July 2014

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 Lloyd’s Registers, since they can serve as a valuable reference for name changes, retrofits, prior owners, or scrapped vessels in our valuation and forensic investigations.  It’s interesting to see the change in style, and in size, of the Lloyd’s Registries over the years.

 

But my personal favorites are our 1940s Lloyd’s Registers:

 

  read more »

A Time magazine article by Leigh Gallagher highlights a problem that we deal with on a daily basis but that pretty much stays just below our awareness horizon. In the article Mr. Gallagher describes a professional epiphany of a town engineer with regard to town planning codes that exhibits itself as suburban sprawl.

 

The issue is simple; every piece of infrastructure that is built to support a community needs to be maintained. Infrastructure on a large flat scale, as is common in suburbs, inherently is larger per capita than in more compactly arranged communities and therefore more expensive to maintain. (Maritime, on the other hand, only incurs terminal infrastructure investment and maintenance costs. The maritime highway infrastructure is essentially free). The article describes how this sprawl results in unmanageable infrastructure maintenance costs, but the solution is all around us.

 

  read more »

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Thursday, July 10th, 2014

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 we have junior staff? read more »

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 Pass and then makes it to Whitehorse, Canada where it connects to the Yukon River system.

 

 

Today the White Pass and Yukon is a tourist railroad that provides a beautiful narrow gauge railroad ride through White Pass and has some of the steepest railroad grades and dramatic mountain rail engineering in the world, but, besides that, it was also a major player in the development of intermodal transportation.

  read more »