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Hull and Machinery Surveys

Providing comprehensive support to thousands of domestic and international vessels

With one of the largest concentrations of NAMS surveyors in the marine industry, DLS Marine provides a wide range of hull and machinery services from general condition to audio gauging as well as specialized offerings 

Our skilled team maintains an extensive computer database of over 12,000 vessels valued by our office and has digital access to domestic and international vessel databases. Additionally, we sustain and manage an electronic journal that contains information and records pertaining to new construction costs, day rates, repair costs and actual/reported vessel sales. 

General Condition

Receive detailed and comprehensive surveys. We inspect the overall integrity of the subject and loaded cargo and provide a complete report. 

Receive detailed and comprehensive surveys. We document the vessel’s outfitting and overall general condition and provide a complete report. We do not look at the cargo for general condition unless there is something that we see that is unsafe or will cause damage to the vessel.   

Audio Gauging ​

Understand the structural integrity of your vessel’s steel. DLS can determine the hull plating thickness to assess its vulnerability to water ingress in areas of thin or corroded plating.

Damage Surveys

Discern the cause, nature and extent of damagein addition to recommendations for repair to your vessel’s hull and machinery as well as offshore oil field platforms, docks, dredges, yachts, cargo and marine related structures and equipmentOur large, experienced team responds immediately and prepares complete, accurate reports quickly. 

DLS services include preparing repair specifications, estimating repair costs, soliciting bids, negotiating costs and acting as the client’s representative through the repair period. We can also assist with cargo losses and in the final disposition to minimize losses through depreciation and/or salvage sales. 


Obtain answers to imperative questions and solutions to problems related to marine related cargo, equipment deployment, logistics or any other specialized projects. Our team can offer specific planning, estimating and feasibility studies.


Salvage sunken and partially sunken vessels, equipment and yachts. Our experienced DLS team can attend, monitor and document salvage operations of sunken and/or partially sunken vessels, structures, equipment, and yachts on inland waters and offshore. Additionally, we assist our clients with the salvage bid solicitation process by creating and submitting salvage bid information to a wide range of reputable marine salvors and work with all parties involved until the salvage project is successfully completed.

Suitability Inspections

Understand the suitability of vesselstructural integrity, outfitting, equipment, certifications, and crew for operations on a specific job or service. We have the ability to provide nondestructive testing of metal thickness with audio gauge machines and tightness of hatch covers, watertight doors and more with our ultrasonic testing equipment. 

Digital Inspections

Receive high-resolution imaging from digital survey technology and process this data into comprehensive reports for condition and valuation, damage, on/off-charter surveys and more. We have advanced equipment and training and a network of certified pilots, which allows us to collect this data successfully in challenging survey missions worldwide.

On- / Off-Charter Surveys

Receive detailed, accurate charter surveys. DLS Marine has the expertise to ascertain the condition of vessels and equipment at the time of an on-charter and a subsequent survey at the time of an off-charter to determine any changes in condition. Our team also provides digital surveys with a full high-resolution capture of vessel condition when necessary.

Expert Witness

Secure professional testimony in the fields of Valuation, Safety, USCG Regulations, Marine Surveying, Vessel Operations, Salvage, Cargo Handling, Navigation, Rigging of Tows, Machinery and related categories. A DLS team member can serve as your expert witness.

Machinery Failure Analysis

Gain support in complex failure analysis cases. Our DLS team has decades of experience in supporting various parties in machinery failure analysis.

Project Management

Obtain the necessary resources to assist owners on new construction projects with onsite monitoring and inspection services of a build in all stages to ensure quality control, identification of deficiencies and delivery of a vessel per the specifications. For vessel repair projects, we obtain the necessary resources to identify and understand the scope of repairs and manage the repair process to meet classification and/or U.S. Coast Guard standards. Our project managers are equipped with many years of experience in vessel repairs and shipyard operations, we prepare technical specifications and assist in the estimation of repair costs and budgeting. Additionally, we can provide services to oversee repairs and track progress for financial milestone payments.

Loading, Securing, Trip-in-Tow, Trip-Under-Power

Receive expert analysis and recommendations to approve vessels, equipment, towing gear, stowing, cargo lashings, loading and transit of cargo to a particular destination for domestic and international routes. DLS Marine can assist with route plans, weather conditions, towing arrangements and more.

