To whom it may concern, June 3, 2019

This letter of reference is in support of Tom Johannessen as a Marine Surveyor.

Background: I am John F. Colby, associate yacht broker with Sound Yacht Sales based in Gig Harbor Washington. I began my career in boat sales in 1984 with Graves and Schneider LLC brokering commercial fishing vessels. In about 1992, I switched to yacht brokerage primarily with brokerage(s) on Lake Union in Seattle.

In all have 26 years total as a full-time yacht/boat broker.

During these years I have dealt with thousands of buyers and or sellers. Without question Tom and his wife Lezlie Johannessen were among the best. They were highly professional in how they approached their search, allowing me to help guide them through the process. The boat was a 44’ Histar Motor Yacht.

Over the years I have sold boats to a rocket scientist from Houston, a nuclear physicist from Los Alamitos (Livermore) and the president of the American Gastroenterologist Association. I even sold a yacht for the president of the National Rifle Association. I my opinion, none of these gentlemen rank above Tom Johannessen in raw brainpower.

Tom’s ability to understand details and see quality, or lack thereof, in the various yachts I showed him all over Puget Sound was remarkable. Tom and Lezlie worked with me and the other co-brokers in a totally professional manner.

In the future, whenever I am selling a boat north of Seattle, Tom will definitely be included in my list provided to my buyer(s). This is because of his professionalism, his honesty, and because Tom is a great human being.

Best regards,
John F. Colby


"My experience is that many surveyors let complacency, ego, personal convictions or time get in the way of a concise factual survey”

Tom, on the other hand has demonstrated over the years to be very “even keeled”. His ability as President of our Marina Condominium Board (no easy task) to make well thought-out choices in the best interest of the community, to redirect what could have been an emotional confrontation into a constructive conversation, and to manage the big picture by scrutinizing individual small components, has produced results that we have not seen in years and tells me that he is one who carefully observes and thinks things through.

With a view to his technical background, Tom has a refreshing balance of book knowledge coupled with a strong real-life history of experience in the trenches. When I have an issue on board, he is always able to offer up the “when I ran into that” antidote and the non-reactive solution that I require. He is both knowledgeable and thorough, and based on the work he has done on his own vessel – has a keen eye for detail. Very mechanically minded. "

— Al, Semiahmoo



I’ve had experience with many boat surveyors and conditions of boats. My husband and I owned a 40’ Hughes sailboat for several years and we sold it two years ago. In the search for our new boat, a motor yacht, Tom was instrumental in helping us select an appropriate boat for us and we consulted him regularly on potential boats and their overall condition, including structural, mechanical and electrical. We are always impressed with Tom’s attention to detail, knowledge, and explanation of a boat’s condition. He also helped us deliver our new boat to its home berth and gave great insight and instruction on becoming power boaters.

Tom continually amazes us with his knowledge of engines, boats, electrical systems as well current standards such as ABYC. We call upon his experience quite often when we are doing projects on our new-acquired motor yacht. He is always current with his information and offers creative solutions to many different issues we have encountered. He is detail-oriented, accurate and careful in all of his endeavors. I believe Tom is an asset to the boating community as a surveyor.

— Paula and Jim, Semiahmoo