A certified Marine Surveyor is ALWAYS the purchaser’s or owner’s advantage. A certified Marine Surveyor has been trained, tested and scrutinized by senior members of the organization he belongs to and only the best will attain this title of Certified. Serving an apprenticeship, associateship and being sponsored and tutored by senior members, the Certified Marine Surveyor will possess tools and investigative skills far beyond those of non-certified counterparts, allowing him/her to assess a vessel’s condition thoroughly and accurately.

What does a survey accomplish?
A good survey seeks to evidence any weaknesses or faults in the subject vessel that could lead to sinking, failure of components or systems, possibly leading to injury or death of any passengers.

Who are Cole & Associates Marine Surveyors, and what sets them apart from their competitors?
Daniel Cole, as owner of Cole & Associates is a NAMS Global, Certified Marine Surveyor, certified in Hull and Machinery. Cole has extensive experience in several types of surveys including Yacht and Small craft, Commercial Fishing Vessels, Tug and Barge, Insurance, Damage and Fire Investigation.

What other Accolades does Cole hold?
Cole is an American Boat and Yacht Council Member and Certified Technician, holding two Certifications. One in Marine Standards and one in Marine Systems. He is a 30+ year, State Certified and Licensed Electrical Master by the State of Florida, #EC 13001992, a trained Marine Fire Investigator with the International Association of Arson Investigators, #1401690 and a Marine Crimes Investigator in training with the International Association of Marine Investigators #04188. He has completed the State of Florida All Lines Insurance Adjusters course and the U.S.P.A.P. Appraisers course, equipping him to appraise vessel values and damage repair costs, fairly and accurately.

What should I expect from a marine surveyor?
A marine surveyor should be experienced and knowledgeable about a wide variety of vessels as pertains to his specific disciplines. Some surveyors are very accomplished in multiple vessel survey roles and others are specialized to one. Surveyor ethics will demand that a surveyor be up front with a potential client if he lacks experience in the particular survey field requested. The surveyor should be open and honest with his client, disclosing all concerns a vessel may demonstrate during inspection. The surveyor must remain impartial and not be swayed by pressures exerted by the seller. He must represent the vessel’s condition as it truly is. Whether the boat sells or not is not his concern, he is there to speak for the boat’s condition because the boat cannot speak for itself.

What should a survey include?
A survey should include a hard, in-depth look at the hull as relates to its material composition and known potential failure points. In fiberglass hulls, this would be in the form of blisters, delamination, stress fractures, physical damage from impact or moisture saturation. In steel and aluminum hulls this would include various types of corrosion, many of which thin the hull sheathing and weaken structural members in the framework and cause through hull fittings to fail, as well as physical damage from impact. Next would come an inspection of all through hull devices including seacocks and valves, checking for clean, smooth operation of handles and proper installation of the devices. Systems checks will follow with testing of all electrical systems and attached appliances for proper installation, wiring and proper fusing or circuit breaker ampacity for application including batteries, shore power and onboard generator. Fresh water, raw water, gray water and black water systems are all tested as to installation and function, including pump motors, valves and tankage. The complete Grounding/Bonding system for the vessel will be checked for broken wires or loose connections and all zinc anodes inspected for size and level of wastage. Navigational equipment such as lights, horns and electronics will all be tested as to function. All onboard life saving gear will be noted as to type, condition and number. Any deficiencies will be noted in the report as will a reasonable appraised value of the vessel inspected. Of course, this is a very brief overview of the process and some surveyors will proceed in their on order of items and time of inspection.

Should my survey include a sea trial?
Yes. A sea trial is an integral part of any good survey. This is where your surveyor can test all throttle and steering controls as well as vessel operation as a whole including trim tabs, joystick control, autopilot and bow and stern thrusters. The surveyor will note that the engine gauges and instruments are reading appropriately as well as checking for any kind of fuel, oil or cooling leaks on the engine.

Will my surveyor do my engine survey?
No. While some surveyors may offer the services of taking oil samples and doing compression testing, it is always recommended that this be done by a Certified Marine Mechanic as part of a complete engine survey. The most important information about an engine is located in it’s computer and a mechanic with the appropriate software will be required to extract it.

Where can I find a qualified surveyor?
The two flagship organizations that qualify proficient Marine Surveyors are NAMS Global,(National Association of Marine Surveyors) and SAMS, (Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors). Either a NAMS Global Certified or a SAMS Accredited Surveyor should always be your first choice. While NAMS is the oldest institution of the two, SAMS has a larger member roster. Either can provide a competent and qualified Surveyor for all of your boating needs.