August 2015

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Friday, August 14th, 2015

What's So Funny About ORB's?

During the MAX1 conference Captain Tim Sullivan of Hornbeck Offshore sprung a surprise on us. His presentation dealt with Hornbeck’s very impressive efforts at improving MARPOL compliance and then towards the end of the presentation he mentioned that they needed to simplify their Oil Record Book guidance and therefore had handed all their stuff to a professional manual writer. He then held up a little booklet that looked quite familiar to us, but actually was a brand new version of a well known concept.


Hornbeck Offshore had commissioned Todd Brock (famous author of “Building Chicken Coops for Dummies”) and the Publisher John Wiley & Sons to produce “Oil Record Book for Dummies”!

  read more »

In the MAX1 study survey we included a few questions where we asked crews to tell us what their favorite Oily Water Separator brands are. We were very hesitant to include that question because there could be all types of weird bias and we would need a huge sample to makes sense of data where there could be as many as 40 brands and even more models mentioned.

The survey was very successful, but the “favorite brand of OWS” question was not very effective. We wanted to include that question because there is a real problem with brand specific customer feedback in OWS equipment.  Some OWS manufacturers may have great working relationships with certain ship owners, but, overall, shipowners simply buy what the shipyard deems a good deal, or they themselves specify a brand with little or no feedback from their crews.


The lack of feedback, on a systems design level, is very ineffective.  read more »

Today, August 11, 2015, was a landmark day for Martin & Ottaway. Traditionally M&O used a report numbering system. Once a report was issued, it was provided with a sequential report number, but when I joined the firm in 1988, keeping track of projects by ship’s names until the report was issued became an unmanageable task, and that year we started a case number system. We simply took the last report number and for each case in progress we assigned sequential numbers.


We made a case book and when a project started we took out a case number.  To make the number easily identifiable, Henk van Hemmen suggested we precede each case number with the initials “WT” to honor William T. Ottaway who had started the report numbering sequence in 1961.


In 1988 we started with case number WT-17593 (which would have been the next report number that day) for a ship named the Aconcagua. Harry Ottaway told me he and his father had started with report number 10000 in 1961, which would convert to a little less than 300 reports per year. Often one project results in one report, but that is just a loose association.  


When we moved to Red Bank in 1995, we had reached case number WT-19541. This was roughly 2000 cases in 7 years, which converts to a little less than 300 cases per year. Because we had moved to New Jersey, we decided we would start with a clean sheet and our next case was numbered WT-20000.


Today we opened case number WT-25000, 5000 cases in 20 years! read more »