Accredited Marine Surveyor

Kells W. Christian is an accredited marine surveyor in San Diego offering boat inspection services for commercial, passenger, fishing, multi-hull, and all types of recreational vessels.  He is experienced and comfortable with fiberglass, steel, aluminum, wood and even ferro-cement construction. He also assists with damage assessments/insurance claims and participates in legal matters as an expert witness. He primarily serves Southern California but does and will travel throughout the world. Since 1990, Kells has performed or assisted with over 300 insurance claims and over 700 condition and valuation inspections/surveys per year (roughly 10,000 claims and 23,000 C&Vs as of 2023).  The latter usually include inspections  for  structural integrity, underwater components (while hauled), electrical systems, plumbing, engine functionality, and more.

As one of the top accredited marine surveyors in San Diego, Kells keeps up-to-date on the latest technology, laws, and policies so you can have peace of mind knowing your boat inspection services are being performed competently and professionally, and your interests are represented. Please take a moment to view Kells’ resumé.

Kells W. Christian

1276 Scott Street • San Diego, California 92106


Accredited Marine Surveyor with experience since 1990.  Expertise in recreational and commercial vessels.  Regional Director of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) for two years.  Prominent member of numerous other industry organizations.  Unwavering commitment to continued education and tracking current regulations, industry trends, and market conditions.  Ability to understand technical functions from multiple angles and explain them clearly in lay-person terminology.  Accomplished speaker, writer, educator, and communicator.  Raised the bar for quality customer service.

Integrity •  Impeccable Reputation •  Ethical  •  Diligent


CHRISTIAN & COMPANY MARINE SURVEYORS, Inc., San Diego, California        1995–PRESENT

  • Manage day-to-day operations of business and staff. Conducted/oversaw over 9,900 marine insurance claims (300 per year) and 23,000 condition and valuation inspections (700 per year) for fiberglass, wood, steel, aluminum, and ferro-cement pleasure yachts, commercial passenger vessels, and commercial fishing vessels. Travel globally to assist with claims, vessel inspections and litigation support.
  • Provide expert witness testimony with adherence to the highest of standards as set forth by the American Boat and Yachting Council, the National Fire Protection Agency, and the United States Coast Guard. Ascribe to the Code of Ethics and By Laws of SAMS.
  • Developed a thorough system of inspecting vessels inclusive of the following: structural integrity analysis, dry dock inspections, sea trials, electrical systems, propulsion system, fuel system, machinery, navigation, overall cosmetic appearance, and general condition.
  • Attend and instruct at continuing education events, including International Boat Builders Exposition seminars, numerous American Boat and Yachting Council seminars, and local, regional, and national symposiums for SAMS.
  • Developed a program for State Farm Insurance geared toward training their marine claims managers and adjusters. Created text and course materials and taught classes.
  • Authored numerous articles available at

THE MARINE SURVEYORS, INC., Jacksonville/Orlando/San Diego                                   1990–1995

Regional Manager/Field Technician
  • Performed over 2,000 claims assignments for recreational and commercial vessels.
  • Determined cause of loss; performed inspections to determine claim-related damages.
  • Served as liaison between policy holders and repair facilities. Negotiated repair costs. Obtained discounts when appropriate.
  • Performed over 1,500 condition and valuation surveys for underwriters and buyers.
  • Oversaw hiring and training of technicians for the Jacksonville, Orlando, and Seattle
  • Played key role in the San Diego area for marketing, developing new business, and providing services (including P & I theft claims and expert witness services in County and Federal courts). 

MARASSIST, INC., Jacksonville, Florida                                                                                    1988–1990

General Manager
  • Managed a repair business for commercial and recreational vessels up to 80 feet long.
  • Supervised start to finish work for general maintenance, painting, and electrical repairs.
  • Provided preparatory education for United States Coast Guard Captain’s license examinations. Implemented a comprehensive training program for the Marine Division of the Jacksonville Fire Department.
  • Delivered vessels to destinations in the United States and Bahama Islands

JOHN’S RIVER TAXI, INC., Jacksonville, Florida                                                                  1989–1990

  • In charge of operating a river taxi service consisting of 4 vessels carrying 26 passengers each.
  • Provided general maintenance and repair services.
  • Oversaw passenger safety issues in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Seatow inc., Jacksonville, Florida                                                                                                1985–1987

  • Provided services in all phases of the towing and salvage business.
  • Operated the towing vessel; located and recovered vessels in distress; raised submerged vessels; performed salvage and wreckage removal services.


Cook Islands Flag State Surveyor #94, 2011 – present

Surveyor for San Diego Unified Port District, 2004 – 2005, 2013 – present

Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, AMS #301, Regional Director (2001–2003), current member

International Association of Marine Investigators, member, 2003

American Boat and Yachting Council, member, 1995

San Diego Port Tenants Association, member, 1995

Marine Underwriters of Southern California, member, 1995

San Diego Insurance Adjusters Association, member, 1993


American Boat & Yachting Council Standards Accreditation (A.B.Y.C.), 2006 – present

A.B.Y.C. member, 1995 – present

Extensive continuing education, including SAMS and NAMS regional, national and international symposiums, ABYC training programs, IBEX (International Boatbuilding Exposition) conferences, etc…

Vessel Fire Fighting Certificate (United States Coast Guard Approved), Pyrotechnical Institute Inc., 1989

Lifeboat Competency Certificate, United States Coast Guard, 1989

Diesel Engine Service Training, Caterpillar, 1992

Insurance Adjusters License (#2819521), State of California, 1993– present

U.S. Coast Guard Captains License, Vessels up to 50 gross tons and Commercial Assistance Towing Endorsement, 1988–1998

B.S., Mathematics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 1987