Kent Thurston, AMS
Accredited Marine Surveyor
Kent Thurston Marine Surveyor, AMS #894
Member of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors(SAMS)

Mobile: (207) 487-1783
This page was last updated: September 4, 2016
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Marine Surveys

Marine surveys are a rather straight-forward process whereby a vessel is scrutinized inside and outside, from bottom to top, and stem to stern. The smallest wiring connection to the most basic aspects of the hull construction, and everything in between, are examined and assessed for their condition. A detailed report is written, including any noted shortcomings, and digital photos are printed to accompany the report. My marine surveys are as accurate as is possible based on access to various areas of the vessel. Oftentimes there are areas of a vessel hidden by ceilings, bulkheads, or systems that can not be observed without time-consuming, and often damaging, removal. I do not attempt to observe areas of a vessel that are not easily accessible, unless they have been made accessible for me prior to the survey. A survey can only include equipment that is found on the vessel and operating at the time of the survey. Thus, for example, I can only asses whether a radar operates, if it is hooked-up and ready to run with the power system operating on the vessel. Otherwise, only the make and model of the radar is noted with serial number, assuming it is present.

Engines are a complicated entity unto themselves, and it is my belief that only a qualified engine mechanic can give you an accurate status report of an engine. I am not a mechanic, and as a result, I am not qualified to report on an engine’s condition beyond the obvious...its ease of starting and its operation, when observed, and a notation of the engine's serial number and the engine size and type. I can arrange to have the engine lubricants analyzed by a professional laboratory, sometimes with a useful amount of information coming from such an analysis.

Do You Need A Marine Survey?

Should you be purchasing a boat and want to know its condition and value, a marine survey makes good sense...even if you are buying the vessel through a reputable broker. Occasionally, a sea-trial is recommended. Often, a survey will turn up problems that may not be readily apparent. If you are selling a boat, and desire to know what improvements need to be made to command a higher price for the vessel, a marine survey may pay for itself many times over. If your insurance company or lending institution requests a marine survey, then a condition and value survey will be necessary. As your marine surveyor, I release the survey report and photos only to you, or parties that you request copies be sent to. I work only for you.

If an insurance survey is required, check with your insurance company regarding their specific needs. Some insurers require a boat be surveyed below the waterline from the outside, others do not. Generally, insurers will require boats over ten years old to be surveyed every three to five years. Some vessels will not require a full survey if the insurance company requests only a statement of general condition and a valuation.

About Thurston Creative, Inc.

I am Kent Thurston, Accredited Marine Surveyor. I began surveying boats for friends and acquaintances in 1995 and soon interest built to a level where surveying boats and writing the “Boatstuff” column for the Maine Coastal News became the primary business of Thurston Creative, Inc.

As demand for marine surveying services grew, I joined the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors ™ (SAMS™), believing that adhering to the strict standards of this organization could only prove beneficial to both my customers and my surveying business.

I specialize in both recreational and commercial vessels of wood and fiberglass between 15’ and 80’ in length. The surveys performed are complete Condition and Value surveys, suitable for insurance underwriters and financial institutions and for Pre-Purchase purposes. Sea trials are sometimes useful for the latter, where practical. I also perform valuation appraisals under certain circumstances. These merely ascertain the overall general condition of a vessel and its market value, and are generally not suitable for insurance, financing or pre-purchase applications.

With over 20 years experience in the marine field, I have developed a unique understanding of how vessels are designed, constructed, maintained and operated. My specialty is wooden boat construction.

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or requests you may have and I will endeavor to get back to you as quickly as possible. I would be pleased to discuss your
specific marine surveying needs.


Pre-purchase Surveys are charged based on the over-all length of the vessel on the deck at $23 per foot on deck. Minimum charge is $300. This is the most comprehensive survey inspection available. Travel of up to 60 miles radius from Belfast, Maine is included. A sea trial may be requested...the fee is $80 per hour, and a captain is required.

Insurance Condition & Value Surveys are also charged based on the vessel's length on deck at $20 per foot, with a minimum charge of $250. This is a comprehensive survey, but the report is not as detailed as a Pre-purchase Survey report. Systems generally are not fully tested. Travel of up to 60 miles radius from Belfast, Maine is included.

Valuation Appraisals are $14 per foot on deck, minimum of $200. This is not a complete survey inspection and it includes a very basic report. When submitted with IRS Form 8283, this is a valid tax deductable donation report. Travel up to 60 miles radius from Belfast, Maine is included.

Consultation is based on $80/hour (minimum of 2 hours), plus travel fees.

Travel is charged at $60 per hour/ $15 for a quarter-hour or fraction thereof. The first 60 miles of travel from Belfast, Maine are included in the report fees.

Kent Thurston Marine Surveyor, AMS #894
Member of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS)

Contact Me


Mobile: (207) 487-1783
        Kent Thurston Accredited Marine Surveyor        
19 Maine Street         Troy, Maine 04987

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Photos above Copyright Kent Thurston 2011, except the Osmond Beal Lobster Boat at lower left corner:
Credit is due Kathleen Lawson and Mrs. Paula Colwell of Deer Isle, Maine. Photo source is from-

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Copyright Kent Thurston, AMS/Thurston Creative, Inc. 2010
Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS)
American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC)