Category: survey

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 »

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 »

Thank You, Union Drydock

A few weeks ago we surveyed the No.4 Union Drydock for purchase by Bayonne Drydock. The deal was consummated, and now the No. 4 drydock is in Bayonne. By now most of Union Drydock in Hoboken has been liquidated. We are sorry to see this 100 year old company go, but, on the positive side,… Read more »

Surveying Tools

In a recent blog, I discussed laser scanning as a surveying tool. That made me think of all the tools that surveyors carry in their proverbial tool bag today. Surveying equipment used to be pretty simple when Francis A. Martin did his thing in 1875. We still use Francis A. Martin’s stuff, although often in… Read more »

Surveying Techniques, Laser Scanning

When I joined Martin & Ottaway, Harry Ottaway told me that Francis Martin used a horse and carriage to be dropped off at the various surveys. Roy Kanapaux, a surveyor that still worked with Martin & Ottaway in the early eighties (at age 80!) and whom I met when I visited my father at the… Read more »

A Cathedral Of Internal Combustion

As surveyors we rush around the world on short notice, arrive at some distant port and then are asked to look at a damage situation or some technical or operational problem. We crawl into tight and dirty spaces and end op taken pictures or measurements of broken components. Often we rush back to catch the… 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 »

Rudderless Behavior

Technology failures are inevitable. The trick is to keep failures to a minimum and to keep failures in the “mostly harmless” category. Certain types of equipment can fail and the failure does not result in consequences that are too serious, while other types of equipment failures can make a mess of things almost right away…. Read more »

Ordeal By Inspection

This cartoon was probably old when I first saw it in the eighties, but I would say the subject that it spoofs has not gotten much better. Most of the above inspectors still show up, but today we can add Port State Control, P&I condition inspectors (especially hatch cover inspections), environmental auditors, ISM inspectors and the… Read more »

Civilized Brooklyn Bridge Surveying

For the second time in three years we were asked to attend to damages of the shielding on the Brooklyn Bridge. Shielding is a type of staging that is fitted to a bridge when construction work is taking place, and both cases related to contact by a crane boom with the shielding that was suspended beneath the… Read more »