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January & February 2017 – Winter Is NOT Coming

Charleston missed out on winter this year.  Well, technically there were 4 days in January where the low was just below freezing, but then there were 14 days in January where the high was 70+ degrees.  Normally I reserve the first week of the year for business "busy work" while I wait for the boating market to thaw.  Not this year year though.  This year I had three pre-purchase surveys the first week in January.  I wore flip flops and short sleeves to all of them. What does this mean?  As far as surveying goes it means business is good.  In fact everyone I know in this industry is summertime-busy right now.  But I fear that a mild winter means a miserable summer is looming.  So I'm not looking forward to that. Environmentally speaking, I don't pretend to know anymore than the NOAA and NASA articles I read every now and then, so I won't get into that.  I will be interested...

I Passed The AMS Exam

I have been looking forward to, and dreading this exam for years.  Last month I drove down to SAMS headquarters in Jacksonville, FL to finally take this 4-hour beast of a test. THE PROCESS Just qualifying to take the AMS exam is an achievement in itself.  The first step is getting accepted into SAMS (Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors) as a Surveyor Associate, or SA.  A solid SA candidate has years of technical marine-industry experience under his or her belt and has attended some kind of survey-specific school like the Chapman School of Seamanship.  Once accepted, an SA can begin surveying as a SAMS surveyor. While there are some exceptions, SAMS requires most SA's to survey and/or apprentice for the next 4-5 years.  During this time, SA's must complete mandatory continuing-education hours and submit yearly survey reports for review by their SAMS regional director.  Most importantly, SA's must maintain a clean, complaint-free professional record. Every surveyor's situation is a little different when they start off...

Special Delivery: 2016 Viking 52′ Express

Day 1: The Viking Factory: New Gretna, NJ It took me about 5 seconds to realize I dressed poorly for my first trip to the Viking factory. I knew it would be cold but I didn’t think it would be that cold. In my defense, we had just flown in from sunny 70-degree Charleston so my internal thermostat was a properly calibrated yet. Put it this way, I was the only idiot stomping around the snow-covered docks in boat shoes. [caption id="attachment_723" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Viking Factory Viking Factory[/caption]We spent the entire day at the factory provisioning and prepping the boat for the trip south. Several hours and several Wawa sandwiches later, we drove down to Atlantic City. Viking is tucked away a few miles inland and the only way to get the boats from the factory to the coast is to navigate through a maze of shallow and shoaly creeks...
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