SURVEYOR'S NOTEBOOK

MAX1 Studies OWS Chronology Analysis

In almost every technical case, or operational problem we get involved in we find that it first takes the construction of a chronological narrative to get an idea as to where the shoe sticks. When we were asked to look at OWS effectiveness by NFWF, one of the tasks we proposed was the construction of… Read more »

AD 1522 to 2015, A Really Big Step for Mankind

In 1522 a sailing vessel, named the Victoria, arrived in Spain and thereby completed the first circumnavigation of Earth using only sustainable power (wind). This voyage is generally called Magellan’s voyage, but the person who completed the voyage in command was Juan Sebastian Elcano.   Since that time, humans have circumnavigated Earth in any number… Read more »

Double Dog Day

Dog days are good days in an office. Today is a double dog day. Jim brought in beagle Buddy and Rik brought in golden/lab Harris. Nothing easy about taking a picture of two dogs at the same time.

MAX1 Studies, a NFWF Ship Waste Stream Management and OWS Study. Invitation for Participation

In the first half of 2015 Martin & Ottaway will be performing a study for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, “MAX1 Studies” (MARPOL Annex I Studies), that will address the following questions: How effective are shipboard Oily Water Separators? What can be done to further increase the effectiveness of shipboard oily waste management? The… Read more »

Baby It Is Cold Outside, So Be Careful

Cold weather actually makes us busier. Cold weather makes people seek shelter so they pay less attention and cold weather makes equipment operate and fail in unusual fashion. It has been cold out (we almost had iceboat conditions on the river) so there is no time to ruminate any further. Instead I will post a few… Read more »

Christmas Poetry

Many years ago Arthur Mournian gave me a quirky little book named Nautical Poetry, which was a collection of (what the editor considered to be) the best nautical poetry. It contained some good stuff, but not this Robert Louis Stevenson poem that was sent to me over Christmas by my friend and former colleague John… Read more »

Big Load Afloat

As a company maybe we love salvage more than anything else, but load outs must come in as a very close second. There is something special about showing up somewhere, where it is too hot, too cold or too dark and to work with true professionals in the form of riggers, equipment operators, barge operators,… Read more »

Ryszard Kaczmarek Can Do!

Maybe too often do we tout the power of interning and mentoring, but this week we received a heartwarming note from one of our past interns which started as follows: Since you deserve a partial credit for your support, I thought you would want me to share this great news I received last week. The… Read more »

Great Design Is No Joke

True or not, this joke is attributed to Abraham Lincoln: A farmer’s young son comes running into the house. Out of breath he says: “Pa, Pa, the hired hand and Sis are in the hayloft. The hired hand has dropped his pants and Sis has pulled up her skirt! Pa, I think they are fixin’… Read more »

van Hemmens Present At The SMC In Houston

Rik and I will be presenting our co-authored paper titled “Game Theory for the Maritime Professional” at the SNAME Maritime Convention this Wednesday from 1300-1400 hrs in the Technical Track 1 section, Sandalwood A&B room on the 4th Floor.  If you’ll be at the SMC, come check it out! The picture is explained in the… Read more »

48 Hours On The Lettie G. Howard

Maritime education is an incredibly powerful educational tool. While it does not necessarily have to be a path to maritime employment, it is always an effective path to provide Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Philosophy, History, Language and Arts (STEMPHLA) education. The Lettie G. Howard project has a straightforward focus: Provide students with a tool to… Read more »

M&O Jeep Fleet

In 1994, M&O leased the then new Jeep Grand Cherokee, with miles per gallon in the 17 mile range. Twenty years later M&O has returned to the Jeep brand with the leasing of the new “Eco Diesel” Jeep Grand Cherokee, which can get some 33 miles per gallon on the highway. Stephanie Khadam-Hir of the… Read more »

Meeting In The North Atlantic (TBT)

In 1954, my great-grandfather, Hendrik Fokko van Hemmen, was Chief Engineer on the M/V Prins Frederik Hendrik of the Oranje Lijn, and my grandfather, Henk van Hemmen, was deck engineer on the Dutch flagship, the SS Nieuw Amsterdam. On November 1, my grandfather was asked to make a repair to the steam whistle valve which… Read more »

Dungeon Art (TBT)

Our office has a real dungeon where we keep our unused art, our extra gear, our historical records and our completed files. Inevitably we need to clean out the dungeon when we no longer have space for the completed files and that means we literally get rid of dumpster loads of reports, depositions, shipping documents,… Read more »

N.S. Savannah

M&O took a picture of the N.S. Savannah while at an adjacent pier in Canton Marine Terminal, Baltimore on a recent survey: N.S. Savannah is the first nuclear-powered merchant ship ever built (the Soviet ice-breaker N.S. Lenin was the first nuclear-powered civil ship).  She was launched in 1959, and was built at a total cost… Read more »

Ten Real Shipping Books

The general public’s awareness of maritime continues to be elusive. People without exposure to maritime have a vague notion of what ships do, but the knowledge is almost always superficial. Maritime is complex and therefore it takes a large investment to become deeply familiar with the dynamics of maritime in all its facets. This made… Read more »

Hydrogen As The Ultimate Fuel (Maxi Taxi 10)

Our intern Matt Stern is guest blogging on some background research he did at our office on hydrogen fuel before he gets ready to start his junior year at the Bronx High School of Science: In modern times, we have become accustomed to using fossil fuels as our source of energy for road transportation. But,… Read more »

NYMAR Victory!

