Gladding Marine Survey
Jacksonville, Florida, USA - 904-945-0511
Serving the Continental United States and the Caribbean
William K. Gladding, SAMS® AMS®
Principal Marine Surveyor
I have been boating since a teen in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. My brother and I worked around various outboard boats our Dad put together. When our Father retired from the Navy in Key West boating and boat building was every where. Fresh out of school I went to work for a boat builder on Stock Island. I then went to work for an Uncle in Marathon Florida building 34-foot semi custom fiberglass fishing boats. It was a small company so I was able to learn everything necessary to take a molded fiberglass hull and finish out a turn key fishing boat of the type used in the Florida Keys.
After a few years in Marathon I decided to test the waters on my own. I spent the next few years building a reputation as a competent repairer of fiberglass commercial fishing vessels and the occasional pleasure craft. In addition, I also contracted with a company to lay up 53 foot fiberglass hulls.
Working in the Florida Keys was the foundation of my experience. I built hulls in a mold from rolls of fiberglass cloth, resin, foam and plywood. I then took the hull and finished it out making it into a turn key commercial fishing boat. I like to say I learned about boats from the inside out. I also did major repair, modification and restoration work to boats. I changed engines out, made major structural modifications and improvements, built fiberglass tanks, installed hydraulics, painted, fiber glassed or any other type of work necessary to keep a boat in good working order.
I felt the Keys offered limited opportunities so I chose Jacksonville, Florida where I could further my education and gain additional experience in the boating industry. I worked with Huckins Yacht Corporation as the Service Manager.
Running the Service Department at Huckins was a lot like working on boats in the Keys except that yachts have a lot more that must be maintained. Yachts share a lot of the same problems as fishing boats so my previous experience was invaluable.
Hurricane Hugo struck South Carolina during my tenure at Huckins. I spent weeks in the area after the storm working with surveyors and boat owners writing estimates. As a result we did a substantial volume of repairs to storm damaged vessels from that area. Our service was well received by these customers resulting in a steady stream of service work from these areas in the years that followed.
Surveying piqued my interest as a means to be solely in control of my own destiny. I knew my background suited me to the task. I applied to the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors and was accepted as Surveyor Associate. Within two years I acquired the experience and education to upgrade to Accredited Marine Surveyor.
I am of the opinion that you must never stop learning. I continue to enroll in various types of training to improve my surveying abilities. There are many systems in boats to learn and new systems and technologies being developed regularly. Continuing education is important to stay abreast of the various systems found in and around boats.
We regularly perform marine surveys in the following Florida locations: Savannah, Brunswick, Jacksonville, Green Cove Springs, St. Augustine, Daytona and New Smyrna Beach.
Click here for a copy of Bill's Curriculum Vita (PDF)