Gary R. Wright SAMS® AMS®, American Marine Specialists
The Professional Marine Survey
Gary R. Wright SAMS® AMS®, American Marine Specialists

Which is precisely why our mission statement is:

Safe Boats - Safe Enjoyable Boating!


We conduct our surveys with one thought in mind.
“Is this boat safe for you, your family, and your friends?“


Gary R. Wright SAMS® AMS®, American Marine Specialists Our surveys are conducted under the guidelines of The Society of Accredited Marine surveyors (SAMS). We attempt to inspect for compliance with federal and state requirements, including the U.S. Coast Guard, AND, the recommended standards of The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), and the National Fire and Protection Association (NFPA), AND generally accepted marine practices. All surveys are also conducted in accordance with the highest ethical standards as set fourth by SAMS.


Why do I need a Marine Survey?
Marine Surveys are generally conducted for;

Gary R. Wright SAMS® AMS®, American Marine Specialists
  • Pre-Purchase of a vessel
  • Insurance and/or financing
  • Pre-Sale of a vessel
  • Damage and/or repair assessment
  • Chartering a vessel
  • Disposition or estate settlement


What is a Marine Survey?
Often referred to as a Condition and Value Marine Survey, this is basically a visual inspection of the vessel is readily accessible, hull(s), deck(s), superstructure, installed systems, accommodations and appurtenances, and will normally include operation of the installed systems, and a photographic record of most aspects of the survey. Following the survey, the Professional Marine Surveyor will provide you with a detailed written report, which includes a thorough description of the vessel, its configuration, equipment, and, observations of discrepancies or variances from USCG requirements, ABYC and NFPA recommended standards, and generally accepted marine practices. The report will also include "“Recommendations"“ associated with identified issues, and additional surveyors observations deemed prudent at the time of the marine survey. The surveyor"“s report will also provide an informed opinion of the Fair Market Value and Replacement Cost of the vessel.


Are there different kinds of Marine Surveys?
Yes, the most common being;
  • The Pre-purchase (C&V) Survey
  • The Insurance (C&V) Survey
  • The Damage Survey
Marine Surveys By American Marine Specialists, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama


The Pre-Purchase Survey:
While no survey can provide a guarantee that a vessel is completely free from any defects, the Pre- Purchase Survey is very comprehensive in scope and will help reduce the risks involved with the purchase of a vessel. The Pre-Purchase Survey includes all the aspects of the basic Condition and Value Survey, but with more detail regarding aesthetics, extra equipment and accessories, boat history, safety equipment, intended use, examination of design features and structural integrity, as well as attention to a buyer"“s specified requirements and concerns (within the Scope of the Survey). The Pre-Purchase Survey will also normally include examination of boat"“s documents, in-water and out-of-water inspections, as well as a sea trial of the vessel. This survey will also provide the insurer or lender all of the information they normally need regarding the vessel.

The Insurance Survey:
This is a Basic Condition and Value Survey, which is normally requested by an insurance underwriter for owners of;

  • Older vessels (usually three to five years old or older), or vessels of a particular type of construction, sometimes considered (by some companies), to be more prone to deficiencies, such as wood, steel, concrete or aluminum.
  • Re-insurance where the value of a vessel has changed considerably, or there is no current Survey on file.
  • To obtain a new policy from a different insurance company when a recent survey is not available.
  • Recently purchased, used vessels, when the buyer (for whatever reason) did not obtain a Pre-Purchase Survey.
NOTE: The Basic C & V, or Insurance Survey, IS NOT RECOMMENDED as a replacement for a thorough, Pre-Purchase Survey. Buyers relying on a basic C &Survey, or a previous Survey (of any kind), provided by a seller or broker, or both, do so at their own (high) risk.

Items normally included in the cost of the Pre-purchase Survey (most but not all cases):
  • Inspection of the topsides, deck rig and interior spaces. All normally accessible parts of the boat will be examined.
  • Inspection of the wetted surface of the exterior hull (bottom), and the below the water line machinery, after haul-out (normally at buyer"“s expense).
  • Moisture meter sampling and percussion sounding of certain areas of the decks, superstructure, interior hull stiffeners and exterior hull. (See FAQ, Do you use a moisture meter?)
  • Visual inspection AND operational of the engines(s), generator(s), other machinery and appliances, fluid levels, fuel, steering,electrical, potable water, sanitation, HVAC, other on-board systems, and safety equipment.
  • Evaluation of cosmetic appearance and overall maintenance.
  • Inspection for compliance with required (federal and state), and recommended voluntary standards (see above).
  • Examination of readily available vessel documentation.
  • Marine Surveyors attendance on a Sea Trial of the vessel.
Items normally NOT included in the cost of the basic C& V, or Pre-purchase Survey (unless pre-arranged):
  • Removing fastened panels, liners, carpeting and excess stowed equipment, clothing, stores, Etc..
  • Inspection of power or sail boat rigging aloft.
  • Opening, pressure testing, or sampling of tanks.
  • Fluid sample analysis (oil, coolant, hydraulic fluids).
  • Disassembly of engines and/or machinery, electronics, appliances, or testing with specialized equipment.
  • Destructive testing, such as drilling holes, removing paint or Gelcoat, Etc..
See How To Prepare for a Marine Survey


The Damage Survey:
Gary R. Wright SAMS® AMS®, American Marine Specialists This type of survey is normally ordered by an insurance company to determine the Cause, Nature, and Extent of damage to a vessel, and/or structure, following an accident, weather incident or illegal activity.


Why do I need a Professional Marine Surveyor?
  • In all but the rarest of cases, only a dedicated professional, Accredited (SAMS), or Certified (NAMS) Marine Surveyor has the qualifications, experience, training, and myriad of skills necessary to conduct a Marine Survey in accordance with the high standards required by a Prudent Boat buyer, and most Insurers and lenders.
  • The full time, professional Marine Surveyor can only survive in this business if he or she maintains the highest ethical standards and treats all parties fairly, avoiding any conflicts of interest.
  • A professional Marine Surveyor will not be influenced by any seller, broker, individual or entity in order to influence a sale or adjust the Fair Market Value assessment of a vessel for the advantage of any party involved.
Why should I choose American Marine Specialists for my Marine Survey?



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