What is a Marine Surveyor?

Marine Surveyors are highly qualified and they inspect (survey) vessels ranging from small ferries to enormous crude oil carriers and cruise liners. The surveys they conduct are required to assess and report on the condition of the vessel, its equipment or intended use. Marine surveyors also inspect new vessels and vessels under construction to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications.

Marine surveys typically include the structure, machinery and equipment (navigational, safety, radio, etc.) and general condition of a vessel. It may also include inspecting goods or materials on board to assess their condition.

As the certification requirements that allow the vessel to sail are processed only after the surveyor has reported its condition as being safe and compliant with the regulations, a marine surveyor holds a prestigious position and is held with much regard in the shipbuilding industry.

The profession of marine surveying is not protected legally – any person can claim to be a marine surveyor. It also covers a wide range of work, broadly divided into four categories: 

  • Cargo/hull/machinery surveys on behalf of ship owners or operators, Protection and Indemnity Clubs, classification societies and hull/machinery underwriters
  • Surveys for the marine sections of insurance companies, covering cargo that is under a marine policy, hull and marine machinery
  • Marine surveys relating to the statutory requirements of Australian Commonwealth or State governments, I.M.O. and flag states and
  • Surveys of small craft whether government, commercially or privately owned
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