Rik van Hemmen's blog

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Brilliant Black

My friend Danny had to take his Black Jack wooden inboard Jersey sea skiff to the Sea Bright NJ Marine Police Barracks to get it titled. David's Diesel Jeep Cherokee lease was almost up and it had not yet towed anything of substance. Furthermore, it was a nice day, which made it unfair for my dog Harris to just sit beneath my desk or mooch biscuits from Marianne.

 

So I decided to put it all together and compose it as a "Study in Brilliant Black".

 

 

Three black things and all brilliant in their own way.

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Concern over global warming is valid. Global warming almost certainly will result in instabilities that, at best, will be less than convenient, and, at worst, devastating.

 

However, as an engineer, I am frustrated that we tend to confuse causes, effects and solutions of global warming.

 

Causes, effect and solutions are all related and rationally engaging those issues is called problem solving.

 

From an engineering point of view, almost always, and if it can be achieved, a problem can be most effectively solved by removing the cause.

 

And the cause of global warming is simple: We are unnecessarily destabilizing our Earth by releasing way too much CO2 into the atmosphere.

 

It seems to me that everybody is prognosticating as to what the effects of that may be, but no matter what may happen, the solution is always the same.

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With the first few fully certified Ballast Water Treatment systems now on the market, shipowners are slowly drifting into the purchase phase of compliance.

 

In the near future, a mechanical Ballast Water Treatment system will now need to be retrofitted on all large ships and ship’s crew will have a new piece of equipment that will need to be operated, monitored, and maintained.

 

Many equipment suppliers have invested their hearts, souls and hard earned dollars in designing and certifying Ballast Water Treatment Systems and now these systems will see the hard test of real life operation. In the simplest terms, this story played out on Oily Water Separators, and quite possibly there are some lessons to be learned from the OWS implementation history.

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Martin & Ottaway has been involved in dozens of capsize investigations. Capsizes are strange events because the cause of a capsize can be difficult to determine.

 

There may be clear incidents of negligence with regard to capsizes, but, in our experience, about half of the world's capsizes strike like lightning on a clear day, and are totally unexpected. Then the analysis and cause determination becomes quite complex and often tracks back far in time.

 

Often there is fingerpointing, but it often loses track of the actual cause of the incident. One such incident that we worked on was the Ethan Allen in 2005 on Lake George.

 

The vessel capsized in mostly normal operating conditions with passengers aboard and loss of life. The analysis indicated that there were a number of factors at work which, together, interlinked to result in the subject incident and there was a red herring.

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Rik van Hemmen's picture
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Jim's 75th Birthday Lunch at Juanito's

Everybody was in town and so we got a chance to properly celebrate Jim's 75th birthday.

 

Mariner for over 55 years

Married to Paula over 50 years

Martin and Ottaway for 24 years

Way to go!

 

I was cleaning out a file cabinet, and came across a pile of these sketches. In the world of computer 3D rendering, classic artist renderings have become a thing of the past.

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Last year I was contacted by the Philadelphia Section papers chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, who asked if I could make a presentation at a joint ASME, SNAME, SAME section meeting in Philadelphia on January 24, 2017.

 

I told him that, in principle, I would love to do that, but wondered what subject he was interested in. He thought that a presentation on cruise ship power plants might be of interest to the membership of the various societies that might be attending.

 

In our quick discussion I mentioned that this subject is a book size subject and what part of it would be of interest, and he indicated that a more general discussion would be fun. Without thinking about it much further I agreed, but after putting down the phone I became a little worried. read more »

Rik van Hemmen's picture
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

TBT, County of Edinburgh Stranding

 

Point Pleasant Beach is a few miles south along the New Jersey shore from our office, which is where, on February 12, 1900, the County of Edinburgh ran aground.

 

The vessel had very little damage, but then, as now, the stranding quickly became a tourist attraction.

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Last year I started this list with lots of space flight issues, but when I made my list this year I started with aircraft technology, and then immediately shifted to maritime in item 2. It has been a strange year and that is why I ended my list with a repeat and enlargement of item 8 on my 2015 list; devastating ignorance.

 

I wonder why I ended up having 13 items this year.

 

 

 

 

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Holiday presents are always difficult to choose. I suppose a present is a two way street; it should delight the gift giver and the gift receiver equally. To find something that fits that bill is always a challenge.

 

Then to choose a Holiday present that suits everybody and that can be delivered over the internet is even more difficult. 

 

In thinking about that I am giving all our friends and clients all over the world at land and sea a copy of David JC McKay's book "Sustainable Energy, without the Hot Air".

 

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