James R. (Randy) Renn, SAMS® AMS®, HonIIMS | Principal Marine Surveyor | Damage & Insurance Loss Specialist | (410) 490-0216 | randyrenn@aol.com

About Us

Survey and Investigation

Randy Renn has over twenty years experience as a Marine Surveyor, first working with a national surveyors group and then forming his own company. Achieved the status of Accredited Marine Surveyors® (A.M.S.) and Engine Designation (E.) from the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors. Full member on the International Institute of Marine Surveyors in the UK-FIIMS. Affiliate member of the Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association. Provides inspection and investigation services throughout the United States and abroad for both individual maritime purchases and insurance investigations. Provides expert witness testimony for litigated maritime cases. As one of the few Surveyors in the country with the engine designation he has invested heavily in the latest engine diagnostic equipment and the education and training necessary to use the equipment effectively. Marine Forensic Technicians has five surveyors apprentices and has provided the training and exposure necessary for them to become accredited in the field. Randy is a member of Catastrophe Teams for maritime insurance groups. Has developed a Marina Managers Curriculum that was displayed at the IBEX Education Pavilion. Currently writes for DIY Marine Magazines as a Technical Advisor. Appointed International Liaison to the ISO for the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®.


Randy has designed systems and taught maritime related classes for the following organizations: The Maryland Eastern College System, Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®, The Chapman School, Volvo North America, Volvo Penta AB-while Applications Engineer for North America, American Boat and Yacht Council and the State of Maryland University System. In addition,he has provided training classes/courses in the areas of marine propulsion and structure maintenance and repair, vessel maintenance, machinery and systems installations and applications. I have spoken for the Boat US Speakers Bureau. Have instructed nine types of certification for technicians and service managers.


Randy is heavily involved in marine engine and drive systems development and testing for Volvo Penta AB, concentrating on high speed diesel engine advancements to include extensive installation and sea trial experience. Involved in the development of autonomous underwater investigative bathymetry equipment for Department of the Navy. Past independent instructor licensed to teach ABYC Standards Accreditation. Assembled the current Engine Accreditation Examination-1000 Horsepower and above- for the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®. Extensive marine systems and structural failure analysis exposure. Have worked as an independent marine surveyor for 36 years in loss, damage and general purpose inspections for 8000 plus units. Perform machinery/systems and hull inspections simultaneously with team surveyors on steel, fiberglass and aluminum to vessels of 50 meters. Expert witness activities have included mechanical, fraud and wrongful death cases.


Volvo Penta – Common rail diesel engines
SAMS – Eleven International Meetings-speaker during four
SAMS – 10 Regional Meetings-speaker during six
SAMS – European Region Meetings/Conventions-Three
ICOMIA- International Standards Global Harmonization meeting London, UK
ICOMIA- International Standards Global Harmonization meeting, Amsterdam, NL
Mid Atlantic Mariners-12 Meetings-guest speaker two, Annapolis MD
ABYC Standards, ABYC Electrical, ABYC Train the Trainer
ABYC Standards Instructor-Three full courses-USCG, boat builders, surveyors
Ford Lehman diesel school, to 235 HP
Bosch Injection School to 2000KW
Borg Warner Transmissions to 500 hp
Cummins Diesels C-Series
Twin Disc, ZF Transmissions
MerCruiser gasoline engines to 500 HP
MerCruiser Outdrives to Bravo III
OMC – V8 Engines and systems
Volvo Penta all engines to 700hp, Volvo Penta all drive systems to 290 Duo Prop
ONAN generators to 100KW
Westerbeke generators to 40KW
Arneson Drive Systems
Kiekhaefer Controls and Tabs
Teleflex Steering, Hynautic Steering Systems
Sea Land Waste Systems
HVAC to Type III (ammonia) certified, Cruiseair AC Units
Chapman’s School of Seamanship Senior Instructor
Virginia Marine Institute Captains Certification, Three Seas Captains Certification
Maxum Boat Building Factory Course
Eastern Shore College Wooden Boat Classes
Spar Craft Mast Class
Model Craft Stereo Deposition Method Assembly
US Naval Academy Model Craft
Jarrett Bay Boats Construction Class
Eastern Bay Boats-PVC Vessel Construction
International Institute of Marine Surveyors-Full Member to 50 meters
Yacht Surveyors and Designers Association-Associate Member
European Conference Liaison from the Society Of Accredited Marine Surveyors

Career History

1977-1986 – Volvo Penta AB Applications Engineer North America-duties included: Travel throughout North America, vessel manufacturing consulting and installation of various marine engines from 7.5 to 790 horse power. Worked heavily in systems design for Duo-Prop and High Speed Diesel projects. Involved with USN Combat Sea Craft and Constabulary vessels. Ancillary equipment, steering, pumps, linear controls and switching relays were other areas of work.

1986-1988 – Owner, Annapolis Marine Propulsion – A six line engine re-powering facility with up to 14 technicians involved with systems and propulsion upgrades up to 70 foot vessels to include high speed craft. Company was a dealer for Arneson Drives and Keakaffer systems as well as MerCruiser, Ford Lehman, Volvo Penta, OMC, Westerbeke, Universal, ONAN.

1989-1991 – Technical Manager, The Marine Surveyors – Advised on report overview from Annapolis office for as many as six field surveyors in general insurance cases, loss investigations and surveys. Approximately 2000 cases seen.

1991-Present – Marine Forensic Technicians, Stevensville MD-Owner. A Marine Surveying office with two to five surveyors and staff largely involved with recreational craft inspections with a strong bent towards mechanical inspections. Marine Forensics uses the most up to date equipment and investigative techniques for inspection of FRP, steel, aluminum and wooden craft to 150 feet. Mechanical insurance losses and investigations are specialties. Work with USCG for hull UT testing for COI activities. Approximately 8000 sites have been inspected or investigated as of this year.

Marine Forensics has been involved with several years of CAT Team activities for post disaster investigations and assessment. Extensively involved with damage calculation and repair oversight for 75+ craft after hurricane Isabel in the Chesapeake Bay.

1996 – Participated in “Bait Cake Project”, a project that developed slow release tapioca based fish waste in the form of fructose and gelatin for commercial fisherman needing long term bait life.

1999 – Present – Department of U.S. Navy contractor – Developed a small autonomous research vessel of one meter to obtain shallow, seven category water samples while in very shallow bathymetry conditions. The unit was RC controlled and could be GPS plotted. Unit was sold to U.S. Naval Academy. Also developed a sliding mooring system for ocean water monitoring units across openings of rapid tidal basins and fast flow estuaries for the USN.

2000 – 2001- Little Bear – Restoration of a 1920 batten seam fishing smack from garboard at trunk to chine logs and all subsystems.

2001 – 2002 – Developed a diesel engine training curriculum for a University of Maryland vocational college system – Level 1,2 & 3 – and named Professor for the courses. Involved in learning product procurement from vendors and manufacturers.

2004 – 2005 – Quest – Classic hard edge commercial fishing vessel of 6/4 white cedar monel fastened. Quest required reconstruction of structural members at near vertical cutwater and stern chine. Created fiberglass liner form for bow section and plating of keel over propeller pocket/stern with routed in and laminated Okume.

2006 – Present – Independent writer for DIY magazines regarding inboard engines and vessel systems (four 1500 word articles per year).

2007 – Present – Standards Liaison to ISO and ICOMIA for the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors.

2008 – Present – Dealer/Consultant for Nauticair Maritime HVAC systems utilizing UV technology accompanying Titanium Dioxide filtration for captured air cleansing in conditioned cabin air vessels.

2010 – Present – Defense contractor and consultant at Johns Hopkins Applied Science