The SNAME annual meeting is a high speed knowledge exchange fest and the last annual meeting in Seattle may quite possibly have been the best one yet.
I always get the printed version of the proceedings and leaf through the papers on the flight home. My proceedings need to be the printed versions because I read them with a pen and add comments in the margins to warn the next person in the office who gets to look through them. Most papers are quite good, although occasionally there is a paper that must have slipped through our peer review process, and contains untruths, is overly commercial, or is just a “duh” paper (and generally if it contains one of these flaws, it contains all three). But the best part is finding a paper that gets one’s engineering juices flowing.
In this year’s proceedings one of my favorites was “Zonal Distribution Cuts Cabling Cost” by John Hensler of STX Marine.
During the conference the paper did not catch my eye and therefore I did not attend the presentation, but reading it in the airplane it sure made a lot of sense to me. While the execution of the concept in the paper can very be complex, the application is something everybody should take a closer look at.
This is a representation of a conventional power distribution in a vessel. This is the way large commercial ships including large passenger ships have been wired for over one 100 years. (I quickly copied the figures from the paper, contact SNAME for the full paper.)
This arrangement is thought to be the least expensive way to wire a ship even if there are bulkheads through which the cables have to be pulled and potted, but that may not be true.
Fisheries management is an excruciatingly complex subject. The management (or mismanagement) of fisheries can very rapidly affect the viability of the industry and has all sorts of carry on effects. Martin & Ottaway sees these effects in fishing boat accident investigations and fishing boat valuations. For example, a fishing boat value is not just tied to the market, or even to its specific trade, but can also be affected by applicable fishing licenses and fishery management methods. While fishing will always be dangerous, as can be noted at the end of this story, well designed and well managed fisheries tend to be much safer than poorly managed fisheries.
Improper management can result in complete vessel value collapse, as has recently occurred in Spain and was described in a recent New York Times article, while a successful management program can have many positive carry on effects.
Recently Seattle Admiralty Attorney (and fellow wooden boat aficionado) Chip Jordan introduced me to an example of a program that is worthy of further consideration. It concerns the Seattle fishing schooner fleet.