Click for United Click for Nordhavn Click for Llebroc Click for Abeking Click for JetForums

How to be a yacht/sailing boat surveyor?

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by ErickaD, Apr 30, 2015.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. ErickaD

    ErickaD Guest

    Dear all:

    I'm working in a yacht brokerage company in China, and i sail for fun .

    There's no authority or school to issue certificate of boat surveyor and also no one knows how to be a boat surveyor.

    I'm quite interested in being a surveyor.

    If anyone knows , please give me some information.

    Many thanks
    Ericka
  2. bobhorn

    bobhorn Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Kemah, TX
    Become a used car salesman first. No experience required.
  3. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    Europe
    I would say it in a bit more friendly way :),

    It is a long, long way from an admin worker in a yacht broker office to an qualified marine surveyor, even on smaller sail boats, especially living in your part of this globe. I do not believe, the required education and training can be provided in Asia at all.

    The minimum qualification would be, moving to some typical boat building country, have serious training in boat building (GRP, wood and metal) and marine type machinery from the beginning and in different yards, get a skipper licence or at least an engineering licence for the type and size of boat, you want to survey.

    When comming home, start working with or for an well established marine surveyor to learn his business and only then start your own business, if at all. Up to this point, I would estimate a time frame of 3 to 5 years minimum, if you are really good.

    Sorry, but that is in my opinion the way this business works.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,656
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Unfortunately, as HTM alludes there isn't a singular accepted path nor specific training and it's not regulated under one licensing body. Therefore, it's not as easy as saying to go to this school and get this license.

    There are also multiple types of surveyors. There are small craft surveyors, insurance surveyors, government surveyors, classification surveyors, cargo surveyors. There are organizations for accreditation such as NAMS and SAMS and many more. There are limited formal programs. Chapman's offers some in the US, IIMS in the UK, and closest to you, the Australasian Institute of Marine Surveyors offers training. Here is a link to their program.

    http://www.aimsurveyors.com.au/index.php/training-accreditation#nationally-accredited-training

    Also, here is their course outline:

    MARM5001A Calculate, assess and report on vessel trim and stability MARM5002A Conduct a range of surveys on domestic commercial vessels MARM5003A Conduct an audit of safety management systems MARM5004A Develop marine survey reports
    MARM5005A Participate in investigating marine incidents
    MARM5006A Survey hull and superstructure of a commercial vessel MARM5007A Survey vessel operational systems
    MARM5008A Undertake a periodic statutory survey
    MARM5009A Establish a marine surveyor practice
    PUALAW003B Give evidence in a judicial or quasi-judicial setting

    Surveyors come from a variety of directions. Some just have worked for other surveyors and often that's the best route, just to gain employment as a trainee with a surveyor. Others were Masters or Engineers. There are courses available to both of those along the way in boat construction and in engines but not a lot of emphasis in surveying. Naval Architecture is an excellent path of preparation and many of the maritime university programs offer courses. But for the most part this isn't a single path profession.

    I might suggest you start by talking to other surveyors in your area and finding out the paths they took. Then I'd suggest learning as much as you can about boats and boating and I think licensing of some sort in a maritime position, whether captain or engineer is helpful. From there some specialized courses. I'd say take a formal college program in naval architecture, but then with that knowledge and skill I doubt you'd want to be a marine surveyor, but you'd probably want to use it differently.

    The surveyor organizations in the US typically emphasize experience working for surveyors but not formal training and that's unfortunate, in my opinion. Several of them do have examinations. As a result you find excellent well trained surveyors, and you find others who have simply done their time but clearly lack the knowledge and skills.
  5. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    Europe
    Sorry if misunderstood. I was not talking about attending specific courses for gaining any licence or certificate. I was just talking about gaining the necessary basic knowledge first. You can only evaluate and check something, if you know how it works and mostly how it is build. How will you otherwise discriminate good quality from bad.

    It is like becoming a maritime pilot. You have to be a qualified and experienced commercial master before telling other captains how to operate their ship in a specific area of the seven seas.

    The official licence and the way of obtaining it, is different in any specific country in the world and beyond the scope of this question.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,656
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I was addressing both a bit but also pointing out the lack of a clear path and requirements.
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,185
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    HTM09, you're an optimist. Unfortunately for many surveyors the only requirement is a good lawyer to write their disclaimer. As with captains, although we're licensed, reputation is everything and the person who ignores that does so at his own peril. I recently had a (no charge) client ignore my recommendation that he not use a surveyor recommended by the broker. My client was disuaded from having a motor survey or even a scoping, but fortunately the broker gave him pictures from a recent warranty job on the motor. To my client the motor was very pretty in the pics, lol. Although the surveyor did disclose the boat's defects he came away still sold on buying the boat. I magnified the pics and saw exactly what I'd warned him of because the motor didn't have enough hours. Corrosion on the pistons and valves, and one of the valves was chipping. (another client of mine ate the same motor from the same cause after 13 hours of running). Thankfully the magnified pics killed the deal.

    So to the OP, most jurisdictions I know of have no required training, licensing or certification, but the wise consumer looks for training, experience and reputation. If you don't have those you can expect to hear from some angry customers (or their lawyers) dispite any disclaimers. I'd be a lot more comfortable with a surveyor who was also a working Master, boat-builder, mechanic or engineer than one coming from selling boats.
  8. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    Europe
    Hi NYCAP,

    If you ask google to translate the word surveyor into German, it says Sachverständiger. Which means, a mind with special knowledge. If you then ask google to translate the German word Sachverständiger into English, it says Expert.

    If in my country one of those experts works in court, for (or against :)) insurances or any other type of official duties, for example underwrites and stamps the seaworthiness, airworthiness or roadworthiness of any kind of vehicle, he needs to be certified and gets sworn in. And may God help him, if he screws up due to negligence or even worse, partisanship. He will go to jail for years. Thats why we call them independent sworn experts.

    Nuff said.
  9. ErickaD

    ErickaD Guest

    Dear All:

    Thank you very much for your replies.

    The situation here in Mainland China is, we don't have good background or long history of Sailing boat/yachts, the sailing/yachting industry started from 2008 probably, because of the Olympic games in Qingdao, so everyone's working in this industry are quite freshman, we sold out/brought in many boats from Europe/America these years, but frankly speaking , the most of the sales who sold out the boats don't know the boat. And those people who really have the knowledge are graduated from commercial ship schools under the STCW95 system, and those people normally won't come to work in the sailing boat/yacht industry, those people who are working in the yacht industry don't know where we can get a training .
    So here in China, for me it's not realistic to go back to the commercial shipping schools to study , neither nor to go abroad to the Institute of Marine Surveyors, that costs too much, also i only want to be able to be a surveyor of sailing boats under maybe 50 feet. So i'll see if there are other ways .

    Many thanks again