What is a Marine Surveyor

Marine surveyors perform a range of tasks as part of their inspection
Marine surveyors perform a range of tasks as part of their inspection

Marine surveyors can be employed to survey, or value everything from small craft to so called mega yachts, or small commercial ships, tugs, trawlers, dredgers, ex-barges and narrow boats of varying types and sizes. Their job essentially is to ensure that the vessel is fit for purpose and is in a suitable and sea, or river worthy condition.

Experienced small craft marine surveyors should be able to survey not only the hulls of such vessels but also their rig, machinery, electrical, gas and hotel systems.

If he/she meets the necessary criteria for the IIMS Certifying Authority he/she can also be employed to carry out coding surveys, stability tests, tonnage surveys and similar related work.

In the advent of an incident or accident, marine surveyors can be called to firstly investigate the causes and then to be relied upon as an expert witness at subsequent legal hearings. 

Yacht and small craft marine surveyors specialise in inspecting smaller vessels, generally less than 24 metres, that are most often used for pleasure boating (both power and sail) and may also be employed directly by larger marine insurance companies who require damage surveys and reports following an incident.

Since using boats for pleasure is a relatively recent phenomenon, having only been widely practiced for the last century or so, such marine surveying has many unique aspects that are not shared with the more traditional forms of the task described above.

Marine surveyors may specialise in a particular area, for example inland waterway craft, wooden hulled vessels and so on; so making sure you make the right choice of marine surveyor before engaging them is vitally important. The IIMS Marine Surveyor Search App can help you watch your needs to the right surveyor in your area.

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