A Marine surveyor (including “Yacht & Small Craft Surveyor”, “Hull & Machinery Surveyor” and/or “Cargo Surveyor”) is a person who conducts inspections, surveys or examinations of marine vessels to assess, monitor and report on their condition and the products on them, as well as inspects damage caused to both vessels and cargo. Marine surveyors also inspect equipment intended for new or existing vessels 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 and/or cargo. It also includes judging materials on board and their condition.
Marine surveying is often closely associated with marine insurance, damage and salvage, accident and fraud investigation as insurers generally lack the training and skills required to perform a detailed assessment of the condition of a vessel. While marine surveyors are sometimes employed by insurers directly they maintain a certain professional autonomy in order to provide an unbiased view. Independent marine surveyors are often employed by the clients of marine insurers to provide evidence in support of damage claims made against the insurer. Insurance companies cannot require customers to use specific marine surveyors (although they often provide a list of recommended or pre-approved marine surveyors who are known to them).