The marine industry is in many ways "unregulated". The local/state and federal standards governing boat construction, and boat use/operation cover basic areas only. The more detailed standards are excellent in their intent, but are advisory and under voluntary acceptance only. Now some of you may say "what about NMMA certification?", and yes, the NMMA should be applauded for trying to foster more widespread acceptance of the voluntary standards. However, NMMA certification still allows marine manufacturers to "select" areas that they will (or will not) agree to comply with, while still retaining membership in the certification program, and compliance inspection is done on a mere fraction of the number of boats or products produced. Additionally, none of the published standards address the very real "generally accepted industry standards" that often differentiate between the "quality" versus the "marginally acceptable" ways to build a marine product.|
Boats and marine products live in an extremely aggressive environment. This presents issues not found in many other product conditions, a small sample of which includes:
Pricing for new and pre-owned marine products also varies widely. So unless you are an active participant in the marine marketplace, and you are well versed in published and accepted marine standards, it can be difficult to determine if a "good deal" means you are buying a bargain or a project.
A knowledgeable marine surveyor is therefore crucial in providing data on a vessel's condition, on whether it is a reasonable insurance or financing risk, in determining what a vessel is (or was) worth in a given market, or in assisting to resolve an insurance claim or lawsuit.
As in all industries, there are many excellent marine surveyors (and some not so excellent). A good marine surveyor will provide you with accurate and defensible data, presented in a readily interpreted format with minimal "disclaimers" or canned software "fluff". A good marine surveyor will assist you in any way possible whether it is in buying a boat, obtaining insurance or financing; properly resolving a marine claim or investigation, or teaching you about a vessel and its condition/systems. I urge you to interview marine surveyors, ask for samples of their reports, find out if they do this full-time, review their credentials (some marine surveyor organizations are merely "internet/mail-order" formats), ask how they do appraisals, and get a feeling for whether they are a good match to your needs.
I look forward to learning how I can meet your needs, and showing you how Bugher Marine Services can help you in pre-purchase, insurance, financing or appraisals, claims or investigations, captain's services, or any of your other marine service needs.