Business: Capt. Rob Cozen, Marine Surveyor and Consultant

Owner: Rob Cozen, 65, of Ocean City

Location: West Avenue, Ocean City

Started: 1989

Employees: Owner operated

Phone: 609-335-1500

A marine surveyor is like a home inspector, only for boats.

These are full structural, mechanical and systemic inspections. I inspect boats in and out of the water, and perform sea trials and develop a performance evaluation of the boat.

I test the plumbing, the electronics, the navigational systems, the drive system. Even though I work for banks and insurance companies, my work is to protect the buyer.

Whether someone is buying a boat from a broker or a private individual, the insurance company and bank will want a copy of the boat inspection to see that it is worth the value set for it.

I'm also a consultant and an expert witness. If there's any kind of litigation - whether it's liability on the part of a boat builder or operator, someone gets injured on a boat, or there are warranty issues - attorneys will hire me as an expert witness on the matter.

A lot of times a buyer will have a general idea of what he wants and just needs a little guidance on his search and purchase. Sometimes someone having a boat built will want quality control inspections at the manufacturing facility.

I've done oil tankers, the boats used for the re-enactment of Washington's crossing, and a ferryboat in New York Harbor. I also do cargo inspections, often regarding damaged cargo.

I was a commercial diver for years and I'm a certified Scuba instructor. I'm also deputy coordinator of the Somers Point office of emergency management.

Entry: I was in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to '70. I've been boating my entire life and had my captain's license. One day I was buying a sailboat and a guy came and surveyed the boat, and I thought, I can do that. I took courses for three years and apprenticed with a Lloyd's of London surveyor out of Philadelphia.

Future plans: I've had clients take me all over the country and to the islands. Now I'd like to spend more time with the grandchildren and would love to do more sailing and fishing.

Business editor Kevin Post