Author: Rik van Hemmen

The Big Maritime Things in 2018

So here we go, one more year astern, and what does the wake look like? It is a weird wake, but the possibilities also continue to be endless. Let’s call it a mixed bag, and therefore I provide these tidbits in no particular order. 1. Fuel Oil Contaminations Early this year there was a rash… Read more »

This Year’s Christmas Present

  I am a little late with this year’s Christmas present to our friends and clients. Last year it was a story, but this year I had a bit of a hard time trying to figure out a good present. I was hoping for some inspiration and nothing showed up before Christmas, but the day… Read more »

Season’s Greetings

While we are still trying to get our new office sorted out, our staff put together this truly gorgeous little Christmas tree. To put something so pretty together during a time of upheaval provides promise for the future. Best wishes to all for the holidays and 2019.  Martin & Ottaway    

Statistics, the Inspection Paradox and Customer Acceptance

  One of my favorite funky newsletters is the Maritime Advocate. It often has very useful information, but I really suspect I read it because of a clever bit of marketing. The end of the newsletter often has a bit of silliness, like a list of painful puns or a few bad jokes. While scrolling… Read more »

Sunday Morning, the Life of a Surveyor

At Martin & Ottaway, we all love being part of the maritime community, but maritime is 24 hours per day. Therefore a call may come in at any time. This time it was Sunday Morning, just while I was getting ready to survey a boat for my personal use. So I modified the schedule for… Read more »

Is It Possible to Argue about Taste?

  A long time ago I enjoyed a Car Talk episode where a listener asked Click and Clack what car he should buy for a cross country road trip. Click and Clack right away started making suggestions about late 1960’s or early 1970’s great American cruisers. Their argument was simple. Those cars are not expensive,… Read more »

Collision and Angle of Blow; Sticking with What Works

While cleaning out files and I came across a 2004 collision that my father, Henk van Hemmen, handled. In the file there was a copy of a survey report on a 1971 collision with an angle of blow determination. The 1972 report was forwarded to some of the members in the 2004 survey party to… Read more »

Grace in the Details Kills Bike Helmets

Design is complicated, but often we try to explain it in a quick catchy phrase. There is a saying: “The Devil is in the Details”. Mies van der Rohe is often credited with flipping the concept upside down by saying: “God is in the Details”. Regardless, it means that if you do not pay attention… Read more »

Sergio Marchionne, An Appreciation of a Leader

I have always had an odd fascination with Chrysler. The whole story is too long to get into, but it relates to my Mother first seeing value in Chrysler stock and timing the ups and downs like Paganini on a violin, and my days at Chrysler’s Highland Parks Tech Center working with Chrysler engineers on… Read more »

Happy Anniversary IMO, a Sterling Example of International Cooperation

I joined the industry in 1981 and, before that, remember playing with the tarballs on the Dutch Northsea beaches. Things don’t always get better, but as far as international shipping is concerned, boy, have things improved. A huge portion of the credit goes to all the hardworking mariners who notice things that are wrong, and then come together… Read more »