Marine Surveyors and Consultants

Florida East coast call: 305-219-1336  Florida West coast call: 239-440-2675

 South Florida Marine Surveys

West Coast office serving - Ft Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Marco Island, Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa, St Petersburg and surrounding areas.

East Coast office serving - Florida Keys, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Hallandale, Dania Beach, Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth and surrounding areas.

Captain Tom Eckhardt
Captain Tom Eckhardt’s background in boating spans many decades. Beginning in the late sixties aboard the family runabout BOBCAT he was given wheel time and his dad discovered that he had a touch for maneuvering the craft.

By the early seventies Tom ventured to the Florida Keys to learn to dive at the age of 17.
The dive lessons went great but the dive boat broke down on the reef. Back then there wasn’t a Seatow operator lurking behind every wave but as a result of his fascination with mechanics he was successful in making a temporary repair for the Captain. This got him notice from the Captain and he was soon teaching SCUBA diving and working as a mate on dive boats in the Key Largo area.

Eventually he earned his USCG Captains license in 1978. By this time he was also doing a lot of boat maintenance jobs around town. He used his experience to do yacht deliveries and repairs around the Caribbean and Bahamas as well as up the east coast. In 1984 he purchased a boat and operated it as a dive charter vessel in the upper keys while continuing to do vessel maintenance and yacht deliveries.

In 1994 he purchased a dive business called Conch Republic Divers in Tavernier. At the time he purchased it the business was pretty run down in terms of marketing and equipment but it included a 40-passenger boat and he saw the potential. After resurrecting the business he received the 1999 #1 Dive Operator in North America award as determined by the readers of Rodale’s SCUBA Diving Magazine. This was not an award given to heavy advertisers in the publication as is evidenced that he was one of their smallest clients. His marketing plan revolved around word of mouth from satisfied clients and this award was the result of clients filling out ballots and sending them in.

At that time Tom had accumulated quite an array of skills and qualifications. He had experience in repairing just about anything that can break on a boat. If it could break he broke it at sometime in his career and in the charter business the boat that isn’t broken makes a living. Waiting for a mechanic simply didn’t cut it so it was pretty handy that he has formal training in this department. He has also done plenty of fiberglass repair and painting chores mixed with a dose of wood boat 101.

He looked at this collection of skillsets when he sold Conch Republic Divers and while it was a well rounded bunch of capabilities he was after a different route to utilize them than he had been taking in the past. He decided to pursue a career as a Marine Surveyor.

Tom investigated the different avenues to become qualified as such and settled on what was the most involved and complete. He attended Chapmans School of Seamanship for their 6 week Yacht and Small Boat Surveyor course. While this course is recognized as the most involved training in the industry it teaches nothing about boats themselves. This was a prerequisite to be accepted in the course. He graduated in June 2000 and has performed hundreds of various types of surveys since.

Tom is now a Member of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and American Boat and Yacht Council as well as holding his USCG Masters license. Be assured that you have found a seasoned marine expert, with Tom, as his career as a marine professional in South Florida, the Upper Keys,  started over 40 years ago in Key Largo, Miami-Dade and the Caribbean.
1482 NW 20th Street, Homestead, FL 33030 • (305) 219-1336  • [email protected]
Profile: Independent Marine Surveyor
~ Expert in loss assessment and  catastrophe loss assessments, pre-purchase, and condition/value surveys ~
~ More than 30+ years of combined experience with marine vessels ~
Track record of performing accurate loss assessments, serving as an expert witness in court cases, and serving as a project manager for major renovation and repair projects.
Effective advisor to all levels of an organization, providing marine vessel insight on catastrophic loss assessment, pre-purchase surveys, insurance condition and value surveys (CVS), and general marine vessel loss assessment. 
Voted the #1 Dive Operator in North America by SCUBA Diving Magazine, doubling the gross income of Conch Republic Divers, Inc. overnight.
As a Captain, have directed thousands of SCUBA diving excursions while evaluating the weather, diver skill level, resources, and other variables to conduct safe and enjoyable dives for clients. Additionally have delivered various vessels around the Carribean and trans Atlantic.
Proficient in all aspects of marine vessel maintenance, with experience working on every system, minimizing scheduled vessel haul out times and working closely with USCG Vessel Inspectors to ensure compliance with all CFRs relating to vessel safety.
Superb team leadership, management, and communication skills. Tech savvy with experience implementing business development strategies. Reputed for credibility, exceptional work ethic, and sharp attention to detail. Thrive in dynamic settings.
Core Competencies Include:
Marine Vessel Surveying • Damage Assessments • Project Management • Catastrophe Damage Assessments
Repair & Renovation • Risk Management • Yacht Delivery • Team Leadership • Business Development • Process Improvements
Professional Experience
SAMS AMS-Accredited Marine Surveyor — DBA Marine Mentor  Homestead, FL                                     2000 – present
Survey vessels, sail, power and passenger carrying to ascertain the condition of the hull, machinery, and equipment to determine if they meet all safety standards for insuring. Inspect all systems above and below the waterline. Prepare reports on surveys conducted, recommended actions, and repairs.
Perform damage assessments for marine vessel insurance claims in the United States and the Caribbean.
Contact insured, inspect the property, develop an assessment of the scope of the damage, review estimates from  repair vendors on all repairs, ensuring no non-loss repairs are included.
Provide catastrophe services after major disasters; have worked with Hurricane Ivan (Grand Cayman), Hurricane Ike (Galveston, TX), Hurricane Katrina (Miami, FL), Wilma, Jeanne, and others.
Serve as an expert witness in boating accident and SCUBA diving court cases.
Nationally published author with credits, including Living Aboard Magazine “It Broke”, and Florida Scuba News – the Undersea Journal (publication for PADI dive instructors) “Dive-rsions” weekly column in Knight Ridder paper.
Provide expert pre-purchase and reinsurance condition/value surveys.
Serve as a Project Manager for major renovation and repair projects.
Provide vessel delivery services up to trans-Atlantic as a Delivery Captain.
Have completed 1000+ damage surveys and 2500+ pre-purchase and reinsurance assessments.
Marine Surveyor Associate — Davis and Company Inc. Ltd  Lisle, IL                                                       2003- Present
Provide damage and condition/value surveys (CVS) as a contract employee for South Florida and the Carribean.
Serviced a major contract with Allstate in south Florida from 2003 to 2006.
Successfully completed 800+ surveys for major carriers.
Expert in loss assessment surveys on marine losses in Florida and the Caribbean.
Owner — Conch Republic Divers Inc.  Tavernier, FL                                                                             1995-2000
Managed and maintained 2 commercial dive charter vessels and a retail store in the extremely competitive Florida Keys market. Oversaw all aspects of the business, restructured the marketing plan, renovated the assets, and developed dive plans that spurred the business to flourish. Initially operated on a shoestring then increased the company gross by more than 4 times doubling the value of the assets.
Featured in the largest dive publication in the world – Rodales SCUBA Diving Magazine; awarded the #1 Dive Operator in North America, doubling the gross value of the shop overnight.
 Managed 2 dive charter boats, staff of 5, SCUBA equipment rental inventory and Air fill system.
Previous Experience
Owner/Operator/Captain, Stargazer Enterprises, Tavernier, FL
Education & Professional Development
Yacht and Small Craft Surveying Certification, 2000 — Chapmans School of Seamanship
USCG Masters License, Issue #6
State of
  Florida, Independent All Lines Adjustor – #D085948 (inactive)
Submarine Pilot, Submersible Systems Technology
PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor #13515 (retired)
High School Diploma, East Kentwood High School
           Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors – Accredited Marine Surveyor • American Boat and Yacht Council