They said it couldn’t be done but Martin & Ottaway’s representatives had the pleasure of winning the 3rd race of the August 7th NYMAR J/24 racing series.  Congrats Captain Peter and crew!

Wood Technology Never Gets Old

Wood is a truly wonderful material, not just for its beauty, but also for its excellent engineering characteristics. While wood technology has been around for thousands of years for boat construction purposes, wood technology is still developing today. In August of 1999, Woodenboat magazine published an article on a novel type of wooden mast construction…. Read more »

SS Florida / SS Republic Collision (TBT)

A photo of the damaged SS Florida as a result of its collision with the SS Republic in 1909 hangs in our office. On the back is an article from an unknown source (I’m betting that one of our consultants decided to look up the story one day).  The story reads as follows: “Due to… Read more »

The SS Morro Castle (TBT)

Today’s Throwback Thursday is one of the most famous shipboard fires, and is especially well-known in our area because the vessel was beached for several months in Asbury Park, New Jersey, not far from our current headquarters.  While the SS Morro Castle disaster of 1934 tragically killed 137 passengers, it directly resulted in numerous shipboard fire… Read more »

Martin Ottaway RSA Grounded Bulk Carrier Refloating, Lake St. Clair, MI July 2014

In the early hours of July 27, 2014, a Donjon-SMIT NTVRP (Non-Tank Vessel Response Plan) vessel, a handysize bulk carrier, grounded in Lake St. Clair, near Detroit MI. In accordance with the vessel’s plan activation, the  SMFF resource provider Donjon-SMIT were contacted who immediately mobilized USCG Sector D09 (Lake Michigan) Martin Ottaway RSA Mr. Mike… Read more »

When Lloyd’s Registers Were Secret (TBT)

Since 1764, Lloyd’s Register has published annually what is basically the definitive list of ocean-going vessels in the world.  Our office – and many other maritime offices worldwide – use these “registers” regularly, since they contain valuable, authoritative information on ship size, carrying capacity, age, builder, and equipment, to name a few.  We keep our old… Read more »

Deep Culture

At Martin & Ottaway occasionaly we see all aspects of our culture come together in a single project. This photo pays witness to such an event. Consider: The Engineering Attitude: We can do this, we have the tools, and we sure don’t need to use the written instructions. Frugality: Why pay for chair assembly if… Read more »

Container Archeology

Last week I found myself in Skagway on a cruise ship stop and hopped a ride on the White Pass & Yukon railroad. This railroad was a vital connection between the Pacific and the Yukon River gold fields. It starts in Skagway, the most northeast corner of the Alaskan Inside Passage, goes through the White… Read more »

Rik van Hemmen, SNAME Member Of The Month

The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) is the main engineering society for naval architects and marine engineers and most of Martin & Ottaway’s consultants are members. SNAME provides the technical resources and updates that are necessary for engineers to stay engaged with the latest developments in the industry. Professional engineering membership is… Read more »

Let’s Not Confuse Innovation and Disruption With Progress

I just read Jill Lepore’s excellent article about disruption and innovation. She very carefully tears apart some recent trendy thinking about innovation and pretty much concludes that one cannot predict where innovation or disruptive technologies will come from and that, inevitably, any innovation or disruptive technology will pretty much find itself in the buggy whip… Read more »

Lettie G. Howard, An Exercise In Educational Excellence.

Education in maritime is in a class by itself for too many reasons to count. Bottom line; maritime education works, and people are starting to take notice. The strength of maritime education lies in integration. Basically it allows students to engage in multiple learning experiences simultaneously. Instead of one hour of language, one hour of… Read more »

Historic Vessel Redux

Occasionally we draw attention to ships that are historically significant. Sometimes it seems like we are simply whistling into a storm. Ship preservation costs money and undoubtedly it is a difficult discussion to decide which vessels are worthy of preservation and which should be, at best, turned, into artificial reefs, but, overall, our country is… Read more »

USS Somerset, The Real Lesson of 9/11

On March 1, 2014 the USS Somerset (LPD-25) will be commissioned in Philadelphia. The Somerset is the third and final San Antonio Class vessel named after 9/11 locations. The other two vessels of the same class that preceded the USS Somerset are the USS New York and the USS Arlington.  The names of the earlier… Read more »