Some Things Your Should Know

The Company
Our Survey Inspections
Being Number One
The Company

Florida Nautical Surveyors has been in business since 1990. Our team of surveyors is led by the founder, Malcolm Elliott who has spent his working life in the marine field starting in 1970 as an engineering cadet officer, rising quickly through the ranks to be a chief engineer in his twenties, owning a marine engineering and boat building company, traveling the world as a trouble shooter for a major shipping company before settling in Florida and starting FNS in 1990. Our team is comprised of licensed Captains or senior engineers with diverse backgrounds encompassing experience in circumnavigations, engineering, major refurbishments, new build projects and yacht management.

These surveyors certainly know their craft, and each one has been trained by Malcolm Elliott, founder and president of Florida Nautical Surveyors, to inspect each vessel to his exacting requirements. All of Mr. Elliott’s surveyors are very familiar with and able to competently apply the rules, regulations and standards as required by the various Federal and International bodies.

In order for clients to have an understanding of what we do and how we do it, our team encourages clients to be present for surveys. We give a straight-forward, easy-to-understand report which is prepared that day by the surveyor and ready to email or fax by the next morning.

Malcolm Elliott is on the membership committee of the Association of Certified Marine Surveyors and it was him that has extended the test questions from a modest 20 set by other Associations to the formal paper now used by his committee that includes over 110 questions and are more appropriate to the surveyors area.

On some yachts we are requested to bring in manufacturer or dealer technicians and we ensure that all of the technicians are fully trained and certified for the work required. This is particularly important with marine engines when it is so easy for so called engine surveyors to purchase a computer and the software and then say they are certified. Many are not and you could be looking at many thousands of dollars in repair costs because the surveyor was not up to date on all particulars on that engine. Ask to see their certificate before paying for a report stating that there are some oil leaks.

Our Survey Inspections

All survey inspections are carried out to USCG, ABYC & NFPA requirements, and we can survey to MCA and various classification society rules.

As in any job unless you have the experience, it does not matter how good your tools are. A good hands-on surveyor can tell a great deal just by looking and smelling before bringing any tool out and I encourage all of the surveyors to talk to the clients on what we are finding.

Until the introduction of thermal imaging cameras there was no way to record any possible delamination findings on fiberglass boats unless we cut into the hull – something most owners are rather reluctant to sanction. We still use a phenolic hammer to “sound” the hull to find any delamination and then we use the thermal image to show others what we have found.

Today we use the thermal camera under the correct circumstances to find problems not only on the hull of fiberglass boats but on steel, aluminum and wooden vessels, decks, decks with teak over, electrical circuits, distribution panels and switchboards without having to dismantle anything.

In the past, Moisture Meter Testing was the accepted way to test for any moisture in a laminate or the core of a hull. Unlike thermal imaging, the cost of moisture meter equipment is relatively cheap and often times those who aren’t industry professionals deem themselves qualified to perform surveys because they have a meter.

Audio Gauge Testing allows us to test hull plating, tanks, sea chests and piping without dismantling the parts and we give a full report with many more recorded readings than any other company.

Surveying is largely unregulated and although many insurance or financial companies require a certified marine survey, most are being completed by so called surveyors with very little experience, no formal marine education and are only certified by attending one day of training per year.

Look at any surveyors web site and they all state that they have high morals, which hopefully we all have but very few will tell you their full background, have they any formal marine qualifications, have they had hands on experience of building or repairing yachts, could they rebuild an engine, have they stood in a federal court room as an expert witness.

Mr. Elliott is one of the very few surveyors in America who does actually have a formal marine engineering education and not trained in a six week program like the majority of others. You may want to ask to see a detailed resume before choosing your next surveyor.

Being Number One

Being Number One is All About Exceeding Expectations

... in client satisfaction and repeat customers

... in pre-purchase surveys

... in client to broker referrals

... for sellers surveys prior to listing a yacht for sale

... for sport fishing yachts inspected

... for trawler style and motor yachts inspected

... for larger express and cruise style yachts inspected

... for commissioning new vessels

... surveyor for the worlds largest sports fishing dealer

... surveyor for the Sunseeker sales group

... surveyor for the largest private banking group in the USA

... surveyor of choice for FRP, wood, steel and aluminum hulls

... surveyor of choice for thermal imaging

... surveyor of choice for moisture testing

... surveyor of choice for audio gauging

... surveyor for overseeing projects and repairs