Author: Rik van Hemmen

Make Mine Half Size (A Late M&O Christmas Present)

As usual the Martin & Ottaway Christmas present is late. But maybe I should call it a New Year’s present anyway. This year it is a story. I wrote it late in the last century. It has sort of been published in various places, one of which was a website that I can no longer… Read more »

The Big Maritime Things in 2020

I ended my 2019 annual review with an admonition not to work like a robot or you will be replaced by one quickly. The comment was intended to warn engineers to be innovative or they will be replaced by robots. Now, at the end of 2020, I have a whole new vision of the effect… Read more »

If You Build It They Will Come

  The movie Field of Dreams was a little too dreamy for me, but the main line of the movie: “If you build it they will come”, never quite left me. In some cases it actually could be true. Within the office we have discussed using EV’s for company cars a number of times. While… Read more »

Alla Tsiring on Throw Back Thursday

Alla Tsiring’s adventures did not start when she joined Martin & Ottaway in 1994 as our book keeper. Her adventures started in Russia and included her escape with her husband Lenny during a period of Glasnost with intermediate stops at all sorts of interesting places. However, she had never gone on a ship survey during… Read more »

Hybrid Propulsion; Stinkpotting for Raghaulers

  Due to the fact that my wife became wheelchair bound recently, I am in the middle of the design and construction of a 35 foot hybrid propulsion wheel chair friendly catamaran. Together with the boat design and construction masters of Scarano boats, I am converting a 1996 medium to high performance 35 foot sailing… Read more »

Negotiations in Five Short Stories, Part Two

Note: The Waterpomptang family is fictitious and occasionally a Waterpomptang story appears on the M&O website. Some say their adventures resemble real events, but that is just a coincidence. This is Part 2, for Part 1 click here   After Truus came aboard, Marina took Froetjers out her slip and headed downriver to the Shrewsbury… Read more »

Negotiations in Five Short Stories, Part One

Note: The Waterpomptang family is fictitious and occasionally a Waterpomptang story appears on the M&O website. Some say their adventures resemble real events, but that is just a coincidence.   It was early morning at Watt & Fulton’s office above the BuyLo Packy in Red Bank. Willem was finishing his pork roll and egg sandwich… Read more »

So, How Much Cheaper is Containerization?

  Besides all other Coronavirus upheavals, it has also affected our intern program. Joseph Schwarz, starting Penn State Engineering Junior was supposed to join us for the summer, but with an office that practices social distancing a face to face internship became quite impractical. In order to provide Joe with a somewhat meaningful training experience… Read more »

Pitching your Tent in Dog Doo

Living is nothing more than postponing the moment where you kill yourself. So far so good, but I have come really close a number of times. And retrospectively, mostly due to a lack of attention to the details. One that continues to stand out to me was when I was a student at Virginia Tech…. Read more »

Coronavirus; Why don’t we think through the problem first?

  While our coronavirus experience seems so novel, in the arc of maritime history, pandemics like this are far from unusual. Actually, the most unusual part of the present pandemic is that we have not had to deal with a pandemic like this for over 100 years. Taking into account that in those 100 years… Read more »