Frequently Asked Questions Re: “Why Use A Marine Surveyor?”

Why should one have a vessel professionally surveyed? Whether one is buying, financing, or insuring a vessel, it is important to know the condition of the boat. Very few boat owners have the knowledge or technical expertise to fully assess a boat’s condition and approximate fair market value. Not only is this information often required by banks and insurance companies, but it is paramount for a buyer/owner to be made aware of any problems or safety issues with a vessel. A well kept-up, safe vessel allows an owner piece of mind and helps maintain the boat’s value.

Why is it important to check the experience and credentials of the Marine Surveyor you hire?
Not all Marine Surveyors are created equal. Alain Vilage has more than forty years of professional hands-on marine experience ranging from yacht captain, boat builder, system troubleshooter to marine surveyor. These years were not spent sitting behind a desk or “taking a course” to become a marine surveyor.

sams100There is no national or local authority that licenses Marine surveyors. Anyone can call himself a “Surveyor.” Therefore, checking that one is a member in an accrediting organization is an important step. Alain has been a member of the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors® (SAMS) since 1997. They are the largest and most widely known professional Marine Surveying organization in the world. Membership is only a first step though. Alain Vilage’s knowledge and ability has been recognized by SAMS, where he has earned the designation of Accredited Marine Surveyor® (AMS) and proudly practices & promotes SAMS strict professional, technical, and ethical standards for their Marine Surveyors.

Why should one choose a Marine Surveyor that is free from Conflict of Interest? When one hires a surveyor to determine the condition and value of a vessel, a person should not have to worry whether the report might be biased due to the surveyor’s close connections with other involved parties. In particular, one should avoid a surveyor who is employed as or by a Yacht Broker; and by the same token, a surveyor who works for or as an Insurance Underwriter. Only when the appearance of conflict is avoided, can one profess to be a truly ethical Marine Surveyor. Alain Vilage has always adhered to that policy. His philosophy is that a surveyor’s job is to present an unbiased, thorough report regardless of whom the survey requester is.

What is unique about a survey from Port Townsend Marine Services? A good Condition & Valuation (C&V) Survey identifies problems and safety issues on a vessel. A C&V Survey from Alain Vilage goes beyond that. Having been a professional Yacht Captain for most of his adult life, Alain surveys every vessel with the seasoned eye of a master who understands not only how a defect or safety issue will effect a vessel’s condition, but also can advise on how to correct a problem or recommend a repair option. Clients have been grateful to not only know the condition of their vessels, but also have a list of findings to go by to help them keep or return their vessels to top condition. Even an insurance renewal survey should alert an owner to current problems as well as recommend maintenance due or past due.