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About Us

Sharpe Surveying & Consulting is an independent marine surveying and consulting company operating out of Alameda, California.  I have been in operation for over 20 years serving the greater San Francisco Bay area and beyond.  I strive to provide thorough marine surveys for both prepurchase and insurance underwriting in order to provide the buyer or owner with a complete snapshot of the vessel condition and its compliance with Coast Guard regulations, ABYC and NFPA standards and good marine practice.  I conduct unbiased damage marine surveys for insurance underwriters to provide a complete picture to the adjuster in order for them to fairly adjust damage claims.  As a consultant to the commercial vessel industry I provide clear information on compliance with Coast Guard regulations and serve as an effective liaison with the Coast Guard and other government entities.  I have successfully acted as liaison bringing several vessels into compliance with Coast Guard regulations for certification as passenger carrying vessels.  I serve as an expert witness and consultant in admiralty litigation with extensive background in regulatory requirements and enforcement.  I look forward to serving you.  

Marine Surveyor Qualifications

Randell B. Sharpe

SAMS® Accredited Marine Surveyor

ABYC Member

NFPA Member

IAMI Member

SNAME Member

Lieutenant Commander, U.S.C.G. (Retired)_____________________________________________

     I am an Accredited Marine Surveyor® with the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors.  In order to earn the title Accredited Marine Surveyor® (AMS®) I had to have a minimum of 5 years experience and pass a written examination by the SAMS® testing committee.  I must also meet continuing education requirements in order to maintain this title. 

     I have over 40 years of training and experience in the regulation and inspection of vessels, including schools in the survey of fiberglass, wood and steel vessels.
     I have over 40 years of training and experience in marine accident investigations for the U.S. Coast Guard and marine industry. 
      I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy where I majored in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.
I served for two years as an Engineering Officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Roger B. Taney; a 1936 vintage 327 foot steam ship.
     The remainder of my Coast Guard career I served in the marine safety field conducting inspections and accident investigations for commercial vessels ranging from small charter boats to cruise ships, tankers and container ships.  
     I have been an avid boater from childhood; I learned to row and sail on the Long Island Sound starting at about the age of 4.  I operated our family boats as a teenager in south Florida after completing the U.S.C.G. Auxiliary boating safety course.  I built a kayak and partially constructed a 16 foot wooden sailboat during my teenage years.  While attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy I crewed on the "Tall Ship" EAGLE during Operation Sail '76.  I have experience on sailing vessels of all types from the square rigged Bark EAGLE to IOR 50s to J-24s to sunfish, and many in between.  I currently own a Cobalt 226 power boat for recreation with family and friends. 


Inspection & Investigation Experience

Highlights of Qualifications

     I have extensive experience as a marine surveyor and accident investigator. I have conducted many condition and value marine surveys for yachts and small craft. I have worked closely with Admiralty attorneys as an expert consultant and expert witness to assist in resolving admiralty liability claims. I have acted as liaison between commercial vessel owners and the Coast Guard to ensure smooth timely interactions. I have used my friendly, cooperative style to unify diverse groups to reach common goals. I pride myself on superb attention to detail and excellence at completing tasks; including the paperwork.

Employment Historyy Summary

1999-Present  Sharpe Surveying & Consulting, Marine Surveyor, Accident Investigator, Marine Industry Consultant, Expert Witness. 

1995-1999  Marine Safety Office, San Francisco, California
1992-1995  Marine Safety Office, San Juan, Puerto Rico
1988-1992  Coast Guard Headquarters, Compliance & Enforcement Division
1984-1988  Supervisor Marine Safety Detachment, Key West, Florida
1981-1984  Marine Safety Office, Port Arthur, Texas
1979-1981  Engineering Officer aboard USCGC TANEY, Portsmouth, Virginia

Education Highlights

B.S., U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT; 1979; Major in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering

Damage Control Assistant, Navy pprinciples of ship board fire fighting, flooding, stability & damage control; 1980

Marine Safety Basic Indoctrination, U.S. Coast Guard 12 week course in regulatory procedures for vessel inspections; 1982

