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Appraising Unique Assets

As Originally Published by Recievership News, Spring 2014.

By: Jack Young & Beverly N. McFarland
Tel: 530-795-5536
Email Mr. Young

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RN's Beverly McFarland and her associate, Kevin Whelan of The Beverly Group, Inc., recently gave a presentation in San Francisco to the Northern California Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers ("ASA") on "Challenges of Appraising Special Assets". The emphasis was on the appraisal of assets in chapter 11 bankruptcies and receiverships and the differences between the two entities and how they are administered. Through the new acquaintances that we met that evening, we discovered some fascinating appraisals that members of the ASA have completed that we would like to share with Receivership News readers.

One of the more unique areas of the appraisal profession is the appraisals of machinery and equipment. For every type of machine or equipment that you can think of there is probably someone in the appraisal industry who specializes in it, from aircraft to boats to oil and gas to food processing. The preeminent designation for the valuation of these types of properties is the Accredited Senior Appraiser designation offered by the American Society of Appraisers "(ASA") ASA traces its roots back to 1936 and is the only multi-discipline, non-profit, international organization of professional appraisers. The society represents all appraisal disciplines: Appraisal Review and Management, Business Valuation, Gems and Jewelry, Machinery and Technical Specialties, Personal Property and Real Property. The ASA's mission is to foster the public trust of its members and the appraisal profession through compliance with the highest levels of ethical and professional standards.

In this article we are going to focus on three ASA machinery and equipment appraisers and some of the interesting items they have appraised.

Maritime Vessels

Captain Joseph W. Rodgers, ASA, started his maritime business in 1978 working as a surveyor for an underwriter of Lloyds and stationed in the Eastern Caribbean. At that time the charter fleet mostly consisted of classic large sized wooden yachts. Hurricane season was always busy. Capt. Rodgers says he can remember surveying the tall ship Sunderland built in 1888 in England, which is still in remarkably good condition; the last he heard, it was working as a charter boat in Mexico. Capt. Rodgers has worked on ships of all sizes, types and construction, including yachts, passenger ferries, research crafts, cargo ships, commercial fishing boats and small tankers.

In 2009 Capt. Rodgers appraised the Desert Princess - an 80 foot paddle wheeler passenger service boat that was working as a ferry on Lake Mead. One wouldn't think that there are riverboats on a lake, but it was not uncommon back in the old days. This boat was brought in before the infrastructure for the nearby national park was put in place. Of course, in order to sell the boat it may have to be moved and it was near impossible to remove the vessel without dismantling, which created an interesting twist to the appraisal process.

Capt. Rodgers also appraised the ship Northern Victor. Built in 1945, it was a steel constructed or converted ship utilized as the largest fish processing vessel in Alaska, that measured 380' in length and weighed 8902 gross tons. She was built in 1945 as the cargo vessel Marengo in Wisconsin for the U.S. war effort. Released from the U.S. Reserve Fleet in 1972, she was converted to the oil well drilling ship Ocean Cyclone in Beaumont, Texas, with the addition of a drilling tower and other drilling related equipment, and a new engine room at 40 feet in length and 20 feet in beam to bring her to present dimensions of 380 feet long and 70 feet wide. After a successful career drilling for oil in the Middle East and South America, the vessel was retired in Brazil in 1986. The vessel traveled to South Africa in 1998 for removal of drilling related equipment and then returned to the United States and converted to a fish processing vessel, operating in Panama City, Florida, until its move to Alaska in July 1990. Since then, Northern Victor has operated in Alaska and produced various seafood products as the second largest processing vessel in the United States fishing industry. Following purchase by Icicle in 1999, the vessel underwent major processing equipment additions and improvements that have made her the most versatile processing vessel in the U.S. industry. With quarters for 222 crew members, she processes Alaskan Pollock at her primary operating base in the Aleutians Islands near Dutch Harbor.

Alaskan Pipeline

Bob Podwalny, ASA, has been a contributing author to three editions of Valuation and Machinery and Equipment textbooks, and a course developer and senior instructor of American Society of Appraisers "Machinery and Equipment Principles of Valuation" as well as for the World Bank Economic Development Program. He has also been an instructor of valuation courses throughout the United States as well as in Mexico, Romania, Slovenia, Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.

For the last few years, Bob has been working on the valuation of the Alaskan pipeline for ad velorem tax purposes. The pipeline was built between 1976-1977 and covers 800 miles from Prodhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska. As of 2010, the pipeline has shipped almost 16 billion barrels of oil. By the way, do you know why the Alaska pipeline has a zig-zag pattern? That distinctive pattern allows the pipeline to absorb an earthquake up to 7.0 on the Richter magnitude scale.

Campbell Soup, Food Processing Plant

. . .Continue to read rest of article (PDF).

Jack Young, ASA, CPA is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers specializing in Machinery and Equipment Appraisals and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Mr. Young has also been awarded a Master Personal Property Appraiser (MPPA) designation from the National Auctioneers Association. He has thousands of hours experience as an Equipment Appraiser and is an active member of the Northern California Chapter of the ASA, where he serves as Chapter President.

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