Rik van Hemmen's blog

 

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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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 »

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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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Halloween is quite an important commercial event in the United States (Annual US Halloween sales amount to US$8.4B, about the entire NASA manned space budget), but the maritime community has had a hard time breaking into this industry (The pirate costume licensing fee thing never worked out). Still, that does not mean there are no opportunities. 

 

Possibly the best business opportunity is pumpkin boat building. Pumpkin boat building has been taking place since at least 1996, but the level of technical improvement has been disappointing to say the least. It is obvious that naval architects have not been involved in the development of this type of vessel. It probably makes sense for the Naval Architectural community to have ignored pumpkin boats for the last two decades, but now it appears the moment has come where we should start to look at these vessels as a potential business opportunity since the construction material appears to have matured.

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When we talk about efficiencies it often becomes difficult to figure out who benefits from the efficiency. Airlines may be as efficient as they can be (spend the least amount on wages and fuel per passenger moved) but that does not mean that airline travel is efficient for the passengers. They may stand in long lines, be shunted through airports they do not want to visit and fly at times they do not want to fly. In other words, from the passenger’s point of view, each airline flight is often very inefficient.

 

Efficiency needs to be evaluated at a system level and the point of view needs to be defined. In 2009 David JC MacKay (1967-2016) wrote a wonderful book called “Sustainable Energy - without the Hot Air” and in that book he very carefully describes present day energy efficiencies and provides guidance on what efficiencies can be achieved. The book received very high praise and he was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. However, he made a very interesting error in his analysis.

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