Marine Safety Investigating Officer, Practices for conducting casualty investigations & administrative hearings; 1984

Surveying Fiberglass Vessels, Methods and practical application for survey of fiberglass vessels; 1985

Inspection of Wooden Boats, Methods and practical application for survey of wooden vessels; 1986

T-Boat Plan review Course, Review of ABS rules & Federal Regulations for construction of small passenger vessels for compliance with minimum scantling standards; 1986

DNV ISM Code, Covered purpose and implementation process for ISM Code; 1997
ABYC Certification Course, Marine Electrical Technician; 2001; Certified Electrical Marine Technician. 
SAMS Annual Conferences,  Regularly attended annual three day educational symposiums for marine surveyors starting in 2001. 
ABYC Standards Accreditation Course, April 2002; Standards Accredited.
NAMS Annual Conference, Two day educational symposium for marine surveyors; September 2002
SAMS Pacific Region Annual Conferences, since 2003. Regularly attended two day educational conferences for marine surveyors.

Professional Organization Memberships

SAMS ® Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors: AMS®
ABYC  American Boat and Yacht Council
NFPA  National Fire Protection Association
SNAME  Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers
IAMI  International Assoc. of Marine Investigators
BOAT U.S.  Boat Owner's Assoc. of The United States
U.S. SAILING  United States Sailing Association


Detailed Work Experience

OVER 20 YEARS:  Independent marine surveyor and expert consultant for admiralty claims. Doing business as Sharpe Surveying & Consulting. Member of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors receiving designation as Accredited Marine Surveyor in November 2001, ABYC and NFPA member. Conducting condition and value and damage surveys for yachts and small craft. Testified in liability cases in deposition and at trial. Liaison and technical consultant for several vessel owners obtaining initial Coast Guard certification for small passenger vessel.   

THREE YEARS:  U.S. Coast Guard department head, responsible for conducting investigations into the cause of marine accidents and personnel action cases involving merchant seaman. Area of responsibility included the California coast from the northern boarder, to Monterey. Supervising 5 full time and 11 part time investigators. Completed hundreds of marine casualty investigations.

ONE YEAR:  U.S. Coast Guard assistant department head supervising the inspection of commercial vessels in northern California. This included both small passenger vessels and large freight and tank vessels. Point of contact for both industry and field inspectors on technical questions regarding the federal regulations applicable to different types of commercial vessels. Personally conducted the most complex inspections while training new inspectors.

THREE YEARS: U.S. Coast Guard department head for commercial vessel inspections, accident investigations and personnel action cases against merchant seaman in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This included both small passenger carrying vessels, large cruise ships, deep draft freight vessels and tank vessels. The second largest cruise ship port in the United States and the largest number of foreign vessel exams in the Seventh Coast Guard District.  Conducted several major accident investigations including the major pollution incident in Puerto Rico from the barge MORRIS J. BERMAN. Made safety recommendations that were adopted into regulation.

FOUR YEARS:  Staff position in Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington D.C. Responded to regulatory appeals and policy questions from the marine industry. Drafter of Passenger vessel Safety Act. Worked on revision to small passenger vessel regulations. Point of contact for interpretation of Bare boat Charter issues. Responded to many regulatory appeals regarding interpretations of shipping regulations.

FOUR YEARS:  In charge U.S. Coast Guard independent field command in the Florida Keys. Conducted annual safety inspections and biennial drydock inspections for a fleet of 100 small passenger vessels. Conducted accident investigations into the cause of casualties for commercial vessels and personnel action cases against mariners.

THREE YEARS:  Served as a Marine Inspector and Marine Investigator at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Port Arthur Texas receiving extensive training in the marine industry and attained qualifications with the Coast Guard as a qualified Marine Inspector and Marine Casualty Investigator. 

TWO YEARS:  Served as an engineering Officer on board the Coast Guard cutter Taney.  Qualified in all aspects of the engineering division and as the Officer of the deck.  Stood engineering watches and ran various engineering departments including Damage Control Assistant.