Author: Rik van Hemmen

Great Directors Lead

On a recent trip to Sicily to deal with construction issues on a number of high speed catamarans, I saw this forklift parked in a director’s reserved parking spot. I like it. I am not sure a forklift operator is trying to make a point or if a director is making a point, but there… Read more »

Rochester NY, Under USCG care

December 15, 2011, in Rochester, New York to inspect a pier on behalf of the Department of Justice with regard to a fatal boater’s crash on a dark night in 2008 on Lake Ontario. It was surprisingly warm for this time of year, but the USCG Boatswain in charge of the 47 foot MLB and… Read more »

A NORMANDIE Semi-Mystery

The Normandie is by far my favorite passenger vessel from a design point of view (on a pure love/looks basis, the pre-war Nieuw Amsterdam II beats her by a small margin). Years ago I came across a set of drawings in our office with a last correction date of February 9, 1942 that show the… Read more »

Exxon Valdez? Enough Already.

My sister, Annemarie, who, as an ex tall ship sailor, has good salty connections sent me the words to this famous chantey. So here we go:   What’ll we do with a drunken sailor (3x) Earl-aye in the morning? Hooray and up she rises (3x) Early-aye in the morning Shave his belly with a rusty… Read more »

World Maritime Day

The world is filled with anniversiries, commemorations and memorials. IMO also has special days and September 29, 2011 will be World Maritime Day. It would be easy to be cynical about yet another “special” day. But if there can be a national pickle day, or even a day that commemorates the Irish, it is simply… Read more »

Welcome, AMERICA Version 2.0

High tech comes in many flavors. Some of it is just completely new like the Lever building in New York City or maybe an IPad, but I like high tech when it reaches back and reaches forward. In yacht design occasionally I get to see such instances. I particularly like those designs that use wood… Read more »

The Passing Of A Real Engineer

Today marks the passing of a real engineer. Keith Tantlinger was the engineer who designed the shipping container components that realized Malcolm McLean’s vision. The New York Times recognized Mr. Tantlinger’s importance to humanity by publishing his obituary. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/business/keith-tantlinger-builder-of-cargo-container-dies-at-92.html?_r=1&emc=eta1 Follow us on Linked In by clicking the “Follow” button on our blog page.

Robert Fulton

Francis A. Martin, the founder of Martin & Ottaway, was a grandnephew of Robert Fulton, the first successful steamboat operator (I will not get into the debate as to who invented the steamboat, but I agree it was not Robert Fulton). Robert Fulton is a rather elusive figure who was a prolific inventor and technical… Read more »

A first (As Far As I Know)

Since 1995 Martin & Ottaway has been based in Monmouth County on the North Jersey shore, but many of us have known the shore for much longer than that. One of Chris Hanges’ favorite Jersey hangouts was Bahrs Landing in Highlands, a short distance from the Seastreak ferry. Bahrs Landing still is a Jersey shore favorite and… Read more »

The US Maritime Industry, The Rodney Dangerfield Of World History

The Maritime Industry is the single most important driver for the world as we know it today. Before maritime commerce was established, trade consisted of horses and carts on bad roads, and since horses and carts can only move limited amounts of product trade was inherently deeply restricted. Before sailing ships, it was impossible to… Read more »