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|Letters From Members|
December, 2017When I started surveying full time after Chapman's school, I had no idea how much I didn't know (yet) about the business. Not sure exactly when I got turned on to the Boatpokers forum, but not for it, I doubt my career would have taken off.
Even with a good mechanical and electrical background from the Air Force, plus Chapman's school, a crash USCG prep course and Six Pack license, and about 20 years of boating experience prior to joining SAMS, I didn't have the exposure to, nor experience with, dozens of boat manufacturers and literally thousands of different models of boats. Sure, I was savvy enough to talk the talk with most clients and brokers, and I had the necessary skills, common sense and the good instincts to board unfamiliar vessels without making a fool of myself (BUT). It didn't take long until I was confronted with issues and situations where not everything was "by the book". In fact, a great deal of what a good surveyor needs to know is not "in the book".
For example 1: you state in your report summary; vessel appears "fit and suitable for it's intended use". Does that mean the use intended by the manufacturer; or, for the use intended by your client, the potential boat purchaser? Is the vessel suitable for her intended use (by anyone) as a recreational vessel; or, is she suitable for use by your client specifically? "It all depends" , so try to find that answer in ABYC or NFPA...
Example 2: My moisture meter shows extremely high readings over the entire wetted surface of the hull on this 2001 (X model) yacht. Should I advise the client or boat owner to have holes drilled in the hull to check for rot? A simple query to Boatpokers and you're informed by a dozen members (experienced surveyors), that (X model) boat is layed up with a specific resin that triggers high readings on all moisture meters. Wow, potential lawsuit (or at least embarrassment) averted.
I could name a hundred (or more) incidents where Boatpokers (the forum) has saved my butt, or at least made my job a whole lot easier; unfortunately, there are too few members, and far less contributors. So, my hats off to all the Boatpokers forum members, and especially those OFMs (they know what that means) and a few somewhat less aged challenged, who contribute so generously with their time and knowledge. For fear of leaving someone out I won't name names, but all us members know who I mean...
Gary Wright - AMS# 753
American Marine Specialists
December, 2017Simply put, boatpokers is unique in that it is one of the few places where a group of business professionals can post a question (or a comment) and get valuable feedback from other professionals in our same field. If we try and function in a vacuum where we seek and share no information, we will rapidly become obsolete. Some of the questions and responses posted on boatpokers are from individuals who are HIGHLY regarded in our field. Other postings and responses are from "newcomers" (of which we were all a "newcomer" at one time). Bottom line is that buried in all this is a veritable wealth of information.
You are under no obligation to agree with or utilize any of the information on boatpokers, but it is still VERY VALUABLE. So, Boatpokers is "INFORMATION" and in almost every instance in our profession information is valuable. The more information you have, the higher the probability of finding "the best information"; and the easiest way to get more and ultimately the best information is through more membership and active participation on boatpokers.
Blair Bugher - AMS
Bugher Marine Services
December, 2017Hope to see all pokers stay onboard with BoatPokers and spread the word as to the valuable tool this forum is on issues ranging from business to technical details to ethics matters.
Speaking as someone with a long time in the marine industry but a shorter time in the survey profession, the BoatPokers archives, current postings and the ability to seek advice from ones peers has been an invaluable tool for me. As others have so well put it, Boatpokers is a way for the more experienced to share their experience as a form of mentoring that improves our trade craft and reputation across the board in a time when business opportunities (surveys) are not as plentiful as they once were and a quality product (report) matters greatly. BoatPokers, a tool I find worth carrying
Thanks to all who contribute!
Kenneth "Butch" Rasmussen AMS®
Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®
ABYC Certified Master Marine Technician
Shiver Me Timbers Marine Services North Carolina
December, 2017Being a member of boatpokers means you have an almost daily string of boat related topics, from rigging to outboards to thermal imaging to professional conduct. There is more information and practical experience in the forum than can be gained from any other one source.
I look at the forum topics every day. If one does not have meaning for me, I delete it. I can always find the information in the archives.
People complain that they get too many emails and that boatpokers takes up too much time/space. I say clean out your email to make room. Open a separate account.
When I have been asked for out-of-town referrals, I go to my SAMS members book and chose a surveyor that I know is active on boatpokers. I know that that surveyor is actively engaged and interested in the business of surveying. Choosing not to join boatpokers is choosing to ignore knowledge and change. A dangerous thing to do in our line of work; lots of hungry attorneys out there ready and willing to put my ignorance on display.
SAMS has continuing education requirements, boatpokers membership should count towards that requirement; it is that important.
Stephen Duncombe AMS #1125
Gudgeon & Pintle Marine Surveys
Bridgeton, North Carolina
December, 2017To any members on the fence on whether or not to join "boatpokers" (especially SA's). I consider this forum to be a very useful learning tool. I have been a member for years and I make a point to read every thread. Many times you may think that the subject really doesn't have much to do with your expertise or consternation. After a few years you will be amazed at how many times the advice freely given on BP will come back to you clearly. You may be involved in a conversation with yard personnel, brokers or whoever and all of a sudden you are speaking the words of guys like Fred, Dick, Alison or any number of the members with storehouses of knowledge on the subject.
While taking the AMS exam you will find subjects that won't be in the study booklet, it's cheap money for the value.
Andy Cook AMS 1141.
Captain Cook Marine Survey
Bradford, Rhode Island
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