OK .. a couple of things ...
First ... That ridiculous replacement value. that is something forced on the surveyors by the insurance companies and is supposed to reflect what it would cost to build that particular boat today. this makes no sense to me and I have never gotten a straight answer from the insurers and to why they demand it.
Second ... Yes there are a huge number of terrible surveyors out there and the insurers know who the lousy ones are. The lousy ones could not stay in business if the insurers rejected their crappy surveys. I have hundreds of survey reports that say things like
Hull - good, Engines - two, Batteries - yes.
I once surveyed a charter salmon fishing boat on Lake Ontario, I wrote in the survey
"this boat will explode" a week later he was taking people out on charters without correcting the deficiencies, some idiot gave him insurance.
third ... Certification Authorities - There are a number of certification/accreditation "authorities" , ACMS, USSA Navtech, AMSBC, OAMS, NAMS and SAMS and quite a few more. Some of these will send you a certificate for a few bucks, some will send you a manual with an exam on the back page for you to transfer the answers to and some have exams that any fool could pass. I think its telling that BoatUS recognizes only SAMS and NAMS. The main difference between them is that SAMS focuses on pleasure craft and NAMS has more of a commercial bent. SAMS and NAMS are the only ones that have continuing education requirements.
There are 250 surveyors in Ontario and about 8 that I personally would hire. I place the blame for the incompetents in this business squarely on the insurance industry. I think they must be making so much money they just don't care.
There ! that's my rant for the day