• The firm was founded in 1875 by Frank S. Martin, a leader in the Port of New York and the son of Captain Francis A. Martin who was a grandnephew of Robert Fulton.
Upon the death of Frank S. Martin on July 7, 1922, the firm, then called Frank S. Martin & Son, was taken over by his son Francis A. Martin who kept control of the firm until his death in 1960. Francis A. Martin left the Firm to his secretary and the only other employee of the firm that remained was Leroy “Roy” Kanapaux who had joined the firm in 1951.
• In 1961, the firm was purchased by William T. Ottaway and his son Harry J. Ottaway and reincorporated under the name of Francis A. Martin and Ottaway, Inc.
William T. Ottaway died in 1965 and for a number of years Harry Ottaway was the sole owner of the firm. Leroy Kanapeaux continued to work for the firm into the 1980’s when, at age 80, he decided that he no longer wanted to survey double bottom tanks and retired.
Harry Ottaway carefully nurtured the firm’s reputation and moved the firm to the top tier of marine consulting firms with the addition of other top flight consultants such as Harry G. Webber and John X. Erbe. Harry Ottaway firmly grounded the firm as a general marine consulting firm, but a firm that uses the engineering approach and ethics as its starting point.
In the 1970’s the firm was joined by other highly respected consultants including Chris Hanges, Norman Jensen, Frank Bradley, Henk van Hemmen, George Martinengo, Joe Thelgie, Bill Towner, Sydney Cooke, Warren Chandler and Jack Low.
• In 1992, Henk van Hemmen, who had been a partner for a number of years, purchased the company with his son, Hendrik “Rik” van Hemmen, and changed the name to Martin, Ottaway & van Hemmen, Inc. Soon thereafter James Dolan joined the firm.
- • In 1995, the firm moved to New Jersey and, with Jim Dolan becoming a partner, the name was changed to Martin, Ottaway, van Hemmen & Dolan, Inc.
In subsequent years the firm continued to evolve and consultants that joined the firm in the late 1980’s, and later, now own and manage the firm. The firm has continued to be a leading marine consulting firm and continues to evolve its specializations and reach within the maritime industry with a goal of long term continuity and superlative consulting services.