Rik van Hemmen's blog

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 bridge. Fortunately nobody was hurt in either case. read more »

This week we lost a client and a dear friend with the untimely passing of Gerry Ginter.

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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

In Memoriam Chris Hanges, 1928-2012

On February 22nd, we lost a dear friend, colleague and sage counselor when Chris Hanges died peacefully in his sleep.

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Over the years many Arabian countries have built drydock facilities to open new industries to help them steer away from a completely oil dependent economy. Oman is the latest entrant to the list with their brand new facility in Duqm. The facility has two 400,000 ton graven docks and will also soon add a floating drydock. The facility is within an entirely new harbor and is just gorgeous with beautiful workshops and even the retired Kungsholm as a hotel facility.

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On a recent trip to Sicily to deal with construction issues on a number of high speed catamarans, I saw this forklift parked in a director's reserved parking spot.

 

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December 15, 2011, in Rochester, New York to inspect a pier on behalf of the Department of Justice with regard to a fatal boater's crash on a dark night in 2008 on Lake Ontario.

 

It was surprisingly warm for this time of year, but the USCG Boatswain in charge of the 47 foot MLB and his crew performed a risk assessment and decided we should wear the mustang suits for the night time trip.

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The Normandie is by far my favorite passenger vessel from a design point of view (on a pure love/looks basis, the pre-war Nieuw Amsterdam II beats her by a small margin).

 

Years ago I came across a set of drawings in our office with a last correction date of February 9, 1942 that show the conversion of the Normandie to an unnamed troop carrier drawn by Cox & Stevens.

 

It always was a mystery to me why we had this set of drawings, but recently, for the Bahrs Bar and Museum project, I was reading "Normandie, Her Life and Times" by Harvey Ardman (quite a good read by the way) and on page 273 there was mention of a Normandie valuation by Frank S. Martin. read more »

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Friday, November 11th, 2011

Exxon Valdez? Enough already.

 

My sister, Annemarie, who, as an ex tall ship sailor, has good salty connections sent me the words to this famous chantey.

 

So here we go:

 

What’ll we do with a drunken sailor (3x)

Earl-aye in the morning?

 

Hooray and up she rises (3x)

Early-aye in the morning

 

 

 

Shave his belly with a rusty razor

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Put him in the long boat till he’s sober

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Put him in the scuppers with a hawse pipe on him.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Put him in bed with the captain’s daughter.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Beat him with a cat ‘til his back is bleedin’

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Put him in the bilge and make him drink it

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Truss him up with a runnin’ bowline.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Give ‘im a dose of salt and water.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Stick on ‘is back a mustard plaster.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Send him up the crow’s nest till he falls down,

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Tie him to the taffrail when she’s yardarm under,

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Soak ‘im in oil ‘til he sprouts a flipper.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

Put him in the guard room ‘til he’s sober.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

Make him the skipper of an Exxon tanker.

Hoo-ray and up she rises

 

 

That’s what we do with a drunken Sailor,

Earl-aye in the morning

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High tech comes in many flavors. Some of it is just completely new like the Lever building in New York City or maybe an IPad, but I like high tech when it reaches back and reaches forward. In yacht design occasionally I get to see such instances. I particularly like those designs that use wood in novel ways. Last week I finally got the chance to sail on a 1980's Dick Newick wooden trimaran that has been taunting me on its mooring on the river near my house for many years (I am digressing a little here, bear with me). 

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Monday, September 19th, 2011

World Maritime Day

 

The world is filled with anniversities, commemorations and memorials.

 

IMO also has special days and September 29, 2011 will be World Maritime Day. It would be easy to be cynical about yet another "special" day. But if there can be a national pickle day, or even a day that commemorates the Irish, it is simply a non brainer that each year we stop for a minute and contemplate the effect of martime on the world. This year the day will take special notice of piracy and the effect it has on today's maritime commerce. 

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