Anyone can title him or herself 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! A thorough inspection will not be rushed. It will depend on the type of survey required, and based on size, equipment, and onboard systems. There may be additional services available such as engine surveys, oil analysis, galvanic and stray current corrosion testing, ultrasonic testing, moisture testing, as well as other non-destructive tests. There may be additional charges for these and other services.

Well-conducted surveys can provide good information on the vessel's condition, but they are not guarantees. The surveyor reports the condition in accessible areas only as it existed at the time of inspection.

Why should you have the vessel surveyed? The buyer needs to know her condition and approximate fair market value. Most insurance companies and banks will require a current survey on older vessels in order to underwrite and/or finance the vessel. Finally, the most important reason to survey your vessel is for the safety of your crew and guests.


SAMS® is the international Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®, Surveyor Associates, and Affiliate Members who have joined together to promote the good image and general well-being of our profession.

Our Accredited Marine Surveyor (AMS®) members must have a minimum of five years of experience and must pass an examination by our testing committee in order to earn this designation.