Talking Boats with Surveyor Jonathan Klopman

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in Soundings Magazine, part of Chris Landry’s ongoing “Talkin’ Boats” column, and it contains some excellent information from a member of the BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Field Team. Enjoy!

Jonathan Klopman has been a marine surveyor for more than 20 years. While he continues to perform prepurchase surveys, the bulk of his work involves damage surveys an accident investigations. He specializes in failure analysis of metals, wood and composites.

“If you’ve got something broken, I’ll tell you how it got that way,” says Klopman, 51, who founded his surveying company in 1990.

Some of a surveyor's tools of the trade

Klopman, who is based in Marblehead, Mass., also is a member of the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance Catastrophe Field Team that recovers and assesses hurricane-damaged boats. He has served as an expert witness in court cases and provides litigation support.

Klopman has owned both power and sailboats, including a Shields, an International 110 and a 1959 24-foot mahogany cruiser. Since 1999, he has owned a 1970 20-foot Bertram Bahia Mar. He is a regular speaker at The Landing School in Maine and helps teach a course in accident reconstruction for the American Boat and Yacht Council.

Q: Describe what you do with the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance Catastrophe Field Team.
A: I’m a field surveyor. I find and identify the [hurricane-damaged] boats and determine the extent of the damage. At the beginning stages, it can be hide-and-seek. It is not unusual to find a boat — sunk, in the woods, you name it — two miles from the marina where it is supposed to be. It’s stressful; there’s a lot of pressure to get your work done, to get the resources you need onsite [cranes, barges, workboats] in an area that has been destroyed.

Read the rest on Boats.com: Talking Boats with Surveyor Jonathan Klopman

Read more about surveyors:

On Waterblogged: Do You Need a Surveyor?

On YachtWorld.com: Marine Surveyors Earn Their Fee

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