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Matt McDaniel DLS Marine Survey and Appraisal

Matt McDaniel

Hull & Machinery Surveyor

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hull and Machinery
  • Damage Assessment and Repairs
  • Condition
  • Inspections
  • Project Management

Memberships / Professional Certification:



Matt began marine surveying in 2014 and has experience with damage causation, reviewing transit plans, new construction, cargo transfers, salvage operations, on/off charters, and general condition surveys. He joined the Hull & Machinery department at DLS in 2019.
Charles Sterling - DLS - UAV Supervisor | Digital Inspection Manager

Charles Sterling

UAV Supervisor | Digital Inspection Manager

Areas of Expertise:

  • Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles & ROV’s
  • Digital Inspections
  • Computer Technology

Professional Certifications:

  • AS, Computer Information Systems
  • BS, Information Technology
  • FLIR Infrared Training Institute

Certified Specialist in Caterpillar diesel engines to include:

  • CFR Part 107
  • Level 1 sUAS Thermographer
  • Microsoft Certified System Engineer


Charles joined the firm in 2024, after managing an enterprise drone service provider based in New Orleans. He also teaches basic and advanced UAV class at Delgado Community College. Charles has extensive experience planning, flying complex missions in the Industrial, Chemical and Oil & Gas industries.

Ave P. Boudreaux

Marine Surveyor

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hull and Machinery
  • Project Management Supervisor (QC) – overseen numerous construction and delivery schedules for vessels
  • Extensive knowledge of U.S. Coast Guard and ABS rules and regulations for vessel construction and repair


  • Rolls-Royce Z-Drive Failure Analysis Seminar
  • Flex-Core and Aluminum Welding Course
  • Extensive training in engine, gear, and shaft alignment
  • Extensive training in vessel repair and new construction

Memberships / Professional Certification:



Mr. Boudreaux has 15 years experience with offshore supply vessels, crewboats, and anchor handling tugs. During this time, he served 8 years in vessel repair and new construction, 3 years in vessel operation and logistics, and 4 years as a vessel port captain.

Mr. Boudreaux served over 3 years as a marine surveyor performing numerous types of surveys in the marine industry prior to joining DLS.

Norm Laskay - DLS Marine Valuation

Norman F. Laskay

Of Counsel

Mr. Laskay joined Stickney, Dufour & Associates, Inc. in 1988 as a partner. He is now of Counsel. He became a Marine Surveyor in 1974, having gained prior experience in steamship agency, bulk cargo handling and vessel operations. He has been involved in many aspects of marine surveying including hull, machinery and cargo, both inland and ocean. Since becoming an Accredited Senior Appraiser of commercial marine equipment, he has been active with the American Society of Appraisers’ International Machinery and Technical Specialties Committee. He has written a comprehensive exam for the Commercial Marine Appraisal specialty and has written a 30-hour course for the American Society of Appraisers on appraising commercial marine vessels and yachts and is the lead instructor.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Commercial Marine Appraisal
  • Hull Damage and Repair
  • Cargo Loading, Securing and Trip in Tow Preparation


  • Maine Maritime Academy Graduate
    B.S. in Marine Transportation
  • Continuing education credits in Law, Appraisal, Marine Survey, and Diesel Repair.

Professional Certification/Memberships:

  • NAMS Regional Board of Directors Member 1989-1994
  • American Society of Appraisers – Chapter Treasurer 1991-1994
  • American Society of Appraisers – Chapter President 1994-1995
  • Mark Twain Club (Charter Member)
  • Machinery and Technical Specialties International Committee 1995-Present


  • The Journal of the International Machinery & Technical Specialties Committee of the American Society of Appraisers “TUGBOAT DESIGN 101” Vol 13 No. 2 Fall 1996
  • The Journal of the International Machinery & Technical Specialties Committee of the American Society of Appraisers “KEEPING AN EYE ON YOUR MARINE ASSET” Vol 13 No. 3 Winter 1996
  • Marine Money, The Ship Finance Publication of Record “ASSET BASED APPRAISAL:, Vol. 21, No. 3, May/June 2006 Wrote the chapter on Marine Asset Appraisal for the American Society of Appraisers text book: “VALUING MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF APPRAISING MACHINERY AND TECHNICAL ASSETS” Second Edition. In 2008, revised the chapter for the future Third Edition and wrote an accompanying Work Book section.



Harry Ward President DLS Marine

Harry Ward


Harry Ward is the President of Dufour, Laskay & Strouse, Inc. Harry is a US Navy veteran and has spent much of the past decade in the maritime industry in sales, finance and general management. He has extensive experience in asset and business valuation and is working to maintain DLS leadership in marine appraisal and survey for another 50 years. Harry is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and served as a helicopter pilot and survival instructor through multiple tours of duty. He has an MBA from San Diego State University.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Fleet and Vessel Appraisals
  • Marine Business Valuation
  • Transaction Support – Due Diligence
  • Transaction Support – Marine M&A Advisory
  • Digital Inspection – Marine and Offshore Wind


  • U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD – 1991, Bachelor of Science
  • San Diego State University, San Diego, CA – 1999, MBA with emphasis in Finance

Licenses and Professional Associations

  • FINRA Licenses, Series 63 and 79 (Investment Banking)
  • American Society of Appraisers, AM
  • Certified Exit Planning Advisor, CEPA (Business value assessment and strategy development