SURVEYOR'S NOTEBOOK

Sandy Meets Sandy Hook

This rather ominous picture was taken two hours before high tide on October 29, 2012 at the Monmouth Boat Club in our headquarters town of Red Bank, New Jersey. The center of Sandy is still about 10 hours away. The river is the Navesink River and it is an estuary that enters New York Harbor at… Read more »

From HQSE To QESTH. Maybe A Change For The Better.

We all like to kid about acronym soup, and it is pretty difficult to keep up with all the new ones. I remember that as a young engineer I was always hesitant to ask in public, because I was afraid that asking the question would prove my ignorance. Somewhere in my career I crossed that… Read more »

A Better Way To Manage Fisheries

Fisheries management is an excruciatingly complex subject. The management (or mismanagement)  of fisheries can very rapidly affect the viability of the industry and has all sorts of carry on effects. Martin & Ottaway sees these effects in fishing boat accident investigations and fishing boat valuations. For example, a fishing boat value is not just tied… Read more »

Greenland Salvage: A Reef, A Container Vessel and Rogue Icebergs

By: Chris Law On August 16, 2012 Martin & Ottaway received a call from SMIT Salvage Americas requesting standby naval architecture assistance for a vessel grounding in Venezuela. Within the hour, there was a possibility of travel instead to Chile for a second grounding and within a further 30 minutes, a third vessel was reported… Read more »

Women and Children First, Part Two

Our first blog on “Women and Children First” elicited a fair amount of comment on various discussion sites. A major part of the discussion centered on the Birkenhead disaster. The Birkenhead disaster is considered to be the first application, or even the invention, of the “Women and Children First” concept. Wikipedia provides a fair amount… Read more »

Seastreak Wall Street Efficiency

The title of this story has a purpose. On an ironic level, web search engines may regard it as a rare combination of terms (Wall Street and Efficiency). But, actually, it is a story about the maritime industry’s efforts to fight for real efficiencies. Seastreak is the ferry service between our part of New Jersey and New… Read more »

Woman and Children First?

Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson of Uppsala University recently performed an interesting analysis of survival rates in a large number of major ship disasters ranging over a period of over 150 years. They were interested in determining whether the old adage “Woman and Children First” actually occurred in such disasters. While many of their conclusions… Read more »

The SS United States – A Spectacular Monument Waiting To Happen

By: Chris Law Arriving for a recent vessel survey in Philadelphia, PA with my colleague Wayne Thomas, we found ourselves pulling up to a pier alongside the laid-up SS United States. After completing the survey, we had the chance to walk the pier and admire this imposing vessel, capturing this image. For a vessel with such rich heritage, still retaining the… Read more »

Let The Sun Shine On The Delaware

M&O covers quite a range of waterfronts. Some we only visit occasionally (for example, Bahia Blanca, Argentina we visit no more than about once a decade) but others we visit on an almost daily basis. The Delaware River ports are home turf for us, but every now and then we need to check the internet… Read more »

The End Of The Exxon Valdez

A recent bit in the news announced that the “Exxon Valdez” in its present incarnation as the “Oriental Nicety” is bound for the scrap yard. It is easy to think of the “Exxon Valdez” as some villainous symbol in the drama of the oil spill in Alaska, but, as Paul Harvey used to say, then… Read more »

New York City Circa 1904

Next month Martin & Ottaway will be honored by the Society of Marine Port Engineers at their annual dinner dance. In preparation for an article chronicling the history of the firm, which will appear in the dinner program journal, some interesting historical documents and photographs were discovered while examining our old records. A few of… Read more »

In Memoriam Chris Hanges, 1928-2012

On February 22nd, we lost a dear friend, colleague and sage counselor when Chris Hanges died peacefully in his sleep. Chris’ Greek heritage and New York area childhood drew him to a maritime career as a young man. After graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering from New York University and upon his completion of… Read more »

Refloating the M.V. “Aristeas P” and M.V. “Nord Barcelona”

On January 21, 2012 I travelled to Kilometer 391 on the Parana River, near Rosario, Argentina on behalf of SMIT Salvage Americas Inc. to assist in the re-floating of the grounded bulk carrier, the M.V. “Aristeas P,” pictured below: The vessel, a 38,623 DWT bulk carrier, had run aground in low river conditions and was positioned such that the… Read more »

Which Way Did They Go?

Sometimes we get so busy no one knows where anybody is going.  Fortunately, in New Orleans, we never have that problem; we always know where Pierce and David went.

Donjon-SMIT OPA-90 Training Day

December 08, 2011 Donjon Marine Co. Inc., HQ in Hillside NJ hosted the latest in the Donjon-SMIT, OPA-90 Salvage and Marine Fire Fighting (SMFF) network Captain of the Port Zone (COTPZ) training drills. The drill was attended by PRONAV Flex Crew fire fighting first response individuals, Donjon-SMIT, SMIT Salvage Americas and Martin & Ottaway RSA…. 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 »

Port Engineers Of New York Golf Outing

The Martin & Ottaway foursome consisting of Carl, Joe, Padriag and David were successful in their attempt to win the Russ Magna 2011 Annual Golf Outing held at Apple Ridge Country Club, Mahwah, NJ, on September 12, 2011.  The winning putter is shown below:

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

Striped Bass Survey

On July 13, I was lucky enough to find myself aboard the 28 foot sport fishing boat “Makowish” out of Montauk, Long Island during a family camping vacation. I had fished from various vessels in the Montauk party boat fleet for fluke and never quite “fluked” the good fish while those all around me ensured their… Read more »

National Maritime Day

National Maritime Day is observed on the day the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, GA on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power, May 22, 1819.  The ship “put to sea with both steam and sails” and reached Liverpool in 29 days and four hours, becoming the first steamship to cross the… Read more »

Robert Fulton

Robert Fulton is a rather elusive figure who was a prolific inventor and technical promoter and a pretty good painter too. While he is well known for the Clermont or Claremont (neither of which are the actual name of his steamboat) my favorite Fulton design is the Demologos. This steam gunnery ship only predates the… 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 »

Historical Vessels, A Top 10 List

Museums are scary things. It would be interesting to figure out when the first true museum was created. I am not talking about curio collections, like animal zoos, that must go back to prehistoric times and church collections that focus on relics, I am talking about institutions that are interested in preserving objects that have… Read more »