Accredited Marine Surveyor - Insured, Indpendent, experienced, thorough

Contact Us
Les Salliotte AMS 576
Downriver Marine Surveyors

2827 2nd St
Wyandotte, MI 48192
Cell (734) 516-1176
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Marine Surveyor?
Marine Surveyor covers many different occupations. Cargo inspector, Insurance claims adjuster, Engine professional. Downriver Marine Surveyors specializes in pleasure boat inspections. We are most similar to a home inspector and appraiser combined into one for a boat or a yacht.

What does Downriver Marine Surveyors do?
We basically have two products.

1) We perform "condition and valuation" inspections on boats and yachts. These inspections are performed in order to determine "what shape she is in" and "what she is worth". We inspect the boat, we test virtually every system and component and we encourage sea trials as well. We usually have the boats hauled to allow an inspection of the bottom.

2) We handle insurance claims for insurance companies. These inspections determine the cause of loss, identify the scope of damage and review costs.

We also do various special projects, new build monitoring, consultation and litigation support work.

When is a marine surveyor needed?
We are typically employed when a boat is purchased (by the buyer), when a boat is refinanced and when an insurance policy is up for renewal. Surveys are also the basis for valuation of a boat as an asset for a multitude of reasons - probate, divorce, etc...

What are marine surveyors qualifications?
Qualifications are very diverse among marine surveyors. There is very little organized, formal training. There are no licenses for marine surveyors in most states. All one really needs is a business card. There is no governmental regulation of the industry. Over the years most surveyors have learned the business as a trade, from another surveyor, more or less as an apprentice. Many banks and insurance companies look for membership in one of two organizations SAMS and NAMS. Members of these organizations need five years surveying experience and must take a test to become accredited members.

What type of training and education do marine surveyors have?
Again it is diverse. We require continuing education as part of the membership and a lot of my education has come from symposiums hosted by SAMS. There are many other organizations that provide excellent educational opportunities. They include ABYC, a organization that has developed a set of voluntary standards for boat construction and IBEX a boating industry educational symposium held once a year.

What are the different types of marine surveyors and surveys?
There are marine surveyors that do what we do, boats and yachts - basically recreational craft. There are marine surveyors that specialize in ships, including the inspection of the ship and cargo inspections. There are commercial craft marine surveyors, they work on tugs and barges, commercial fishing vessels and special purpose craft, ie. dredges, etc...

What are the criteria for banks and insurance companies?
Membership in either SAMS and NAMS is the most common requirement. Some companies have their own list of accepted surveyors. Often the companies will take a survey from anyone if it is complete and the surveyor submits a resume and references. SAMS has a produced a "minimum surveyor content list". It is a good yard stick to measure surveys by.

What types of marine surveys are available?
Every Marine Survey I perform is the most complete appraisal of a vessel I can do at the time. I will not consider any shorts cuts or abbreviated reports. You never know where a report will end up or who will read it. I want every job to be the best I can possibly do.

How long does a Marine Survey take?
It depends on the size of the vessel of course. On a typical Great Lakes cruiser, between 30 and 40 feet I will spend about two and a half to three hours onboard and another two hours on the computer. I sometimes employ an assistant and that will speed up the time spent aboard.