SURVEYOR'S NOTEBOOK

How Reggie Helps Us Win the Zero Emissions Game

As I write this there are dozens, if not hundreds, of carbon emissions reduction efforts underway, or being suggested. Some can only be described as bogus, while others appear to have a positive impact, but in the big picture do not appear to make the difference that we really need. The present global warming data… Read more »

Valve Fix

  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 the early 1960’s and Bolle and Truus had just moved into their new apartment in the South of Rotterdam. Because Bolle was now… Read more »

Dutch Boating in 1964

My grandfather was planning to retire as a ship’s Chief Engineer in 1964. He and his wife had mused about getting a boat to cruise the Dutch waterways. That vision was adopted by the extended family and resulted in this design. As a yacht designer I have occasionally shot myself in the foot by telling… Read more »

I Live in a Massive Park; Bigger than all the Lower 48 National Parks Combined.

My brother-in-law, Jim Forsyth, owns a boatbuilding and repair business in the Adirondacks. The Adirondacks is sort of a Rodney Dangerfield of American parks. In area it is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Park combined, but few people see it for the treasure it is. If National Parks are America’s best… Read more »

In Support of Grassroot Experiments; Apollonia

Maritime transportation takes advantage of huge economies of scale, but it was not always that way. Even quite recently there were many maritime ventures in the United States that operated on quite a small scale and in certain places in the world maritime transportation still takes place on very small scales down to the canoe… Read more »

Laser Scanning; an Update

In a 2017 blog we provided some examples of the work that our friends at Horizon Naval Architects have been doing. Time has marched on, and 5 years later there is now even more sophisticated technology. Quite near our office Greg Gomes of Skyvue is plying his trade as a remote control aircraft specialist, drone… Read more »

Great Looking Ships

Warning! Reading this Column May Result in EDS Infection. My father was on the new construction team of the 1958 SS Rotterdam V, a visually iconic passenger liner that is presently a static hotel and event space in Rotterdam Harbor. When she entered service, her looks were much discussed, and generally compared to her very… Read more »

Reinventing Taking Temperatures

  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. Froetjers had been on a long run home and to make cocktail hour at the Molly Pitcher she was running at full throttle in the… Read more »

Two New Partners for Martin & Ottaway

In 2025 Martin & Ottaway will have been in operation for 150 years. The longevity of the company has always relied on the inclusion of young talent to facilitate efficient leadership succession (With regard to young talent, it is noted that Francis S. Martin was 25 years old when he founded the company). Two of… Read more »

Welcome to a Dying Industry (1988)

  Jacksonville Shipyard was a well-known repair yard that was particularly well known for servicing the Jones Act tanker fleet and Gino Ferrari was its New York representative. Each Christmas season Gino hosted a reception at the Four Seasons restaurant for tanker Owners. Gino Ferrari was a close friend of the company and my father… Read more »

The Art of Graceful Disappearance

Wayne Thomas, my friend and colleague since 1986, and business partner for over 15 years, has decided to retire at the end of the month. Wayne has always been a world traveler and he has decided to roll up his house, store only his most essential possessions, and to live light at various places of… Read more »

From Booby Hatches to Pier, Jetty, Wharf or Quay?

Maritime terminology is a subject without limits. It has a lot of universality in basic words, but also suffers from massive regional variations that can be truly frustrating. With clients all over the world, we often engage in discussion in the office about what term to use for a specific concept or piece of equipment…. Read more »

So Big, So Small

When I speak about my shipping life with outsiders they are often most amazed by the size of ships. Engines that easily fit people within the cylinders, so many football fields in length etc. I rarely spend a lot of time thinking about it, but Jim Kline and I were working a project together. When… Read more »

World: What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate About Sustainability

A number of years ago I wrote a blog on the link between science, tinkering and innovation and discussed the need for goal setting in innovation. More recently I have been frustrated by the general apathy of the general population in creating a zero net carbon world, and this has been the subject of discussion… Read more »

Are We Properly Calculating Lashing Loads on Large Container Vessels?

We have been involved in quite a number of lost container cases in the last few years, especially on large (12,000 TEU plus) container vessels. Some of these cases show various deficiencies, but in other cases it appears that the lashings simply are not strong enough for normal vessel operations. That has led us down… Read more »

Where are the Transportation Macro Designers?

Note: This article was first published in the November 2021 issue of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News. As naval architects and marine engineers we are familiar with the design spiral. While design is not truly a spiral, we use the concept to remind ourselves that all pieces of a ship design interact. The design spiral… Read more »

Golden Ray Sanity Check; Tightropes are not a Proper Way to Cross an Ocean

  The National Transportation Safety Board issued their report on the Golden Ray capsize and, as is usually the case with those reports, it provides an interesting read. The NTSB provides a cause for the incident, incorrect stability calculation, and provides the following recommendations to the vessel operator: 1. Revise your safety management system to… Read more »

Time for a Closer Look at Offshore Wind Turbines

Offshore wind is inching closer to reality off the New Jersey coast. The public review process is underway and the big question is: “Will offshore wind make it past the public opinion barrier?” The advantages of offshore wind are most tightly focused to what now is becoming a screaming need to reduce carbon emissions. Wind… 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 »