Marine Investigations

Marine Investigations

Road to A Marine Investigator

by David Pascoe

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Chapter 1

The Marine Investigator


An incident that causes loss or damage to a vessel, or injury to persons, is referred to as a "casualty" or "loss" by the insurance industry, regardless of how it occurs. Anyone that is making a claim for loss or damages, whether an insured or not, is referred to as a "claimant".

Historically, the marine surveyor has been the preferred expert for the investigation of marine casualties by insurance companies and other interests. This is by virtue of the marine surveyor's long and practical experience with boats and the kinds of things that happen to, or go wrong with, boats.

A fundamental presumption of this book is that reader has a background in marine surveying which is the main prerequisite for becoming a marine investigator. Lacking this, there is no basis upon which an individual can be considered an expert.

The prepurchase surveyor, for example, acquires a large body of knowledge during his daily work of inspecting yachts for prospective buyers, as does the claims surveyor, who spends much of his professional life examining one casualty after another for insurance companies.

The question the would-be surveyor and investigator invariably asks is how one comes to the point of acquiring this body of knowledge and expertise. This question is as difficult to answer and satisfy as that of describing how one comes to be a marine surveyor.

Nation-wide there are, as of this writing, probably not more than 2,000 practicing, full-time marine surveyors, though there are far more persons who dabble at it, attempting to be professionals without adequate training or experience.

The very small size of this profession means that there are no schools or colleges offering degree programs on the subject due to insufficient demand for such a program. Historically, marine surveyors have approached casualty investigations on an ad hoc basis.

Fortunately, as recreational boating has grown over the years, so has the degree and sophistication of casualty investigations. The point of view of this book is primarily from the vantage point of the claims surveyor, for marine insurance claims are, by far, the most frequent reason marine surveyors are hired to investigate losses.

There are, of course, many other interests that hire surveyors regarding losses such as banks (lenders), attorneys, boat builders, dealers as well as individuals, among others. The yacht surveyor as a professional began appearing on the scene immediately after WWII as the boating industry began a long period of rapid and sustained growth. Most of these were men who had small craft experience either in the Navy, Coast Guard or in boat building.

During the 1950's, a fledgling group of surveyors formed the Yacht Safety Bureau which evolved in 1962 into what is now the National Association of Marine Surveyors. Today, marine casualty investigation has grown into a rather sophisticated combination of art and science, employing skills and techniques to a degree not unlike that of the police detective.

The good casualty investigator not only possesses an extensive knowledge of boats, but also the skills of a detective; his positive traits include knowledge, persistence, determination and patience. Such skills are necessitated by the fact that when costly accidents occur, litigation often follows.

Copyright© 2004 David H. Pascoe
(Additional spaces are added for easy screen reading.)

Table of Contents: Chapter 1

1. The Marine Investigator 1

What is a Vessel? 2
What Is An Investigation? 3
Types of Casualties 4
Qualifications 5
Forensics 6

Establishing a Business 7

Licensing 8
Advertising 9

Serving Clients 10

Obligations to the Client 10
Maintaining Objectivity 11
Win-Win, Not Win-Lose 12

Clientele 13

Insurance Companies 13
Lawyers 14
Boat Owners 15
Other Clients 16

The Insurance Investigator 16

Knowledge of Insurance Contracts 17
Subrogation 18

The Expert Witness 19

Defense Versus Plaintiff Cases 20

Copyright© 2004 David H. Pascoe


Expand Business!
Marine surveyors:
Expand your marine business!
Conducting marine investigations can help free you from the limitations of a seasonal business and expand your business opportunities and income.
Who Hires?
Who hires marine investigators?
In addition to insurance companies, specialist investigators merge their specialized pleasure craft knowledge with investigative abilities for a broad range of clientele.
These can range from boat owners with serious warranty claim disputes and faulty repair issues to being hired by lawyers as investigators as either fact witnesses or expert witnesses.
Marine investigators often work for boat owners who are having trouble with insurance claim issues, assisting the boat owner obtain a proper claims settlement.

Marine Investigations Marine Investigations
Soft Cover
544 pages
Publisher: D. H. Pascoe & Co., Inc.
Published: 2004
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9780965649650
Price: $44.50
In Stock



David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

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